Gini Dietrich

The Spin Sucks Holiday Gift Guide

By: Gini Dietrich | December 19, 2011 | 

There are some of us who wait until Christmas Eve to shop (cough, Martin Waxman, cough).

Of course, I have no room to talk this year. I’ve been traveling and speaking so much that I still have most of my side of the family to get. Hope my mom doesn’t mind taking me shopping later this week!

For people like Martin and myself, I asked my team for their thoughts on holiday gifts.

What came back was a hodge podge of some inexpensive (and some expensive) and fun gift ideas.

  1. K Cup Coffee Brewer. Early this fall, Crister Delacruz and I were at a meeting where we offered a shot of espresso. Both espresso snobs, we eyed this K Cup pot the client had with cynicism. He talked us into trying it and the result was something delicious and super easy to make. So, when Molli Megasko had it on her list, I knew it had to be included here. The brewers start at $89 and go up from there.
  2. Amazon Gift Cards. I know some people don’t feel like gift cards are personal enough, but I like to receive them as gifts. Rather than try to guess what your peers, colleagues, or clients like to read, treat them to a gift card so they can choose themselves. If you insist on buying them a book, do something such as The Synergist, Brand Against the Machine, The End of Business As Usual, The Like Economy, What Would Google Do, or Groundswell. You could also pre-order them Marketing In the Round. It’s due out in May so it’d be the gift that just keeps giving.
  3. GPS System. Some of us have those colleagues who, when we get in the car with them, forget all common sense, not knowing which way is north or their left from their right. A GPS system is not only a great gift, but it helps them keep you safe while in the car. Starting at $70 (and moving up from there), it’s a relatively inexpensive gift for someone who takes your life in their hands.
  4. French Press. Public relations is the second most stressful job in the United States so it makes sense that something coffee-related ended up on our list twice. Our office likes the French press because it steeps and brews a better cup of coffee. And it’s only $17.
  5. iPad. Only half of us in the office have iPads and the other half are insanely jealous. While not something you’re likely to buy just anyone, it’s a great gift idea to show how much you care. It’s cool, it’s hip, and it’s extremely useful. The only thing we don’t like the iPad for is creating content. But everything else? It’s fantastic.
  6. Bluetooth iPad Keyboard. To go along with the new iPad, buy a bluetooth keyboard. This is a life saver, as you use your iPad more and more because it cuts down on the hunt and peck typing and allows you to type as fast as you normally do on your regular computer. If you hurry, it’s on sale! Only $30.
  7. A Tailor. My mom would be very happy to see this on the list. She gets mad at me when I’m too lazy to have something tailored so it fits a little bit better. And this goes beyond having pants hemmed, but also bringing in suit jackets to fit your waist or shortening sleeves. Give someone the gift of great-fitting clothes.
  8. Unbroken. This book is a story about World War II survivors and Molli says it’s, hands down, the best book she’s ever read. She said it’s so good it deserved its own category. I haven’t read it yet, but will be picking it up!
  9. Wireless Mouse. With the exception of mid-air on a flight, you can use a wireless mouse anywhere. I have two on my desk, one in my purse, and one in my suitcase. That way, I’m never without the use of a mouse, which makes it easier to do work from Starbucks, a hotel room, or someone’s lobby while you wait for a meeting.
  10. Westone Headphones. I’m going to go ahead and admit this is a luxury gift idea, but they are so worth the price. These are the earphones I wear when listening to music on the plane so no one will talk to me, and also when I ride or cycle. They are so much better than Bose earphones, there really is no comparison.

So there you have it. Ten holiday gift ideas that, if you buy now, will still arrive by Christmas.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • You listed some great items! We love our Keurig (K cup brewer)! GPS, this hockey mom cannot live without! Thankfully my new car has a built in one now so my portable one went to hubby! iPads are such fun, arent they?

    Amazon cards will be more popular around here as my oldest has inherited my 1st Kindle! I will also add iTunes cards as my kiddos still love those even though we use Rdio now mainly, they like iTunes cards for the Apps!

    I am going to have to look into those headphones for myself!

    Happy Holidays!

    • ginidietrich

      @sydcon_mktg iTunes gift cards are a great idea, too. Anything that we use all the time … the apps.

  • I’m a coffee purist, so I haven’t been a fan of the K-Cup, but i INSIST on the French Press. Unbroken also sounds like something right up my alley, since I’m a history buff and for a variety of reasons, I find WWII to be one of the most fascinating time periods.

    As for gift cards, we try to go local. Gift cards to local independent stores that we know the person likes.

    • ginidietrich

      @KenMueller It’s hard to go local, though, if you have clients and colleagues spread across the country, like we do. We’d do better to have more clients in Chicago, but most are not here.

      • @ginidietrich Very true. I wasn’t necessarily thinking in terms of client gifts.

        Fun weekend?

        • ginidietrich

          @KenMueller Yeah, it was fun. Always fun being around the kids.

  • martinwaxman

    Thanks Gini! You always have lots of great ideas… It’s still a day or two early for me to start, but I’ll bookmark this and come back to it closer to the end of the week :)! (OK, I will admit, I got started on the weekend, but felt I was being a bit too organized.)

    • ginidietrich

      @martinwaxman You crack me up!

  • M_Koehler

    You know me Gini, I am a total coffee snob/junkie. My first choice is the French Press, Makes great coffee (it’s all about the body). Also try the little stove top espresso maker. It also makes a great cuppa. You do live in the city that has the greatest coffee in the US hands down. Intellegentsia is ALWAYS a great idea.

    • ginidietrich

      @M_Koehler It’s a good thing you’re not a client of ours. You’d be getting the K Cup.

  • Wireless mouse; I keep one in my pocket………..

    GPS would be cool because I’m not good w/ directions; or asking either. However, with the Maps feature I have on my new iPhone 4s, it really helps me quite a bit. I have really cut down on getting home late because now it is much easier to drive straight there.

    I had heard about Unbroken and since this is the second recommendation it will definitely be on my ‘must read’ list.

    Finally, how many days ’til Christmas?

    • ginidietrich

      @bdorman264 LOL!! You cut down on getting home late. That was funny!

      Only six more days!

    • @bdorman264 I had a wireless mouse running around here for a while. I fed him crackers (later he disproved my theory about his gender by having children) In the spring I had to trap them and leave them outside by the corn field. I digress. Mice are cute, but not in entire families.

  • vmaione

    Love these ideas. I didn’t know that you could get custom headphones! I have two gift items to suggest. 1. An ergonomic left-handed mouse (available on-line) — if you have a lefty on your holiday list! (left-handed, that is, not necessarily a “lefty” politically :- ) and . 2. A Smartpen from Livescribe — this pen is amazing!!! Good for work, great for students. I use this for taking notes on conference calls and during client meetings.

    • ginidietrich

      @vmaione We bought clients the Smartpen a couple of years ago. They LOVED them! Great idea!!

  • Great list Gini. Thought you might want a QB for the Bears ? Might as well get a running back too. Just messin with ya. Sorry about the injuries. Hang in there. I guess my Christmas present from you is in the mail, huh ? If not, just send money. That always works. Your gift is too big to mail. I will deliver next year when i come to Chicago. Luv ya.


    • ginidietrich

      @Al Smith I should just ask for an entire O line. And, heck, firing Jerry Angelo, too.

  • kmueller62

    @C_Pappas @ginidietrich @spinsucks which of those things are you getting me??

    • C_Pappas

      @kmueller62 I would’ve guessed you had all those things! What’s on your wish list?

      • kmueller62

        @C_Pappas those headphones sound pretty sweet. and i’m always up for gift cards

  • What no cowbell?

    • ginidietrich

      @jeffespo Note to self: Consult Jeff before writing blog posts.

      • @ginidietrich Well cowbell is something we can all use more of in our lives. 2 holiday seasons back we rand the one on my desk every time we got a placement on the way to our goal of 200 or something.

        • ginidietrich

          @jeffespo That’s so funny!

  • KevinVandever

    Hmm. I have another book to add to your amazon recommendation list…I can’t remember the author, but he’s charming, witty, intelligent, kind, and, most of all, modest. Geez, what’s his name?The subject of the book is probably nothing your readers, nor anyone they know, would be interested in but still, I think it would make a wonderful gift. If only I could remember…oh, wait, I know. It’s MY BOOK!!!! (Link to amazon purposely not added so as to not to seem too self promoting)

  • KevinVandever

    Hmm. I have another book to add to your amazon recommendation list…I can’t remember the author, but he’s charming, witty, intelligent, kind, and, most of all, modest. Geez, what’s his name?The subject of the book is probably nothing your readers, nor anyone they know, would be interested in but still, I think it would make a wonderful gift. If only I could remember…oh, wait, I know. It’s MY BOOK!!!! (Link to amazon purposely not added so as not to seem too self promoting)

    • @KevinVandever Kevin, what is the name of your book?

      I have no problem shilling for Henry Wood Detective Agency, as if I don’t, who will? (See!)

      I love getting new things on my Kindle reader for ipad. I’ve found some great jewels among the indie authors who I’ve met on Twitter.

      • ginidietrich

        @ExtremelyAvg@KevinVandever Trust me, Brian. You do not want to read his book. It’s about IT architecture and wires and cables and things that make no sense in the English language. Now it it were about his wine…

        • @ginidietrich@KevinVandever Still, it would be nice to know the title, in case I ever see a tweet by a Victoria’s Secret model: Help I need a book about IT architecture and wires and cables and things…desperately.

        • ginidietrich

          @ExtremelyAvg@KevinVandever LMAO!!

        • KevinVandever

          @ExtremelyAvg@ginidietrich Brian, that is very thoughtful of you to want to help someone in need like that. My book is entitled, “Subfiles in Free-Form RPG” and since there is really no mention of wires and cables (things, yes), I have immediately started the next edition to include them because I want to help, too. My working title, “Subfiles, and Wires and Cables and Things: The Definitive IT Guide for Victoria’s Secret Models…or Anybody Else Who’s Interested”

        • @KevinVandever@ginidietrich I think the sequel is going to do even better than the 1st book.

        • ginidietrich

          @ExtremelyAvg@KevinVandever I have to agree the sequel is going to be better than the first.

        • @ginidietrich@ExtremelyAvg@KevinVandever Ohhhh, I don’t know!!! sequels rarely outperform the first one.

  • The K cup addiction is a great gift. I have had mine for more than a year now and I love it. I drink 2-3 cups a day and this is the perfect way to brew them.

    • @TheJackB oh…wait. You’re supposed to brew them??? I was just drinking straight from the K Cup…figured it was cheaper than buying the whole machine…

      • @KenMueller Try snorting them. Takes half the time and provides twice the kick.

        • @TheJackB I think Gini should demonstrate this technique on a video. We should go ask this as a question over on her FB page

        • @KenMueller Clap, clap, clap…

      • ginidietrich

        @KenMueller Gross.

    • ginidietrich

      @TheJackB I don’t drink coffee, but is it good for lattes and cappucinos, too?

  • PattiRoseKnight

    My 16 yearold wants the Westone Headphones – and will get them after I get them or when he gets a job. Great listi and yes everyone I am the GPS 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      @PattiRoseKnight Uh, yeah. He needs a J-O-B before he gets Westones. That’s a good “save your money” kind of gift.

  • As a “youngling” and self-proclaimed product junkie, I recently read about a FANTABULOUS online biz for beauty buffs that I wanted to share with you: . This would make a GREAT holiday gift in my opinion!!!

    Now if only the same concept applied for the ever-growing list of tech gadgets I want… iPad, iPhone 4S, iNeedHelpForMyObsession (kidding… sorta.)

    Oh and this would be something to add to your wishlist, Miss Gini:

    • ginidietrich

      @jacque_PR That wine opener is so cool! I have to check out Birch Box.

      • @ginidietrich Or…

        • ginidietrich

          @jacque_PR OMG! HAHAHAHAHA!!

        • @ginidietrich@jacque_PR Lol! I should get my husband that! But we really did get that wine opener for Christmas…haven’t had a chance to use it yet. Love some of these ideas though. Great for clients/colleagues…er, or for me!

        • @Cision@ginidietrich Oooh, let me know how it works!!! Now, since we have the Opena, we need a case with a slide-out wine opener…

      • CristerDelaCruz

        @ginidietrich@jacque_PR OMG! Birch box is AWESOME!!! It’s like high-end travel sized beauty goodies every month. I found my favorite eyeshadow product that way – prevents it from creasing or running even after 12+hrs.

        • ginidietrich

          @CristerDelaCruz@jacque_PR And for this traveler, that’s pretty important.

        • @CristerDelaCruz I’m definitely signing up for this ASAP then!!!!!!

        • CristerDelaCruz

          @ginidietrich@jacque_PR Here’s one that’s similar, but they have an eco-friendly twist. I think there are a couple of others, but not as popular as (and newer than) BirchBox.

  • Here, Gini, something to add to YOUR wishlist:


  • Tony: I thought for sure that this would be on your wish-list. 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      @T60Productions Well, that’s on MY wish list, but I didn’t think it was appropriate to include in something that people should buy clients and colleagues.

  • martinwaxman

    RT Just in time MT @ginidietrich If you still haven’t done your holiday shopping. So here are 10 ideas to help you out

  • ginidietrich

    @jeffespo Sigh…

    • jeffespo

      @ginidietrich it is because I love you at the end of the day and they are an odd measurement standard

      • ginidietrich

        @jeffespo Do you love me at the beginning of the day, too?

        • jeffespo

          @ginidietrich I love you all day long

        • ginidietrich

          @jeffespo Phew!

        • jeffespo

          @ginidietrich why would you think otherwise?

  • If you buy the K Cup I am disowning you as a friend. The cups are not recyclable. Google what is happening with these cups. It is horrible. I talked to Green Mountain on Twitter about this. But it is the most wasteful way you can drink coffee and makes you an Earth hater if you use them.

    Ok rant is done.

    The other choices are nice. Though I won’t ever have an IPad I am a tablet fan.

    • ginidietrich

      @HowieSPM I don’t drink coffee so we’re good.

    • jennwhinnem

      @HowieSPM Yes, this is my objection to the Keurig too. Also I buy fair-trade and I haven’t seen any K-cups for that. Once you realize how the coffee & chocolate industries use child slave labor – okay enough of my hippieness.

      I got Mr Jenn Whinnem an iPad for Christmas on the condition that 1) he stop talking about the ipad 2) he tell Facebook I’m the best girlfriend in the world. He has made good on both. GREAT INVESTMENT.

      • ginidietrich

        @jennwhinnem Um, I’m sorry. It’s not Christmas yet.

  • ginidietrich

    @NatSlavin I have these:

    • NatSlavin

      @ginidietrich Thank you!!

  • Thumbs up on the bluetooth keyboard. Those touchscreens are so hard to use and always slow things down.

    • ginidietrich

      @WordsDoneWrite I feel like I’ve become a redial typist when I type on the touch screen.

    • ginidietrich

      @WordsDoneWrite I feel like I’ve become a remedial typist every time I try to use the touch screen.

  • MSchechter

    @bdorman264 @ginidietrich Gini forgot the greatest gift of all…

  • I seriously need a tailor for Christmas. That cute coat ….needs to be taken in. Oh, and add to that, the pocket repaired – hate when the lip gloss floats all over the interior lining!

    • ginidietrich

      @Lisa Gerber You definitely need that cute coat taken in!

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  • Loved the headphones. I have to check those out and see if they’re available here in Sweden. Great tip!

    And I’m definitely thinking of a keyboard for my iPad. My typing on the iPad is slowing me down.

    • ginidietrich

      @jonbuscall I have the keyboard for my iPad and I LOVE it. It makes it a tiny bit heavier to carry around, but it’s worth the extra weight.

  • ginidietrich

    @CharlieCurve Are you speaking to me? I thought after we beat the Lions you were done with me

    • CharlieCurve

      @ginidietrich I WAS speaking to you… ;P

    • CharlieCurve

      @ginidietrich Shouldn’t you be busy trying to find a quarterback?

      • ginidietrich

        @CharlieCurve Seriously. And a RB. And a couple of WRs. Heck, maybe just a new offensive line.

  • I read “Unbroken” when we were in Jamaica and LOVED it. It’s absolutely incredible. You have to read it. Gift it to yourself.

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  • AnnetteFletcher With the exception of mid-air on a flight, you can use a wireless mouse anywhere.
    I use Logitech MX620 🙂