If there’s one gift you want to get right this holiday season, it’s the gift for the homeowner in your life. Chances are, he or she is still making payments on what is hopefully a dream home. You can help with a gift to make the home even cozier. Here are a few ideas to get your shopping headed in the right direction. And remember—no one knows a home’s needs like the people who live there, so make sure to include a gift receipt in case you miss the mark.
Protect the Home
As more shoppers turn to online retailers like Amazon, more thieves turn to porch piracy—swiping packages right off the doorstep. Porch cameras have proven effective in deterring any would-be porch pirates, and they help catch anyone foolish enough to try it in spite of the camera.
- Ring has established itself as a giant of the doorbell camera industry. The Video Doorbell 2 ($200) turns on when it detects motion and lets homeowners talk to visitors—or intruders—through an app that works on phones, tablets, and computers. It’s also powered by Alexa, so it’ll connect with any other Alexa-powered smart products around the home.
- At $75, the Zmodo Greet offers many of the same services as the Ring doorbell at a fraction of the cost. This one needs to connect existing doorbell wires, so make sure the homeowner has a doorbell before buying.
Relax with a Drink
One of the best parts about owning a home is relaxing in your own space. And if the homeowner in your life enjoys relaxing with a drink or two, help him or her build out a dream bar.
- Whiskey stones and wine pearls allow drinkers to go at their own pace without watering down the drink. You’ll find lots of options online, including these whiskey stones with a special case ($12.99), and these stainless steel wine pearls ($16.29).
- You also can’t go wrong with good booze. Saloon Box will deliver a fresh recipe every month with enough top shelf ingredients to serve four drinks, and occasionally, a bar tool. Gift subscriptions start at $49–$54.99 per month.
Give the Living Room a Fun Feel
Add character to the living room with a fun gift like coasters or a coffee table book. These kinds of gifts are all about highlighting shared interests and relationships, so pick something you know the receiver will love.
- Coasters are easy to personalize with photos ($29.50 for a set of four), engravings ($24.50 for a set of six), or inside jokes ($3.97 per coaster). They can also be intricately designed or goofy.
- No living room is complete without a good coffee table book. Cat lovers will appreciate this book, which shows 45 famous authors posing alongside their feline companions ($12). Or you can help an adventurous soul live vicariously through Hideouts: Grand Vacations in Tiny Getaways ($28).
Ensure the House Sounds Good
Even if a homeowner isn’t a dedicated record collector, he or she will still need something for music and TV.
- Speaker shopping gets expensive quick, but even audiophiles won’t turn up their nose at an Alexa-infused Sonos One smart speaker ($375).
- At less than $30, the OontZ Angle 3 is a lot cheaper than the Sonos One, but it’s still a convenient Bluetooth speaker with decent quality. It’s small enough to bring along on hikes but loud enough to use throughout the house.
What to Watch?
Is the homeowner in your life still watching shows on his or her laptop or relying on a DVD collection? Help update the entertainment center with a streaming device.
- Amazon’s Fire TV Stick ($39.99) comes with an Alexa voice-powered remote. That means switching to your favorite show is as easy as saying “Alexa, play Game of Thrones.”
- Roku offers a range of products, from the streaming basics ($29) to high-definition packages ($98) with direct ethernet connection, plus a remote that helps you find it when it gets eaten up by couch cushions.
Everyone Loves Game Night
If the homeowner you’re buying for likes to host guests, get them a board game. Depending on the type of game, it can be a fun way to close out a dinner party, or it can be an intense competition that becomes the centerpiece of the night.
- Settlers of Catan has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years—and for good reason. The game is strategic enough to keep hardcore gamers satisfied, and it’s social enough to keep casual gamers entertained. The basic game sells for $44 on Amazon. With his or her own copy, a homeowner won’t have to rely on that one friend who owns it.
- Jackbox has created the casual board game of the twenty-first century. Party packs go for $25 apiece, and they each include four games. Jackbox uses the TV as the “board,” and players use their smartphones to participate. With the ability to handle as many as eight players, these games are great for parties.
- For decades, Dungeons & Dragons has captured the imaginations of gamers young and old. Starting at about $35 per month, Dungeon Crate offers a subscription box with a new adventure every month. The versatile stories are written to work in any campaign setting. The box also includes terrain and map cards and miscellaneous D&D accessories.
Hit the Lights
If you know someone turning a regular home into a smart home, you can help with a smart light switch. The switches can be controlled remotely, even when you’re not at the house, and they can be programmed to turn on and off at certain times.
- For just $55, Lutron’s Caseta Wireless Dimmer offers a wide range of smart switch features. Just keep in mind that this switch requires a smart bridge, as do many Lutron devices.
- A simpler option is TP-Link’s Kasa Smart Switch. It has everything you need in the box, but it’s also compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Cortana. Pick one up for just $25 on Amazon.
Draw the Shades
Another high-tech gadget for smart home enthusiasts is a set of motorized shades. These futuristic blinds help maximize lighting efficiency and move homeowners one step closer to total smart home integration.
- In addition to smart switches, Lutron also makes smart shades. These integrate seamlessly with other Lutron products for a holistic smart home experience. The price depends on the size of the window, so you’ll have to consult retail employees selling the device or fill out your home’s specs on Lutron’s site.
- For easy DIY installation, try SOMA’s Smart Shades ($150). They even come with a solar panel to help generate energy when the shades are drawn. Just remember, like many smart home accessories, you’ll need a communication hub to make the most of SOMA products.
Keep it Clean
Homeowners spend a lot of time working on projects around the house. Cleaning shouldn’t be another chore to worry about. Hire a cleaning service to take care of it for him or her.
- You can get an estimate from a service like Molly Maid, or you put up some money for a cleaning and let the homeowners work out the details. $100 is a good start for a single cleaning.
- Not everyone is comfortable letting strangers clean their home. For those private people, pick up Mrs. Meyers’s seasonal gift boxes ($14.99) for the cleaning basics in scents of the season.
Don’t Forget to Go Outside
If you’re buying for a homeowner with a backyard, you might try looking outside for gift inspiration.
- Hammocks are the best way to lounge around outdoors, and the Lazy Daze hammock features pillow quilting for an extra layer of comfort ($55).
- Contribute to family game night by giving cornhole ($150) or croquet ($43). These yard games are fun for kids, and adults love them, too. You might find yourself wanting to play a round next time you’re over for drinks.
Those are just a few ideas to get you started. Use them as a jumping off point to find the perfect gift that lets your loved one know how much he or she means to you. Let us know how the homeowners like the gifts or about any other home gifts that made your wish list this year.