A Season of Gift Giving


Christmas is just around the corner! While it’s nice to have a break after a long and stressful year, Christmas itself has some stressors of its own. One that’s undoubtedly on many minds is what gifts to give friends and family (or yourself). Every year, thousands of new potential gifts are released on the market, but figuring out which are actually worthy of being wrapped under the Christmas tree can be tough. Here are some recently released products that could make great gifts.
    First on the list is one that I personally use and love, and as one of the most inexpensive on this list–I cannot recommend it enough. For those searching for a way to slim down your wallet or something new and stylish that won’t break the bank, Vault Skin's new Chelsea wallets make an affordable and useful gift. For those who primarily use cards to make payments, the wallet holds 8 cards and includes a clever pull-to-reveal system that makes the cards easy to access. In case you do end up with some spare cash, there is a paper bills portion that lets you store cash while maintaining the slim shape. The Chelsea wallet is available in a variety of colors for $25 on Amazon.
    Perhaps you know of a family member with a tendency to drop test their phone—face down. Maybe you’re thinking of getting them a new case for their shiny new iPhone X. However, you don’t want to give them just any plastic phone case that could be picked up at the local 7-11. Something more stylish is definitely required! Look no further than the beautiful and expertly-crafted cases from Carved. Made and based in Elkhart, Illinois, Carved cases will be sure to stand out. Since their designs all incorporate different types of wood and other natural elements into the back of the cases and include a rubber bumper, your phone will stay safe. While some can be on the pricier side, stylish options are available for less than $25 on their website, carved.com.
    Fitness trackers, although popular, have yet to slim down to a more “put it on and forget” size and weight. Fortunately, there’s something that packs all of the necessary fitness tracking technology into something much smaller and easier to wear: the Motiv Ring. With prices similar to other high-end fitness trackers, the Motiv Ring packs a heart-rate monitor, motion and sleep tracking and notifications all into an inconspicuous grey ring. Don’t worry about getting it wet, since it’s also water resistant up to 165 feet. Currently compatible with iOS devices, but an Android version is in the works, the Motiv can be picked up for $199 from Motiv’s website, www.mymotiv.com.  
    Finally, to keep warm through the winter months, how about a nice, steaming cup of hot coffee or apple cider for the walk across campus or the commute to work. Unfortunately, keeping a hot drink hot in the frigid temperatures is difficult and mugs eventually fall victim to the cold. The intelligent Ember Ceramic mug from Ember keeps your mug at the temperature of your choosing for hours on end! Running on batteries, the mug can last for hours, and when it finally calls it quits, you can merely set it down on its coaster to charge it up for your next drink or refill. Ember is currently selling their $80 mug on their webpage, and has apps available for iOS and Android. 
    To wrap it up (pun intended), hopefully some of these gift ideas have sparked your interest. However, slim wallets, phone cases, fitness trackers and thermoses probably won’t be the perfect gift for every person on your list this holiday season, so if you’re in need of some other great ideas, take a look at Amazon’s holiday gift guide. There’s always something out there for everyone!

Jesse Shoghi is a junior studying computing.