This post was written in partnership with Walmart, who provided all the products for review. As always, all opinions are my own.
There are several reasons I love giving people techy home gifts. First, they are ridiculously fun to unwrap, I mean is there anything better than peeling off protective plastic?!
No is the answer. No.
Secondly, they’re a gift that’s actually useful! There’s nothing worse than getting your giftee something they really don’t need, especially when they feel guilty about returning it (like that sweater that wasn’t quite their taste so they stash it in a drawer and then dutifully wear it whenever you happen to come over. I see you, Aunt Gertie).
Smart gifts, however, are just what they sound like— a smart idea. They help the people you love live easier, more streamlined lives so they can spend their time on happy things like family dinners and drinking wine with you.
And guess what? This season I’m shopping for a ton of my smart home gifts at Walmart. While you may think of Walmart as a place for picking up household essentials and value items, it also sells tons of the smartest, chicest tech gadgets for your home. I partnered with them to choose a few items, and they had everything on my wishlist, from well-priced brands like Vizio (a stellar TV for the price), to “Only at Walmart” brands like BlackWeb (that soundbar sounds fantastic) or all the new high-end gadgets, like Nest and Google items that your friends and family might be dropping hints about.
And whether you shop in-store or online, they’re all easy to get to your home. Some of the items I ordered were sent with “Free Two-Day Shipping”, which showed up like clockwork*. Others I ordered with their “Pick Up Today” service, which will be increasingly convenient as the holidays get closer and time to wait for shipped packages runs out**. Inevitably I forget someone important… nice to know I can order online then run over to grab it same day.
Here are all the items I grabbed… a few of my favorites for all of the different people on your gift list.
For The Busy Exec
Okay, think of the busiest person in your life and then buy them the Google Home Hub ($149). Like, for instance, your best friend who’s a CEO and a mom of two? Yeah, she needs this. It’s essentially a dashboard that helps you keep your life organized and plays the role of a right-hand man. You can talk to it using Google Assistant (for calendar updates, weather, news, and whatever else you need), use it to manage all of the smart devices in your home, like thermostats or security systems, plus place calls, play music, organize and browse all of your photos, and so much more.
For the TV Movie Obsessed
That person in your life who wants to know how many episodes of The Romanoffs you’ve seen before they’ve inquired about how your new job is going? Yeah, get them a really sweet smart TV. This Vizio 50” Ultra HD Smart LED TV ($398) offers all of the best features—like state-of-the-art 4K resolution, smart TV apps, and voice control compatibilities—at a price that’s pretty unbelievable. Whoever you gift this to will think you went really big.
For the Music Lover
Soundbars are to flat screen TVs what chocolate is to peanut butter— better together. Any audiophile on your list will love the theater-style surround sound that the Blackweb Google Assistant Soundbar ($79) brings to anything you watch, but it packs many more features. Use it as command central for your smart home, thanks to Google Assistant; uttering “Hey Google” and get help with anything from traffic reports and sports scores to turning on your connected lightbulbs or locking your front door. And yes, you can stream music with impressive sound quality from your smartphone, tablet or computer through this soundbar too, and the sleek design makes it a snazzy addition to any room it resides in.
For the Interiors Buff
Got someone on your list who knows how good lighting makes a room, doesn’t consider herself tech savvy? The Philips Hue Starter Kit ($129) is basically a plug-and-play way to install smart, design-forward lighting. The kit comes with three smart light bulbs that fit in standard lamps and pair with the accompanying “Hue Bridge.” Once everything is synced, you can use your smartphone to adjust the light to different shades of white or colors to fit the mood.
For The New Homeowner
How sweet—your sister just bought her first house! You’ll seriously surprise her (or whoever it is!) if you wrap up the Nest Hello Video Doorbell ($199) instead of choosing a typical new-home gifts like candle holders or a casserole dish. Not only can you get alerts about visitors wherever you are and see who it is on video, you can talk to them to tell them to leave the package on the porch, for example. Safety bonus: The system can even detect if someone is at the door and doesn’t ring the bell.
So much good stuff for everyone on your list! I have all these goodies earmarked for certain people (no spoilers!). And for even more smart recommendations, tech and beyond, you can head to Walmart’s Holiday Gift Guide page.
Have you started your holiday shopping yet? Let me know in the comments!
* A minimum 35 minimum order required. Item ships in 2 business days.
** Service is available for eligible items only.