Those who know me well know that I’m saving for a Tesla. Well, “saving” is a bit of a strong word. I guess a better word would be something more related to wishing with a snowball’s chance in the Sahara or a much hotter locale.

Zero to 60 in about 3 seconds, with the ability to haul a living room full of people, while also keeping the planet alive. I mean what’s not to like? Well, there is the little six figure financial mountain, but where there’s a will, there’s a way…and by will, I mean that a very rich relative has passed on some major bucks to you.

Assuming you don’t have the $130K for the most tricked out versions of the S or X model Tesla amusement park rides, that you’ll soon be in the market for some holiday gift giving and that at least one of those persons will be a Starfleet Commander-level geek, I’ve got some ideas for your techie guy or gal.

First, the easy button. Because we geeks are so finicky about our bits and bytes, you might play it easy and just go with the classic gift-card strategy. I know, I know. It’s not personal, and it could look like you mailed it in, but as the old quip goes, “It’s the thought that counts.”

And, since you’re liable to fry your brain trying to decipher the delectable digital doohickeys on his or her list, a gift card to Amazon, Apple, Google or GameStop will likely bring a big analog smile to their faces.

Second, the via media — the middle road. So, like many of us, you’ve just dipped one too many times into the wishing well of the go-to gift card, and now your conscience just won’t let you go there. At the same time, you’re also wise enough not to invest hefty bucks into something that might elicit a nerdy sigh or a geeky eye roll from someone who understands that you tried hard, but that you’re just so DOS in a Python and Java world.

As such, you better stick to the basics: simple things like large capacity USB 3.0 thumb drives, high capacity portable battery chargers to keep all their gadgets juiced and gadget bags full of pockets and sockets would be a great addition to any techie’s entourage of electronics.

Third, the big spender. If you have that extra trust fund sitting aside, go for the Tesla, but if big spending for you—like it is for most of us—is in the 3- to 4- figure range, there’s so much great stuff available for your geek.

  • Phones: The latest and greatest flagship phones are out. From the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus with their 3D touch technology to the Galaxy S6 and Note 5 with their edgy design and stylus, the fastest, most insanely tech-packed phones are ready for your geeks to gobble up. Apple now offers a yearly upgrade path, too, so you can keep your geek in the latest and greatest phone for years to come.


  • Watches: Not only have the new phones hit the market, so have the new wearables. Among others: Apple Watch, the Gear S2 and the remarkably beautiful Huawei Watch are stepping up their games. These watches have become more fashionable and more formidable at the same time. Be sure that you match you’re geek’s phone ecosystem to their watch, making sure to match Apples to Apples. You’re investing a lot of money with these gadgets, so you’ll want them to be as personal as possible. Choosing the perfect wrist band will go a long way in saying that you’ve made this a personal rather than just a practical decision.

Much more could be said about the latest and greatest tablets, laptops, TV devices, apps and other gadgets, but suffice it to say that your geek is living at the perfect time in tech history. There’s so much to choose from and to be amazed by.

No matter what you buy, keep that receipt. Your geek is a finicky fellow, and no matter how fast, shiny or up to date, it might not be the thing he or she has been itching to introduce into their gallery of gadgets. Whether they exchange it or exult over it, you’ll have won their heart with your expression of giving, so take solace in knowing that no matter what you know about tech, you know a lot about your techie.

Happy shopping and happy holidays!

Richard Singleton, MACE, MAMFC, LPC, is the executive director at STARRY in Round Rock.


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