Our Best Gift Ideas for the Holiday Season

by Millie Kay G. on November 8, 2008

Our favorite hot holiday gift ideas are those that are extra affordable, of excellent value and perhaps, even free! Now if you’re instead looking for our best gift ideas for the holiday season that are available through standard retail outlets, then read on for our current picks.

Want to save money on shopping? Then finish your holiday shopping early; hopefully the following suggestions will help in this endeavor!

Although giving away gift certificates is a convenient option, doing so is the easy way out and something I’d only do if I run out of ideas. So far, I’m able to come up with a good list of giveaways by enlisting the help of resources like mySimon.com and Google Products, which are great tools to help me determine what everyone’s interested in this year.

Gadgets, Anyone?

Amazon Kindle
Photo by ttkgeek.

Netbook Computer: If you want to give the joy of mobile computing this year, check out a netbook computer. The netbook is a smaller laptop that can cover your web-surfing and basic computing needs, usually for less than $500. Asus, Dell, and HP are offering netbooks with a range of features. CNET has an article about the netbook and how it can benefit you.

HDTV: A lot of people are going to want to upgrade to an HDTV in advance of the HDTV transition in February 2009. If you’re among those seeking to fill larger stockings, then IGN has an HDTV Buyer’s Guide for you.

Digital Cameras: Before you purchase a new camera, make sure that you check out this new site that helps you find the best digital camera based on your custom requirements. BestInClass.com will help you narrow down your choices significantly through a questionnaire that you can quickly fill out. Their product reviews (e.g. digital camera recommendations) are written by experts and serious enthusiasts who provide the information you need to facilitate your shopping experience.

Cell Phones: If you need to give a new cell phone to someone special, you probably want the scoop on which handset is naughty or nice. In addition to the T-Mobile G1 of Google fame and the much-celebrated iPhone, there are plenty of other cell phones vying for your attention. Narrow down the list with the help of PC Magazine’s cell phone reviews.

Amazon Kindle: Readers on your holiday gift list might appreciate Amazon’s Kindle ebook reader — Oprah liked it so much that she gave it away on her show! In addition to the books you can purchase, you can fill it with free content, according to productivity guru Merlin Mann.

For Kids And Gamers

video games for the wii
Photo by pixteca.

Toys and Board Games: If you think every holiday needs a cute red monster, then Elmo Live can bring on the cheer with you. For older children, you can cook up something tasty with the classic Easy Bake Oven. Also, a family board game can bring your family together for hours of fun. Take a stroll past the Boardwalk with an old favorite like Monopoly (just don’t take out any subprime mortgages on your properties).

Gaming Systems: If you’re into video games like me, you might have noticed the recent price drops on some consoles like the XBox 360 Arcade System, down to $190 at some retailers. If you’re craving the Wii and a couple of games, then you’ll pay around $400 for a bundle. A Playstation 3 bundle will run you about the same, depending on the seller.

Video Games: Must have games for this holiday season range from LittleBIGPlanet for the PS3, to Rock Band for the XBox 360, to Wii Music for the Wii. Keep in mind that retailers like GameStop and Blockbuster sell older titles for less. Last year, I gave a used game as a gift; five minutes into the game, my gift recipient didn’t care where I got the game from, as long as I stopped blocking the screen. Here’s more on how to pick up and play the best video games on a budget.

For The Guys

blockbuster total access
Photo by cs-jay.

Music and Entertainment: Know some guys who love music, but can’t figure out what to give them? Sites like eMusic and Napster offers memberships that allow access to millions of tunes. Another gift that guys can enjoy long after the holidays are seasons of their favorite TV shows. Pass out DVDs or hand out a gift subscription to Netflix, Blockbuster (50% off for the first month) or another movie site. Add in some chair-side snacks and you’re good to sit together for awhile.

Outdoor and Sports Gear: If your guys prefer to take their fun outdoors, hand them some gear from a sporting good store like Academy or Bass Pro Shops. Maybe they need a new tackle box or camping equipment — or think about sports you can enjoy together, like biking or running.

Splurges For The Hardworking Ladies Out There

spa treatment

Relaxing Treats: The holidays usually mean a lot of work for everyone. Give your female family members and friends a treat with a spa kit by Decleor. Or sample some fragrances in cute bottles like the one from Sephora. Add in a glamorous scarf or wrap like the ones from Nordstrom and you’ll all be ready for a relaxing evening out.

Home Designs: If you prefer to give your home a makeover, dress up your bed in a festive bedding collection from a source like Macy’s. Wake up to a better cup of coffee and skip the drive thru line with a new coffee and espresso combination machine such as the ones from Krups.

Small Appliances: A lot of families want comfort food, but lack the time to cook in the evenings. You can introduce them to a slow cooker or a pressure cooker so they can have great meals faster.

Off The Beaten Path

And if none of the above strikes your gift-giving fancies, I suggest you hie over to see the Bacon Scarf. A gift doesn’t have to be over-the-top to be wonderful or memorable.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alex November 10, 2008 at 8:35 am

If you’re not opposed to gifting someone with a refurbished or used gadget, I’ve had a lot of luck with Second Act. You can also find a ton of great deals through SlickDeals and Dealspl.us.

-Alex
ThriftFeeds.com

2 SVB November 10, 2008 at 9:57 am

@Alex,

Great find! I like encountering new resources like the one you just posted about. I’ll certainly be checking out Second Act and your other suggestions. Such businesses are likely to experience a boom due to the current recession.

3 Lazy Man and Money November 18, 2008 at 6:24 pm

I’m disappointed to find out that the bacon scarf is not actually made of bacon. Boooo… Hisss…

4 SVB November 18, 2008 at 6:33 pm

Lazy,

Haha! That just doesn’t sound…right. ;) Ah, the power of the literal mind!

5 Mary@SimplyForties November 26, 2008 at 9:14 am

Wow, if you’ve got Kindles and HDTVs on your gift giving list, I want to be your friend! Thanks for the links.

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