Looking for a few great home gift ideas for the holidays? You’re in the right place. The past couple of years have been let’s say…different. Even though we don’t know what’s in store for 2022, most of us are looking forward to leaving 2021 and its even gnarlier predecessor behind. Our winter holiday celebrations, however, might look a little different this year than they did at the end of 2020. Though we’re not quite back to normal just yet, thanks to wide vaccine availability, this holiday season will likely include more in-person parties with guests, home-cooked dinners, quality time with loved ones and fewer video chats.
Being together again is a great reason to rethink how we handle our holiday gift lists, and popular home gift ideas are again trending toward technology. In fact, you might call this our Home Tech Christmas Gifts 2021 list, to be a little more specific. But we’ve taken care to include some low-tech favorites too. This year, opt for gifts that make recipients’ lives cozier, easier and better at home. Ready for some ideas and inspiration, including dozens of the best holiday gifts for 2021 and beyond? Keep reading!
Unwrapping a new Wi-Fi router might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you envision Christmas morning, but think about it: We’re all still spending more time at home than we have in the past, and the internet is still one of the main ways most of us are staying in touch with family and friends. Have you had a video call go fuzzy recently? Realized that you’re inexplicably using a robot voice to tell your parents about your latest DIY project? Dropped a phone call simply because you walked into a different part of your home?
These technology slip-ups might seem like they’re part of everyday life, but they don’t have to be. A new router can make all the difference. If the person you’re buying for has complained about a house full of dead spots or generally weak internet, consider springing for a mesh Wi-Fi system. Mesh systems can be expensive, but their benefits are well worth it. Router tech has improved by leaps and bounds in recent years, and new models are designed to provide a strong signal and reliable coverage for virtually any house design or size. The primary advantage of a mesh system is its ability to provide a consistent internet connection for an entire house without needing an additional router or signal boosters. Your gift recipients will be thrilled. With their new, reliable router, the next Zoom happy hour they host or attend will be hiccup-free!
Video-enabled smart home hub
Video calls are the next-best thing to visiting family and friends in person. Nothing will ever replace a hug or simply being able to sit next to a loved one, but a video chat can work wonders toward helping you feel better connected. Unfortunately, these video calls can sometimes be hard to coordinate, especially if your family or friend group is divided into Android and Apple camps, or everyone has different levels of technical savvy. If this sounds familiar, consider gifting your loved ones (and maybe yourself) with a video smart home hub.
Many popular video smart home hubs, including Amazon and Google models, give you the ability to chat with family and friends without worrying about whether someone’s phone or tablet is charged or having them log into whatever software you’re using. If your gift recipients aren’t convinced that they want their house to be all that smart, that’s OK too. The nice thing about video smart home hubs is that they can do as little or as much as you want, meaning you can keep things simple and focus on a single functionality, like video chatting.
Even though we’ve gotten used to staying home and social distancing, many of us are gradually increasing our points of social contact. As a result, your house probably isn’t empty, and it’s likely your loved ones are in the same boat., Noise-canceling headphones are a fantastic gift for anyone, from kids and grandparents to siblings and friends. Self-care is more than just a buzzword, and a little peace and quiet can work wonders toward helping the people you care about feel better, disconnect or relax — not to mention get some work done when they need to!
Traditionally, the best noise-canceling technology comes in over-the-ear headphones, but earbud-style models now offer robust noise-canceling features too. It’s just a matter of personal preference. The price range of headphones varies significantly, which makes this gift more budget-friendly at the lower end.
Next-level coffee and tea
Whether you enjoy either, both or neither, it’s a safe bet that someone you love has a serious coffee or tea habit. If this person is also someone on your holiday shopping list, you might want to think about a technologically enhanced gift that elevates morning rituals to an entirely new level. From electric pour-overs and café-style brewers to electric kettles and exquisite espresso machines, you can find a stainless-steel-and-glass creation that looks just as great on your friend’s countertop as it does on that fancy housewares website. Luckily, the best of these machines marry form with function, elegantly balancing aesthetics and utility to form what some of your favorite people will surely consider the perfect gift.
High-tech toys and the IOT
If you’re going all out for the most important techie in your life, of course you’ll look at the latest and greatest in smartphones, laptops and tablets. But have you also considered gaming consoles, smart speakers, home theater systems, car-audio upgrades, and smart watches or thermostats? The Internet of Things (IOT) is a rapidly expanding list of tech-advanced gadgets, games and other products that enhance your experience by connecting to the internet and improving a device’s interactivity, services and monitoring.
For the home, what about robot vacuum cleaners, video doorbells, smartphone-controlled door locks or wireless phone chargers? The latest in internet-augmented musical instruments includes a guitar that can teach you the song of your choice by using its online connection to access tablature that corresponds to the LED lights built into its fretboard. Yes, even this is a possibility. Deciding on the right high-tech gadget is the real trick, and your skill at this greatest of gift-giving challenges ultimately depends on how well you know the recipient.
Technology on a budget
While we’ve listed plenty of expensive examples, not everything techie has to be pricey. If you’re shopping for a tech nerd but have a limited budget, think in terms of stocking stuffers and try to keep it under $50. Some of our favorite options in this category include white-noise sound machines, small Bluetooth speakers, light therapy lamps, blue-blocker computing glasses, and Bluetooth trackers so that people who tend to lose things can find them with their smartphones. We also like portable chargers (and solar chargers) for smartphones; gaming accessories, like extra controllers or memory cards; and gift cards for streaming or gaming services, as well as for restaurants we love or stores we just can’t stay away from.
Speaking of smart home technology and spending less on it, smart lightbulbs are one of the best ways to dip your toes in without a big financial commitment. We know lightbulbs don’t sound like the most exciting gift; for many people, they’re probably on par with receiving something as utilitarian as batteries or paper towels. But smart home technology has made the latest smart LED lightbulbs into something truly special.
Smart lightbulbs pair with a smartphone app to give your gift recipient the ability to remotely turn lights on and off or dim them. Some product lines even offer color-changing options. With more time spent at home, particularly as we get into the shorter days of winter, customizable lighting options can be an instant mood booster. Whether you suffer from seasonal affective disorder or not, smart lightbulbs are a great way to add much-needed visual warmth to a room.
Luxury blankets, slippers, loungewear and more
Not everything has to center on new technology. Many of us are still spending more time at home, so what makes life at home easier, more comfortable and just better? Look to technology, but don’t lose sight of the classics, like soft, cozy, soothing and tasty stuff that makes you want to stay on the couch all day.
You can never go wrong with gifting luxurious loungewear and cozy home accessories to friends and loved ones. If your gift recipients are still staying home most of the time, warm pajamas, robes and athleisure outfits are far more useful than fancy party clothes, and nothing makes a home cozier than a soft throw blanket or a set of cushy pillows.This year, put some extra thought into combining gifts to create an experience for the recipient. For example, pair a plush blanket with a candle in a soothing scent and a favorite fancy beverage for that special someone who likes to curl up by the fireplace.
A gift that keeps on giving
As you consider home gift ideas for Christmas, don’t forget the extensive benefits of a home protection plan from Cinch Home Services. If you think about it, there aren’t too many gifts that can offer a comprehensive blanket of relief knowing that if any of your major systems or appliances break down, repairs and even replacements are covered. Whether your potential recipient is a new homeowner or someone with a need who may not otherwise consider it, a home protection plan can be customized according to their specific situation. Surprise someone you love with a unique gift idea this year and give the gift of a home warranty.
Life in 2021 has been an improvement on the scourge of 2020, but all of us at Cinch Home Services are excited about the upcoming holiday season and the opportunity to focus on making our lives at home even cozier in 2022. Use our gift ideas as inspiration for your own shopping list, and sign up for our newsletter to see what else inspires us throughout the season!
The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.