Omar’s Holiday Picks 2023
🎁 The annual OmarKnows list of holiday goodies 🎁
And a very Happy Thanksgiving 🦃 to all my friends in the US!
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Buy a Gift for Charity
TisBest is a Seattle non-profit that sells gift cards that you can give to anyone allowing them to choose a non-profit to donate the money to.
100% of the card is donated to charity, so if you purchase a $100 card, $100 is going to a non-profit and there are no fees.
TisBest pays for its operations by asking shoppers to donate to the nonprofit when buying the cards. The entire amount of the gift card itself goes to charity. The gift card amount is tax deductible for shoppers. And if people receive a gift card but don’t allocate the money to charity, TisBest, because it’s a nonprofit, can reclaim that amount to cover its own costs.
Recently I came across Tinggly, a web site that allows you to gift experiences. This is a very neat concept as experiences can be more rewarding than things. The Tinggly Gift Card can be gifted and then redeemed for an experience.
Laptops, Watches and Phones
My MVP products this year are:
Apple MacBook Pro M3 - just released and super 🔥. I have the M3 Pro on order in Black.
AirPods Pro 2
These are the best portable headphones to purchase. New this year is a USB-C port.
The most impressive feature arrived this year with a software update which is adaptive noise transparency. It works well. The headphones will pause when someone is speaking to you or when you start talking. Also pressing the headphone stick during a call will now mute the headphone. Handy for those Teams/Zoom meetings
Anker Prime Charging Station
This is the best way to charge and travel. When I arrive anywhere, I plug just one thing in (and for international travel it means just one adapter for the wall plug). It has a nice removable extension cord that means my charger never falls out of the wall.
The charger has two USB-C, two USB-A and two US style AC plugs that pop out.
It offers a 140W output, enabling lightning-fast charging for multiple devices simultaneously.
It has OLED screens that show you nifty details like how fast it is charging your devices.
I have been traveling with a variant of this charger for over a year and it’s just the best.
Anker Nano Power Bank
I have used many Power Banks over the years. This one is the best because:
It comes with a built in USB-C cable that can finally be used to charge your phone, AirPods 2 (USB-C) and other gadgets
The USB-C cable can be used to charge the battery, a first, since lightning cables could not do this
It has an OLED display telling you how long it will take to charge the device and how much power is remaining
MagSafe Travel Charger
I have recently purchased these for my family, and so far they have been well received.
I threw away the bulky case, but the slim stand folds up and will charge your phone, your AirPods and your Apple Watch. The Apple Watch charger even doubles as a standalone charger.
Opal Tadpole Camera
My pick from last year is now joined by its smaller sibling, the Tadpole.
Kinto 350ml Tumbler
My wife is a huge fan of this Tumbler. We both have one and we take this on vacations as it packs very well
Swarovski Annual Edition 2023 Ornament
We order one every year. We have been doing this since 2001 and now we are up to 22 of these ornaments.
Be warry of the copycat ornaments on Amazon. Last year I accidentally linked to a very authentic looking Amazon fake. Shame on Amazon but that is the game.
Swarovski The Child
I mean… if you are a Star Wars fan.
These bottles are made the size of paper - like A4, A5, A6. They are flat. I keep one of these packed in my bag for when I travel so that I can always have water on me.
I love all my Stanley Cup products. I always personalize them.
Dyson Hair Dryer
If you still haven’t purchased one of these for your wife, girlfriend, partner, what are you waiting for? It’s expensive but very “partner friendly” as they are incredibly quiet.
Anything from Grovemade. They simply make exceptional products and upgrade any desk space.
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.
Dr Rogers Skin Products
Dr Rogers is a Dermatologist in Seattle, and friend of my wife. We’ve been using her Restore products for years. These make for a great gift. Def get the lip balm.
Breville the Joule Turbo
I’ve had the original Joule Sous Vide machine for 5 years. It finally stopped working, and I upgraded to the latest. Breville purchased ChefSteps, the company behind Joule a few years ago and this is their latest device. It’s really sophisticated, and I love cooking with it.
HOTO Cordless Hot Glue Gun
I have a Hot Glue gun. Yes. I use it a few times a year. This cordless model from HOTO is awesome. That cord is always the most annoying part of any glue gun.
If you know someone who likes crafting, this would be a good gift.
HOTO 3-in1 Camping Flashlight
I own many flashlights and this 3-in-1 is my favorite for our cabin. It has a genuinely nice soft glow, can be used as a traditional flashlight, or just set on a tabletop. It’s bright but not blinding.
Lume Cube Lite
Just picked this up for some travel, and it’s a nice light on a small tripod that you can use with your laptop. The light has a rechargeable battery.
The Creative Act: A Way of Being
So many people have been raving about this book. So far I’ve enjoyed it and think it’s a wonderful way to gain some perspective.
These pill cases are made of metal, have magnets and are very satisfying to use. I got some engraved as gifts. I keep the nano pill case filled with advil.
Peak Design Packable Tote
Don’t leave home without this! I take these on every trip, I use them on the plane and at my destination. I love that they have a zippered top and pack into a small pouch.
Sunbrella Throw Blanket
Sunbrella makes some of the best outdoor fabrics, and recently came out with a line of Throws. We picked one up for our couch and it’s nice.
You can expect them to be durable. It makes a great home gift. Works indoor and outdoor.
Peak Design Travel Line Backpack 30L
I got this for my nephew for his birthday and he loves this for school travel. I ended up liking it quite a lot and got one for myself. It’s not for cameras, and I like that it’s a clam shell.
These make awesome gifts. I have the Tokyo one.
Topeak Air Pressure Sensor
Get these, put them in your glove compartment and if you have a friend with a bike, gift them one. The best.
It has this excellent feature where you can “releasee” air while it’s reading the pressure so you can get the perfect amount of pressure in your tire.
James Brand - The Elko
I love these little knives from the James Brand. They make great stuff. These make great gifts.
The Carter Wooden Knife Kit
Make your own knife. What a cool idea. Designed a “gift” and not a real knife.
Ooni Volt 12 Electric Pizza Oven
It’s impressive to make a Pizza Oven that can be used indoors and powered from your outlet. This Ooni oven can cook a pizza at 850 degrees. You can refer back to my Pizza Gear guide for other items.
Just to warn you - this oven is large, and an outdoor Gas oven is still the way to go. But if you want to make pizza indoors during the winter, this is probably the way to go.
Thank you for reading and being a part of my newsletter. I wish you all a very Happy Holidays!