Hi and welcome to my annual Holiday Picks, now in its seventh year! You can always check out past issues such as the one from 2021.
And a very Happy Thanksgiving 🦃 to all my friends in the US!
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I’m going a bit light on the technology section this year. Really, there are so many excellent products from Apple, Samsung and Microsoft you should have no trouble picking out a gift from each of them. My MVP products this year are:
Apple MacBook Air M2 - the fastest and lightest laptop I’ve ever used. A big upgrade from the M1 that it replaced.
Apple iPad Mini - I love this thing and it goes on all my travel
Apple AirPods Max - some of the best headphones that excel when using for a long time
Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop - if you want a bigger Windows Laptop, the form factor and design is some of the best from Microsoft
Apple Watch Ultra - I really dig this watch and wear it most days of the week over my regular Apple Watch.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 - Interesting form factor! I just ordered one of these phones as my “work phone”. I’ve decided I don’t like Microsoft managing my personal device any more and am going the two phone route (many of my friends do this). It will also create some needed work / life separation.
AirPods Pro 2
I have more headphones than I care to share (don’t judge). The AirPods 2 set the bar for portable headphones that have excellent features. The noise cancellation and noise transparency features are updated, and they finally play a sound so you can find them when you lose them. They are robust. Mine were put in the washing machine by accident and they survived despite claims that they are only water resistant.
Anker Nano II 30W Fast Charger Adapter
I always have a charger here as they make for nice stocking stuffers, and I still see a lot of people using huge or slow chargers for their phones.
What is remarkable about this charger is that it’s small, charges at 30W (great if you have an iPhone 14 Pro Max or iPad) and has foldable plugs.
This cable has a great little cable tie that is much better than any other cable tie I’ve used.
This is hands down the best webcam out there.
This is a very nice dock. I keep this on my device table in my bedroom.
Also in my bedroom is this excellent headphone stand with MagSafe charger below.
Fellow Carter Move Mug
I’m a fan of many Fellow product. I drink out of the Carter mug every day (the move is narrower to fit in a car cup holder). They just updated the Move mug with this fancy new lid so that it excels on the go.
Stagg EKG Pro Electric Kettle | Studio Edition
The Stagg Kellte has been my Kettle for many years. The new Pro Studio edition has some fancy features now such as preset temperatures for Green Tea, Coffee, Pour Over and more. Since we drink both tea and coffee in our house, this has proven to be a time saver. In addition another feature I like is the 15 or 30 min hold timer vs a permanent hold. This is handy for starting the water to boil before coffee will be consumed.
This is one of the smartest inventions. You water these plants once a month. That’s it. No more killing your household plants due to too much or too little water.
Swarovski Annual Edition 2022 Ornament
We order one every year. We have been doing this since 2001 and now we are up to 21 of these ornaments.
HidrateSpark PRO - Smart Water Bottle
Check out my review. Love this bottle. This helps me achieve my liquid intake goal every day. It syncs with an app that keeps track of your daily water intake and has a light to remind you if you are off-track.
On my list last year, this is an excellent bottle. If you are not interested in a smart water bottle, this is a great choice. They now have a few different sizes and form factors to chose from.
These beautiful handmade desk calendars bring me joy. Each month has a small Easter egg to discover. The artist makes terrific cards and other items and is Seattle based. This has made every Holiday Pick for the past few years.
We have a dog, so we buy a lot of dog stuff. Absolutely hands down the folks at Atlas Pet Company make the best leashes, bags and others items.
I mean CUTE CITY 🦖! I have never before done crochet but purchased a few of these to try out.
Evolutions in Bread
If you want to start baking, Ken Forkish’s books were my teacher. His latest book makes bread making much more approachable.
We have several items from Farmhouse pottery that we love. In particular the Olive Oil bottle and Spoon Rest.
Tom is a local Seattle bag maker, and all their products are sewn right here in Seattle. I have visited their factory several times and love the work they do. We have a few of their products (many out of stock) but the Aeronaut 45 is a fantastic travel bag if you don’t need or want a hard shell / wheeled bag. I really like the Yeoman and Roady duffel.
The James Brand
I can’t help buying stuff from these guys. My latest is The Palmer and The Ellis. The Palmer is a fabulous box cutter.
Withings Body Comp Scale
I use this scale every day (in the morning) and it automatically syncs to my Apple Health. I recently upgraded from a very old Body Cardio. The Body Comp is brand new as of October and adds numerous new measurements. You can share the scale with members of your household as well.
I recently discovered these incredible pajamas / lounge wear. Made for men, women and kids. They have some great holiday items too!
Cadence Travel containers
I’ve used these for a few trips and love how handy they are. They keep my travel items organized and compact. Small, magnetic and leak proof.
Chill Pill Fidget Thing
I really like this Fidget Toy. I made mine out of stainless steel and brass.
When in South Africa I discovered this maker of amazing sleeves for laptops, iPad and more. Shipping to the USA is fast and reasonable.
The products are made from recycled concrete paper bags. They feel super.
AirTag Luggage Tags
AirTags are a must for traveling. You can find out where your luggage is due to the prevalance of how many iPhones there are in the world that report the locations (securly) of your AirTag’s whearabouts. They work so amazingly well. I recently got everyone in my family these Leather, heavy duty luggage tags from Waterfield in San Francisco.
Stella Falone Cutting Boards
Reviewed this year, I simply adore this cutting board. It’s beautiful and looks like a piece of furniture in your kitchen.
I like this small cutting board that could make a nice gift.
Herman Miller Mira 2 Chair
I’ve been using this chair for over a year and love it. I’ve used a Herman Miller Aeron for most of my working life, and most recently a Sayl chair. The Mirra to me is much better than the Aeron for a tall person. It has a higher back and more adjustment features.
There is no better time to buy Herman Miller products as they now have their twice annual sale with 20% off and free shipping.
Thank you for reading and being a part of my newsletter. I wish you all a very Happy Holidays!
Wow! This list is incredible. Thank you! So many great ideas.
Great list, Omar. I always enjoy reading these. Great gift ideas (and also self-shopping ideas).