The 2015 Holiday Gift Guide for Church Techs
Let's face it. Church technical professionals are notoriously difficult to find gifts for. When it comes to what they want for Christmas they can often start talking in a language we don't understand and the price points on the technology can get astronomical pretty fast. (It's the reason church technical professionals won't have an LED wall on their lawn to watch the Super Bowl, even though they might really, really want one.)So, to help your friends and family out, we've assembled this handy shopping guide with gifts by category to help make gift-buying a bit less stressful for them. **Spoiler alert**...if you want to truly be surprised, stop reading this article now and just forward the link to the people who love you. Technology Gifts, Gadgets and GizmosIf your favorite church tech really loves controlling lights from a board at church, Philips Hue (visit link) brings that power to your home . The system consists of bulbs, the bridge and an app and allows the user to experiment with all the colors in the spectrum. Lights can be controlled via phone or tablet (or by voice if you have Siri.) In addition to using the Hue app via phone or tablet, Hue can be controlled by IFTTT—a free web-based service in which users can create chains of simple conditional statements, called "recipes." IFTTT is an abbreviation of "If This Then That" and can allow the user to send commands via e-mail, connect the lights to the weather or any number of events. (For example, you could connect the system to ESPN to glow in your favorite team’s colors each time they score.) For more information, visit meethue.com and ifttt.com. Price: $199. If the Philips Hue is more than you would like to spend, check out the single controllable Elgato Avea (visit link). Price: $40.One of the challenging things about living with a church tech is the abundance of wires and cables. Consider upgrading your church tech's desk side or bedside plug with an Outlet with a USB charger. They can be found at home hardware stores such as Lowes or Home Depot. Price: $25.If your church tech is fueled by coffee, consider a Wi-Fi enabled coffee maker like the Mr. Coffee WiFi-Enabled 10-Cup Coffeemaker (visit link) which allows you to schedule or adjust brew time and setup reminders via the free WeMo App from your smart device. Price: $105.SanWay's Hoverboard is likely the hottest gift this Christmas. (visit link). While not quite as sleek as the one owned by Marty McFly it does go 10km per hour and takes a bit of skill to learn to do it well. It is perfect for going down long church hallways or gliding across an atrium looking like you can actually fly. Price: $290.The Wagan Tech Smart AC Power Strip Inverter 12VDC car cigarette adapter (visit link) provides two USB-ports and two AC outlets to power up to four devices. If your church tech is big on road trips, this can be great to have around. Price: $35.The GoPro Hero (visit link) produces amazing video quality and is made for adventures. The best part about giving your church tech a GoPro is that you can get them accessories for the next year's worth of holidays like the bicycle camera mount, floating hand grip, waterproof HD housing case, video editing software...the list goes on. Price for camera $124. Consider searching for bundles that include the headset mount or video editing software. Let the Inner Kid Out to PlayThere are a number of toys that appeal to the kid in all of us--especially now that we no longer need adult supervision. Check out the Revell Monogram Shelby Cobra 427 Plastic Model Kit (visit link). Price: $15.Remember how much fun it was to launch model rockets back in science class? Ever thought about doing that again? The Estes 1469 Tandem-X Launch Set (visit link) comes with two rockets and a launch set. Both rockets require a specialized Estes engine (sold separately in 3-packs) to launch. For the Amazon, Estes recommends a B4-2 engine for your first flight. The rocket is also compatible with other Estes engines, including the B4-4, B6-2, B6-4, C6-3, and C6-5. For the Crossfire, Estes recommends the A8-3 for first flight, and the B4-4, B6-4, C6-5, and C6-7 for more advanced launching. Price: $30 plus an extra $9 for every three pack of rocket engines. Hoverkraft (visit link) is an old-school building game with a twist. Players take turns stacking pieces on a platform... that levitates. Using magnetic repulsion, the gameboard defies gravity. Stack translucent game pieces higher and higher or remove them as the die dictates. The last player to place a block without causing the platform to tumble wins.Go AnalogOur digital world has produced renewed interest in a number of analog pursuits. Remember vinyl records? The Crosley Cruiser Portable Turntable (visit link) has retro appeal, stereo speakers and what the old models didn't have--an RCA AND headphone jack. Enable your favorite church tech's love of vinyl music. Cost $80. (Potential vinyl record addiction un-quantifiable.) Remember knowing the names of the constellations? Check out the Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope (visit link). Your favorite church tech can use it at home or escape the city lights and set up under the stars. Price: $70.The Midori Travelers Notebooks (visit link) have a huge subculture following. They come in two sizes: passport size and regular size (8.7in x 5in). Be sure to order the "starter kit" because the covers and pages can be sold separately. Price: $60. If you would like a less-expensive but highly respectable sketch journal, you can also order the Moleskine Hardcover (visit link) notebook. Price $15.If your church tech has ink, consider a gift certificate from their favorite tattoo artist to go toward the piece they've been planning or to simply "touch up their color." Price: Varies.Celebrate GeekdomWe aren't saying that all church techs are geeks; we are simply acknowledging that they are a higher percentage than the general population. The site ThinkGeek.com ((visit link) has a number of unique gifts for fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, Dr. Who and Lord of the Rings, not to mention they go deep with the math jokes. Check out the Star Trek TNG messenger bags, the Doctor Who 4th Doctors Hat and the Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock T-shirt. (Just trust us on that last one.) Gifts from $8 on up and free shipping on orders of over $75.We hope this list helps you. Happy shopping!
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