Santa’s Favorite Gifts

All the ornaments are tucked away for another eleven months. What did Santa like the best? Here are a few of my favorite gifts this season.

While attending art school designer Chris Dimino repurposed an old Smith Corona typewriter, turning it into a waffle iron. A few years after graduating, he posted the image of the design online and it went viral, pulling in seven million hits to his website in March of 2004. Folks seemed interested in purchasing a functional unit, and when Dimino saw his post-grad job as Art Director for the “Late Show with David Letterman” coming to an end along with the show, the designer turned to Kickstarter. He has been shipping units ever since. I whipped up a batch of blueberry waffles and enjoyed the DIY process. Admittedly more time consuming than toasting frozen waffles, the maker mentality makes for a great process. Dimino’s design sensibility comes through in the heavy cast iron design and in the clever instructions: “you’ll have the power to make amazing waffles that will reboot your spirit and import a gigabyte of flavors to your body’s hard drive.”

Keyboard Waffle Maker

Back in the day, when it came to stereo speakers, bigger was always better. Now, with streaming services such as Spotify giving everyone the opportunity to own “God’s iPod” less is more when it comes to speaker size. But with the shrinking size of Bluetooth enabled speakers comes a distinct loss of dynamic range. Klipsch has always been a proponent of massive speaker cabinets, the better to house the components. Without question, basic physics edicts that the larger the speaker magnet, the greater the dynamic range output. So Santa was very pleased to receive the Klipsch Groove. This unit brings many of the design sensibilities from the company’s line of speakers that sell for more than $2000. Reminiscent in shape to the chest-high speaker cabinets of yore, but able to be held in one hand, the unit is weighty and delivers a solid bass response. Bluetooth connectivity is confirmed with the sound of an electric chord blast, a comforting signal that the Klipsch is about to rock you. The battery is long-lasting, and Santa found himself rockin’ around the Christmas tree long into the night. The speaker travelled to snow country and back to the beach as well, it is splash resistant.

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Santa takes good care of his long flowing hair. Over the years he has tried myriad product to keep his wavy hair in control. Lately, the product of choice is pomade from Baxter of California. With a variety of blends, Santa is able to be selective when he is out on a date with Mrs. Claus.  And she appreciates my attention to detail. Baxter of California has consolidated many men’s grooming tips and product at its site, and offers a subscription service to keep me well-supplied. I like the light hold, moisture-rich styling cream because it softens and smooths my hair while providing frizz-free definition and enhanced shine.

A variety of pomade formulations for Santa to manage his sometimes unruly flowing locks.

A variety of pomade formulations for Santa to manage his sometimes unruly flowing locks.

Keeping track of all the Christmas lists caused Santa to go digital many years ago. Although my analog records and data are filed away, like everyone else Santa has a laptop. And to keep that laptop protected, Santa has been relying on Speck’s SmartShell. The form fitting design snaps on, without blocking any ports. The polycarbonate two piece construction comes in a variety of colors, so I have been able to personalize my unit.

And with all that screen time, Santa has noticed that his eyes get a boot fatigued in trying to determine who has been naughty and nice. Fortunately the folks at Reticare have been researching the effects of computer screen LED lighting on human optics. The result is a suite of products to address the issue. I have applied the Ocular Protector to my computer screen, and I have noticed less eyestrain. The design blocks the toxic elements of LED. Also effective are the company’s European-designed eyeglasses, providing similar protection.

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Mrs. Claus has always been a fan of candles and one of her new favorites is the Tocca. Lasting 45 hours, the 7 oz. Marrakesh Candela evokes the leafy riads of the royal Moroccan city with tabak and vanilla. Santa has long been promising to bring Mrs. Claus on a visit to this city, but with the longevity of this candle, he may be off the hook until next year.

She also has been enjoying the retro look of Coreterno. Made from unscented ivory paraffin and vegetable wax, the Selfie has been casting a glow on our hearth for many hours. It is the vintage look of tomorrow.

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Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 6.02.10 PMSanta makes sure to keep his reindeer, er…puppies well-heeled and polite. When they deserve acknowledgement, there is nothing better than a treat from Harry Barker. Offered in myriad flavors (bacon, chicken, peanut butter and cheese dog), they are made in the USA and wheat free, soy free and corn free, making them great for dogs with allergies and sensitive digestive systems.

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Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.