Gift Guide stories

Steam has fired up another of its infamous sales, the simply named "Steam Autumn Sale," which lasts from today through November 27. For PC players, it's a fairly familiar shot to the wallet, though not an unwelcome one — Steam discounts games deeply and changes what's on offer every day. Bear in mind, that means the prices you see here could change, too. That's why we're putting two games on watch — we think they're great, but they're also new and may not go on sale.
If I've learned anything over the years, it's that some things, once they've taken hold, feed off of themselves. They grow stronger with the passing of time, envelop more of the population, more of the calendar, more of everything. Sometimes they even swallow up other monsters of the zeitgeist, creating new uber-phenomena. Cellphones were once non-essential kit, but once they ate a few cameras, interwebs and computer-like processors, the smartphone was born and the world rejoiced. One of the biggest, most unstoppable phenomena in the known universe is holiday creep. This year in my neighborhood wintry decorations were put up by the city even before Halloween! Well, I'm here to report that the holidays are at it again. Its most recent target? The Internet meme.
We write about a lot of weird gadgets. Case in point: the snowball-launching crossbow. When that kind of stuff comes up, one of us inevitably says "we've got to get one to try!" Well, we did, along with a bunch of other cheap but fun toys and gizmos.
The gift of something shiny and electronic hidden in a cool box is what most geeks dream of during the holidays, but some of us also realize that the best gift anyone can give us is a cool experience. If you think the target of your holiday cheer fits that bill, then you might want to pause before stepping into that electronics store and consider one of the following gift trips to the future instead.
Maybe you have kids, or maybe you're close with someone who has kids, but either way you probably have to get some kids a gift during the holidays. Seems like an easy task at first, sure, but one step into a place like Toys 'R' Us can leave you having a panic attack in the middle of the stuffed giraffe aisle (I'm fairly certain this aisle exists). So why not go a step above: get the kids something that is fun and educational. Help them grow into being every bit the nerd you are (presumably, if you're reading our blog). Heck, if nothing else, you could get a first test-run at these presents, because most of them are pretty cool even if you can grow facial hair. Below, we've complied 15 of our favorite educational holiday gifts for geeky kids.
Season's greetings, adventure seekers! Has the grind of the holiday season got you down? Does the concept of spending days on end with lots of family send a shiver up your spine? Why not throw the Christmas Ham in your knapsack and depart for parts unknown? After a few days in solitude you might even have stockpiled enough strength to weather off-key caroling all through the bleak mid-winter! It is in this spirit that we offer you a list of 11 gadgets designed for the tech-savvy outdoorsman.
Because you like to spit in the face of economic tumult, and you know that every new shiny object brings a geek good luck, this holiday gift-giving season may turn out to be your most extravagant. So here we present to you the finest list of the most unapologetically indulgent gifts sure to break the bank. (Hey, we already showed you the cheap gifts still worth a look, anyway.)