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(un)Traditional Gift Guide

We couldn’t get away with publishing a paper in the month of December without at least mentioning Christmas gifts, could we? Even though the world is supposed to end just a few days before Christmas, it’s a good idea to be prepared in the event the Mayans didn’t know what they were talking about.
Instead of doing a traditional gift guide, one where we discuss the latest gadgets, hottest toys and other trends, we’re going to take a look at a few seven different Web sites you can use to do some holiday shopping this year.

LivingSocial

LivingSocial is similar to Groupon in that both offer discounts on products and services. Sometimes the offers are local (although Pueblo is yet to land on the map for either service), but during the holiday rush, you’ll find LivingSocial flooded with offers for various Web services and retailers. Last year I was able to get about 75% of my Christmas shopping done using LivingSocial, and I saved myself roughly 50% by doing so.

LivingSocial offers both Android and iOS apps, alerting you of new deals and letting your browse deals set to expire soon. You can complete the purchase process on the go directly from your smartphone, or use the Web site.

Most of the deals return a coupon or voucher code after purchase. You can then print out a custom holiday card, or get creative to give the voucher number to the recipient.

Visit LivingSocial.com to get started.

ThinkGeek

ThinkGeek is one of the many hidden gems on the Internet. This Web site will sell you a Sizzling Bacon Kitchen Towel, a DIY desk lamp, a Star Wars Light Saber Ice Pop Maker, 8-Bit LED Holiday Wreath and many more random items full of awesome-sauce.

For example; there’s an entire section on the site dedicated to cubicle warfare! Work in a cubical, or know someone who does? The remote dart launcher or mini-Trebuchet are both a must.

Be it a video game enthusiast or the family prankster, ThinkGeek will have a present for almost anyone. ThinkGeek is made for the inner geek in all of us.

Visit ThinkGeek.com to find the perfect holiday gift.

Frank and Oak

Listen up girls. You know you want your guy to look good and dress sharp. But sharp looking clothes don’t come cheap. Unless you shop with Frank and Oak, that is.

Frank and Oak offers a lineup of clothes that changes on a monthly basis, and promises not to empty your bank account for just one shirt. You can find socks, button-up shirts, blazers, ties, hats, sweatshirts and plenty more. The best part is, with the exception of blazers, nothing on Frank and Oak is over $50.

There’s even a subscription portion of the site called The Hunt Club, where guys can pick items from the monthly catalog, and receive them a few days later in the mail. You can then try on your selections and return what you don’t like. You only pay for what you keep.

Visit FrankandOak.com now.

Dollar Shave Club

Speaking of helping your guy out this holiday season. Help him keep his face baby-bottom smooth by signing him up for Dollar Shave Club. Let’s face it, we pay way too much for razors at the store. With Dollar Shave Club, you pay as little as $1 a month and receive 3 blades in the mail.

You can also opt for razors with more than one blade for a little bit more each month. A handle is included, for free, with your first shipment and can be replaced by contacting the company. The blades will then show up automatically.

This is a must for the non-lumberjack crowd.

Visit DollarShaveClub.com

Pinterest

Cutting back on holiday costs is something many families have turned to doing the last few years. When it comes to cutting costs, homemade presents are the best way to go. Not only do you get complete control over the end product, but you also get to add some personal flare and it means a bit more to the recipient.

One place to get some great ideas for custom gifts is Pinterest. Pinterest is a Web site where users can pin photos contained in blog posts, stories and recipes found across the Web. Start following boards, searching and looking for the perfect craft idea for your holiday gifts this year.

Save some money, make something from the heart and have fun while you’re doing it.

Visit Pinterest.com to get started

Etsy

The best way I can describe Etsy, or at least the best way it’s been described to me is: “it’s for the ladies.” Etsy is a Web front, similar to Amazon (in a sense) where anyone can list a wide range of products for sale. But instead of listing Kitchen-Aid and the like, you can find hand crafted items for sale.

Some of the most intriguing jewelry, dresses, iPhone cases, sunglasses, vinyl wall and computer decals can be found on Etsy. If you want something custom, find a merchant who makes something you like, and request it. You’re not dealing with large corporations on the other end, you’re most likely dealing with someone who is trying to turn an hobby into a successful business.

But, guys, don’t be too afraid to give Etsy a look. There’s plenty of manly things on there as well.

Visit Etsy.com to find some one-off presents.

Five Four Club

Five Four is another men’s clothing line that operates with a subscription model. For $60 a month, subscribers will receive at least $120 worth of clothes.

During the sign up process, the recipient will have to fill out a questionnaire detailing their likes and dislikes

Granted, getting someone a recurring subscription for $60 a month as a holiday gift isn’t ideal, but it’s a convenient way to get them something different, and something they aren’t obligated to renew.

You can visit FiveFourClub.com to get started.

We’ve only listed seven out of many, many more online shopping options. We wanted to take the untraditional approach and inform you of gift options you likely hadn’t heard of before, or if you had, not many others had.

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