Katinka's Gifts Guide
Must Have Christmas Gifts for Men, Women, Kids and Teens
Here are my top most wanted Christmas gift suggestions. The list goes, in order:
- Bags and Purses
- Religious Gifts
- Funny Gifts, Secret Santa Gag Gifts
- Stocking Stuffers
- Food and Cooking
- Fantasy and Scifi Gift ideas
- Valentine's Day gifts
- Spiritual and Religious Gift Ideas
- Calendars and planners
It really is never too soon to start shopping for Christmas gifts and presents. What are the most wanted Christmas presents this year? As you begin to shop for the people on your gift list you might ask yourself that very question. I would like to suggest some ideas that women, men, teens and children feel are the things that they want most when the holidays come rolling around this year.
The advantage to starting your shopping now is that you will not have to worry as the time draws nearer about items being out of stock or back ordered. We have, probably all, experienced that dreaded message that the item we need to have next week is back ordered until after the day we need to give the gift. See some of the hottest items this Christmas
Shop early this year and still get the most wanted Christmas presents for any age.
When Christmas comes around, you want to give and receive a present that means something, that's unique and special. Here's a selection of gift ideas from spiritual to geek, from books to gadgets, music to movies and more.
A tablet can be a great gift for someone of any age. Older people often prefer tablets to computers because their interface is more user-friendly, while professionals and students appreciate how portable and versatile they are for various tasks. With the right tablet or e-reader, you have access to hundreds of books, movies, and games, drawing and design software, internet, and even word-processing.
Most Wanted Tablets: 1) iPad
The iPad is still the high end tablet on the market, though Android is making headway in volume. There are some great advantages to going for an iPad:
- It's still the most popular tablet on the market, and for good reason. Apple has been making these since April 2010, and has had plenty of time to refine and improve an already excellent product.
- You'll find more apps available in the App Store than for any other brand of tablets, with 675,000 apps made for the iPad.
- Similarly, you'll be able to find more iPad accessories than for other tablets, such as cases, covers, wireless keyboards, etc.
- It's the easiest tablet to use, and the standardized interface makes switching to newer versions effortless. For people unfamiliar with technology, Apple stores offer computer and tablet literacy classes. Because it's so user-friendly, the iPad is almost undoubtedly the best option for the less tech-savvy person who wants a tablet.
The iPad is more expensive than most other tablet options out there. Depending on what you plan to use the tablet for, you may find that a cheaper tablet from Android or Kindle will fulfill your needs just as well for a lower price.
2) Samsung Galaxy Note 10 inch: The Tablet for Artists
I first considered asking for this Android tablet for Christmas because it has a stylus as well as touchscreen capability. That means my artistic side gets a bit more room. I love doodling on my iPad, but even with a stylus it's not very precise. This latest android tablet has a Wacom style screen that makes drawing easier.
With this in mind, I ended up buying the Galaxy Note 10 tablet. I love it. And yes, I can draw to pixel precision on this tablet, which is what any artist (or aspiring artist) would want. The drawing app, S-note, allows for greater nuance with the stylus. It has more color options than the iPad, and it's sensitive to how hard you press, which gives you more variety with your lines and ends up feeling similar to real sketching.
- It's a great gift idea for artists, with excellent drawing software and built in stylus that works with pixel precision.
- Because the handwriting recognition also accepts mathematical formulas, this can also work extremely well for students.
- It's a powerful, well-designed tablet that holds its own against the iPad spec for spec: battery life, screen definition, RAM, and processing speed.
- Hardly any.
If you want a tablet that is fully compatable with Microsoft Office, you may want to check out the Surface Pro. It's stylus is just as good and it's a real laptop replacement.
If you want full compatibility with iOS and macbook, you're more likely to want an iPad Pro - it too comes with an excellent stylus and excellent graphic apps.
If chosen well, a book can be one of the most personal and appreciated presents out there. What books have made a big difference to you in your life? Give someone you love a classic from your childhood, or a recent list-topper that thrilled you. The great thing about books is that they cover every topic and can be appropriate for every person. Here are some books that I personally enjoy.
Memoirs can be an excellent gift because they are often inspiring, fun to read, and relevant to today's events. The great thing about memoirs is that so many different types of people write memoirs, you can easily find a good one that suits your particular friend or family member's interests. Here are a few recent ones that I have enjoyed.
- Yes Please, by Amy Poehler - a hilarious, and heartwarming memoir by the well-known comedian and star of Parks and Recreation. I am a big fan of memoirs by comedians, and this is no exception. It has a perfect mix of opinions and humor along with vibrant portrayals of Poehler's days working at Saturday Night Live.
- Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, by Cheryl Strayed: This is an emotional, incredibly heart-wrenching, yet ultimately healing book about grief and survival. Cheryl Strayed writes about her decision to solo hike the Pacific Crest Trail after her mother's death. It's recently been made into a movie, which hardly does this beautiful book justice.
- No Easy Day: The Autobiography of a Navy Seal: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden by Mark Owen. He describes the War on Terror as well as the mission that ended up successfully killing Osama Bin Laden. This is one of the most exciting and fascinating memoirs I've read. It's thrilling and does a lot to explain some of the political climate of the last decade. A must read this Christmas!
Ask any adult, and almost all of them will remember books that influenced them as a child. Whether you are giving the book to a child in your life or an adult for the sake of nostalgia, children's books can be a personal and whimsical gift. Here are some of my favorites, which I continue to enjoy to this day.
- The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman: This series surpasses even Harry Potter in its epic scope, and the main character, Lyra, is courageous, wild, and completely charming. Pullman creates an incredible alternate universe with warlike bears, witch tribes in the north, and a secret conglomerate that's stealing children.
- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll: This classic book is even more whimsical and fun than the Disney movie it inspired. Filled with strange characters and wonderful poems, it has charmed children and adults alike since he first wrote it in 1865. Try and find an illustrated version; there are some beautiful ones.
- Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones: Though Howl's Moving Castle is one of my favorites and probably her best known work, I actually recommend any book by Diana Wynne Jones, as they are all imaginative, clever, and beautifully written. Some of my other favorites are Enchanted Glass and Dogsbody.
Religion and spirituality fascinate me no end. I've found that reading books by spiritual leaders has brought me greater serenity and generally improved my attitude towards life. Give these books to people who you know are interested in spirituality or soul-searching.
- Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, & Liberation: The Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, & Other Basic Buddhist Teachings by Thich Nhat Hanh: Thich Nhat Hanh's book has become a classic introducing Mahayana Buddhism to the masses. This popular teacher has transformed his native tradition of Chan - often called Zen - into something that has helped countless people clean up their lives.
- How To Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life by the Dalai Lama: His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the other main Buddhist teacher of our age. Well known to everybody, he is at once funny and charming, strong and dignified and will surprise you with his humanity. Though this book does address meditation and prayer, at its core it demonstrates how day-to-day living can be a spiritual practice.
- Think on These Things by Edgar Evans Cayce: Cayce defined alternative Christianity in the early 20th century, and personally, he's one of my favorite Christian spiritualists. This is still a classic and inspiring to many.
A phone can make a great family gift if you're planning on having your whole family upgrade on the same plan. The phones listed below are the best on the market, but of course there are many more options out there, including phones with special features like larger buttons and text for the elderly.
Most Wanted Phones
- iPhone 6: Although there are good Android phones out there, the iPhone still has them beat for usability and options on the app market. The iPhone 6 is finally as large as the top android smartphones.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4: If you want to go for an Android, the Samsung Galaxy Note is one of the best out there, with clear, colorful graphics, a fast processing system, and good battery life and a screen that is large enough for most uses.
- HTC One M8: The more affordable option. This phone doesn't have as many features as the Samsung Galaxy Note, but it's durable, large, and easy to use, with an excellent screen.
Smartphone Gifts Are Hot
Not many people can exist without their cell phones, anymore. The smartphones are the best way to go when getting a new one. As I said to someone after I got mine, this phone is smarter than the first computer that I had! With our busy lives, our phones do much more than just connect us with a phone call. Now, they can grab our emails, let us be social on Facebook, Twitter and other social sites and we can shop from our phones, too. They also work as a camera. Be sure to get the model that will work with the carrier that is available in your area.
Getting your loved one a new hot smartphone for Christmas is a great idea.
BTW - a phablet is a smartphone that is so big, it's almost a tablet. PHone + tABLET
The iPhone 6 is just out, and it changes the phablet scene completely. What will you get as your large phone? A classic Galaxy Note or an iPhone 6+?
Fake Phone for toddlers: A parent's review
I've found the ideal fake phone to make sure your baby or toddler leaves the 'parent's phone' alone. Seriously. It makes music. Your child can have fake con...
Although these days most people get their music through YouTube, Spotify, and even illegal downloading, sharing music is still a wonderful way to communicate with people with people you love. These albums on Amazon come as both MP3 downloads and physical CD's, so you can give them in whichever form you prefer.
- Tempest by Bob Dylan: Still cool after all these years: you can hardly go wrong in giving the latest Bob Dylan CD to your friends.
- 1989 by Taylor Swift: Taylor Swift is dominating the charts with her catchy songs. This is a particular favorite with teen girls, but you'll find people of all ages and genders ranking Swift's music among their guilty pleasures.
- That's Christmas To Me by Pentatonix: This incredible vocal group does not disappoint with their most recent collection of Christmas hits. Each arrangement is both astonishing and familiar. If you want to give seasonal music, this CD is the way to go.
Toys don't just make great gifts for kids. Board games and party games are extremely popular for adults and many are fun for the whole family! Of course, there's such a huge variety of toys like Lego available that it would be hard to cover them all here, so I've picked out my favorite video game, party game, and doll franchise.
This is a great gift for any teen gamer. It's an MMO (Mass Multiplayer Online) game, meaning the player has access to an entire online world and can play with their friends over the internet. One of the nice things about this game is that, unusually for an MMO, access to the online world is free, with no monthly fee. Kids can play together even if they're on different levels in the game, which makes this a great video game for siblings or close friends.
A fun party game for adults and teens that will get the conversation started and is generally hilarious. This game is like Apples to Apples for adults. Each round, one player asks a question from a Black Card, and everyone else answers with their funniest White Card. The fun part is all the hilariously offensive cards. It's advertised as "A Horrible Game for Horrible People," and I have never once played it without laughing so hard I cried.
Monster High is a popular TV show with merchandise like dolls, costumes, doll houses, make-up etc. It has a wide variety of characters with monster-pun names and themes, such as "Draculaura," "Frankie Stein," and even "Venus McFlytrap"!
They all have a Halloween/ steampunk type feel, which makes them fun fashion dolls that are just a bit less sweet and innocent. If you know a tween girl who likes the show or just like horror and the supernatural, these dolls are a great gift. Girl Power!
Gift ideas for Toddlers and Children
A cool gift to give any child! They might be afraid of the dark so this unique night light will help them with that. They might be fascinated with the stars in general and will like to be able to sit and watch the stars any night whether it is cloudy outside or not. The smallest baby to even a teen will think this light with colorful stars is pretty darn cool.
- Kids Gifts
Unique toys for kids and adults
Toys seem to go in trends as far a how hot they are at any given moment. There are the classics that kids still love to play with but the hot toys usually have something to do with a newly released movie or hot new television show. And then there are the toys that for some reason every kid thinks they have to have.
For instance, Lego is always hot, but this year, if you have a boy on your list, you should definitely check out Kre-O as well.
Most Wanted Presents By Teens
A Tardis cookie jar is something that just about any teen will get a kick out of. Not only does it have to do with the popularity of Dr. Who but they will enjoy any cookies that have been stored in it, too. And then there is the added feature of the cookie jar actually makes the Tardis sound when the lid is closed. No worries, though, the cookie jar won't disappear. Made of sturdy plastic so you will not have to worry about it chipping when the lid is placed on by a rambunctious teen.
A camcorder is of course a digital video camera. Most cameras and camcorders these days are digital: the camera can be connected to your PC for editing straight off. The best camcorders have simple editing software included in the camera itself. Most classic digital cameras also have the option of recording video.
Most Wanted Camera or Camcorder
With Christmas and New Year just a few weeks ahead you may be considering giving a Digital Camera or Camcorder to a loved one. Maybe you want to purchase one for yourself. With lots of options around, it can be tough to separate the grain from the chaff. Here are my top three picks for best (and best value!) camera or camcorder.
- Samsung F90 Camcorder:
This is my favorite camcorder available. It's got a 52x zoom capability, so you can get great shots even from far away, shoots high-resolution video, and has really easy to use editing software with lots of options.
- Nikon COOLPIX L840 Digital Camera with 38x Optical Zoom and Built-In Wi-Fi (Black) Digital Camera:
This Nikon camera is available in a dark pinkish color they're calling 'red' and ordinary black. Like all modern point-and-shoot cameras, it includes blur-removing software: moving your hands a bit while taking a picture won't show up on the final product. This camera has 38x optical zoom. That means that if you zoom, you won't lose details as quickly, which I've found incredibly useful for landscape and other distance photos.
- Canon PowerShot ELPH 160 Digital Camera:
Sometimes we just need a small camera that we can fit nicely in our pocket or in a purse or bag. When going on vacation we want a good camera for capturing those memories we are making but not something that we would worry would be stolen if we packed it in our luggage. This camera has many of the features of larger cameras, giving quality images without the bulk. It's perfect for the traveler in your life.
As fun as it is to unwrap boxes, objects aren't the only option when it comes to giving gifts. Some of the best gifts I've ever received have been experiences, like concert tickets, a weekend trip, or a massage. These are all great options for the non-materialistic person in your life, and can be great opportunities for bonding.
Most Wanted Experiences
- Tickets to a show: Whether your loved one likes Tchaikovsky or Justin Bieber, they'll love an opportunity to hear their favorite music in concert. And don't feel limited to just concerts! Seasonal ballet tickets, musicals, baseball games, or even tickets to the circus all make fantastic gifts.
- A weekend get Away or trip: Rent a hotel room and get away for the weekend, or just take your loved one on a day trip. You could go to the beach, go on a picnic, or check out a bunch of museums in the city.
- A Massage or Spa Treatment: Nothing makes a girl feel pampered like a day at the spa. This kind of gift isn't limited to women, either. A stressed-out athlete or student of any gender would probably love a professional massage to really relax and work out the kinks.
As many of you know, I make a living as an online publisher. This involves writing about stuff that interests me, like the spiritual path and karma, spiritual book reviews and so on. However, to make ends meet, I also do product recommendations.
That is: I recommend products, and you - the potential customer - get to have less of a chore finding them. It's a win-win, especially since I get a percentage for each sale. The deal is this: follow a link on any of these pages and buy something, and you - without any extra cost to you - are sponsoring me to keep on going.
I've started out of course with spiritual gifts, but there are also calendars, laptops, iPads, Harry Potter gear etc. It's all stuff I have bought or would buy if my house room and pockets were infinite. They're not and that's OK.
As you click through you'll notice that some of the gift pages are on this site, some are on other sites I've set up. See also my new gifts blog.