With the holiday season in full swing, gift-giving is on the minds of many. If you’re part of a Secret Santa exchange, however, it can be daunting to find an appropriate gift for someone that you may have never actually spoken to. Luckily, there are gobs of affordable tech-related goodies out there that pretty much anyone will appreciate. Whether your assigned victim is a nature lover or a gamer, our list has choices to make you look like the best Secret Santa ever.
Tile Mate Key Finder ($25)
You’ll never need to worry about losing your phone or keys again with the Tile Mate Key Finder. This electronic button affixes to your keyring and uses a Bluetooth signal to connect to your smartphone or mobile device, so you can locate the Tile — and your keys — with the press of a button. Alternately, you can use the Tile to locate your smartphone, that is, assuming it’s within range. Sadly, if you lose both your phone and keys at the same time, you’re probably out of luck. C’est la vie.
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An Illustrated History of 151 Video Games ($20)
This awesome coffee table book may not have any new information for hardcore gamers, but it’s still a colorful trip through memory lane. Author Simon Parkin explores some of the most influential and iconic video games in history, from gaming’s inception in the 1970s and ’80s through 2012. Casual gamers, in particular, will love learning about the games (and the people behind those games) that helped build an industry.
Lucro 3-in-1 Smartphone Camera Lens ($15)
Now that modern smartphones offer up ample megapixels, you no longer need expensive equipment to fancy yourself a photographer. With these clip-on lenses from Lucro, you can take high-quality shots quickly and painlessly — and on the cheap. The set includes a wide-angle lens for close-up shots, a macro lens for improved focus, and a fish-eye lens for capturing wide-angle stills. The set also clips on to most smartphones and tablets without issue, though you might need to remove your case beforehand.
A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook ($24)
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to enjoy Westerosian cuisine on a regular basis — hint: it’s probably not very sanitary — then this cookbook from Chelsea Monroe-Cassell and Sariann Lehrer is the perfect fit. The book includes more than 100 recipes, divided by region. Delicacies abound from regions like Dorne and the infamous Wall, though you can’t be blamed for skipping the latter section. There’s even a foreword from George R.R. Martin, who apparently thinks it’s okay to write forewords for cookbooks instead of finishing A Song of Ice and Fire. Come on, George!
Van Gogh-inspired art prints by Sagittarius ($15+)
This collection of prints includes several crossover paintings inspired by the artistic style of Vincent van Gogh. Whether you’re a fan of Star Wars, Calvin and Hobbes, or Futurama, you’ll surely find a print that deserves a spot on your office or bedroom wall. Prices vary, but they’re all relatively affordable, and there’s enough variation to satisfy nearly anyone.
Rick and Morty: Total Rickall Board Game ($15)
With this board game, you and up to four friends can get schwifty with the best of ’em. The game riffs off of the “Total Rickall” episode in Season 2 of Rick and Morty, which sees the Smith household overrun with monstrous aliens who try to ingratiate themselves by implanting fake memories into the heads of various family members. In the board game, you’ve got to figure out which characters are real, and which characters are parasitic beasts that require extermination. Wubalubadubdub!!
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter ($20)
If you’re one of those Secret Santa participants who wants to be known for purchasing gifts that are actually useful instead of purely whimsical (you know who you are), the LifeStraw is a good choice. Hikers and backpackers, in particular, should appreciate the LifeStraw’s ability to quickly filter unsanitary water and remove more than 99 percent of waterborne bacteria. The device is also EPA-approved, and has been endorsed by the United Nations and the Carter Center, among other humanitarian relief efforts.
Flight 001 4-in-1 adapter ($25)
If you’re a world traveler, you know probably that different countries have different types of electrical outlets, which can put a big dent in your plans when your phone dies unexpectedly. This multicolored adapter set solves those problems, however, by providing a safe way to plug all your stuff in, no matter where your travels take you. The set also includes a printed guide that color codes each country based upon which adapter you’ll need.
Taotronics Bluetooth Speaker ($21)
Keep the music going in any environment with this IPX5-certified Bluetooth speaker. Taotronic’s portable device is built to withstand bouts of rain and dust, and given its 33-foot range, you can rest assured it will pair well with any Blutooth device in your arsenal. Your whitewater rafting trip (and your morning shower) just got a lot more lit.
Boogie Board 8.5-inch LCD Writing Tablet ($18)
Whether you’re studying for a test or putting together a grocery list, the Boogie Board LCD Writing Tablet has you covered. You can use the included stylus — or wing it with your finger — and the Board will recognize your touch. This versatile tool will help you save paper, too, and its battery will allegedly last for several years, even through consistent use.
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