• Andys Top Holiday Gifts 2016

Andy’s Holiday Gifts for 2016

 

So many people, so many gifts to buy. Now for some they will get the obligatory Barbra Streisand album that was on sale at the checkout line of WalMart. But hey, your grumpy workmate could really benefit from some Streisand. So it’s a win-win.

But for those close friends and family you want to get the perfect gift. Especially with electronics and toys it is a challenge, as new things are coming out each year. To ease the pain and save you time, I’ve picked out some of my favorite items in each category.

And do you have a really great gift idea (that isn’t weird)? Then tell me in the comments!

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Top Electronic Holiday Gifts

Electronics are always a popular gift during the holidays and never disappoint. And there’s no shortage of options. Should you buy a tablet the kids? 4k TV for your man? New smartphone for your lady?

To help out, here are my favorite electronic holiday gifts!

Let’s first start with my number 1 top pick: the Amazon Echo and Amazon Tap.

Amazon Echo Speaker & Computer

The Echo can play your music & can be voice controlled. It can also control your home lighting & more!

The Amazon Echo has been out now since last year. Considering the price, its feature list is impressive. Basically, it’s a bluetooth speaker and voice activated computer all in one. Yes. Mind. Blown.

  • Bluetooth speaker with great sound
  • Voice controlled, even from across the room
  • Also plays from Amazon Music, Pandora, Spotify, and more
  • Can control smart home electronics and power outlets
  • Able to provide a variety of online information via voice command

After initially using the mobile app to configure it, you can use voice commands to have Echo control any lighting, electronics, or other smart home devices that you have installed. It also plays music from Pandora, Spotify, iTunes, and of course any bluetooth device.

It really is amazing. To fully appreciate it, you just need to go to Amazon’s page and read about it yourself.

amazon tap

A mobile option with a rechargeable batter is the Echo’s new cousin the Amazon Tap. It has the same great features but it also adds the mobility as most bluetooth speakers have.

There are also a variety of cases that you can buy to protect it, and the design seems to be a little more rugged to handle the frequent moving.

amazon dot

The Amazon Dot is the Voice Activated part of the Echo, minus the speaker. I enjoy having the Amazon Dot to connect to my surround sound stereo system and make it voice controlled.

Tablets

Tablets are always a great gift. Whether for your parents, spouse, or kids, there is a tablet priced just right for each one.

When it comes to ease of use, many find Apple’s iPads to be the best. And iPads are still considered by many to be the premium tablets. The quality of the screens and its speed are always stand-out features.

For me, though, I loved Android tablets. Several Samsung Galaxy tablets are in my house, but some others like Sony and Dell have some nice options these days.

4k HDTVs

4k TVs were way too overpriced a few years ago. But this year 4k TVs are starting to replace regular HDTVs. An increase in 4k content and the lower price point I think have really sped up this shift.

Whether you are buying it for yourself as the ultimate treat, or a family member, 4k TVs are a gift that will keep on giving for years to come.

I personally have always used Samsung and Sony TVs. I had a Samsung HDTV that lasted over 10 years before I sold it. Great picture and held up fantastically. However, LG has put out some very competitive models recently so you should definitely consider them as well. Most models come in a variety of sizes so you can select the size best for you after the link.

I realize that cheaper brands like Vizio and TCL are quite popular. But you get what you pay for. For many, paying 25% less is worth a lower quality contrast or clarity. The way I see it though, is that you will spend more time with your TV in the next 5 years than any other electronic (besides your phone), so I want it to be the best.

Gifts for Him

My wife says that men are harder to buy gifts for.

Apparently it’s because technical things like a computer or new tool (if you are a handyman) is difficult to know what model is needed. Especially if they aren’t used to researching those things. And she says that men usually don’t care about smaller items, and there are only so many sweaters and watches that can be bought.

It’s okay ladies. I understand your predicament. So from a man’s perspective here some great gift ideas.

On a Budget

Hey nobody is made of money. And despite my best efforts, I have yet to get it to grow on the trees in my back yard. So here are some more budget conscious options for that special man in your life.

If he already has a 4k Blu-Ray player, then really any 4k movie will be perfect for him, not just the one shown below.

And nearly every man can use a custom shot glass, even if he prefers non-alcoholic drinks.

Splurging Some

If you really want something that will stand out, here are some more expensive gifts that will be sure to please him.

What kind of guy is he? If he is into sports or exercising, then the GoPro camera or Smart watch are great ideas. Does he love music? Every man should have a high-end pair of headphones or bluetooth speaker for when working in the garage out on the patio.

Is he into beer or alcohol? Quirky gifts like the beer cap map will look great in his office or “man cave”.

Gifts for Her

What do women want?

This is a difficult question, and one that depends on your special lady’s personality and style. But to prevent me from talking about things I do not fully understand, I have invited fellow site writer Melissa to help me out with this list!

So here are Melissa’s ideas for great holiday gifts for that special woman in your life.

On a Budget

LISTEN UP MEN! Melissa is going to give you some advice.

MELISSA: Men sometimes think that gifts for a woman always need to be sentimental. And of course there are definitely times when they need to be, and there are some women who favor those kinds of gifts. But that is not always the case, especially if you have been married several years, or maybe it’s for your mother or sister.

I have included a great book in the list below, along with my best friend the TrackR Bravo so that I never lose my keys! For the traveling ladies, an infinity scarf with pocket is very helpful.

I have not included any clothes on this list, as you men REALLY have to know her size and style for that be a successful gift.

However, earrings and necklaces are always safe, as you don’t have to worry about sizing (unlike rings and bracelets). The benefit to earrings, though, is that they tend to be more versatile and match more outfits.

Splurging Some

MELISSA: Have you ever thought of buying a DVD box set? It makes a great gift that provides hours of enjoyment. I included a favorite of mine with Downton Abbey. But does she have a different show that she loves? Then get her the complete set!

And you men can never go wrong with diamond earrings. Just one word of caution – find out if she prefers white gold or yellow gold. If she likes white gold then consider buying platinum, which is nicer and will not lose it’s color as is the case with white gold.

Does she love wine? Baths? Get a basket set with those items in it.

Top Toys & Board Games

It seems each year there is a new hot “must-have” toy. I don’t know about you, but it can be so much work finding out what is popular with kids! And who wants to spend hours researching toys when you can be spiking the punch at your party?

Before we get to my list, here is my favorite! Exploding Kittens – The Card Game.

Hey don’t judge me from its name.

According to the game’s description, it is “a card game for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats”. Who doesn’t like laser beams? Or kittens? This game’s creator must be raking in money!

The game plays somewhat like the card game Uno, after being dipped into a bowl of crazy and sprinkled with kitten tears and laughter. Sorry that I spoiled the game from that description.

Exploding Kittens Card Game

It’s a card game. With kittens. And lasers. And goats. Grandma will LOVE it!

Teens & Adults

Preteens & Under

I’m probably going to get some flack for putting legos under the Preteens and Under category. Yes I know there even adults who are serious about legos. But I have to put it somewhere people!

Top Video Games

Video games are a huge multi billion dollar industry. And these days people of all ages and both genders play video games, whether on their smartphone, computer, or game console.

I have broken down this season’s most popular games into categories.

But first, my top video pick for teens and up is Final Fantasy XV for PlayStation 4. It is one of the biggest budgeted games in history and has been anticipated for years. Along with appealing to adults, the content is also very acceptable for preteens and teens. The game is also available on Xbox One, if you own that game console instead.

Final Fantasy XV for PlayStation4

Grab one of this year’s biggest games.

In order to play this game (along other PlayStation 4 games), a PlayStation 4 console is required. Sony just released an updated one called the PlayStation 4 Pro and it’s flying off the shelves right now.

If you aren’t sure what you need, below are links to the complete game system, a necessary extra controller (so 2 people can play together), a charger, and 1 year PlayStation Plus membership (to enjoy certain online features). It is the complete package for gaming bliss!

PlayStation 4 Pro

Be sure to grab the PlayStation 4 console itself to play the games! It’s the latest and most powerful gaming console currently available!

What is the PlayStation 4 Pro? It is the latest and most powerful gaming console on the market. It was just released this November, 2016 so it is a hot product and can sometimes be difficult to find on store shelves.

If someone already has the original PlayStation 4, they don’t need the Pro to play any of the latest games. However, the Pro does allow you to view 4k visuals on a 4k HDTV. The original PlayStation 4 is only 1080p resolution.

This Year’s Popular PlayStation 4 Games

PlayStation 4 is the game console from Sony. If you plan on buying a video game for someone who has a PlayStation 4, then any of the games below will work with that system.

This Year’s Popular Xbox One Games

Xbox One is the game console from Microsoft. If you plan on buying a video game for someone who has an Xbox One, then any of the games below will work with that system.

Travel Gifts

We being a luggage site primarily, of course we had to have a Travel Gifts category!

Along with having a great suitcase or tote for travel, I have listed some great accessories and other practical travel gadgets. Hey, maybe you will want to gift one of these to yourself!

Luggage

Of course here at Luggage Portal we review luggage… lots of it. Below are just a few of my top favorites.

Feel free to browse all our Carry-On, Suitcase, and Luggage Set reviews.

You can also find full reviews of all the luggage listed below.

Gizmos & Gadgets

Whether its a gift to someone else, or a gift to yourself, these nifty products make travel easier. Do you have some other great travel products that you use?

Let me know in the comments!

I am going to keep updating this page as the weeks go by whenever I find something that I think would be a great gift. So check back.

And do you have the perfect gift idea? Then leave a comment. I might even add it to my list!

2016-12-02T15:31:01+00:00 By |Categories: Top Picks|Tags: , |

About the Author:

Site creator and Reviewer in Chief. Andy has spent years traveling the world to catalog every Chuck Norris joke. In the near future he will create the world's ultimate Chuck Norris compendium. Until then he saves cats from burning buildings and blogs about travel products.