Welcome to the Christmas Gift Guide for people who love great design and useful surprises. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re still pondering present ideas – much like the entire team here at New Rising Media.
So, we thought we’d decide to help and create a handy guide of quick-fix presents, which your friends and family are sure to love.
Now let’s go through your thought process and get the obvious question out the way… What on Earth makes a good present?
Three things – great design, usefulness and a certain joy factor – it’s got to be a pleasant surprise, which is beautifully made and actually useful beyond Christmas Day.
Because let’s be honest. No man or woman wants a fragrance/deodorant-based gift set. This go-to present, amongst many other generic ideas, show a lack of thought and you don’t want that level of judgment on your conscience.
With that in mind, we have a guide full of handpicked ideas from the NRM team - enjoy!
So, if you're anything like me, you've wandered through these weeks of December, blissfully unaware that you actually have to buy presents for people. Now, the fear has set in and you're beginning to rush the shops.
But really, you don't have to stress yourself out. Really, you are in a rather advantageous position, because I've got some quick fix gifts that are sure to satisfy every human being!
(Plus I may be giving some of these away to some lucky people in a competition)
Let's be honest - we all loved The Bourne Identity. It was a gritty thriller with a unique essence that no film could possibly come close to at the time. Granted, the saga may have gone slightly downhill in the next couple of films, but Jason Bourne is a real return to glory. Available for a shade under £15 at many different retailers.
Do you have a mum, grandmother, aunty, girlfriend, general female friend who has a taste for the dramatic? The Good Wife is a sound investment for them!
Or maybe you're buying for someone who is a fan of dinosaurs... Or Jeff Goldblum... Or both! Now I know, the third film was a definite low point for the series (speaking velociraptor anyone?), but that doesn't take away from this being a great Christmas buy!
Let's get your first question out of the way - why on Earth are you promoting socks to me? In a bloody gift guide? That's the laziest present you can get anyone!
Well, you are wrong to say it's lazy. Especially when it comes to this prestigious (and colourful) brand of Argyle socks. These fulfill both categories of being both reasonable in price and of great design. Your giftee will thank you for these.
Definitely one of the long-term investments, for the boyfriend you've been with for years or the family member you love oh-so very much! This overcoat is the pinnacle of great design.
For certain one of the best e-readers I've had the pleasure to use, the Kobo Aura ONE is a great piece of kit for anyone you're looking to try and persuade off having the shelves full of novels.
It’s the world’s first eReader with blue-light reducing front-lit display, making it perfect for a bedtime story without ruining your sleep cycle. Its water-proof nature makes it durable for a cosy bath or a day out at the beach. Moreover, it’s great for travel in long flights or train rides as its battery lasts over a month.
What more could you possibly want!?
Free to £5
Good if anyone you know is interested in electronics, but don’t just buy one because it’s part of an ecosystem. Electronics and the maker movement are getting quite popular, fully compatible with official Arduino and good to get someone started perhaps. Allow two weeks for it to arrive from China - so maybe write up a nice Christmas note letting your significant other know it’s on the way!
A good basic USB drive. The capacity is love, but it is USB 3. Can’t complain about £5, and you can add some sentimentality by storing some photographs/videos of experiences gone by.
Cool mini tripod and pistol grip. Cheap and cheerful, and pairs well with the action camera.
Nice aluminium phone stand - great for watching movies on! Could have got a cheaper one but this has enough substance to be a decent gift.
Add some retro goodness to your gaming with this SNES classic gaming pad. Pairs well with raspberry pi perhaps?
£5 to £25
Granted, it’s completely useless - but this USB plasma ball brings a great amount of distracting entertainment to any desk. Great for kids!
We’ve rallied against expensive headphones a few times (see: The Rapper Headphone Conspiracy) and this set from Panasonic proves our point - much better than the price tag suggests.
High capacity and great build quality - a top notch power bank for any hardcore Snapchatters and/or Pokemon GO players.
With a great design, surprisingly wide compatibility with devices and a good price, this compact wireless Bluetooth keyboard falls more on the “useful” side rather than “surprising.”
Care about desk ergonomics like me? We all secretly love a nicely organised desk, and Griffin’s Elevator platform works grate in bringing it up to the right height as any external displays.
£25 to £50
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B (Or Buy The Full Starter Kit)
Give the gift of a build-your-own computer. At a time when gadgets are trying to dictate very specific designs and use cases, you can allow the user to make whatever they want.
VicTsing action camera – A surprisingly good GoPro alternative, that comes in at 1/5 the cost of the big brand. You can film up to 1080p with this.
A whole tablet for just £50. Available at the moment with ‘special offers’ for just £29.99 or without for £39.99. Obviously not cutting edge, but a great deal and a good tablet for the whole family.
A 1TB USB Hard Drive. Not massively interesting but always useful especially with the rise of SSDs in laptops these days
Carrying on the Amazon trend, the Fire TV represents good value and has a 10/10 very futuristic voice remote!
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.