On the following pages, you'll find cool gifts for everyone on your list: spouses, children, grandchildren — even that person who's hard to please.
For the Fitness Enthusiast
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The Taylor Biggest Loser Scale ($33.08 at bestbuy.com) tracks not just weight but body fat and BMI, and calculates how many calories you need to eat per day to maintain your weight (or, alas, to lose a few pounds). The AquaJogger buoyancy belt ($44.95 at aquajogger.com) guarantees a full-body water workout that’s easy on the joints. In case of emergency, the VITAband ($39.90 at vitaband.net) bracelet (pictured in orange) stores your medical history and emergency contacts. The Delaney Plus Running Pack ($39 at camelbak.com) can hold keys, I.D., cash and an energy bar — everything the long-distance exerciser might need, including a 24-ounce water bottle.
On sunny days, Ryders Defcon Sunglasses are shatterproof and lightweight, and feature anti-slip nose pads that hold firmly to sweaty faces ($40 at ryderseyewear.com). For nighttime exercising, make sure cars can see you coming: Nathan’s Ankleband Pair and their Cycling Ankleband Pair ($9 and $7, respectively, at amazon.com); and Nathan’s LED Safety Strobe, visible for up to 2,500 feet ($7 at rei.com). Keep your favorite jogger warm in North Face Etip Gloves ($40 at thenorthface.com) with extra “grippy” finger pads so you can use your iPhone, iPod or other electronic devices.
Next: Gifts for gardeners. >>
For the Gardener
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Good equipment is as important as a green thumb, and these items are ideal for people who dig dirt (literally). The Paper Braid Garden Hat ($28 from The New York Botanical Garden Shop, nybg.org) is lightweight and stylish — and still offers maximum sun protection (and an SPF rating of 50). The Dramm Colormark Rain Wand in six colors ($26.00 from The New York Botanical Garden Shop, nybg.org) can help you water hard-to-reach plants. The glazed Green Stoneware Compost Crock ($29.95 at gardeners.com) holds a gallon of food scraps, has a charcoal filter in the lid that traps odors and is dishwasher safe, while the hand-forged 2 1/2-Inch Small Trowel ($27 at redpigtools.com), the Channel Craft Audubon Bird Call ($6.50 at rei.com) and the Rose Stem Cleaner ($14 at nybg.org) provide fun and function when playing in the soil. Or bring the outdoors indoors with a five-inch Hanging Forest Aerium with tillandsias ($39 at floragrubb.com).
For Outdoorsy Types
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Birders will enjoy the Olympus Roamer PC III Classic Binoculars ($39.99 at sportchalet.com), with its rubber grips for comfort and stylish blue body that slips into a pocket. The water-repellent Stowaway Day Pack ($34.95 at llbean.com) weighs just 14 ounces and comes in six colors, from mandarin orange to palm (pictured). Fishermen and boaters will love the Grace Digital Audio ECO Extreme Rugged All-Terrain Speaker Case ($49.99 at gracedigitalaudio.com): Just pop your iPhone or iPod in the waterproof case, hook it up to the built-in speaker and enjoy music on the water without worrying about, well, the water. Need some light? The Kelty LumaCamp Lantern ($44.99 at sportchalet.com) provides up to 172 hours of brightness. And anyone who’s ever spilled a drink, hot or cold, will appreciate Contigo’s ingenious 16-ounce Autoseal Stainless Steel Travel Mug ($19.99 at gocontigo.com) — just press the button to sip and release it to automatically seal.
For the Pet Lover
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Searching for a fun living room accessory? Try these hand-appliquéd and embroidered cat or dog pillows ($36 and $48, respectively, at uncommongoods.com). Your pooch will preen like the one pictured wearing fancy shmancy interchangeable dog collars (starting at $40 at canineconvertiblescollars.com) with rhinestones or polka dots and eating Cloud Star’s Holiday Buddy Biscuits, an all-natural gingerbread-flavored treat (cloudstar.com, about $6.50 at pet retailers nationwide). Another bright idea: the adorable Cat Face food bowl with stick-up ears ($24 at uncommongoods.com). And when you and Rover head outside, use the Trailblazer Walking Light with Retractable Leash ($39.95 at llbean.com): It has two front white LEDs and flashing red LEDs behind to safely light the way.
For the Hard-to-Buy-For
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Give the gift of flight! You can operate the HELO TC touch-controlled helicopter with your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch ($49.99 at griffintechnology.com). For men who are flying in an actual plane, eShave’s Travel Kit is TSA-approved with all of the grooming essentials — including cream and a brush — for a smooth shave on-the-go ($40 at eshave.com). If you’re only traveling as far as the kitchen, the Bamboo Box Knife Holder ($49 from vivaterra.com) is filled with hundreds of bamboo skewers to keep your knives secure without dulling their blades. The Rabbit Corkscrew & Aerator Gift Set ($49.95 at surlatable.com) pops a wine bottle cork in three seconds and aerates it as you pour. Or revisit the ’90s with a SLAP Watch, which literally pops on with a flick of the wrist and comes in 11 creative colors, plus wilder options such as white zebra and pink leopard ($19.95 to $29.95 at slapwatch.com).
Next: Gifts for foodies. >>
For the Foodie
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How’s this for gifts with good taste: Pasolivo’s Extra-Virgin Olive Oil — this one infused with lime ($25 for 375 ml at pasolivo.com), and salt and pepper ground from these mini Saltwerks and Pepperwerks mills ($10.95 each at crateandbarrel.com), combine for an easy salad dressing or marinade. Mixologists will find infinite uses for hibiscus, lavender, rose and fire orchid–infused Elixirs ($12.95 per 9-ounce bottle at floralinfusions.com). A pairing of Colston Bassett Stilton and Marshall’s Farm honey ($42 for the duo at cowgirlcreamery.com) calls for a honey dipper ($2.95 at crateandbarrel.com). For those who are serious about their java, try a handsome stainless steel espresso cup and saucer ($9.95 at crateandbarrel.com). Choffy brews like coffee and smells like chocolate — with neither the caffeine nor the calories ($15 per 12-ounce bag at drinkchoffy.com).
Next: Gifts for the gamer. >>
For the Gamer
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NZXT’s sleek Avatar S Laser Gaming Mouse has onboard memory for personalized settings ($39.99 at newegg.com). Try the hilarious new Reverse Charades ($23.99 at reversecharades.com): Instead of one person acting out a word, everyone in the room acts out words — and one person tries to guess as many as possible in 60 seconds. Joystick-It ($17.99 or a two-pack for $29.99 at thinkgeek.com) is the world’s first retro arcade-style joystick for the iPad and many touch screen tablets. More interested in mind games? The New York Times Brain Challenger features puzzles and games like Suduko and Hangman ($49.95 at hammacher.com). For more high-tech fun, Thrustmaster Ferrari-licensed Gamepad turns gamers into armchair racers ($39.95 at thrustmaster.com). Legend has it that Captain Cook enjoyed playing a version of the classic Maritime Challenge Game ($39.95 at llbean.com). The goal: to connect four glass balls in a row while preventing your opponent from doing the same.
For the Techie
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Want padding for your iPad? Neoprene protective sleeves from BUILT shield everything from an iPad to a digital camera and come in an array of super-bright colors ($29.99 and $15.99, respectively, at builtny.com). The IomegaSuperHero Backup and Charger for iPhone ($49.95 at staples.com) secures all contacts and photos for Apple iPhone 4, 3GS, 3G and iPod touch. And if your beloved misplaces his or her phone (all the time!), the Zomm Wireless Leash ($89.99 at zomm.com) — our one gift over $50 — flashes, vibrates, even sounds an alarm if the phone disappears. Able Planet’s S1250 In-Ear/Hook Headphones come with three different sizes of ComfortFit eartips, allowing you to focus on the music instead of that-thing-in-your-ear ($49.99 at adorama.com). Brookstone’s Wireless Key Finder sounds an alarm for lost keys ($50 at brookstone.com while the Password Vault keeps track of up to 400 user names, ATM pins and passwords ($49.95 at hammacher.com).
You might also enjoy: Gift Guide for Music Lovers
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