2011 Holiday Gift Guide: Six Household Gifts for You and Yours

Home is where the heart is. It’s also the place where most people will live and die so give a gift that will make someone’s life a bit easier (or fun). No one wants a $20 coffee pot for Christmas. But yet there are still some awesome household items that will certainly produce a smile Christmas morning. The six following items range in price from $10 to $400. There’s something here for everyone.

Dyson AM04 Hot

Yep, the Dyson AM04 Hot is a $400 space heater and fan. $400. That’s a lot. But it is awesome. I have one heating my office and I’ve never been so impressed with a space heater. And with a basement office in chilly Michigan, I’ve used a lot of space heaters. Still, it’s a $400 space heater so it’s more of a one percenter gift than a stocking stuffer. But if you have room in your holiday budget, the Dyson Hot is a solid gift for someone that’s seemingly cold-blooded. The AM04 also doubles as a traditional fan and ships with a handy remote — as if those little items help to justify the high price.


Video monitoring has never been more accessible. The last thing you want to gift is something that requires work. Dropcam is not work. It’s one of the easiest video monitoring devices available. Just plug in the discrete camera and you’re half-way done with the setup. From there the video feed is available online or through the Dropcam iOS and Android app. The desktop software allows for easy monitoring and motion-activated recording. You can even share a video stream online. The $199 Dropcam captures just video where the $279 Dropcam Echo also records audio. Both are great gifts even for those not wearing a tinfoil hat.

Belkin Conserve Insight

The Belkin Conserve Insight sits between any household item’s power plug and the wall outlet. From there, a little cable runs to a display that shows not only the power usage, but what that works out to in real dollars. Plug it into the Christmas tree lights and see how much those little blinking lights cost you. Plug it into the space heater and compare the result against your utilities gas rates. With a street price around $30, it’s perfect for a gadget fiend or a penny pincher. They can see in real dollar and cents how much it cost to keep their three file servers running 24/7. For the more technically-inclined, you may want to consider the Kill-A-Watt by P3 International. It’s provides a bit more information for those that know how to read it.

Tivoli Radio

Sometimes it’s nice to just flip on a FM radio. There’s no messing with Pandora stations or logging into RDIO. Just turn the radio on and listen to a local radio station. Tivoli makes classy AM/FM radios that exemplify this notion. The majority of their line are simple mono radios with just a speaker and an oversized tuning dial. The original $149 Model One Radio is a safe bet. Like the majority of Tivoli’s models, it’s available in a large variety of wood grain finishes. However, the company offers more than just simple radios. Some of their latest models include iDevice docks, complete micro component systems, and Internet streaming.

Quirky Thor

Prepare yourself, the snow is coming. It’s best to arm your loved ones with an ice scraper that’s more of a deadly weapon than a toy. Enter Thor. This Quirky product is a monster of an ice scraper. With a long handle, dual scrapers, and multiple grips, the Thor is the Mjǫlnir of ice scrapers. It’s only $20 and like most of Quirky’s products, Thor is perfect for the person that seemingly already has everything. They don’t have this monster ice scraper.

Robot tea infuser

Everyone should be drinking loose leaf tea. It taste better and they get to use awesome tea infusers. This little robot tea infuser only costs $10 on Amazon and could be a great gift for the casual or hardcore tea drinker. If nothing else, it will make a fun conversation piece.