Welcome to the Engadget Holiday Gift Guide! The team here is well aware of the heartbreaking difficulties of the seasonal shopping experience, and we want to help you sort through the trash and come up with the treasures this year. Below is today's bevy of hand curated picks, and you can head back to the Gift Guide hub to see the rest of the product guides as they're added throughout the holiday season.
Still haven't found just the right gift for that particularly hard-to-buy-for someone in one of the more neatly defined categories? Well, then look no further, 'cause we've collected a wide assortment of other products right here that may have little in common with one another, but will each undoubtedly bring a smile to the face of anyone that receives one of them. Just try to remember you're not shopping for yourself.
Stylophone Beatbox - Already know someone that enjoys tapping out a few tunes on their Stylophone (DIY or otherwise)? Then how about expanding their repertoire with the recently released Stylophone beatbox? While may not be ideal for David Bowie covers (though we're certainly not stopping anyone from trying), the Beatbox may be even better than the original Stylophone for the non-musically inclined to simply pick up and play. Best of all, it's just as cheap.
Sparkle Labs Discover Electronics kit - We're sure that electronics kits have long been a mainstay gift in plenty of Engadget readers' households, but the folks at Sparkle Labs have managed to brighten things up a bit with their imaginative kits, which combine papercraft and LEDs for some often adorable results. The company has even provided a few holiday-themed projects on its website to help kick things off on the right note.
Bongo drum t-shirt - Made from 100% cotton and 100% awesome (yes, it is 200% crazy), this t-shirt may just be greatest confluence of technology and casual wear since the WiFi Detector tee. It beats a Jingle Bells-playing necktie, at least.
Mypressi Twist portable espresso maker - Coffee-related gadgets may be somewhat of hit-and-miss proposition, but this portable espresso maker from Mypressi should at least deliver some decent results, and it's small enough for someone to toss into a bag to bring to work and offer an alternative to that decades old office coffee machine. Pair it up with an optional adapter for ESE coffee pods for some added convenience.
$169 - Buy from Mypressi
Remote Pet Feeder - Buying a gift for a pet owner can sometimes be a bit tricky, but chances are they won't have anything like this Remote Pet Feeder, which will make them feel a tiny bit closer to their pet when they're out. Of course, it's not a solution for someone going away for a week on business, but it does include a webcam to let them check in on their dog or cat while their at work or out and about, and it can even be controlled remotely (in addition to being programed) for some added interaction. Who knows, an especially DIY-minded individual might even find a way to pair it with their Roomba.
Phosphor E-Ink watch - Sure, you could get any number of "fun" watches that can play a few games or even double as a phone, but we're willing to bet that most folks will have just as much fun enjoying the finer points of one of Phosphor's E-Ink watches. Boasting just the right mix of style and geek cred, the watches are more than suitable for day-to-day wear, but won't go uncommented on if one is casually pulled out from under a sleeve to show someone the time.
$175 to $225 - Buy from Phosphor
We can't afford the rent now, can we?
Eigenharp Pico - What better for the musician in your life that has everything than an instrument they've never heard of? While the Eigenharp may not yet officially be the next big thing, it is definitely unique, and should be easy enough for most folks to pick up and play... something (yet suitably difficult to master). And if $6,000+ for the full-size Eigenharp is out of your price range (it also won't be shipping until January), you can snag the smaller and streamlined Eigenharp Pico (pictured above), which is a veritable bargain at just under $600.
Zero S electric motorcycle - Looking for a gift that's on the ridiculous side of things but not quite new car crazy? How about a $10,000 electric motorcycle like the Zero S? We actually got a chance to test drive one of these earlier this year and, while it may not be everyone's ideal daily driver (especially those fond of long trips), but it's a definite step above a scooter for short jaunts around the city, not to mention a heckuva lot more fun to ride.