Christmas is coming soon so I thought I’d do a few posts with gift ideas based on things I’ve used this year and found to be exceptionally useful and or fun. Here is the first post and I’ll try to do a few more as I think of ideas and have time to write about them. If you have suggestions, please add them in the comments. You might be able to suggest the perfect gift that another reader hadn’t though of.
Fingerless Gloves ~ $3.50
My office is in the walk-out basement of our home. It is typically 60 to 65 degrees in the winter, but when there is a strong wind on the walk out portion of the house, it can get a lot colder. This isn’t to big of deal because I can usually just put on a sweatshirt, but I have to be able to type. These gloves keep my hands warm but let me still use my fingers. I wish I had of had these when I was getting my undergraduate degree in music because it would have made early morning piano practicing much more comfortable and productive.
GPS Units – $99 to $350
If you add a navigation package to a new car it will probably cost you thousands of dollars. I’ve never understood why this is, when a typical GPS unit can be had for $100 to $300. If you are looking to get someone a GPS, you might want to consider units that come with lifetime map updates. My first unit didn’t have this and with map updates costing $99 I put it off for awhile and eventually just bought a new GPS when it kept trying to send us to restaurants and stores that were closed or moved. In addition to the lifetime map updates, some of the newer models include free traffic updates–something that you previously had to pay $20 per month to get. This will try to route you around road closures and congestion. It is particularly helpful in a big city.
One of the best deals I’ve found is the 5 inch TomTom XXL. It isn’t the newest GPS, but it does come with lifetime map and traffic updates for just under $100.
Amazon Kindle ~ $79 to $199
While a lot of people will be getting the $99 Kindle Touch and the $199 Kindle Fire for Christmas, I wanted to point out some of the advantages of the $139 Kindle Keyboard 3G. It has the 3G support, but allows you to browse the web from the device over the 3G network–something you can’t do with the other devices. Obviously this is a horrible way to do general web browsing, but it is a great way to read longer form web content–particularly Wikipedia articles. So if you want to carry around something that lets you read live content from the web over 3G, this is probably the only way to do it without paying a monthly fee.
The 3G connection means you can look up things on the fly on the road. While most smart phones can do this as well, it isn’t nearly as comfortable to read on your smart phone screen as it is on the e-ink display of the Kindle.