Our Favorite Holiday Gifts Under $20

The holiday gift shopping and giving season is here again…how did that happen?

We often participate in gift exchanges, sometimes called Yankee swaps, with family and friends. One never knows who will end up with which mystery gift, so we’re always on the lookout for fun, interesting, and inexpensive gifts appropriate for whomever might end up with it at the end of the whole process. Here’s a list of 6 techie Yankee swap items that we at BoomerTECH Adventures wouldn’t mind ending up with at the end of the exchange.

It is getting chilly outside. How about a way to stay warm and enjoy your portable devices? A warm hat that will let someone listen to their favorite music, e-book, or podcast via bluetooth wireless connectivity might be just the thing! They come in a variety of colors and styles from beanie stocking caps, with or without pompoms, to ear warmers, to baseball caps. Prices range from $10 and up.

One of BoomerTECH Adventures Guide Chris Toy’s favorite techie items is an LED flashlight hat. He wears it on a daily basis whether he’s leading a hike in the Maine woods, working on a project in his workshop, or needing to read the restaurant tab in dim light. These useful hats also come in different styles including warm woven beanie and baseball caps. Some have replaceable batteries while others can be plugged in to recharge. Chris’ favorite recharges with a solar panel on the brim, always a conversation starter. These useful gifts range from $6 – $20 and are available both online and in local hardware stores.

 Portable loudspeakers have come a long way since those gigantic boomboxes back in the day. Today’s bluetooth wireless speakers produce deep low bass notes and clear upper frequency sounds with minimal distortion. Good sounding waterproof, rechargeable, portable speakers that fit in your hand can be found beginning at $10. Legacy brands such as Bose, Sony, and JBL will be significantly more expensive, but may be worth the sound.

BoomerTECH Adventures Guide Ed Brazee enjoys the convenience of his Wyze Wi-Fi smart plug and app. For under $20 he can remotely control any electrical outlet from the palm of his hand using his phone or with voice commands via Alexa, Siri, and Google. His favorite use is, you guessed it, turning his holiday lights on and off without having to brave the cold Maine winter.

  How about a backup battery for those phones, cameras, music players? There are many highly rated options available online. One key piece of information when choosing a charger is its capacity, expressed in mAH, or milli Amp Hours. The higher the number of mAH, the greater charging capacity the backup battery will have. As usual, you’ll get what you pay for. A highly rated 10,000 mAH battery that will charge a typical smartphone 2-3 times can be found for $20. They are easy to wrap and fit into the toe of a stocking hung by the chimney with care

   If you know someone who has difficulty keeping track of their belongings consider gifting them wireless locator tags. These tracking devices can be attached to or placed inside something, such as a key fob, a bag or some other object. If it becomes misplaced the owner can use an app other phone to locate exactly where it is. BoomerTECH Adventures Guide Jill Spencer used it to locate her luggage during a cross country trip recently. Her quick review was that she loved it! They might be the perfect gift of someone starting at $15 for 2 tags. 

So, these six ideas will get you started on your holiday shopping list. But wait! How about one more idea? Last but not least, consider gifting someone a techie related learning experience. BoomerTECH Adventures has 16 video courses available on our website and in collaboration with Maine Adult Education we also offer our online courses including making the most of your digital devices, improving your digital photography skills, an introduction to memoir writing tools, and even Asian fusion cooking skills. These are available whenever and wherever is best for you, and they never expire. Check out our courses here. https://tinyurl.com/MEAdultEdBTA

Written by Chris Toy, BoomerTECH Adventures

Leave a Comment