As everyone knows, Christmas is a time for giving, a time for reflection, and a time for buying loads and loads of gadgets - either as gifts, or for yourself.
If you're really lucky, you might even receive something nice. That is if you'd spent long enough looking up from your phone this year to notice the friends, family and colleagues who might actually do such a thing.
This year there is an absolute ton of amazing technical wonders on the shelves for your consideration - and unfortunately, we just don't have space to cover it all.
So instead of tediously listing everything we think is cool and commercially available, we've selected just 10 gadgets that we are pretty certain you won't have considered - but which we're convinced everyone should try out at least once.
And after that, we'll also list the specialist websites that we think will give you the best advice if you're looking for something a little bit more mundane - but equally fraught - this Christmas.
GoPro Hero 3
<strong><a href="http://gopro.com/hd-hero3-cameras">GoPro Hero 3 (From £199)</a></strong> The GoPro Hero 3 is pretty much the coolest little camera in the world. It's designed for extreme sports and comes with a waterproof case and a variety of mounts to attach it to your bike/board/spaceship (delete as applicable). It also shoots in amazing high definition (up to a bonkers 4K) as well as taking stills and burst shots. Plus it's far, far lighter and smaller than the previous models.
Civilisation Board Game
Christmas is all about board games, and our favourite this year is <a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sid-Meiers-Civilization-Culture-Politics/dp/1589949358">the bits-and-boards version of perennial gaming hit Civilisation</a>. It's a massive, heavy, complex game - more suitable for four adults than a family of easily distracted kids. But in the right company it's a beautiful, complex game that rewards multiple plays. <a href="http://www.esdeviumgames.com/">It's distributed in the UK by Esdevium Games.</a>
Nike Fuel Band
<strong><a href="http://store.nike.com/gb/en_gb/?l=shop,pdp,ctr-inline/cid-300/pid-683902/pgid-683903&CP=EUNS_SH_Google">Nike Fuel Band (£129)</a></strong> The Nike Fuel Band is a tricky gift to give, because the implication -<em> you need to exercise </em>- doesn't reflect the gadget itself. Yes, this is a stylish way to track your movements throughout the day (and give yourself a boost when you need to be a bit more active). But it's not a nagging equivalent of a pushy personal trainer. It's<a href="www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/06/20/nike-fuel-band-review-the_n_1612388.html"> just a really nicely made, subtle gadget that will get you running a little bit more often</a>. It's pricey, but as a main present for any gadget fan you know it's a surefire hit.
Music video games like Guitar Hero were once the hit of Christmas. Then everyone realised how ridiculous you look with a tiny plastic Fender. But now we have Rocksmith, and everything is awesome again. Rocksmith <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/09/27/rocksmith-review-simply-t_n_1919312.html">is Guitar Hero with a real guitar</a>. You can use the guitar you already own, plus the included cable, and get learning real songs with real notes and really, really good accuracy recognition. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/09/27/rocksmith-review-simply-t_n_1919312.html">Read our full review for more</a> - but trust us, this should be a winner for anyone who's ever tried to play Stairway To Heaven.
Turtle Beach: Call of Duty Black Ops II Headset
Modern gaming is a high resolution experience. Usually people understand that to mean a massive, HD screen, and while that's true it's also about sound. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/07/20/turtle-beach-earforce-xp400-review_n_1688981.html">Turtle Beach have been knocking out some of the best gaming headsets for years now,</a> and this Christmas it's no different. They've come up with a <a href="http://www.turtlebeach.com/products/call-of-duty-headsets/cod-ear-force-tango.aspx">dedicated set of surround-sound, super HD gaming headphones specifically designed for the new Call of Duty game</a>, Black Ops II, and they're really quite awesome. Yes, the Tango set is expensive (£299) but there are cheaper options too (the Kilo set are £89). For the wannabe covert ops warlord in your clan, there's nothing quite as good.
Yes, Nintendo have a new console out this Christmas -- the Wii U. But for sheer value and care free fun, we recommend stepping back in time a couple of decades. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/04/21/super-nintendo-review-snes-nes-games_n_1442571.html">A fully-working Super Nintendo console</a> can be had for less than £50 online or from dedicated retro games shops - and another £50 will get you an enormous stack of games. It has Mario Kart and Super Mario, F-Zero and FIFA, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/04/21/super-nintendo-review-snes-nes-games_n_1442571.html">and everyone will want to join in</a>. Yes, ZombiU looks cool. But newer isn't always better.
Parrot Drone 2.0
<strong><a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Parrot-AR-Drone-Outdoor-Hull-Orange/dp/B007HZLLOK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352820803&sr=8-1">AR Parrot Drone 2.0 (£279)</a></strong> The Parrot Drone 2.0 <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/05/31/parrot-ar-drone-20-review_n_1558814.html">is a flying, HD camera-equipped robotic drone you can control with your iPhone</a>. It has amazing on-board stabilisation, is a doddle to fly and is pretty much the best fun you can have spying on your neighbours without technically breaking any laws. It's a wonderful device, and the world would (probably?) be a better place if everyone had one.
Wacom Stylus Duo
<strong><a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bamboo-CS110-Wacom-Duo-Stylus/dp/B007TT2AJ4">Wacom Stylus Duo (Amazon, £27.99)</a></strong> Giving pens for Christmas? Not cool. Giving literally the best pen in the world? Yeah, that's ok. The Wacom Stylus Duo is both a nicely balanced, well-made pen and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/05/21/wacom-bamboo-duo-stylus-review_n_1533071.html">the best iPad stylus we've tried in person</a>. No, it's not as accurate as other models promise to be - but as an all-purpose, smooth and useful stylus you're actually going to use, you can't go wrong. Give this to the iPad lover in your life and you might just inspire them to draw you a Christmas card next year.
Attacknids: Robot Killer Batte Droids (For Kids!)
<strong><a href="http://www.firebox.com/product/5532/Attacknids?via=sfg">£69.99 from Firebox</a></strong> These robot battebots are the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/08/10/jaimie-mantzel-interview-wow-attacknids_n_1764247.html">creation of creative genius Jaimie Mantzel,</a> who normally spends his time building ridiculously massive versions of, well, pretty much the same thing. The point is that these are wonderfully made, sturdy, fun robot toys that shoot stuff at stuff, and are fun in precisely the way that the plastic, breakable junk you can buy in Toys R Us are not. Get two to have them fight - but even one on its own is a brilliant way to terrifying yourself about the future of humanity.
By now everyone knows about the Raspberry Pi, the small, naked, low-cost computer designed to inspire a new generation of coders and computer scientists. But not everyone knows you can buy one from Maplin, and <a href="http://www.maplin.co.uk/raspberrypi">that for less than £75 you'll get a keyboard, mouse and everything else you need to get up and running</a>. It's a wonderful, creative present for Christmas, and there isn't a nerd in your life who wouldn't find something useful to do with one.
Other gift guides:
- Forbes - 'the ultimate gamers gift guide'
- Engadget - ultraportables
- Cnet - from cars to laptops
- PC Mag - cameras
- PC Authority - home entertainment