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Ideas. Insights. Inspiration.

That Holiday Shopping...

Happy Black Friday, friends!

If you're super-organized, super-frugal, or both (like me), today might be the best day to start your holiday shopping. Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there are many deals to be had... assuming you know what you want to buy, of course.

To potentially help you with that, I thought I'd put together a list of the items I'm looking at buying this weekend.


For my Tech-Challenged, Entertainment-Loving Dad: Amazon Fire 4K TV

I probably inherited my love of movies from my father, who used to buy old Western VHS tapes and watch them repeatedly. I never really got into the Western film genre, but his love of immersing himself in a great movie certainly seemed to get passed along.

So this year, I'm getting my Dad an Amazon Fire 4K TV. I literally have the previous version of this device attached to every television in my house, and Amazon has made this latest version even better by adding four prominent buttons that allow one-push access to the biggest streaming services.

My Dad isn't a techie, but that's what makes this such a great gift: if my four-year-old son can use the device on his own, it won't be a problem for my father. And to make things even easier, I can pre-program my Dad's device and log him into my accounts before I wrap up his present, and boom... he has endless hours of content to keep him entertained. I suspect he'll really enjoy Yellowstone, which I LOVE! Hmm... maybe I inherited some of my Dad's "Western" affections after all.

Oh, I forgot the best part: the device is currently on sale for $34.99!

(I paid over $70 for each of my existing devices... this price point is a steal!)


For my "I miss the kids!!!!" Mom: KWANWA Voice Recordable Picture Frame

I bought my Mom a KWANWA Voice Recordable Picture Frame for Christmas last year, and she keeps it on her fireplace mantle. When she misses my four children (which is every day she doesn't see them, as she tells me often), she pushes the button on the frame, and she says it makes her feel better.

Because I didn't just give her this frame last year. Before I gifted it to her, I inserted a photo of my four kids... and recorded each of them saying, "I love you Nonna", which plays with every button-push.

In terms of value, you can't beat this frame. And the best part about this gift? You really can't have too many of them: every frame can showcase a different photo, feature a different recorded message, and be placed in a different room. It's not a substitute for an in-person visit (which my mother also tells me often), but it's still a pretty cool present.


For the Book Lovers in my life: Litographs

If you've ever wanted to literally cozy up to Shakespeare, Litographs is for you.

They take the books you love and bring them to life as literary products. See that scarf in the image there? Look closely, and you'll see it actually features 2,000 words from William Golding's "The Princess Bride"... inconceivable!!!!

If your book-lover isn't into scarves, Litographs also makes puzzles, blankets, pillows, t-shirts, facemasks and more.

These items aren't inexpensive to start with (that scarf is $49, for instance), and because this is a Boston-based company, all prices are in US dollars, which makes things even more costly for the Canadians among us. But if you really want to impress someone who's really into books, it would be tough to beat anything this company produces.

Well, except, perhaps, with an actual book. But where's the originality in that?


For the Superhero Athletes in my Life: HAYABUSA X MARVEL Hero Elite Series

I already own 1.5 pairs of Hayabusa boxing gloves.

The "0.5" pair is autographed by UFC Champion Georges St-Pierre and hangs on the wall of my home office: when I was running the NOS Energy Drink brand in Canada, we had a partnership with GSP and a limited set of NOS/GSP gloves were made for winners of a contest we ran. (I gave the other autographed glove to my direct report at the time who worked hard to bring that promotion to life.)

The full pair is a Limited Edition George St-Pierre 16oz set... and they're literally too nice to use! I'm serious, they're both comfortable and gorgeous, and I don't want to ruin them by using them with the heavy bag in my basement.

All of that is to say that if you have a boxing aficionado in your life who also happens to be a Marvel fan, you can't go wrong with something from the HAYABUSA X MARVEL Hero Elite Series. The "Hulk" gloves are pictured here, but the gloves are also available in "Iron Man", "Punisher", Black Panther", "Captain Marvel" and more. At $299 a pair, these things aren't cheap... but they're a little cheaper this weekend with Hayabusa offering 15% off as part of their Black Friday deals. HULK SMASH PRICES! (Sorry, I really couldn't help myself there.)


For all the special men in my life: SAXX

Okay, remember when you were a kid and somebody gave you a pair of underwear for Christmas, and you did your very best to smile and say thank you as your parents taught you instead of saying what you really wanted to say? (i.e. Underwear?!? But I'm a kid! I wanted TOYS!")

Forget all of that.

I don't mean to get too personal here, but trust me on this one, any man you give these to will say thank you every time they put them on. They are game-changing.

SAXX is having a Black Friday sale, but you can use this code to get 15% off your first order.

Okay, fine, you got me: "all the special men in my life" is code for "me". I'm buying these for myself. But I like nice things too!


For the special woman in my life: Knix

I'd like to take a moment to point out that the headline above reads "woman", singular: I'm only buying Knix for my wife, just so we're clear. Also, the woman pictured here is a Knix model, not my wife, because I'm smart enough not to post pictures of my wife in her bra on the Internet without her explicit permission.

Buying Knix for my wife as a Christmas present isn't as suicidal a thing to do as it might initially appear. Yes, I realize not every woman would appreciate getting undergarments for the holidays. But my wife is a raving fan of Knix products, and so this is actually a safe gift for me to buy. Much safer than the cookbook I bought her early on in our marriage. (DOH!)

Knix is promoting a Black Friday Warehouse sale of up to 50% off items, but using this code should get you $15-off your first purchase of $75 or more.


That's my holiday list for 2021. Let me know what you think!

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Disclosure: As an Amazon Affiliate and a member of select other referral programs, I may earn a commission if you click on links found within my blog posts and subsequently make a purchase. The commissions earned are negligible, and while they help fund this website, they do not influence my opinions in any way.

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