Today marks one of my favorite holidays of the year, Free Shipping Day. For many, it is the last day to get those Christmas orders in and have those presents make it under the tree and into the stockings of the ones we love.
This holiday season has been fraught with online spending that has exceeded $24.6 billion.
So far this winter, six individual days have broken the billion dollar threshold -- starting with Cyber Monday at $1.25 billion -- and Free Shipping Friday could be the last big shopping day of the year.
I can't express how much online shopping has done to brighten my holidays: no waiting in line at the post office, no wandering through crowded malls hoping no one coughs on me, and loads of price comparison sites to assure that I am paying a fair price.
So whether you are scrambling for a last minute gift for a relative or something for you best tech friend, here are some great ideas that really show you have taste.
For your friends with a pension for great tunes and sleek design, The Pipe Chrome by Skullcandy is a great portable speaker that goes with any MP3 player, laptop or smartphone. At $69.99 this musical accompaniment is a great gift that will keep your recipient's house full of cheer.
While more whimsical, there is a place for decorative speakers that don't just provide great sounds, but also become a conversation starter. For those with flare for the fun, Angry Bird speakers can get the party started and remind you of the hours of frustration and joy that came with finishing the latest seasonal upgrade on your iPhone. Ranging from $79.99-$99.00 these speakers, you can decide if the music lover in your life is a green pig, a black bits or a red bird.
All of us have someone close to us, that con't walk five paces from their most beloved iPad. For searching the web, watching TV shows, writing emails or playing games, the iPad has become the most portable of computers but can be a pain when trying to type anything longer than a to-do list.
For those that have opted to go all iPad, a great gift idea is the iPad case and keyboard in one.
The iPad Bluetooth Keyboard Case, at $29.99 is a perfect gift for the techie on the go and together with the iPad2 the whole shebang weighs just less than the 13 inch Macbook air.
I am someone that is constantly on the go and have to bring my laptop to, just about, everything. Because of this I have to make sure all of my new bag purchases can fit my laptop and accessories. This Case Logic messenger bag is the perfect fit for the techie that is always traveling about.
The solid grey exterior with orange accents also reminds you not to pack your bag too much because the more you store in there, the more color peeps through.
Right now the $49.99 bag is on 30% discount so you can get through checkout for less than $40.
I must admit that I was crushed when a mere 10 months after I finally bought a Nintendo Wii, the new Xbox Kinect came out and blew the active gaming options into a whole new world. With greater accuracy and no balance board, that reminds you of a scale, to lug out whenever you want to play, the Kinect has changed interactive gaming. This buy is great for people of all ages or as a "family gift." You may also want to throw in some games while you are getting ready to check out too.
While all the big social games are free, let's face it, they are better with all the digital credits you buy for additional goods. If you have friends in your life that are always asking you to help them put of a barn or be a patron to their virtual store then maybe the best gift for them would be a Zynga Game Card. If you buy them a game card in the holiday season you can also get FarmVille plush toys for less than a dollar. Great for gamers of all ages.
The literry gift of the season is, hands-down, the biography of Steve Job by Walter Isaacson. Whether your friend has a Kindle, and iPad or like to read the bookcase ornaments, everyone is happy to get this tech bio.
The book touches on Jobs’ anger over Google’s Android smartphone operating system, which Jobs believed was stolen and delves into the thoughts of the late, great Jobs and his business savvy methods.
Smartphone snow bunny
For those of us that have to walk about in cold, even frigid conditions, has had the challenge of using our smartphone without taking off our gloves. My signature move is to unlock my phone with my nose -- unless it is so cold that even my nose has no conductivity.
Agloves makes sleek knitted gloves that allow you to use your iPhone, Droid X, Samsung, Tom-Tom GPS system, Nook, ATM, iPad, iPod Touch, MP3 player, Palm Pre, Blackberry Storm, Zune HD, Flip HD and other cameras. For $17.99, these gloves keep people warm and in touch.
With the release of the new Window's phone this week, you can bet that your phoneophiles have not gotten this new tech device just yet. The Window's phone has takne a new mosaic design for its homepage and is getting a lot of great buzz. Depending on your plan and cell service provider, this phone could be free with a contract upgrade.
And who wouldn't like a shiny new case to put on their iPhone? You can never have too many covers to protect the piece of tech that you take everywhere you go. This is also a great opportunity to show your personality or match an outfit or occation. Griffin has some great options that range from $19.99 to $49.99.