By Casey Liss
Holiday Gifts 2015

It’s the holiday season once again. While you are out looking at lights or enjoying some Christmas music, you should also be thinking about what to get for your loved ones.

I have a few ideas.

I’ve grouped by list price, but note that some of these items are actually on sale, so you may be able to nab them cheaper than I’ve indicated here.

Under $10

The Tom Bihn Mini Organizer Pouch is a great way to store the absolute essentials you need for your work bag. For some, that may be a tube of lip balm and some breath freshener. For others, it may be a power brick for your iPhone.

For me, it holds a Lightning cable to charge my phone, a HDMI cable to plug my MacBook Pro into a TV, and a Mini USB cable to charge my headphones.

Under $20

Speaking of a HDMI cable that lives in my work bag, I cannot say enough good things about these RedMere-equipped slim HDMI cables. They’re super small, which makes them great to carry. They work perfectly, and have never let me down.

Under $30

I have some pretty basic needs from work headphones: Bluetooth headphones that can last more than a day. The Arctic P311s I ordered in 2011 are still going strong, four years later. They’re certainly not the audiophile’s choice, but they’re more than enough for working in an office, and the battery lasts at least a couple of days at a time. These are the headphones that get charged by the aforementioned Mini USB cable.

Under $40

The Amazon Fire TV Stick is a super convenient way to get access to Netflix, Plex, and many other types of programming on any TV that has a HDMI port.

Under $50

Maybe I just keep inventing reasons to use this, but I love my Lightning Digital AV Adapter. It allows you to output video and audio from your iPhone or iPad to any device that has a HDMI input, such as a TV or a projector. Thus, any app that plays audio or video on your phone can now play audio or video on a TV. I use this thing constantly, particularly at relatives’ houses that don’t have Apple TVs. It’s spendy, but it’s super useful. It also pairs well with the RedMere HDMI cable mentioned above, and fits nicely with that cable in the Tom Bihn Organizer Pouch.

Also under $50 is my travel USB charger of choice, the Anker PowerPort 5. It allows Erin and me to charge one phone and one Watch each, as well as my iPad. All without any other charging bricks.

Under $75

Any self-respecting liquor drinker will appreciate a block of perfectly clear ice. Doubly so if it’s easy to make at home. The Neat Ice Kit, which we’ve discussed before, allows you to do exactly that. If you’re willing to break the $75 barrier, I recommend the two-mold version.

Under $100

I like to have a battery case available for my iPhone for when I’m traveling, at a football game, or generally not going to be around power for a long time. I use the Lenmar MAVEN for my iPhone 6, which is rated at 3000mAh. Many people tend to prefer the more expensive mophie juice pack Air. Either way, it’s a super useful thing to have around for when you need it.

Speaking of useful things to have around, you can never have too many MagSafe Adapters.

Under $200

If someone you know owns a home, the Chamberlain MyQ has also been discussed before. It’s super-convenient to be able to open our garage door from afar, using an iPhone app.