Round Out Your Gift List With a Few of My Favorite Things

by Cindy Bates

Last minute gift giving doesn’t have to be stressful with the prevalence of interesting and creative options available online. As I’ve done in past years, I’m sharing a few of my favorite things for those on the lookout for new gift ideas for employees, family, friends or even yourself. I’ve created three categories: personalized gifts; gifts with a purpose; and gifts for the creative-type in your life. All items are available online, so save yourself a trip to the mall.

Gifts with a Personal Touch:

  • Fitbit Alta – I grew up playing tennis but like many busy business owners and professionals, I can’t always make it to the court these days. With Fitbit Alta and the Microsoft App you can still live a healthier, more active life and track daily activities including workouts and sleep.
  • PhoneSoap – In this always-connected world, our smartphones are never far from reach, which can make them breeding grounds for bacteria. Featured on Shark Tank, PhoneSoap charges and sanitizes any phone using UV light.
  • Lenovo ThinkPad T460s 20F9 – This Ultrabook is perfect for the well-connected business person who likes to travel light. Best of all, there’s still time to save $105 on this device, which makes it a great gift or a treat for yourself.
  • Master & Dynamic MH40 Headphones – From “When You’re Smiling” to “Happy,” by Pharrell, I love upbeat tunes. What better way to listen to your favorite songs than these headphones, which provide high-quality sound without disturbing others around you whether you’re in the office or on a plane.
  • Surface Type Covers – Surface remains a personal favorite of mine for getting work done on the go. This year, you can show your team pride with a special edition NFL type cover.
  • 4G USB Cufflinks – These polished silver cufflinks conceal a 4GB USB flash drive and a Wi-Fi hotspot, so your favorite high-powered jet-setter can transition from black tie affairs to business meetings and be prepared for everything in between.
  • Roku® – I’ve seen every Oscar-winning movie in the last 50 years. As you can imagine, that’s a lot of DVDs. Streaming players, like Roku, are an easy, convenient way for clients and employees to stream the shows and movies they love without shuffling through piles of discs.

Gifts with a Purpose:

  • Office 365 – Instantly collaborate better across teams and scale up or down based on seasonality or other needs.
  • Further products – Founders Marshall and Megan Dostal take depleted vegetable oil, refine it into biodiesel and then convert it into exceptional glycerin soaps, cleaning products, candles and lotions. Watch this video, which tells their compelling story.
  • Sequence bracelets –  I’m a big believer that accessories help to complete a professional look. This year, you can give a stylish gift with meaning. Sequence accessories help to disrupt the sequence of violence that limits at-risk youth.
  • Combat Flip Flops – This veteran-owned clothing and accessories company is on a mission create peaceful, forward-thinking opportunities for entrepreneurs affected by conflict.
  • Me to We – When you’re stretched for time, volunteering isn’t always easy. This great variety of socially conscious products can help you do good through your everyday choices.
  • Flex Watches – Each color of these unique watches represents a different cause, to which the company donates 10 percent of each purchase.

Gifts with a Creative Flair:

  • Kano – Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education is a personal passion and can make a major difference in the lives of the little ones on your list. Founded by Alex Klein, Kano is a computer that makes computer programming as easy as Legos. Their mission is to give young people – and the young at heart – a simple, fun way to make and play with technology, and take control of the world around them.
  • Xbox One controller – Let your creative side loose and design your own Xbox One controller in the design lab. The possibilities are limitless, and for those who love Xbox, this is a great way to make their gaming experiences unique.

For more gift ideas perfect for those on your list, download the Holiday Gift Guide for Geeks. When the gift-giving is done, I hope you’re able to take a little time out for yourself to reflect on another great year. Happy holidays!


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