Christmas in August: Luxury Gifts & Gets

Photo Courtesy of Callaway
It's never too soon to start the hunt for unique and notable Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa presents for loved ones, friends and colleagues. In fact, starting the hunt early better ensures you'll find gifts that are well suited for the recipient, and will reduce your schedule stress in kind amid the holiday havoc. With this in mind, here are some fantastic gifts and gets to officially commence the holiday shopping season:

Callaway Diablo Octane Driver Golf Club ( - $300
This Diablo Octane golf club is comprised of forged composite that, although one-third the density of titanium, features a greater load carrying capacity per unit mass in bending. The driver's 10 million turbostratic fibers are precisely forged with six tons of force during a proprietary design process. This creates ultra-light, thin-walled components for lower total head weight and optimized mass properties. Callaway engineers then combine the lighter, more efficient clubhead with a longer shaft to increase head speed in the downswing and power at impact for longer distances and uncompromised accuracy. Callaway's Diablo Octane powers drives beyond those of its all-titanium Diablo predecessor by an average distance of eight yards!

Filson Padded Computer Bag ( - $315
Laptop-toting gadget heads are always in need of a high-quality, aesthetically pleasing carrier, and Filson's Padded Computer Bag more than fits the bill. Inside, high-density foam padding surrounds and protects the laptop while the exterior has an oil finish rugged twill fabric that protects the bag from rain, mud, and abrasion. Features include full width open pockets on each side and end pockets for small items he needs easy access to like cell phone, handhelds, notebooks and business cards. The bag's interior has roomy full-length sections that are actually tall enough to hold a standard writing pad vertically. The easy-access zippered front also contains pockets for such items as cell phone, pens, and requisite laptop accessories like cords and chargers. The bag is also decidedly stylish with leather trimmings and comes complete with an adjustable removable shoulder strap.

Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker ( - $249
Pixie, the latest innovation from Nespresso, is smart, fast and intuitive, and fits seamlessly into any coffee lover's contemporary lifestyle. Breakthrough miniaturization technology innovations allow Pixie users to minimize time, space and energy consumption while still creating the perfect cup of coffee. This ultra-compact coffee solution combines full functionality, modern design and high quality output. Pixie is the smallest machine ever created by Nespresso. Its sleek design features side panels in anodized aluminum inspired by an industrial, minimalist aesthetic. Pixie is available in six bold and vibrant colors.

Chelsea Taylor Crystallized Watch ( - $169
Watches are a timeless gift, and the ladies will love a Crystallized Swarovski Elements-adorned Chelsea Taylor watch that offers the perfect combination of sparkle and sophistication. Choose from 19 different crystal colors with coordinating leather band. Chelsea Taylor's contemporary watches offer top-notch quality along with fashion-forward styling, making it a gift she'll want to wear every day for years to come. The grad will be in good company as many chic celebrities, including Debra Messing, NY Housewife Jill Zarin, and Tinsley Mortimer, are Chelsea Taylor fans. I am too.

Ultimate Ears 700 ( - $150
What music or movie aficionado doesn't love great sound when listening to their music or podcasts or watching a movie, The Ultimate Ears 700 top-of-the-line noise-isolating earphones will give the recipient the pro-quality sound they crave. Special features include two custom-tuned speakers in each ear for a clean, precise audio reproduction; a micro-design that provides comfort and durability; noise isolation up to 26 dBS, interchangeable silicone ear-cushions that block outside noise; flexible listening modes for casual or active listening; and a sturdy case that stores and protects the ear phones during transit. Ultimate Ears 700 are versatile and stylish, designed with a liquid silver finish and black cord that will duly enhance his cool quotient.

Vizit Two-Way Communication Interactive Digital Photo Frame ( - $229
Taking the digital photo frame to the next level is Isabella Products' Vizit - a two-way communication, fully interactive digital photo frame enabling users to send and receive digital photos in real-time over a mobile network. Recipients of this gift can take a camera phone picture of all their adventures, send it to the Vizit's personalized phone number, and have the picture instantly appear on their new frame or even on that of a friend or family member. With its sleek frame and stylish coloring, anyone will love Vizit to put on display. Photo sharing and showcasing made simple!

CEIVA Connected Digital Photo Frame ( - $120-$150
Unlike the garden variety digital photo frames on the market, recipients will especially enjoy a CEIVA connected digital photo frame that, through the company's exclusive PicturePlan photo sharing service, will receive and automatically display photos sent to it from computers or smart phones; photo sharing sites like Flickr, Shutterfly and Facebook; and email. The membership allows anyone to invite guests to send photos from anywhere - for free. Anyone is sure to feel connected to their family and friends when they can view thier frame each day and discover new photos waiting to enjoy. The recipient will also appreciate CEIVA's value added features like photo customization tools, gallery cards, and free CEIVA Channels like Local Weather, Recipe-a-Day, Mashable, Calendar and the New York Times. They can even make a digital calendar with all of their own family photos! Each new frame comes bundled with one-year of service with available add-on plans that also provide a lifetime warranty.

Voyager PRO+ ( - $100
The Plantronics Voyager PRO+ Bluetooth headset is a thoughtful and practical gift anyone will appreciate, whether they use it for hands-free driving, taking notes while on conference calls, typing during phone conversation or otherwise multi-tasking. Plantronics Voyager PRO+ headset features a comfortable, ergonomic over-the-ear design, and an elongated, pivoting microphone boom for better speech pickup and noise-cancellation. Three layers of WindSmart technology - stainless steel mic screens, acoustic fabrics, and an electronic filter - also blocks intrusive wind noise. Always-on dual-mic AudioIQ2 technology will retain the unique, natural sound of Dad's voice. The headset is compatible with a wide range of Bluetooth-enabled devices, including phones, PDAs, and laptops. This headset offers up to six hours of continuous talk time and five days of standby from a single charge. Also packaged with the Vocalyst services, the PRO+ will help anyone be productive and communicate at their best.

iA63 App-Enhanced Alarm Clock Speaker System ( - $99's iA63 is a next generation app-enhanced alarm clock and FM radio for the iPhone and iPod touch. The system might have a small footprint, but it delivers a big audio and video experience. It plays and charges a docked iPhone, iPod or FM radio while also providing alarm clock functionality. A motorized rotating dock provides a convenient stand for watching videos and enjoying picture slideshows in landscape mode. The system comes with a full feature remote control and also works with iHome+Sleep and iHome+Radio apps.

Logitech C910 HD Pro Webcam ( - $99
Logitech's HD Pro Webcam C910 is a perfect way for grads to stay in touch with family and long-distance friends, record video resumes, or even conduct remote job interviews. This digital Webcam is a stellar plug-and-play device due to its thin profile, easy set-up and use, as well as its crystal clear video images and two-mic stereo audio output. It provides a way to record widescreen full HD 1080p videos or to make a video call in HD 720p on Logitech Vid HD or any service that supports HD video calling. Other features include software for capturing rich 10-megapixel pictures.

MIANSAI Tie Bars ( - $95
Just like the street style of AMC's Mad Men and HBO's Boardwalk Empire, MIANSAI (me-an-sigh) tie bars are classic and wearable accessories any guy will enjoy for years to come. These handsome hand painted tie bars come in three color combinations, including Black/Gray, Blue/Red and Teal/Blue, with at least one sure to match his wardrobe. MIANSAI tie bars are made of sterling silver and brass and feature genuine silver tone hooks. That special guy in your life is sure to appreciate a little tie bling to enhance his signature style.

ZOMM i-Wireless Cell Phone Leash ( - $90
If you know someone who often misplaces their cell phone, here is a great way to help them keep better track of it - and the related stress at bay. ZOMM, the first wireless leash for cell phones, will flash, vibrate, and sound an alarm if they start to walk away from their phone. All they have to do is clip this compact Bluetooth-enabled device to a keychain, backpack, or belt and their phone will no longer be left behind. ZOMM also doubles as a speakerphone allowing the gift recipient of this cool gadget to answer calls directly through the device when the phone is out of reach. A panic button feature sounds a 40 decibel alarm or automatically dials for local emergency assistance, if necessary. Available in friendly colors of white or black, ZOMM is a great gadget accessory for anyone's collection.

Jedidiah Mammoth Messenger Bag ( - $86
Prepare your loved one for their next adventure, whether personal or professional, with the Jedidiah Mammoth Messenger Bag. The 12’ x 11’ Mammoth Messenger Bag comes with a number of roomy compartments, including a zippered main compartment and a buttoned front accessories pocket. It's available in two styles: faux leather with custom metal detail and two side cell phone pockets, or olive with a heavy duty military-inspired design. The Central Olive is larger at 14.5’ x 14’, making it big enough to fit a 13’ Macbook/Macbook Pro. The socially-conscious gift recipient will be proud that you picked this company, as sales proceeds help fund a Cambodian trauma recovery center that houses and protects child sex trafficking victims.

Remington F5790 Flex and Pivot Foil Shaver ( - $55
The Remington F5790 Flex and Pivot Foil shaver features an improved cutting system with an exclusive durable Titanium triple foil that will contour to the shape of a man's face. The shaver also has a three-position slide-up trimmer for precise trimming of hard-to-cut hairs. All of these attributes are designed to help men finish shaving in a third less time than other electronic shavers. Additional functions include flex and pivot action, wet/dry and washable shaving options, and a charging and low battery indicator. It is also rechargeable with 60 minutes of run time and has cordless operation.

Cultured Pearl Jewelry from QVC ( - $52.50 - $75
QVC's Affinity Diamond Grey Cultured Pearl Sterling Ring and the Honora Sterling Cultured Pearl 11.5mm Pendant with 17’ Chain are both stunning gift ideas for the holiday season. This spectacular statement ring evokes Old Hollywood glamour, featuring a button-shaped gray cultured freshwater pearl adorned with bead-set, round diamonds with migraine borders that also accent the shank of the ring. Total diamond weight is approximately 1/10 carat and the cultured freshwater pearl measures approximately 9.5mm. The Honora sterling silver pendant, which coordinates with the ring nicely, features a single button-shaped cultured freshwater pearl that is framed by an openwork lotus design. Offering elegant simplicity, it gracefully dangles from a hidden bail on a fine chain. These heirloom pieces will look gorgeous paired with any ensemble.

Motormouse Wireless Mouse ( - $50
Automotive-inclined folks will absolutely love Motormouse. This award-winning digital wireless computer mouse is aptly styled after an iconic sports car with chrome alloy wheels, real rubber tires, and headlights that flash when the batteries need replacing. It even has a trunk that opens for battery storage. Motormouse technology includes the world's smallest 24G receiver and is compatible with both Macs and PCs as well as all operating systems. Users will also appreciate there is no software to install so they can just plug it in and go! Also laptop-friendly, Motormouse is an apropos gift for ‘road warriors’ who travel frequently. The hardware arrives complete with a small mouse pad, a soft carrying pouch, the receiver and batteries.

M-Edge ‘MyEdge’ Customized E-Reader and iPad Cases ( - $40-$50
M-Edge Accessories, a leading developer of e-reader and iPad accessories, now offers a way to customize a jacket for the iPad 1 or 2, Kindle 2 or 3, or Nook. Upload personal photographs or original artwork, add patterns that the recipient might enjoy, or even include text like the recipient's initials to custom-tailor this case for them. MyEdge jacket designs are printed on sturdy 100% canvas and have a sturdy leather spine. Anyone will enjoy this case that not only protects their device, but it also includes a personal touch designed exclusively for the person lucky enough to get this as a gift.

Contigo Stainless Steel Mug ( - $20
If you know someone that enjoys a cup of coffee or cool drink while on-the-go, the Contigo AUTOSEAL Stainless Steel Mug will make their appreciation runneth over. This 16-fluid ounce reusable travel mug features patented technology to prevent spills or leaks that might stain upholstery or his clothing while out and about with cup in hand. The company promises 100% spill-proof and leak-proof performance that automatically seals between sips. With the Contigo AUTOSEAL Stainless Steel Mug, hot drinks stay hot for four hours while cold drinks will keep anyone refreshed for up to 12 hours. The mug also comes apart for easy and thorough cleaning. Available in stainless steel silver and a variety of colors and graphics, there's sure to be a design that all coffee lovers will enjoy as much the beverage it contains.

***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above were provided at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***

Merilee Kern

Branding, consumer product trends, leisure and lifestyle expert Merilee A. Kern is a good life connoisseur who keeps her finger on the pulse of the marketplace in search of new and innovative must-haves and exemplary experiences at all price points, from the affordable to the extreme. The best of the best across all product, service and travel categories–as well as noteworthy marketplace change ...(Read More)

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