It’s the final weekend.

What seemed like a marathon when the decorations went up the day after Thanksgiving, has turned into an all-out sprint. If you’re ready to brave the elbows and horns and angst this weekend you need a plan. Go in with a list, check it twice and then get out! Here are some sure-fire guaranteed winners for the megabyter you’ll meet under the mistletoe..

iTunes – 99 cents
Forgot someone out of town and can’t get the gift mailed on time? Use e-mail! iTunes gift cards are easily found at places like Safeway, but you can also gift them via email. The iTunes store recently added Canadian tv shows to the mix, so they can get the new album from Alicia Keys, or a season’s worth of Little Mosque on the Prairie! It’s an easy last minute solution and a great way to teach kids the legal way to get their digital entertainment.

Seagate Freeagent Go 120GB – $129
Geeks always need more space. We’re pack rats, constantly backing up and downloading and getting our hard drives maxed out faster than your credit card on Boxing Day. I picked up a tight external USB hard drive this fall and I take it everywhere. Every file I could possibly need is there, smaller than a paperback A colleague of mine has many of these drives, all colour coded for movies, music, articles, data etc.

iYule – $5
The burning log on Shaw is huge this time of year, so why not have one on your iPod? Yes, it’s a fireplace in your pocket. Just like what you see on tv, this is a 30 minute video of a roaring fire complete with an original seasonal score. The download is just $5 and as Cali Lewis, brainchild of the iYule says, “if you’re taking that special someone in your life out for a nice holiday dinner, load iYule Log on your iPod and put it on the table for a touch of whimsical romance.”

Intellivision – $9.99
Anyone who is in to technology today was either a) in to video games then or b) in to video games now. We all can appreciate a sense of nostalgia, so reliving the action of Intellivision would be a treat. Back in the day you needed the console and the cartridges, now you just need to buy the joystick. All 25 games are stored inside, you just plug it in to your tv and you’re rocking out to Space Armada, Sea Hunt and horribly pixilated hockey. Can’t get your hands on a Nintendo Wii or Rock Band? You can get them this at Canadian Tire.

Magazines
My favourite last minute gift is easily snagged on the way to whichever house you’re going to and available at places that are even open Christmas Day. Get them a magazine subscription. All you need to do is grab the latest issue from the gas station, scoop out a subscription card and fill out the info when you get home after the party. Hand your geeked out guest the latest issue of Wired and cheerfully tell them the rest of their present is “in the mail!”

[originally published in 24hrs Vancouver]

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