Here we go again. It’s time to watch your checking account drop dangerously close to zero as you anxiously count down the days to Chrismukkah.
If the thought of splurging on electronics for friends puts fear in your heart, don’t you fret: This crop of tech gifts won’t drain your rainy-day fund. They’re the Furby of presents: small, fierce, and inexplicably fun. (Editor’s note: There are no actual Furbies on this list.)
Sure, it’s a bit weird to have an emotional reaction to a light. But this thing is so. damn. cute. More than that, it’s remarkably useful. Made from a sustainable, high-performance fabric, SolarPuff is a completely collapsible and portable LED lantern that provides up to 14 hours of light on one charge. As its name suggests, it’s also solar powered and needs only eight hours in the sun for a half day’s worth of light. It’s great for people who love the outdoors—or that friend who hates getting caught in the dark.
Available at amazon.com, $27.35.
Most alarm clocks create a feeling of dread, but there’s something about this one that’s remarkably calming. It could be the minimalist design or the simple LCD display. Or maybe it’s the pop-up mini-alarm that hides within the body of the clock à la Alien 3. Either way, this guy belongs on your best friend’s bedside table.
Available at amazon.com, $45.
Forget pedometers or fancy workout classes; Vi is the gift for fitness-inclined friends—so much so you’ll be tempted to keep her for yourself. Designed by NYC-based LifeBEAM, the AI personal trainer (which, BTW, was Kickstarter’s highest-funded fitness wearable ever) is like something out of the future. Pop in the biosensing earbuds (featuring Harman Kardon audio), and Vi will tell you how fast to push yourself, track your vitals, give you real-time performance insights, and coach you along the way. The headphones also have awesome sound quality, so you can take calls and listen to tunes without missing a beat. Best of all, Vi evolves with you, so she gets better as you get better.
Available at getvi.com, $279. (Greatist readers get $50 off!) Bonus: Get $50 for every friend who buys Vi on your recommendation.
You and everyone you know played with LEGOs as a kid. This year gift them the adult version. The Flybrix drone kit contains all the essentials: LEGO blocks, propellers, a pre-programmed flight board, and a minifig pilot. All your friends have to do is put it together, connect it to their phone via Bluetooth, and make it fly. Best part? If they crash it, it’s easy to put back together.
Available at flybrix.com, $189.
Doesn’t everyone have an innate desire to create toys out of thin air? (No? Just us?) The 3Doodler satisfies that longing in the form of a sleek pen. Think of it like a glue gun without the glue: The pen pushes plastic through its hot metal tip, then the plastic cools as soon as it touches a surface, creating a solid 3D object. Give it to your most creative friend and watch them go to town.
Available at amazon.com, $99.99.
Perfect for the friend who’s serious (but not too serious) about photography, the Polaroid Snap Instant is a reimagining of the company’s original design that offers way more than its predecessor. First off, it doesn’t use film—this is a 13-megapixel digital camera that prints 2×3 full-color photos with ZINK Zero Ink technology. You can also record 1080p high-definition videos and store them within the cam’s 128 gigabyte micro-SD card, which you certainly could not do with the original 1947 Polaroid.
Available at amazon.com, $99.99.
There’s true nobility in befriending an insomniac, but their frequent late-night texts and 3 a.m. phone calls aren’t helping anyone. Introduce your nocturnal bestie to the Sleep Dot. The little device monitors the amount of rest you get on an average night by measuring your sleep cycles and body movements—and lulls you into sweet, sweetslumber with its original music. Tell your bud to stick it on the corner of their pillow and start counting sheep.
Available at amazon.com, $49.99.
Look at your BFF’s phone. Sad, isn’t it? Make them feel extra fancy (even if they don’t have an iPhone 7) with Boostcase’s embossed leather stickers. Your friends can adorn their phones with the praise hands emoji, a dancing shark, or—naturally—a winking taco. The only hard part is trying to Instagram a photo of these once they’re on your phone.
Available at boostcase.com, $10 each.
This nifty little wireless speaker puts the power of music in your hand—literally. It’s perfect for your pal who loves camping, biking, or just listening to podcasts in the shower. It also has a hearty battery life and a wireless range of up to 32 feet, making it super versatile. The only question is which song to play on your tandem bike rides. (Stop wondering. It’s “All Star” by Smash Mouth. On repeat.)
Available at kikkerland.com, $20.
This is how you buy your friend a new everything without dropping loads of Franklins. Google’s answer to Amazon Echo can play music, check the weather, set an alarm, estimate your morning commute, find restaurants, search the interwebs, and even order an Uber.
Available at store.google.com, $129.
Still searching for that perfect present? We’ve got tons more gift ideas up our sleeves.