These gifts are awesome and can be given instantly online:
Born Standing Up by Steve Martin – $17.95. This audiobook is narrated by the author, making it even more awesome. Martin strums the banjo between chapters and you hear his story and his jokes in his own voice. Very nice way to spend four hours, especially if you’re traveling during the holidays.
Mastery by Robert Greene – $9.99. One of the three best books I read this year. Greene explores what sets the greatest masters in history apart. How did they become great, and what can we learn from them?
So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport – $11.99. Perfect for anyone in your life who is pondering career decisions. I’ve posted about Newport’s provocative approach to building a career around skill and not passion.
The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle – $13.99. This book completes the theme forwarded by the previous two. Coyle investigates talent hotbeds and what their formula is for producing the most skilled people in their fields. Neuroscience ends up offering the key to what it takes to be awesome at something.
Harry Potter HD bundle – $59.99. All eight Harry Potter movies in HD, downloadable in iTunes to play on your iPad or Mac or on Apple TV. That’s $7.50 per movie. Limited time on this discount.
If you’ve got time to ship something, here are some excellent gifts:
Apple TV – $99. My family’s entertainment centers around this tiny device. If you’ve got an iPad or iPhone or Mac, the AirPlay feature is like magic and makes the Apple TV more compelling than a Roku.
Aeropress coffee maker – $26.17. Considered by many coffee nerds to be the best at-home single cup maker. Here’s a lovely little video paying tribute to this plastic contraption and its simplicity. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I use an Aeropress to make my wife’s coffee each morning.
Bodum YoYo Personal Tea Set – $34.95. This is how I brew my tea each morning. It is beautifully designed and an elegant, simple way to enjoy a hot cup of tea.
Things that are beautifully and thoughtfully designed are delightful and offer too rare a pleasure in our culture. There is a grace in great things. The art of a skilled maker – an author or designer or creator of any sort – transfers emotion and gives a gift to the recipient beyond the monetary value of the thing itself. Enjoy finding ways to delight those you love this holiday season.