Some of the best gifts to give are those you’ve made yourself! Here is an opportunity to use your tech skills to offer unique and valued gifts this year. These ideas use technology you already have (or can easily borrow) to make thoughtful and well-regarded gifts using that most precious commodity, your time!

As thoughtful as they are, you can have tons of fun putting these gifts together. None of these ideas are platform dependent and can be done on whatever type of device you have—smartphone, tablet, or computer. The best thing is that these ideas are as applicable for children as adults, especially with some modification and creative thinking.

Diy Holiday Tech Gifts &Raquo; Screenshot 2023 11 30 At 12.15.50 Pm 250X206 1    Let’s make a video. We aren’t talking about a feature film here and you certainly don’t have to be a Hollywood director. Your smartphone has video capabilities that also allow you to shoot, edit, and send a completed video to someone via email. How about a video update of key events in your life this past year? A couple of interesting stories about travel, family events, or changes in job. Or spice it up with singing or playing an instrument. There are lots of how-to-make video tutorials on YouTube but stick to the basics: hold your camera steady (use a tripod if necessary), keep the video in focus, have enough but not too much light, and try to keep the light source in front of the subjects so they arent backlit and in shadows. And finally—shorter is almost always better!

Provide tech tutorials! We all could use help learning more about our smartphones, tablets, computers, or any of the myriad of tech devices out there. Think smart home devices, pairing your smartphone with your car, and much more. But most of us could benefit by having a knowledgeable person sit with us and our device for 45 minutes or so to answer questions we have compiled about how our favorite device works. For example, helping someone select and send photos to others. Or, how to make a conference call from your iPhone. How about connecting with my local library to select books online? Package a simple gift certificate that includes several“tutorial sessions”. Such a simple gift to give but valued by the recipient.

Curated resources are the best. I love it when someone tells me about interesting information. Sometimes we are so overwhelmed with the sheer volume of material on the internet that we don’t bother using it to discover the amazing content available. This is a chance for the gift-maker/giver to do some research and put together a handful of interesting articles or videos. One of my favorite sites to suggest to others is the New York Times 52 Places to Go series, published yearly. A new set of travel sites every year with beautiful photos, videos, and fascinating information make this a must read. Or, find excellent music sites with resources that match the interests of the person you are making this gift for. How about museums, mainstream or unusual like the International Spy Museum in Washington D.C. Do a little research online and package these resources by sending a short description and a link to your family or friends.

A friends/family communication site. Let’s keep it simple with this one and start something like a Google Doc to share with family and/or friends. In this Google Doc start an ongoing conversation…about life! Since this site will be accessible to anyone you invite, treat it like a rolling letter, with text, photos, videos, and more. The important piece will be that you monitor the site to keep it fresh, relevant, and fun. And you can encourage people to contribute. Members can comment on what others have said as well as add their own contributions. Content can include family history and just about any topic of interest to the group. But you might want to stay away from politics. Keep the content positive!

Diy Holiday Tech Gifts &Raquo; Screenshot 2023 11 30 At 12.16.28 Pm 250X120 1

Gift giving to friends and family is about much more than buying something. The great thing about these ideas is the personal connection you make and the time you took to make a truly individual gift.

Happy Holidays!


BoomerTECH Adventures ( helps Boomers and older adults navigate the digital world with confidence and competence. Active Boomers themselves, they use their backgrounds as teachers to support individuals and groups with online courses, articles, videos, and presentations to organizations upon request.

Originally Published on

Ed Brazee Co-founder of BoomerTECH Adventures

Ed Brazee is co-founder of BoomerTECH Adventures with colleagues Jill Spencer and Chris Toy. BoomerTECH Adventures helps fellow boomers develop their digital expertise while modeling and encouraging compassion, honesty, fairness, respect for diversity, and adherence to ethical behavior. Using technology in this day and age is much more than knowing what buttons to push!

Ed is professor emeritus of education at the University of Maine where he taught for 25 years. He was also publications editor for the Association for Middle Level Education, and directed a highly regarded summer institute for teachers.

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