This past Thanksgiving holiday weekend was a good time to get some much-needed household projects out of the way. As I was laying down some flooring for a room remodel, it hit me: It’s time for another annual list of gift ideas. If you have any additional tips, please jot them down in the comments below.
GreenLight Diecast Models
I saw these for the first time while strolling through a children's museum gift shop, but they really aren't an item for kids. If you collected Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars as a kid, you might graduate to GreenLight as an adult. One of my favorite lines is the “Hitch and Tow” series, including a vehicle and detachable trailer. Get them online or at a participating retailer for about $15 each.
Builders of the Hoosac Tunnel
Nearly a decade before the Brooklyn Bridge opened for business, tunnelers successfully bored 25,081 ft, or roughly five miles, through the Hoosac Mountain in western Massachusetts. For more than 40 years after opening in 1875, it was the longest tunnel in North America. In 645 pages, construction engineer, scholar and historian Cliff Schexnayder, P.E., documents the people, dynamite and drama associated with this important project. Available in hardcover and e-book formats for under $30.
Black+Decker 20V MAX Cordless Jigsaw
I recently had to scribe around some stonework for a home-improvement project, so I reached for a cordless jigsaw that B+D sent me to test out. I already had several corded tools plugged in, so this jigsaw liberated me from the power struggle. Released in October, the 20-volt cordless tool provides ample run time and power. The trigger controls variable speeds at the blade, which can be switched out easily, and the jigsaw features a trigger lock and bevel shoe. It retails for about $50, but be warned: unless it is part of a tool bundle, batteries may not be included.
Jay Leno: Certified Car Nut
Before there was "Jay Leno’s Garage" on television and YouTube, there was this 2005 edition of the “My Classic Car” video series. Take a stroll through Jay Leno’s voluminous car collection before his YouTube channel went platinum and he got a new show this fall on CNBC. Copies of the DVD are available for just under $10.
Stick Shift Wine Stopper
When you are downshifting for the evening, here's a fun conversation piece to keep your varietals fresh. Another value item on this list, it sells for about $15 online.