Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp 1.7-Liter Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle ($99.95)
This is what happens when Doug suggests a coffee maker: I suggest an electric kettle. It’s not just that I don’t drink coffee—although I don’t, thanks to a particularly-scalding-in-more-ways-than-one experience with some impressively strong coffee in Amsterdam a long, long time ago—but I’m still somewhat surprised that America hasn’t really embraced the electric kettle en masse just yet. Seriously, people, what’s holding you back? It’s a kettle that switches itself off so you don’t have to worry about it, and doesn’t whistle really loudly when you’re otherwise distracted and can’t quite get there to take it off the stove at that very moment. Even better, this particular kettle has multiple settings, depending on what you’re making, so that your teas will be brewed at exactly the right temperature. It also has a 30-minute “keep warm” option for when you forget that you’ve put the kettle on in the first place—which you can now do, because it’s not going to be driving you mad with its annoying whistle all the time. Somewhere in your life, there’s a tea drinker who will love you forever if you give them this, I promise.
Farnsworth Artisan Hero Prox, FX Edition ($399)
Who wouldn’t want a replica Farnsworth communicator from the Syfy series Warehouse 13? Admittedly, $399 seems a little steep for what’s essentially a toy prop of the world’s fictional first iPhone, but I mean, come on…! Just me? Okay, then.
(Seriously, if someone out there can get one of these and then manage to retrofit it with iOS, I really genuinely would want that. Santa, I promise, I’ve been really good this year…)
When I was a kid, gift cards were the worst presents imaginable; they showed that the gift giver hasn’t put any thought into it, and didn’t really care about what you liked and yadda yadda yadda. But these days, I think that gift cards are a safe and somewhat last minute save of the day option. With so much to buy online and so much digital media available as downloads, it’s much harder to have something physical to wrap anyway—and wouldn’t you rather give someone an iTunes or eBay card so that they could get whatever relatively obscure, niche gift they really want instead of your best guess? Letting go of your ego: It’s the greatest gift of all.