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More than any other year I can remember, there has been a greater emphasis in 2021 on whether holiday gifts will arrive on time than on what those holiday gifts will be.

Supply chain problems around the globe have prompted manufacturers and retailers to recommend early buying.

But you’ve probably heard enough about those delivery issues. So today I want to focus on the “what” rather than the “when.”

It’s still a good idea to place your holiday gift orders now rather than waiting until the last minute. But my purpose today is to give you some ideas for what to purchase.

No “normal” gift ideas here

And no, I’m not going to rattle off a bunch of 4Patriots products. I will mention one of them at the end because it’s something everybody needs. But I’m mainly going to concentrate on gift ideas you might not have thought of.

Maybe one or more of them will resonate with you as something that would be appropriate for a loved one, friend, co-worker or neighbor.

Granted, one person’s idea of “unusual” might be someone else’s “normal.” It’s subjective. And not every gift will be ideal for everyone on your list.

But I can assure you that you won’t find any of the more typical holiday gift ideas here, such as ties, sweaters, pajamas, toasters, makeup products and gift cards. So, here we go… 

Wireless earbuds

One gift that just about anyone would appreciate is wireless earbuds. The sound is of high quality and they are super convenient for anyone relaxing, working out, walking, running or traveling.

Most people listen to their favorite music on their earbuds. But the recipient does not need to be a music lover. Plenty of people enjoy listening to podcasts. Others spend all day on their phones.

Earbuds are not cheap and they do have to be charged regularly. But they pack a lot of value in a small, lightweight gift.

The most popular earbuds right now are the Apple AirPods Pro (3rd generation). They retail for about $175.

Cellphone stand 

If you’re like most Americans, you probably use your cellphone often. Maybe not as much as a teenager, but making and receiving phone calls is only one component of the uses we’ve found for them.

I’d say the only annoying thing about a cellphone is having to hold it while using it. But with a cellphone stand, that’s not necessary.

These adjustable and collapsible stands make it easy to set up your phone on a desk and use it to make calls, read e-books, watch videos, etc.

They’re usually made of sturdy aluminum. Here’s the best part… they’re very affordable at $10 to $15.

Electronic reader 

When it comes to books, are you old school or do you prefer the more modern way of reading? Personally, I like the feel of a physical book in my hands. But I also own a Kindle because it’s very convenient to carry around and travel with.

There are plenty of folks who prefer electronic readers even at home, and for about $140 you can provide them with a new Kindle Paperwhite.

With a good-sized screen that’s glare-free and a battery that lasts a long time, it’s tough to beat an easily handled item that can store thousands of books.

Easy on the eyes and waterproof, it can even be taken to the beach. For another $30 you can add an attractive fabric cover.

MasterClass

Can you teach an old dog new tricks? I believe you can. More to the point, no matter what your age, it’s not too late to learn something new.

There are many ways to do this, of course, but MasterClass may be one of the best. And it could make a great gift for that tough-to-buy-for person who’s always looking for a new challenge.

It’s not cheap – an annual subscription comes to $20 per month. But the huge variety of online classes taught by the world’s best artists, leaders and icons makes it worth it.

There are more than 100 instructors including chef Gordon Ramsey and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. They teach classes in food, music, writing, business and science & tech. As well as sports & gaming, home & lifestyle, arts & entertainment, and more.    

Patriot Power Cell

As promised, here’s a gift idea we at 4Patriots sell and you’re probably already aware of it. It’s the Patriot Power Cell. Backup power was already understood to be important before we began selling this item.

But now with frequent power outages – and knowing how essential it is to keep our cellphones and other electronic devices charged – it’s even more crucial to have convenient backup power at the ready.

It’s really a pocket-sized power plant. And since it’s often needed when other power sources are unavailable, it’s great to know it can be charged with just the power of the sun. It’s rugged to withstand the elements, and it has a built-in flashlight. 

Knowing you can stay connected to loved ones in an emergency with this reliable power source provides plenty of peace of mind.

The only problem we’ve ever had with the Patriot Power Cell is keeping it in stock. No lie. We can never order enough to fill all the requests. Fortunately, we do have a limited number available now. Unfortunately, they probably won’t last long.

10 more for fun

Now, if you’re feeling a little “short-changed” because I provided only five out-of-the-ordinary holiday gift ideas, here are 10 more to consider.

  •           Laptop lap desk. I’m sure you know folks who work predominantly from home these days. A small, lightweight and very portable lap desk can be used even while horizontal on a couch. The underneath cushion conforms to your lap.
  •           Pasta and noodle maker. For the chef or chef wannabe on your list, this gift is designed to make pasta in a variety of shapes including spaghetti, fettuccini, penne and even a dumpling shape.
  •           Cuffed beanie. January and February – and March in some areas – promise to be cold. Great for men and women, they’re very comfortable and will keep your head warm when outdoors.
  •           Hand lotion. I don’t know about you, but the months of the year when the furnace is on means dry, cracked skin, especially on the hands. Hand lotion helps, but read the ingredients carefully to get a natural moisturizer.
  •           Hand warmer. Speaking of hands, some of us as we age experience cold hands and feet, especially in the winter. A rechargeable hand warmer can stay warm for three to four hours on a full charge.
  •           Science fun. Perfect for young kids on your list, Amazing Science from Good Housekeeping is an activity they can do alone or with adults. They’ll learn how things work while conducting 80-plus experiments.
  •           Personalized family mugs. Don’t you hate it when you find your favorite mug in the sink because someone has used it? With personalized coffee mugs, you don’t have to worry about that.
  •           Murder Mystery Puzzle Game. This game allows users to solve murder mysteries while they’re putting the pieces together. It’s something the whole family can have fun doing together.
  •           Slippers. Some of your loved ones probably won’t be going outside much this winter, so why not make them as comfortable as possible in their homes? Make sure the slippers you purchase have good traction.
  •           Socks. Wait, how can socks be an unusual holiday gift? The answer is when they are multi-colored with a wide variety of shapes and designs. Ideal for young people and the young at heart.
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