The holiday season comes with more than a little stress. First, there's all those family dinners. Then there's the travel. And if you happen to be married to The Guy Who Has Everything, or your mother-in-law tends to be, uh, brutally honest when she doesn't like the gift you've bought her, things can be ten-times worse.
But never fear—your friends at Around Town have compiled the best of the Web’s gift-giving guides and listed them below, so everyone from the girl in the cube next door to your fiance will be thrilled with whatever you get them. You can thank us later.
For Those Who Want Customized Help: FindGift.com actually has a gift-giving wizard—fill in who you’re shopping for, their age and the holiday they’re celebrating, and the wizard will offer up hundreds of options. When we asked for Hanukkah gift ideas for a boyfriend between 31 and 40, the wizard suggested a membership to the International Beer of the Month Club, the Extreme Heat Lovers Hot Sauce Set and a designer leather messenger briefcase. Not bad. You can further customize the wizard’s suggestions by limiting price and category.
For the Environmentally Conscious: Green is the word these days—even when it comes to gift giving. But finding creative, environmentally friendly gifts can be tricky. That’s where Tree Hugger’s Gift Guide comes in handy. Divided into 11 categories (i.e. “Green Geek,” “Foodie,” “Do-It-Yourselfer), the guide provides a good run-down on the best in green giving. For the Foodie, it suggested a set of black clay cookware from Colombia. For the Do-It-Yourselfer, a natural knitting kit.
For the Outside-the-Box-Thinker: What do you buy the woman you’ll never marry? Or retired people who have too much free time? Esquire’s gift guide aims to solve these—and other very, very specific—gift-giving difficulties. And the suggestions are pretty good. Like a set of W Hotel Sheets (the luxe ones they really use in guest rooms) or a Big League Baseball Tour, which is exactly what it sounds like—game tickets, four-star hotel accommodations, a stadium tour and meet-and-greets with retired baseball greats.
For Tech Lovers of All Ages: The folks at Engadget, the award-winning techblog, know their stuff when it comes to the hottest new electrionics. So for their holiday gift guide, they’ve chosen the top techie picks for everyone on your list (mom, dad, son, daughter, etc.). The Colleague guide is especially helpful—otherwise, how would we have known to buy our work husband a pair of USB-powered heated gloves?
For Those in Search of the Conventional-Yet-Chic: Newsweek isn’t the first place you think of when you think, “chic gifts.” But Tip Sheet, the magazine’s weekly rundown of usually cool, always useful products, has a pretty comprehensive gift guide this season. Aside from the feature itself being pretty cool to play around with, the gifts are perfect for all types. Like a Prada shoe-polish kit, which might make a perfect gift for your label-loving brother-in-law. Or the Backup Pal, a small data drive that holds all your cell phone data—just in case you mange to drop your phone in the Delaware. Again.
For Those Who Want to Shop by Price: CNET is full of useful guides year round. But its gift guide lays it out in a manner sure to be appreciated by those looking to stick to a budget this holiday season. Browse lists in price ranges from less than $100 to more than $1,000, and at each level, you’ll find some of the hottest, must-have tech gifts of the season—each with an accompanying video.