Gifting Like A Pro – Tech To Love

Every kid is different. Some will want to stay inside all the day playing games, other will love to play with Hot Wheels, and others are climbing trees and making tree forts. They will make mistakes as they grow up and will fill your heart with pride from time to time. Some moments you will want to give them a firm telling off, other times you will want to pull your own hair out. But you know, a childhood is to be cherished at the same time. Here are three ways to help your kid cherish their youth more with some gifting ideas.

If your kid is a gamer, consider getting him or her something that fits in that world. For example, gaming gear such as RGB keyboards, headsets, mice and even mouse mats have taken a high flight the last few years. Sure, the RGB element is completely useless, but kids seems to really like it. As with many things there is a sliding scale on the price category side. You can get cheap gaming gear from Amazon that will do what it says on the tin. You can go all the way up to premium brands such as Razer that will give your kid ‘bragging’ rights. It’s really down to what fits the budget. And if budget allows, you can even go as far as getting a VR setup. Even on a budget you can simply gift credit for whatever gaming platform there are own, i.e. Microsoft store credit for Xbox gamers, PSN credit for PlayStation gamers or steam credit for PC gamers.

Photo by Wilco Van Meppelen on Unsplash

 

If your kid is a less a gamer, but is completely into his or her vehicles, such as trains, planes and cars, consider getting a train set or a radio control (RC) vehicle. It’s a great way to connect to their interests and let it flourish by helping them imagine owning and driving one of these vehicles in real life one day. You will be surprised how good RC vehicles are nowadays, especially in terms of speed, control and battery life. You can find some of the best RC gear here. Start them with small, less powerful RC vehicles and work your way up to 4WD drift cars. Your kid might want to switch it up and go for planes and helicopters. Make sure you find to proper space to fly those RC vehicles though, a wide open field will do.

If your kid is truly an outdoorsy person, consider getting him or her an own tent, pro sleeping bag and backpack. All of the big outdoors brands will have a children’s range that will offer high quality outdoors equipment. It’s a great way for kids to learn the value of owning something and taking care of it. Deploying a tent properly but also packing it up the right way gets more value if they understand that it is their own tent. The idea they need to pack and carry their own essentials in their own backpack is a great way to teach self-sufficiency. Also care for their equipment such as hiking boots will instil lessons that will last a lifetime.

 

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9 Tech Gifts to Avoid

Sometimes, gift-giving can cause you as much anxiety as good cheer. For the most part, the anxiety manifests when it’s time to give out all of the gifts — after all, everyone likes to receive something, and most people like to give. But how do you know if you should give what you can afford, and if it will be good enough to convey good wishes?

When it comes to tech, for example, can you afford to get multiple people a game console? Are digital photo frames still en vogue? Although it’s the thought that counts, we think it’s still better to avoid certain gifts that might have been marketed elsewhere as good. Without further ado, here are almost two handfuls of tech gifts that you should pan.

1. Computers with Just the Basics

We felt the need to put this one first, because of the sheer popularity of computer deals that crop up once the holidays roll around. Obviously, you know just how essential a computer is in the modern environment, so this prohibition might at first seem curious to you. The problem is not with the computers, themselves, it’s the starting level that’s advertised as a steal. Computers with basic specs are all but useless for anyone who wants more than a word processor; 4GB of RAM limits the number of tabs you can have opened and still expect to work without lag. Always opt for at least one level above the entry specs when buying a computer for someone.

2. Virtual Reality Headsets for a Smartphone

This is a no-no; the cheap VR sets are the perfect example of the old adage “you get what you pay for.” If you want VR, then opt for the high-end ones such as Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive, or the Playstation VR. The cheap brands are simply taking advantage of the novelty of VR — don’t get caught in their snare.

3. Generic Smart Home Devices

This isn’t merely a quality issue — it’s also a safety issue. You do not want to risk the shoddy internet security of generic smart home devices; hackers have little trouble getting on those networks. You also want to go with a highly-regarded company in the event of power outages, so that you can recover your information easily on their robust servers and their customer support. Basically, then, avoid the startups and go with Google, Amazon, Nest, or Wink.

4. Headphones By Celebrities

Although these may not lack quality, make no mistake — it is you the consumer who is footing the bill for the celebrity to add her name to the product. You can ALWAYS get a better deal with headphones that work as well or better. Go with the tech company that is well-known for this kind of thing. Beats by Dre from Apple is an exception — but it’s just about the only one.

5. Digital Frames for Pictures

These sound like a good idea for a gift — until you realize that they come with almost no storage and bad software. Like with celebrity-endorsed headphones, go with brand name smart home devices such as Google’s Home Hub, a Lenovo Smart Display, or an Echo Snow.

6. Premium Cables

This refers to those gold-tinged HDMI cables with name brands; they are worth the marked-up price. Go with value brands instead — cables don’t have to have Amazon or SONY on them to perform their straightforward functions.

7. Electric Scooters and Skateboards

For these gifts, always go with the time-tested, popular brand. You cannot risk a battery failure with a substandard brand on a toy like this; many of them have been known to catch fire mid-ride. Go with Segway, Boosted Boards, or Acton because they go the extra mile in order to compete. This is why the price point is higher.

8. Cameras With Point-and-Shoot Options

First of all, in the days of multiple-megapixel smartphones and tablets, does any amateur actually need a camera at all? Especially if you have a late generation iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S9 series or Google Pixel — these blow those little $100 point and shoot cameras right out of the water. Simply put, cameras all by themselves are a thing of the past. These days, it only makes sense for professional photographers to invest in one.

9. Drones

This is a popular gift for teenagers and adults; but they suffer seriously restrictions within city limits. You cannot just fly one willy-nilly. Even so, most of the drones on the market are pretty bad when it comes to battery life, range and shoddy Wi-Fi connection. You have to go with a brand name here — such as the Mavic Pro or DJI — if you even want a sniff at a capable, intelligent drone. Even so, it will cost you. Generally, avoid drones as a gift.

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15 Stores That Offer Cheap & Free Gift Wrapping

How much time are you spending wrapping your gifts? Typically, Americans devote approximately three or more hours to wrapping gifts during holidays such as the Boxing Day. You can reduce the time that you spend by getting your gifts wrapping done for you. Imagine of a gift without a wrap. Unwrapping gifts still remains the large percent of fun, isn’t? In the modern world, free gift wrapping is becoming rarer day-by-day. In fact, only a smallpercent of stores and websites offer gift wrapping services at a minimal price or for free.

Here are the top 15 stores that offer cheap and free gift-wrapping services:

1. Amazon

Do you have a bulky item that cannot be easily wrapped? Amazon will give you a gift wrap that will motivate you to keep giving. Surprisingly, you won’t have to pay highly for Amazon’s gift wraps. The prices range from $3.99 to $5.99.

2. Apple

Products from Apple have always been known to thrill customers. Their gift wrapping is not left out too. It has a signature white box with a red ribbon. This is everything that you would want. In fact, they will go an extra mile to customize the iPod or iPad with a personalized message for free.

3. Aveda

Isn’t everyone’s dream to create their own custom gift wrap? Aveda allows you to choose three or more products from a list of the best sellers. Afterward, you will get a free sample and it will be wrapped uniquely for free.

4. Barnes & Noble

Barnes and Noble make gift wrapping easy. Different charities send volunteers who wrap gifts and in exchange they are given donations. Imagine having a perfect gift wrap and giving back to the community at the same time. Sounds cool right?

5. Bobbi Brown

Bobbi brown guarantees you a free gift-wrapping service. It is easy to think that since their gift wraps are free they wouldn’t stand out. You are wrong!

6 & 7. Gap & Banana Republic

These two stores give you complimentary boxes. You can also have premium gift wrapping which will cost you $6 at gap and $5 at baby gap.

8. JCPenny

Imagine getting a wrapping package of a silver paper, white bow and a personalized gift tag at $4. JCPenny offers you exceptional wrapping services for all your online orders.

9. L’Occitane

How about getting to choose if your order should be delivered in an assembled box or a complimentary box? L’Occitane gives you that choice.

10. MAC Cosmetics

Occasionally, the MAC Company offers promotional gift wrapping for a specific time period. Keep checking to get the promotional gift wrapping. Other times, you can also get your gift wrap at $4.95.

11. Nordstrom

Nordstrom spoils you by giving you a variety of choices. Here, you will get to choose between a ready gift box for $5, a gift box packaging kit for $2 or a free personalized gift message which is mostly 8-12 words.

12. Origins

Origins make it possible for you to get free gift wraps on all your orders. You will get a chance to wrap each of the items in your cart individually or all together.

13. Tifanny & Co.

Anytime you get an item from Tiffany, it will always be in a blue box that has a little white ribbon that stands out. Isn’t this amazing?

14. Von Maur

Do you reside in the United States? Von Maur has all your gift-wrapping needs sorted. This company offers free gift wraps and delivery for any orders around the United States. That’s not all because their customer services are outstanding too!

15. Walmart

It is possible that you’ve heard about Walmart a couple of times. Did you know that it’s one of the companies that offer the cheapest gift-wrapping services? Now you do. In addition to that, anytime you purchase jewelry, the gift wrap will cost you nothing.

Conclusion

In spite of the opinion that you may have towards ribbons, tape, packaging papers and other gift-wrapping items, one thing is for sure that it is hard to find the time to wrap up gifts. You might be one of the many people that are not good at wrapping gifts or maybe you would
prefer to do other activities instead. Whatever the case, it is time that you get assistance from professional gift wrappers. As you may have realized some of these companies don’t charge a penny and for those who do, it is a small fee that is worth getting a perfectly wrapped gift.

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Top Gifts for Dads, Uncles and Gramps

Sometimes dads, uncles, and gramps get the raw end of the stick when it comes to getting cool gifts. Often ending up with socks (although, everyone needs socks right?) or the same check shirt as last year. Here is a list of goodies that might land you in the good books.

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So, this year put the sock back on the shelf and hit the internet for some excellent purchases.

First up, how about a beer caddy with a bottle opener? Ideal for the outdoorsy men who like to cook up a storm at a BBQ, or sit and fish on the weekends. Either way, for around 45 dollars you can buy a handcrafted beer caddy and give the gift of 6 bottled beers available anywhere.

Sports tickets. If you know the man in your life is a huge sports fan, then imagine the absolute joy of getting a pair of Dodgers tickets (or better yet, go see the Cardinals). Or of course, your choice of sports team and sport!

Have a music mogul man hanging around? Someone who talks about their classic vinyl collection? Then maybe getting a turntable would blow them away. You might not want to hear some of the golden oldies that start playing, but there is no denying great music can make anyone’s day better.

Avid cooks are ideal people to buy gifts for. Because everyone can benefit from those kitchen toys! Think about some of the following items:

  • Keyboard Waffle Iron
  • Pancake Maker
  • Slushie Makers
  • Mini Cupcake Maker
  • Waffle Bowl Maker
  • Breakfast Master
  • Hotdog Toaster
  • Bacon Express

Super cool gadgets with a lot of appeal for everyone in the house. If none of those are what you’re looking for, why not consider a new BBQ. Either way, with anything on this list you’re bound to get something delicious!

Ballpark Blueprints. Huge baseball fan? Why not get them a piece of art they’ll genuinely enjoy having around?

Personalizing a family photo album filled with photos as far back as you can find are always such lovely things to receive.

What about, indulging them in an incredibly aged whiskey or other drink of choice. You can often find online stores that will personalize the bottles for you too. Giving it an extra special touch.

If you have a bit of a joker in your midst, then funny gifts like sound effects machines, whoopie cushions, and inflatable sumo suits work a treat and entertaining the whole family.

Model kits are a very cool and enjoyable gift to give to someone. The hobby kits come in different levels and sizes, so you can pick something that would be ideal. A few companies to check out are Revell, Airfix, Tamiya, and Zvezda. But, you can find more online. They come in many different forms so you can pick something they’ll love.

One more great gift to think about is, are any of their favorite bands or musicians touring? Grab tickets, and you’re sorted!

So there you have it, a few gift ideas that might save your bacon when it comes to birthdays, fathers day and the holiday season.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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