Saturday, January 22, 2011

Best Gifts for a 40-Year Old Man

My wish list leading up to January 19th included:
  1. An e-reader (until the Bb tablet comes out)
  2. A huge supply of real maple syrup
  3. A gift card to Victoria's Secret or La Senza
  4. K-cups of my favorite coffees
  5. Dinner out with my wife and the two girls (individually)

I have to admit, I'm one of those "what do you get for the guy who has everything" kind of guys. 
Not that I literally have one of everything a 40-year old man could possibly want, but at my age I can either:
- buy it for myself (for most things), or
- do without (for the rest). 
Not to mention that just by virtue of years (ugh) I've accumulated the basics, and more than the basics, to live a contented life - nice clothes, furniture, electronics, etc.  Anything new is an upgrade, not really a novelty.

Of course, I would rather be surprised by that "perfect gift" just like everyone else, but in the last few years I've given up the game of hinting or hoping my loved ones will know me well enough to pick the "right gifts" for me.  You set up a test like that in your relationships, and you're setting yourself up for disappointment.

So I was pretty specific in my wishes for Christmas gifts (got the Keurig MiniPlus, which is awesome), and I made a list of things I wanted for my birthday.  In case you find that materialistic and greedy, most of them were actually intangibles or handmade items like "one day a week of no screen time so we can play family games together".  Awwww....

But I have to say that so far I've been delighted with the one "toy" I got this year - a Pandigital Novel, a colour e-reader that has wifi, photo/mp3 capability, and a bunch of little apps.  I was originally thinking of one of the bookstore-chain e-readers, but since I like to read magazines on my Bb I figured I should go for colour, and the colour e-ink is reportedly not great yet.  Besides, it's a stop-gap until the Bb tab comes out and I pass the Novel on to my wife or kids, so I wasn't going to push for high-end.

The Pandigital Novel and its Stylin' Leatherette Case!

I've been pleasantly surprised with the Novel - it has the battery life and capabilities of a tablet, but feels and can function simply as an e-reader.  At under $200 it's predictably slower and choppier than one of those "i-things" everyone's talking about (I refuse to add to the marketing hype by using its proper name). It is, however, light, portable, and pretty functional for something made by a digital photo frame company. 

Oh, and in case you're wondering, I'm still working out the dinner-and-movie thing and I haven't seen the syrup yet.  
On the other hand, I didn't need the gift card after all, since my wife picked out "something special" herself for my birthday - my second favorite gift!

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