Instead of a wish list, I thought I might suggest a few small, inexpensive things that you might consider putting in the stocking of your favorite gadget person. I’m only going to scratch the surface- if you go to places like Neatoshop, ThinkGeek, Uncommon Goods, or Deal Extreme, you’ll find lots more! Now, in my house, stocking stuffers are not meant to be the big ‘WOW!’ gifts, so they may not be as ‘sexy’ as items on some of the other lists posted.
In no particular order other than what comes to mind first is…
1. Pocket Charge/Sync Station. Start with a USB to Mini-USB Retractable Cable. Add a mini-USB to micro-USB tip to get it to fit most gadgets. Toss in a small DC to USB and/or maybe even an AC to USB unit for more versatility. Now, you can charge or sync a wide range of devices at any handy USB port, in your car, or at an electrical outlet. Please note that the less expensive versions of each of these items are often not as durable or reliable as more expensive versions- but at the low costs, you can often afford to by a few at once and consider them disposable.
10. Small Recharger. Something like the Gadgeteer-reviewed Enercell 2-in-1 unit would be a nice supplement to the pocket charging stuff above.
11. A Pocket-sized Pen. A small pen that can be easily carried in a pocket is incredibly handy, and for my money, nothing beats the classic Fisher Bullet Pen in matte black. It looks like something a tech-ninja would carry and can write on wet paper upside down. I also have first hand knowledge that it will survive multiple trips through the washer and dryer. There are many other options, from the nice little Inka Pen, to making your own or mini-Sharpies, but this is Christmas! It’s OK to splurge a little!
100. A Pocket or Keychain Flashlight. This one is a bit tougher for me to specify. What do you think is more important here- easily obtainable batteries, brightness, ease of use, long-lasting/does not turn on accidentally, small size, reasonable cost? The Mag-Light Solitaire fits most of the criteria. It is not as bright as many other options, but it is easy to find and comes in several colors. You may prefer something like the Photon series or, my over-all favorite, the Fenix E01 or Gadgeteer-reviewed LD01.
101. Good Earbud-type Headphones. In my opinion, you need to either spend a bit and get some good ones, or something with a bit of a twist to it, like maybe some Skullcandy stuff. I don’t have a specific recommendation here- just something cool they can stick in a small gear pouch. Mr Earphone did a great job of reviewing some wonderful sets as well.
110. Fun and/or Big Capacity USB Thumbdrives. I find that I am using thumbdrives less and the ‘cloud’ more, but fun USB drives are… well… fun! Neat-o-Shop.com has an interesting assortment to get y0u started.
111. Bucky Balls! If your gadgeteer does not already have Bucky Balls or some other magnetic toys, this might be the perfect stocking stuffer! Who could resist the hours of fun something like this can offer? (Well, in real life, a couple of days at first, then they sit a lot, but are still fun when you stumble over them later!)
1001. Geeky Toys. Thinkgeek.com’s collection of geek toys is too extensive to list more than a fraction of the options. How about lightsaber chopsticks? Fiendish but beautiful pocket puzzles? Sticky note origami? Your own little Nikola Tesla? So many cool toys, so little stocking space.
1010. Pocket Multi-tool. Talk about choices! My favorites are the Swiss-Tech Utili-Key and several models of Swiss Army Knife- the Midnight Manager (pen and flashlight) and Midnight Mini-Champ (lots of small tools and flashlight). Two that are actually on my wish list are the Columbia Knife ‘Guppy’ and the Leatherman Skeletool (cheaper options are available, and you can get a rather cool tool accessory kit to go with it!)
1011. Fun Candy/Food. The ThinkGeek.com ‘Whacky Edibles’ page has a lot of options, but you can find a lot of fun choices in some of your local stores. The ethnic foods section of many larger grocery stores has a great selection, and of course, your local ethnic stores will have even more. Even your local Walgreens has some pretty odd candies on the shelf. On the other hand, you might score some of the weirder fruits, like horned melons– just the right size to pop into someone’s stocking! (I’ll leave it to you to decide if it is a gift for a naughty or nice person!)
1100. Do It Yourself Kits. Most gadget people are also ‘makers’ and like making things, like the recently reviewed pocket knife kits. Offering your gadget person all they need to make, say, a pocket art kit, pocket game box, other Altoid tin-based kits, things like DIYelectronics kits , or little kits they can make that you can find in the toy aisles of most major department stores.
1101. Gift Cards. Personally, I think gift cards are a bit of a cop out*, but in this case I am suggesting cards for specific purposes- in other words, give the card and specify what you were thinking they would get with it. For example, an iTunes or Amazon card so they can get episodes of their favorite TV shows or the latest release of their favorite group. I’d love a gift card to get apps for my Android, but have not seen any yet. Sometimes they are worth it just for the cool holders! (*- Note that I still use and appreciate them, however. Please- no comments on this point!)
1111. Geeky Christmas Ornaments. One of our family traditions is to give each person an ornament for the tree. There are several good geek/gadget ornaments to choose from, such a Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas, Star Trek and Wars, ThinkGeek’s selection, etc.
I hope this list sparks your own ideas, and a Festive Festivus to all of us!