Personalized holiday gifts you should order right away


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When buying a gift for a person who has everything, a reliable route is a bespoke gift. After all, if the present is made just for them, they definitely don’t have it! Made-to-order gifts can sometimes take a while to make, so I thought now was the perfect time to share some of my favorite customizable gifts, giving you plenty of time to place your orders well before the holidays.  


Abbott Lyon

This jewelry brand has lots of personalized options, and I’ve given gifts from their site with great success!  One of my new finds is their best-selling Signature Name Necklace ($95), which can be ordered with up to 12 script characters. You’ll have the option to choose from four different chain styles, three lengths, and three chain colors. You can also add a birthstone pendant for an additional $18. As with all Abbott Lyon jewelry, the necklace is water, heat, and sweat-resistant and comes in beautiful, sustainable packaging. Ships in 12-15 days.



Birthdate Co.

Do you know someone who is into astrology? Birthdate Co. will make a stunning personalized 70+ page book of horoscope analysis based on the date, time, and place of their birth.  For the ultimate gift, I recommend their Book & Candle Bundle ($125, a $174.99 value), which includes the book plus a Birthdate Candle, which is a scent designed to align with their personality based on their birthdate. After ordering the bundle, you will receive an email to complete the book portion of the order.



Related Slideshow:   Holiday gift ideas for geeks & early adopters

Holiday gift ideas for geeks & early adopters

We all have that family member who has the latest, greatest smartphone before anyone else. They probably had the first iPhone and could tell you all about Android before Google even bought it.

These are the trendsetters and the early adopters of consumer technology — and they can be tricky to buy for, not least because they can rarely wait a week to get the latest tech, let alone until December. But fear not, as GearBrain has rounded up our top picks for gadgets and tech products which we think the geeks and early adopters in your life will love.

Sneksy / istockphoto

The new Hero 9 Black from GoPro includes a few major upgrades over the year-old Hero 8. The biggest of these is how the front display, formally just for showing information like battery life and shooting mode, now acts as a video view finder. This makes setting up shots much easier, especially when filming yourself.

Another big update is how the lens can be removed and swapped out for a different model. GoPro sells a new, 155-degree ultra-wind angle lens for the Hero 9 Black, and we can expect to see more in the future.

Finally, the new camera now offers 5K video (as well as 4K), 33 feet of water resistance, and an integrated mounting point for attaching to GoPro accessories.


Both Sony and Microsoft are launching next-generation video game consoles this fall, and the cheapest is the Xbox Series S. Priced at $299, the Series S is a very well-priced console, and, for many gamers, a more affordable way to experience next-generation gaming from day one.

The Series S isn’t as powerful as the Series X (or the PlayStation 5), and upscales its gameplay to 4K instead of running at that resolution natively. But until this generation of games has matured and truly starts to push the new hardware, the S should offer a near-identical experience as the X for a good while after launch.

Another brand-new gadget, the Echo Show 10 is Amazon’s latest Alexa-powered smart display. It is also the first to include a motor that lets it rotate ensuring you stay neatly in shot when on a video call (Skype and Zoom are supported), but also points the screen at you as you move around the room. It’s a handy feature for when you’re cooking and following a recipe from the Show’s display, turning as you move around the kitchen.

The new Pocket 2 by drone maker DJI is a compact video camera and gimbal system for shooting stable 4K video with ease. The new model boasts improved auto recording and includes a modular system for attaching accessories like an external microphone connection and tripod. The camera sensor is also larger and resolution is up to 64 megapixels, enabling 8x lossless zoom.

Another big change is with audio capabilities. The new model has four microphones, up from two on the Osmo Pocket, and software adjusts the audio based on which direction the camera is facing. It also automatically narrows the sound field when zooming in. This should help reduce background noise coming from sources that are out of frame.

All of this will help improve audio recording, but as mentioned earlier it is now possible to connect a wired or wireless microphone for even greater sound capture capabilities. The 875 mAh battery promises up to 73 minutes of video recording per charge.


The latest virtual reality headset from Facebook-owned Oculus is called the Quest 2. Replacing the immensely popular Quest, the new model is more powerful than its predecessor, with better image quality (1832 x 1920 resolution per eye) for a more engaging VR experience. It also has a higher 90Hz refresh rate for smoother video, 50 percent more RAM than before, and comes with a pair of redesigned wireless hand controllers for gaming and has 64GB of storage.

As well as being a standalone VR headset, the Quest 2 can also be plugged into a PC to play more demanding content. 


These intelligent earphones use tiny microphones that detect exactly how your ears perform, then adjust the audio output accordingly. It’s the same technology used by the Nuraphone headphones from 2017, but now in a more compact form factor. We were hugely impressed with how the NuraLopp’s technology works, creating a unique listening profile and markedly improving sound quality.

They are also a great pair of in-ear earphones, with excellent active noise cancellation and 16 hours of battery life.


Amazon’s new Fire TV Stick includes a remote with integrated Alexa, buttons for controlling your TV’s volume and power, and support for Dolby Atmos. The stick can stream content at 1080p Full HD resolution, with HDR10+ and HLG video formats, and it is 50 percent more powerful than its predecessor.

Like most TV streamers, the Fire TV Sticks plug into a spare HDMI socket of your TV or monitor, connects to the Wi-Fi network, and gives access to services like YouTube, Netflix, HBO, Apple TV, Hulu, Spotify, and Amazon’s own Prime Video.

The latest in DJI’s Osmo range (and renamed the OM), this is a stabilizing gimbal designed to hold your smartphone and produce super-smooth video. 

The new model folds up for easy storage and has a new magnetic mount system that makes it easier to attach any smartphone. There’s also gesture control and new third-generation Active Track system in DJI’s video-shooting app, and there are shooting modes like Hyperlapse, Motionlapse and Timelapse to create cinematic videos, just like those from DJI’s market-leading drones.


One for the gaming geeks and nostaliga lovers in your life, this huge Lego set creates a scale replica of the original Nintendo Entertainment System, complete with controller, game cartridge, and retro TV. Once built, turn the handle on the side of the TV to see 8-bit Mario run and jump his way through a scene of Super Mario Bros.

You’re probably familiar with smartwatches and fitness trackers from the likes of Fitbit, but what about a smart ring? The Oura Ring from Finland is arguably the market leader, and while it tracks activity all day, its real focus is on sleep.

The ring monitors your every movement, along with body temperature and heart rate, to help inform you about your daily activity and sleep. With this data, the Oura Ring understands your sleep depth and quality, and offers advice via a smartphone app on how to improve it. The ring comes in four different colors and materials, and is available in a range of industry-standard sizes to ensure a good fit.


Apple’s new smart speaker is considerably cheaper than the $299 original HomePod, but still boasts the same Siri intelligence, smart home connectivity through Apple’s HomeKit platform, and room-filling sound.

The HomePod Mini forms an intercom system when connected to the Wi-Fi network of other HomePod speakers, promises rich, 360-degree sound, and connects seamlessly with other Apple products.


The MX Master 3 by Logitech is a high-performance computer mouse that is designed to be both comfortable and functional. Introduced in 2019, the mouse has an ergonomic design and features a near-silent electromagnetic scroll wheel which is accurate to a single pixel, yet capable of scrolling 1,000 lines of text in one second.

Logitech says the wheel is 90 percent faster and 87 percent more precise than its predecessor, and the mouse’s thumb buttons have been redesigned to be easier to use. You can even pair the mouse to two computers at once and drag items from one to another, even if one is Windows and the other is Mac.

This article originally appeared on GearBrain and was syndicated by



We rely on our phones for so many things, so it’s important to protect them! These sturdy cases come in countless ready-made designs with different levels of protectivity, but you can also create your own personalized case! I chose to customize one of their Mirror Cases ($46), and I had options for color, font, and layout. It turned out great!


Cuddle Clones 

Do you have a pet lover on your list? Cuddle Clones can make a stuffed “clone” ($269) of their favorite furry friend based on a photo. They also have lots of other personalized pet-loving gifts, like blankets, socks, tee’s, and more. I ordered long-sleeve & pants PJs ($99, on sale for $59) – PJs are also available in short-sleeve & shorts. I provided a photo of my rabbit Willow and selected one of several colorful backgrounds. The finished product is crazy adorable!


CVS Photo

I’ve ordered a lot of things from CVS Photo over the years, so this convenient service deserves a mention. From fleece blankets to mugs to calendars, their broad selection of customizable gifts can be easily designed and ordered on the CVS website to be shipped or picked up from a nearby CVS Pharmacy. I am a fan of their same-day gifts, like their Mounted Photo Panels and Desk Cubes, because we all have those last-minute gifting moments, right? For this story, I ordered their CVS Photo Keepsake Box ($29.99 and up), which is a lovely black 5.5” x 5.5” lacquer-treated box with a photo of your choosing on the top and perfectly sized for small items, like jewelry and other tiny treasures. It ships within 7 days. 




High Camp Flasks

These luxury stainless steel recyclable flasks have a magnetic locking system that attaches the accompanying tumbler to the flask in a flash. They come in several colors and you can choose from a variety of designs and text options, or you can upload a graphic & text or logo. I ordered the Firelight 750 ($150) which keeps 750ml of your beverage of choice hot or cold for 24 hours and comes with two magnetic tumblers that attach to either end. The flask arrives in a stylish gift box.


Mabel’s Labels

I’ve written about Mabel’s Labels over the years because I love their durable, customizable labels for clothing, shoes, and other essentials.  In mid-October, they launched a Holiday Collection ($9.99-$30) of cute, personalized gift tags and stocking stuffer labels, holiday return envelope labels, and a return address stamp, perfect for all your holiday wrapping and shipping needs.


Made by Mary

Many of these handcrafted jewelry pieces can be stamped with custom motifs, special dates, names, and more. I ordered my name on the Jude Bar Bracelet ($62) and I love it! It’s a sturdy paperclip-style bracelet that looks feminine and delicate. The customization is really easy; You can enter a word or cut & paste symbols in the text box. The bracelet is available in gold-filled, silver, or rose gold and in 6”, 7”, or 8”.



Print Art Kids ($16.95 and up)

Print Art Kids can create a wide variety of items from kids’ artwork, including notecards, notepads, puzzles, and journals, all of which can be further personalized with names, dates, and captions in a selection of fonts and colors. A personalized note is free of charge and gift packaging can be added for a fee.



Ravensburger Photo Puzzles ($29.99 and up)

This beloved puzzle company now offers customized puzzles! There are over 120 options to choose from including piece count (24-2,000 pieces), layout options, and personalized outer packaging. Their simple five-step process takes minutes to complete, resulting in a unique and personal gift.



Rae of Light

A customized handbag for under $150?  Yes, please! This brand is  known for its acrylic clutches where you can add your name, a word, or initials and choose from a variety of colors, fonts, clasps, and shapes.  They also have cute totes, like the customizable Mia Tote ($70), which is what my daughter Sadie – often my product guinea pig – selected. She was able to choose from two colors and added the symbol in the color of her choosing (she now carries it everywhere). The brand also has gift cards if you think your recipient would prefer to design their own bag.



This collection of accessories is handmade in Simbi’s zero-carbon footprint manufacturing facility in Haiti. Options include bracelets, necklaces, hair ties, and more, and I thought their Engravable Charm Bracelets ($40) were a perfect fit for this story. You can choose from a variety of pure Haitian clay beads and the bronze circular charm can be personalized with up to 9 characters. Sadie ordered one with her name and she loves it! Allow 6 weeks for manufacturing.  



This Maine-based company that specializes in delicious spice blends and rubs offers customizable Build Your Own Sets ($25 and up). Creating a set for your favorite home cook is fun and easy – you choose a box design and then select any four spices, blends, rubs, and salts & peppers. The packaging is really nice and ready for gifting, and they also have gift cards if you think your recipient would like to select their own.



State Bags 

State bags manufacturers a whole host of stylish and durable bags, several of which are available with personalization with options for text, symbols and/or charms for an additional $20-$35. I chose their Lorimer Fanny Pack ($90 plus personalization), which is sporty, lightweight, available in 6 colors, and can be worn in multiple ways (I’m a crossbody gal).  I customized mine with my initials and a cute heart. Every purchase helps to support STATE’s give-back efforts for children and families in need.



This direct-to-consumer men’s footwear brand recently launched a made-to-order program, TAFT X You ($275 and up) where you can design your own shoes. They also now offer extended sizing so people of all genders can wear their custom-made shoes and boots.  The customization process is very cool; you can choose every aspect of the design, including the material, color, straps, buckles, laces, and sole.  Gift cards are also available. Custom orders take up to 8 weeks, so I haven’t received my bespoke pair of The Dylan ankle boots yet. Can’t wait!


unspun jeans ($150-$215)

Anyone have trouble finding the perfect pair of jeans? Unspun’s specialty is creating custom-fit jeans with the help of technology. You can choose from a selection of styles, as well as fabric, thread color, rise, length, and more. You then scan your body using their app for an accurate fit.  If you’re giving Unspun as a gift, I would suggest a gift card for your recipient. Manufacturing takes up to 4 weeks. I just received mine and I am obsessed – they fit like a glove!


Well Told Custom Quote Glassware ($17.95 each)

Well Told, known for drinkware etched with maps, is now offering customers the opportunity to order their glassware with a name or favorite phrase.  Choose from Rocks, Pint, Stemless Wine, and Glass Mugs in a variety of font styles.  I tested the service by sending a friend stemless wine glasses with a phrase that makes us laugh, and she loved them
(she has excellent taste). The items are very easy to customize on the Well Told site and ship within a few days. 



Welly’s sustainable, insulated drinkware is made with a thick band of real bamboo, which gives the bottles an elegant look and feel. Customization includes up to 10 upper case letters in one font, and the process takes one week. I chose the 18oz Traveler ($40), which is a triple-walled bottle with a removable infuser for making flavored water or tea, and it’s available in several colors/patterns. It’s a lovely bottle. I plan to sip tea from it all winter long!


Wild One Bowl ($35 + $10 for personalization)

This pet-lifestyle brand offers a sturdy, dishwasher-safe, non-slip 4-cup bowl made of food-grade stainless steel that can be personalized with up to 26 characters and a choice of 10 emojis for an additional $10. Bowls are available in 4 colors. I chose a black bowl for our rabbit, Willow, and we love it!

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Tech gifts even Boomers will love

Tech gifts even Boomers will love

Parents and grandparents are typically the ones doing the gifting in their lives, making sure their children, and even friends, are getting that perfect present. This year, why not come up with new gifts to celebrate them during the holiday season?

Yes, parents spend a majority of their time focused on creating a great home for everyone, but they still have their playful side, too. In our holiday tech gift guide for parents and grandparents this year, we put together this list of gifts that are sure to please parents you know, whether they have a very young baby at home (or are helping you take care of one!), want to curl up with some Netflix in the evening or are hoping to create a perfectlyy cozy space for them and their family.


Aura is a brand of digital frames that not only stores digital images you upload yourself, but allows others to send photographs to the device from wherever they may be. And considering the social distancing almost everyone is facing today, we think digital frames make a wonderful addition to anyone’s life, particularly parents.

However, this year, besides images being beautifully lit, Aura photo frames will support video and sound. Their new smart photo frame, Mason Luxe, comes with the company’s highest resolution display. It supports video and sound, has a craftsman-inspired frame design and free unlimited storage for photos and videos, making sharing memories effortless. Mason Luxe frames are priced at $249, but you can still get other Aura Frames, like Aura by Carver which are also clean and well-designed. All Aura Frames are worth considering as a holiday gift if for no other reason than to help make people feel a little bit closer to each other today.

Miku Pro Smart Baby Monitor is a smart baby monitor that tracks a baby’s sleep pattern and breathing, as well as the room temperature. Miku uses a technology it calls SensorFusion, which follows and then analyzes an infant’s breathing and sleep patterns in real time — and without the use of a wearable. This smart baby monitor allows you to easily monitor and talk with your child from your smartphone or tablet. 

The camera has exceptional video resolution and night vision, and the device has a number of sounds and lullabies for you to choose. This smart baby monitor kit costs $399 and is available on Amazon and the company website. This might sound like a lot, but keep in mind you don’t pay any monthly fees to store your videos, and no wearable on your baby is required to track your infant.


For the parents who get a lot of home deliveries, we have the perfect holiday gift. It’s the Yale Smart Delivery Box, a locked cabinet that your deliveries can be placed in and locked while you are away from your home. 

This smart connected delivery box comes with a Yale lock, Yale Smart Keypad and Yale Connect Wi-Fi Bridge, which you use with the Yale Access App (iOS and Android) for remote access. It’s easy to assemble and can be stored on your porch or wherever your home deliveries are made. The Yale Smart Delivery Box is available in Manor Gray or Carbon Brown and costs $229.99 ($279.99 with Wi-Fi and Smart Keypad). 

See our full review here.


Amazon updated their Alexa-enabled Echo smart speaker this year with a cool new design, plus an added bonus: a Zigbee hub inside. For any parents on your list who are busy building a smart home, this extra perk is a great one, opening up the number of smart products they can add into their living space. Of course, the new Echo is also an exciting update with a great look, solid sound and all the regular features you can expect, including the ability mute the microphone when you just want some privacy.


The Meural Canvas II, which starts at $399.99, is one of those connected devices that’s a joy to have. It does one thing — send images, mostly art, into your home — and it does that very well. It’s pretty simple to set up, it’s easy to use, and it evolves: You can get new art frequently and change up what you see.

You can choose between four different kinds of frames, including wood. Images play to really any viewer, from those that are more into colorful graphics or nature, both of which are perfect for a child’s bedroom, to playlists designed for fans, like the curated set focused on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” There are also images from National Geographic, The New York Public Library and even Magnum Photos, which represents famous photographers.

Robot vacuums are time-saving friends; they are able to clean your floors and rungs while you tackle other things in your home. The Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI is one of the latest from Ecovacs, a sleek-looking robot that is a champ at vacuuming but has one significant hidden feature that really makes this a standout: a hidden camera that can watch your home from an app. That’s a security feature parents may really appreciate.

One of the features touted by Ecovacs is also the ability of the $799.99 T8 AIVI to remove bacteria through mopping and vacuuming. During GearBrain’s testing, the vacuum worked extremely well, could be scheduled to clean and could even avoid obstacles in its path, like cables. It’s a splurgy gift, but one parents, who are constantly working to keep a home clean, will likely adore.


Snoo Smart Sleeper Bassinet is exactly what it sounds like: a responsive connected baby bassinet that helps your baby sleep. It gently rocks as white noise plays to soothe a baby who is swaddled in a sleeper attached to the bassinet. 

Created by Dr. Harvey Karp, the $1,295 Snoo was designed to recreate the calming sensations a baby experiences while in their mother’s womb. The primary feature, however, is its ability to sooth an upset baby without waking parents. The sleeper does this by responding gradually to a baby’s cry with increasingly more motion and sound from inside the bassinet. For brand new parents, or those about to become parents, this may be one of the most indulgent gifts you can imagine giving them this year.


The new HomePod mini speaker is two years in the making, and the radical updated design belies that effort. A speaker with sound on its mind, the new HomePod Mini has a full range dynamic driver, a pair of passive radiators for optimum bass and an acoustic wave guide for 360-degree sound experience. There’s also a three-microphone array inside, plus a fourth that faces inward to help it better detect speakers talking to Siri even while music is playing.

There’s also a new Apple S5 chip inside, which allows the device to tap into something that the company calls computational audio. This allows the HomePod Mini to analyze audio and then tune the drivers and radiators in real time. The speaker comes in space gray and white, just as the original HomePod, and will be priced competitively at $99, placing it right up against the Nest Audio and the Amazon Echo (4th Gen), both priced at $99 each.


The $230 Philips Hue Sync Box can treat parents to a fun and impressive addition to their home by syncing the lights around this device to whatever is playing on their TV. You can adjust the brightness, pick from three modes (video, music and game), and select one of four intensity levels, ranging from subtle to extreme.

Plus, for smart home families, the device can be controlled by speaking to Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant, and it works with anything plugged into a TV using an HDMI cable. That means video game consoles, streaming sticks, satellite boxes, Blu-ray players and other media devices. And yes, it’s great for gamers, too.

If your are a Google Home or Google Assistant house, you have to consider the new Nest Hub (2nd gen). This is Google’s latest smart display, and it has many unique features. If familiar with the Nest display, you already know this deice can be used as a communication device, controller for your smart devices and even as an alarm clock.

 The Nest Hub 2nd Gen is a solid, well designed smart display with robust voice assistant capabilities. When linked to your other Google accounts from email to calendars, and also Google Home app, turns this display in to a very efficient personal and home manager. Mom and Dad will really like this new versatile smart home controller.

The Coway Airmega 250 is the largest air purifier made by Coway. We tested this device and found it to be efficient, especially for large rooms. It’s solid and kicks into gear on its own, and it even increase the intensity if it senses that’s needed. It’s easy to setup and comes with child safety lock. It costs $399.99 and works with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant enabled devices. 

Coway Airmega

Stadia is a blast. Let’s start there. Once you’re set up, having the ability to play anywhere you want is pretty great. The games are fun, well-rendered, hook you quickly, and we had really good experiences in terms of resolution on our TV … and frankly our Chrome browser, too. The entire set up for Google Stadia is $99 — and that includes one month free access to games, which is $9.99 a month after that. This is a fun option for families particularly as a budget entertainment option at home — and a great treat for the holidays.

The Lenovo Smart Clock Gen 2 is a follow-up to Lenovo’s popular Google Assistant powered smart clock, Lenovo Smart Clock Essential. This Gen 2 version still has the stripped-down retro look but comes with a wireless charging dock instead of charging ports. This makes it easy for your grandparents to easily charge their smartphones at night. 

The Lenovo Smart Clock 2 also has icons that are easy to read and features you’d expect in a bedside clock like setting an alarm. But this new version does have extra features like voice commands using Google Assistant, better speakers, 4-inch touch display with ambient light sensors and powerful microphone which you can muted for privacy. It retails for $89.99 when bundled with the docking station. It’s available on Lenovo website for only $69.99. You can also buy it on Best Buy ($89.99) or on Walmart for $89.


Another great gift for your parents or grandparents is a smart baby monitor, but it must be easy to setup and use. One smart baby monitor we would recommend for your grandparents epecially is Cubo AI Plus Smart Baby Monitor. It’s a smart baby monitor with artificial intelligence (AI), which helps track the baby’s sleep and activities during the night. 

Cubo AI includes a security camera, a free app, a mobile and floor stand, cables, a crib stabilizer and a temperature and humidity dongle. But the AI in this smart baby monitor is perfect for grandma or grandpa because they can be alerted when the baby’s face is covered or has rolled over. It even can notify them when their grandchild is crying. Cubo AI costs only $199 for the wall mount set, or you can get Cubo AI monitor and three-stand set for $299.


Muse S is one of favorite devices we’ve reviewed this year. It’s a way to make meditation almost a game. The soft band is easy to put on, the app easy to install and, together, they can help train your mind to relax and quickly move to a state of calm. You’re actually taught to try and get birds to sing — the more they sing, the more your mind is calmed. The device is $350, plus you’ll spend about another $95 to subscribe to the app. But we think anyone, especially your grandparents, will find Muse a wonderful gift and a way to step away from any stress this year has brought.

If your grandparents are using Google Assistant enabled devices in their home, the perfect smart video doorbell to get this year is the new Google Nest Doorbell. The Google Nest Doorbell is a battery powered smart video doorbell with all the expected features you need to secure your front or backdoor. It’s easy to install and comes with a 1.3-megapixel color sensor, PIR (Passive Infrared) motion sensor, 6x digital zoom capabilities, a 145-degree field of view (FOV) and 3:4 aspect ratio. 

The 3:4 ratio is perfect for your grandparents since they don’t have to tilt their smartphone to get a full glimpse at the person at your door. They will be able to see the visitor from head to toe on their screen. It costs $179.99 and comes in four colors (Ash, Ivy, Linen and Snow). This doorbell is available on Best Buy, Walmart, ABT Electronics and other electronic outlets.

Another good video doorbell to consider this holiday season for grandma and grandpa is Ring Video Doorbell 4, especially if they are using Amazon Alexa enabled devices. The reason: Ring is owned by Amazon, and Ring devices work seamlessly with smart displays and speakers with Amazon Alexa voice platform. 

Ring Video Doorbell 4 is resourceful smart Wi-Fi video doorbell packed with the latest technology and security features to protect your smart home. It features a 1080p HD camera, 160-degree field-of-view (FOV), two-way communication with noise cancellation, a Live View of your doorbell in the free Ring app, color night vision, and customizable motion controls. It also works on a Wi-Fi connection using either a 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz setting. And setup is quick and easy whether you have an existing wired doorbell or not. This smart video doorbell by Ring costs $199.99 and is available on the company website, Amazon, Best Buy, The Home Depot and other consumer electronics stores.


Robot vacuums make great gifts since they are easy to setup and can do one thing well: clean your floors. Some of these smart robot vacuums can vacuum, while others just mop. And if you can afford it, there are robot vacuums that can vacuum, mop and self-empty the robot. These are called 3-in-1 systems and normally run $600 and up. 

But we found one that is affordable and less than $500. It’s the Yeedi Vac Station. This device is a self-emptying vacuum and mop cleaner that can intelligently identify the type of floor to clean and choose the right cleaning method. It has powerful suction (3000Pa), smart mapping and navigation features as well as works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant enabled devices. It costs only $499.99 and is available on Amazon.


A smart button is a fun little add-on that lets you add a switch anywhere in your home, even on a piano. With the Philips Hue Smart Button, you just click, and your lights turn on and off. You don’t need to add wiring, and you don’t need to call in an electrician. 

And the entire device costs just $20. You do need to be using Philips Hue smart lights (which you could spring for if they don’t already have any), but after that, your grandparents or parents have an easy way to just turn off the lights before they go to sleep or turn them on before they get out of bed and never stumble around a dark room again.


This is the TV of all TVs. The Samsung Terrace, which is designed for outdoor use, making it perfect for any parents or grandparents who live in climates where their backyard is like a second living room. The TV starts at a 65-inch size and goes up, and each screen has Ultra HD 4K resolution, even outside. Of course, it’s weatherproofed, and it also connects to Wi-Fi so you (or your grandparents) can stream Netflix, Apple TV and more. The TV starts at $5,000, so this may be one of those gifts where everyone in the family (hello, second cousins) may want to chip in for this big (very big) gift.


Nest Audio is a good upgrade from the original Google Home, a speaker that first introduced people to the idea of having a smart assistant in their space. It’s got a great design and solid sound quality; music sounds full, round, and, when put in a location where sound is directed forward, it sounds quite clean and bright. For grandparents who have adopted Google Assistant, whether they’re Android users or Google Home fans, the new Nest Audio, at $99, is a fun gift this year.


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Trae Bodge

Trae Bodge is an accomplished lifestyle journalist and TV commentator who specializes in smart shopping, personal finance, parenting, and retail. Trae has been named a Top Voice in Retail by LinkedIn and a top personal finance expert by GoBankingRates and Flexjobs. She is a contributor at Millie Magazine and CNN Underscored, and her writing and expert commentary have appeared in Newsweek, Woman's Day, Forbes,, Kiplinger, Marketwatch,, Yahoo Finance and numerous others. She has also appeared on TV hundreds of times; including Good Morning America's GMA3: What You Need to Know, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Inside Edition, CNBC and local network affiliates nationwide.