Holiday Gift Ideas - My 10 Favorite Electronics of 2008

Services for Real Estate Pros with Zillow

One of my more favorite days of the year is almost here.  I am talking about BLACK FRIDAY (Cyber Monday is a close second).  I'll be out with all the other crazies at 5am this Friday.  So in honor of this great day, I thought I would veer off my usual subject of real estate and list some of my personal favorite gadgets and technology of 2008 to help with gift ideas.  If anyone wants to add to the list, please leave a comment!  Would be cool to get a good list of ideas going.

iFlip camera - Part camera, part cam corder.  Takes great point and shot pictures, and such an easy way to get into video.  The price on these has really fallen (they even have a pink one now) to around the $129 mark.  The camera has a USB built right in to allow for easy upload to a computer and to YouTube- and it now comes in pink!

External Hard Drive - I know this isn't a particular sexy gift, but take it from someone who totally crashed her computer twice this year, it is good to have when you need.  Cost has really fallen on these too, so it is a pretty cheap insurance policy to protect your data and pictures. 

Archos- This little less-known device is great for someone who travels a lot.  It functions much like any other portable music player.  But a big differentiater here is that you can hook this up to your TV and it performs like a DVR, taping shows right on to the device for offline viewing.  The device is little bigger than iPods, but smaller than the portable DVD players.  Great for long airplane rides, as you can upload your favorite shows and movies. 

Subscription to PhoneTag- I am pretty quick on responding to email, but I am not a phone person and am admittedly terrible to responding to voice mail, so this service has been a god send to me.  For a small fee it will transcribe all your voice mails into emails.  This allows me to respond to voice mails via email, when possible, even when in meetings.  It is about $10 a month, I get so few VMs that I do the .35 cent per message plan.   

Monster Cable- Seems like we are always hooking our computer or iPod up to our speakers to play thru the house or on our patio and this simple cable let you do that without buying a separate iPod speaker device.  Cheap way to let others enjoy your iPod selections.

Polar Watch- This watch is AWESOME for anyone who likes to work out, and especially for those who are into more competitive sports. There are a lot of features on this watch, but my two favorite are the heart rate monitor which helps you stay in the right heart rate zone and keep an eye on your heart rate in races.  I also love the calorie counter, you can set it to display how many calories you are burning based on your heart rate and pre-entered information. 

Electric Blanket- I live in Chicago, do I need to say more?  I have a electric blanket on my bed and an electric throw for watching tv.  I also love the space heater I have in my office.  Guess I am a fan of anthing that gives off heat! 

Sprinkler Timer for Garden- I got this because when I am gone for more that two days, my garden suffers.  But I found that I loved having it, even when I was home.  Because of the regular watering my garden got, I had one of the most lush gardens ever this summer.  I buried a soaker hose and hooked it up to this timer.

iPod- This one is pretty obvious, but I do love my iPod.  One cool thing I wanted to mention here was that the Apple store is doing free engraving on any iPods ordered from them.  I have had this done with my company name on it and used it for a trade show give away.  The engraving is very subtle, but a nice touch.

Roomba- My husband told me he bought one of these and I said- you bought what?  No way that will work.  THIS THING IS AWESOME and I am asking for an upgraded one this Christmas.  We have hardwoods and carpet and it works great on both, but is especially good on hardwoods.  I am allergic to dust, so this thing is great as it gets in areas you usually can't reach like under furniture.  I believe this has helped my sneezing.  It doesn't do as good as manual scrub, but I find myself vaccumimg more often because it is so easy, so it does keep my home cleaner. Two models to consider are the 415 or 530.  


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James Engel
Keller Williams Realty Beverly Hills - Beverly Hills, CA
KW Beverly Hills

Im looking at your list and I have literally bought half of the items that you mentioned as gifts for others. Maybe I should start heading out and getting the other half that you mentioned. Those are some great holiday gift ideas. Thank you and Happy Holidays!

Nov 26, 2008 08:31 AM #1
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Sara,        As a transplant from Michigan I remember whenm we bought an electric  " Mattress warmer ".  It is like an electric blanket except that it goes beneath the bottom sheet and warms you from below.  Much better than an electric blanket and most have dual settings for each side.  Stay warm.

Nov 26, 2008 09:01 AM #2
Maggie Baumbach
Search Homes for Sale in Maryland at - Reisterstown, MD

Nice reviews, I like reading what others find to be useful and how it helps them.  I am going to start using my Roomba again, you reminded me how easy they are, I have just gotten outof the habit of using it.

Nov 26, 2008 09:19 AM #3
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

after looking at the paper this morning you may want to add a flat screen tv to the list.. Quite a few 42" ones at bargin prices!  8 gig thumb drives super cheap at a few places, and GPS units for less than $100.  And of course a few computers at rock bottom prices with all the goodies (less than $400)

I agree the external hard drive is a must, My daughter actually named hers (she got last x-mas)

Nov 27, 2008 01:14 AM #4
Jeremy Blanton
Myrtle Beach Homes Blog - Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach REALTOR®-

A Roomba?  Nah, I don't think I could ever cheat on my Dyson...I do however wish that my stocking would be filled with many of the other things on your list!

Nov 27, 2008 01:20 AM #5
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

My daughter got an iFlip camera from her friends for her birthday and loves it! Great list! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Nov 27, 2008 04:13 AM #6
Lara O'Keefe
North Texas Home Finders - McKinney, TX

Sara, this is a great list. I might have to run by Circuit City and see if they have any going out of business deals.


Nov 29, 2008 04:23 AM #7
Elaine A. Cook
Connect - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham Real Estate

The roomba is on my list!  Great ideas there missy!

Nov 29, 2008 04:53 AM #8
Obeoman Glade Jones - Salt Lake City, UT



...definitely the Roomba...but our wonderDachshund, Bear is a little protective of his territory!


bl0g on,


Dec 02, 2008 01:18 AM #9
Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

Sara, I need a new Camera, my wife keeps taking mine..the Iflip camera sound perfect for my needs. Thanks for sharing. Steve

Dec 02, 2008 02:24 AM #10
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