Santa’s Eclectic Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2018

Folks have been asking me for a couple weeks about my suggestions for cool Christmas gifts. I have dutifully held off publishing my annual list until Thanksgiving. Back in the day the Christmas season did not start until now, and I still take an Old School approach.

That said, here are a full sack of suggestions with convenient hyperlinks.

Funcl wireless headphones

The reality of technology is that it gets better and cheaper. The folks at Funcl have followed that curve with the launch of two impressive headphone models. Funcl W1, with a crazy good price of $19 are powered by Bluetooth 5.0, and sport an 18 hour battery life. For a few dollars more, the Funcl AI ($49) you will get 24 hour battery life and waterproof protection. Either model makes for great stocking stuffers.


Taotronics Sport Headphones

When Santa is amping it up with his aerobic workout (to maintain his buff figure), a pair of wireless bluetooth sports headphones are a key move. The sweat-proof design features inner nano-coating material, which is also good when Santa gets inspired to jog in a light rain. The flexible ear hooks ensure a tight, comfortable fit. Mrs. Claus, who always has a last minute addition to the ‘honey do’ list she gives Santa, appreciates the built-in ceramic antenna, which ensures crystal clear communications and steady signal for phone calls.


The Beatles White Album

Any set of headphones or speakers will reveal the fresh nuances of this most famous double album. Released 50 years ago, after the groundbreaking Sgt Pepper the year before, the album for years was considered a document of a band collapsing. Bit the bounty of outtakes and studio chatter reveals a band taking a turn away from lush production techniques to a more stripped down approach. Artists immediately and for decades thereafter took a page from the band’s strategy. From the early ‘Esher’ demos to the remixed final versions, this lavish reissue package will delight old fans and young ‘uns as well.

MP Magic Odorless Socks

And speaking of stockings, how about a pair of odorless socks? Santa is notorious for developing stinky foot juice, and the MP Magic Socks are a good solution. These socks are made from a unique fabric that uses three metals: silver, copper and zinc. This combination of metals provides greater antibacterial protection than any single metal alone. Mrs. Claus is grateful for this technological innovation.


L.L.Bean Aussie Breezer Hat with SPF 30+

Santa works year round, and when he is not bundled up for his midnight ride, he makes sure to protect his skin with this versatile hat. Santa has been known to make changes in latitude, and he always packs this hat. It keeps him cool and comfortable during sunny days on the beach and on the links. The mesh side panels maximize cool breezes while the hat’s solid top blocks the sun. It is fully adjustable for a snug fit in windy conditions, and to account for Santa’s large cranium.


Big Boy Moisturizing Cream

As part of Santa’s daily routine, he ensures SPF protection. One of his favorite skin products is handcrafted in Sicily and sold through a British company called Big Boy. The name alone appeals to Santa, but fortunately the components of the product are what really matters: Sicilian olive oil extract, Argan oil, Vitamin E and Squalene from Plants. Supplementing the emollient blend are antioxidants thanks to Vitamin E enhanced by the combined action of Lipoic Acid and Deanol. All in, this is molto bene.


Blast! Video Game Collections

Santa has been around for quite a while, so he is indeed an Old School fan of classic video games. The Legends Flashback console from AtGames features a legendary selection of 50 built-in games and is primed for maximum family fun with the inclusion of two ergonomic six button gamepads for one or two player action. These games from Atari, Activision and other publishers include such hits as Tetris®, Galaga, 1942, BurgerTime, Dig Dug, Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, Mega Man, Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers, and other classics. Connection is simplified via the USB-powered HDMI dongle that plugs directly into the TV.



Santa certainly uses the camera on his mobile phone for everyday use, but for longer lasting images Santa prefers his Old School camera. Keeping the lens clean for crisp images is a lesson learned early. LensPen products clean with a simple two-step process featuring a retractable natural brush and a soft cleaning tip. LensPen’s molecular carbon-cleaning technology safely and effectively removes grease and fingerprints from lenses, eyepieces and filters. LensPen is trusted by NASA, the United States Marine Corps, Nikon and other premium optics manufacturers. And that is plenty good enough for Santa.



Unless you have been in a cave for years, you are aware of the tsunami of digital photos being generated by the hour. But how to enjoy the best images? Most digital images are enjoyed for mere seconds, and disappear under the wave of new images coming at us. Along comes Magnaframe, the clever way to save and display the best images from your collection. By bringing those images into our analog life the images become much more powerful. Simply hang one frame to the wall and the other five frames hang off the affixed “master” frame. Just one hole, and the integrated level makes it easy to guarantee the gallery is perfectly straight, and you can customize it myriad ways. Different sizes (including Polaroid and Fuji Instax sizes) and colors are available.


Hive Portable Surround Speaker

The ability to pair myriad Bluetooth speakers provides flexibility and an innovative approach to arraying your speakers around the house. These cleverly designed speakers from Origaudio feature an embedded 5 watt speaker (with subwoofer), a 33 foot range and six hour playing time. The sound is surprisingly robust for the palm sized shape of these speakers. Easily wall-mountable, you can pair up to 100 of these units. You’d only need several in a small apartment.



Santa has long valued the benefits of giving experiences rather than things, and music festivals are a perfect fit. He looks forward to packing his hat and moisturizing cream (see above) and shipping out to the Cayman Islands. The festival is steps away from the world famous Seven Mile Beach in Grand CaymanThe folks at KAABOO have announced an extension of their successful festival in Del Mar, to be held in February. You can combine this as a Valentine’s Day gift! Leveraging the programming expertise of past festivals, the producers have built an eclectic lineup featuring The Chainsmokers, Zedd, Jason Derulo, LIVE and Duran Duran. Add in a clutch of comedians and great cuisine, this is a gift that keeps on giving.


Stagecoach Festival

Another great experience is this gathering in Indio. The folks at Goldenvoice, who brought you the most successful music festival ever (Desert Trip) and who consistently set the standard for music festivals globally with Coachellahave a few years under their cowboy belt buckle organizing a country music festival called Stagecoach. The next iteration of Stagecoach is scheduled for April 2019 and features headliners Luke Byran, Sam Hunt and Jason Aldean. Other acts with smaller fonts on the line up, but not to be missed, include Devin Dawson, The Wild Feathers and Parker Millsap. Goldenvoice always throws in a few intriguing acts, look for Sir Tom Jones and Rita (Mrs. Tom Hanks) Wilson.


Homewood Suites by Hilton Aliso Viejo Laguna Beach

A getaway is a great gift idea, and Laguna Beach is a hidden treasure if SoCal is your target. Homewood Suites Aliso Viejo is the only property in the area to provide suites, complimentary hot breakfast and complimentary weekday evening social, for guests of legal drinking age. The hotel is adjacent to 30 miles of picturesque biking and hiking trails, as well as a selection of shopping outlets, movie theatres and restaurants within walking distance. Santa looks forward to working out in the fitness center equipped with state-of-the-art Precor equipment and swimming laps in the outdoor heated saline pool.


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.