Holiday Gift Guide

Your one-stop shop for the season's brightest gifts!

Last-minute shopping is for the birds, so skip the lines, the crowds and the empty shelves this year with the help of American Mensa's Holiday Gift Guide. We've spent months poring over the year's hottest buys and some lesser-known products we're sure you and yours are going to love. You'll save time and money — and who doesn't love that?

Speaking of efficiency, this season's Holiday Gift Guide is once again brought to you by the helpful folks at GEICO, who know a thing or two about saving time and money on your homeowner, vehicle and rental insurance — and who offer special discounts to American Mensa members. We invite you to invest 15 minutes in learning what GEICO can do for you. It's the smart thing to do!

To assist you in getting these gifts for the smarties in your life, we've linked them through our Amazon storefront Smart Buys and to other storefronts and vendors directly.

So what sort of gift are you looking for?
Under one roof Arrive in style Child's play
Technically speaking Stocking stuff Give the gift of Mensa

Under one roof

DNA Bookcase

This double-helix shaped DNA bookcase is the neatest thing since the invention of the Double Stuf Oreo. Crafted out of steel with 13 undulating shelves that spiral off its center post, this 6-foot-tall, Italian-designed bookcase is perfect for books, discs and even that package of Oreos you're hiding from the kids.

$945

What can't the iPhone do? Now, with the Snooze Alarm Dock, it can help you be late for school or work. Have you missed that unconscious pleasure of slapping the snooze bar since you hocked your clock-alarm for the money to buy your iPhone? Well, this is the gadget for you.

$34.95

The TARDIS Fridge skin is just the thing when you need to time-travel back 7 years to when those leftover Swedish meatballs were still edible. This customizable kit works best with a French-door design but is adaptable to all models. And if that doesn't make your fridge cool enough, it's also available with an audio module and side skin.

$185

Some people like their technology well done. Billed as the first grilling and cooking thermometer and app for Apple and Android devices, the iGrill alerts you when your food is ready, freeing you to visit with cookout guests in your "Kiss the Geek" apron.

$79.99 (app download is free)

Created by Drinks By The Dram, the Whisky Advent Calendar is like the advent calendars you got as a kid, except these might get you drunk. Behind each window lies a sample dram of whisky. One of the doors contains a sample of 50-year-old single malt Scotch. Happy (hiccup!) Holidays!

$239.80

Put a cork in it — or better yet, when it comes to unused wine, put an Automatic Wine Preserver in it. This little marvel pumps the air out of an opened bottle of wine to prevent oxidation, which can degrade the flavor. The built-in thermometer keeps a digital eye on the temperature for you. Ooh la la!

$29.99

Hey, whippersnappers! Back in my day, we didn't have any fancy mp3 players. We had mixtapes — and we liked it! We didn't need any stinking digital drinking glasses, either. Now you can party like it's 1999 with Mixtape Glasses, which let partygoers write their names or favorite hair band songs on the cassette with the enclosed wax pencil.

$50


Arrive in style

Put down that glass of Tang and listen up: If you really want to act out your dream of becoming an astronaut, slip on this seriously cool Alpha Industries Apollo MA-1 Flight Jacket, complete with NASA mission patches. It'll keep you comfy and cozy as you pilot your Saturn rocket … uh … Saturn sedan to the store for more Tang.

$182

Before digital SLRs turned everyone into Ansel Leibovitz, real photographers knew what an F-stop was. Sorry to be so, ahem, negative. The background graphic of a lens and quartz movement are just two features that make this retro wristwatch the stylish choice for the photo geek in your life.

$33.95

You don't have to be a physicist to wear the Higgs Boson Watch, but it might help when your non-physicist friends ask if "Higgs boson" is the plural of "Higg bison." No matter — you'll get a real charge out of the whacky second hand that orbits the big bang watch face. (Please insert 25 cents to hear more puns.)

$37.69

A hot shower is just the thing after borrowing your brother's 1993 Millennium Falcon pickup to move into your new apartment. The stylish but sore Jedi apartment mover relaxes in this soft and comfortable Chewbacca Bathrobe. The walking carpet fits most adults.

$75.95

This is not your grandfather's backpack, or even your grandson's. Solid Gray backpacks are made of polypropene block copolymer (try saying that three times fast), an extremely durable and lightweight polymer. The design has been described as origami-meets-armadillo-meets-Ninja Turtle. Enough said

$187.50

The Fleece 5.0 Jacket, perfect for the traveler, can be worn day or night in all kinds of weather and temperatures. With 24 pockets (and discreet graphic labels offering suggested uses), it's almost like wearing a suitcase. And the website makes a claim we haven't seen before: "Pickpocket Prevention Guarantee." Bring it on, Fast Fingers!

$140

Originally designed for biologists and geologists working in the wilderness, the Field Journal Notebook is a useful for artists, writers or anyone who wants to capture a moment in a gloriously non-digital way. Compact and weatherproof, this notebook is perfect for note-taking, journaling or sketching.

$80


Child's play

Is there a better way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who? Pass Go and time-travel through 50 human years — that's billions of years in Dr. Who's universe — with 11 incarnations of the good doctor in 22 iconic episodes. Quick, where's the TARDIS?

$31.45 | Ages 8+

Electric Paint PenOh, the possibilities! With the Electric Paint Pen, you can quite literally draw basic circuits on almost any surface (except skin!). The surface resistivity is 55 ?/Sq @ 50 microns (whatever that means), and you should probably not use it with voltages above 12V. Power in a pen applicator — who knew?

$12.99-$19.99

Unleash a child's imagination with the Imaginext Eagle Talon Castle. A 3-foot-long play area with a 360-degree design, the castle can be set up for different play scenarios using different Imaginext® accessories and figures (sold separately), such as dragons, ogres and battlements.

$49.02 | Ages 3+

The app-controlled Withings baby monitor will have you saying, "goo-goo-ga-ga," and your baby saying, "Hey, a little privacy, please!" Monitor your baby from any location using iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, navigating the room with pan-tilt-zoom features. Even play Junior a lullaby. Now, somebody just invent the iDiaperChanger and we'll have this parenting thing covered.

$249.99

The elements pop off the periodic table in 3D form with the Periodic Table Building Blocks, which can construct the foundation for an education in chemistry. The set includes 20 six-sided, handmade blocks with a unique element's name, atomic number and symbol.

$31 | Ages 2+


Technically speaking


Where are my keys? Or my laptop? Or my bike? Those questions are quickly answered with the Tile App, whose attachable Tile reports back to a smartphone. Over long distances, the Tile App becomes a crowd-sourced lost and found, enlisting a network of other Tile users. (Just don't lose that smartphone!)

$56.85

Sometimes a video of your dog barking out a rap song simply must be seen on the big screen. Just plug Chromecast into any HDTV, connect it to WiFi, then send videos from your smartphone, tablet or laptop. It's a super-easy way to enjoy online music or rapping dog videos on your TV.

$35

With the Leap Motion Controller, you might get more than you bargained for the next time your computer freezes and your shake your fist at it. Nevertheless, this little (about 3 inches long) gadget and its apps allow you to control your computer by waving your hands and fingers.

$90

Singing in the shower just got more fun. The Kohler Moxie 1-Spray showerhead has a wireless speaker that streams playlists, news and other audio from smartphones, MP3 players, tablets and laptops within a 32-foot range. Be careful not to slip as you practice those air-guitar moves and high notes with this polished chrome pseudo-microphone.

$173.10

Cap'n — I need more power! The Hydrogen Reactor™ uses disposable hydrogen cells to generate enough electricity to recharge many types of small electronics. One cell can charge your smartphone six times. (After six, just change the cartridge and keep on charging.) It's perfect for campers, travelers or those who just want to get off the grid.

$149.25

Yeah, you know you want a 3-D printer. With a resolution of 100 microns, the Makerbot Replicator 2 ships fully assembled, letting you start right away creating that single-seat shuttle craft. (Hey, is it possible to print a 3-D printer with a 3-D printer? Just wondering.)

$2,688

For the birder who has everything, the Bird Photo Booth lets you capture the casual side of bird life without creeping out the critters with a huge telephoto lens. Take remote photos using a smartphone and Wi-Fi, and even FaceTime with the animals, Doctor Dolittle!

$149.99

Billed as the "world's first Wi-Fi kettle," the iKettle uses your smartphone to prepare hot drinks. So give the butler the day off and just dial up that green tea yourself. Really — who has time to boil water?

$162.39


Stocking stuff

Complete with leather/nylon combination sheath, the Leatherman New Wave Multitool casts a knowing look at the toolbox on your garage workbench and says, "That's OK, I got this." The 17-tool wonder is 100 percent stainless steel and is guaranteed for 25 years.

$59.78

Don't you hate it when your flight is stuck on the Tarmac and you've used up all of your smartphone battery posting nasty remarks about the airline on your 27 social media accounts? Well, don't you? The Mobile 2600 mAh Power Charger, which provides one full charge for most smartphones, cameras and small devices, will have you back ranting in no time.

$49.99

If you're tired of spilling from pots and bowls, buy one of these and save rolls and rolls of paper towels. The Silicone Slip-On Pour Spout fits on any thin-lipped pot, mixing bowl, pan or jar, letting you accurately pour wet and dry ingredients where you want them. It's dishwasher safe and heat-resistant to 480 degrees Fahrenheit.

$5

It might look like something a cat robot coughed up, but the Striker Magnetic LED Light Mine is actually a clever task light. Perfect for hands-on professionals as well as DIYers, homeowners and campers, this baseball-sized marvel attaches securely to numerous surfaces with its 11 neodymium magnet "spikes." Lumen Tech LEDs provide plenty of light in four different modes.

$17.99

For the gamer with a sweet tooth comes the Chocolate Video Game Controller by Enjou Cholcolat, which specializes in yummy stuff. Yep, it's edible, but fair warning: There is an inverse relationship between how much you eat and how high you score.

$29

This year, don't go to the beach — bring the beach to your home or office. Kinetic Sand is a three-dimensional building toy that holds shape just as easily as it trickles through your fingers. The kiddies will love it, and it makes for great stress relief at the office (just remember to keep the board shorts and flip-flops at home).

$15


Give the gift of Mensa

American Mensa AcademySure, the American Mensa Academy™ game can help you improve your logic, math, language and visual agility — but when it comes to improving your overall intellectual agility, sharing your sense of humor, and just plain satisfying your curiosity on all kinds of topics, Mensa is the place to be.*

Test your mental mettle with hundreds of tough but fun-to-solve puzzles and brainteasers. Challenge yourself with word ladders, ingenious anagram puzzles, equations, logic sequences, math riddles, unexpected twists on crosswords and word searches, and more! 365 Mensa Brain Puzzlers 2014 Desk Calendar.*

Our certified, volunteer Proctors schedule supervised testing sessions throughout the year! For just $40, two tests are administered, and to facilitate the testing process, you can pre-pay for a testing session or give it as a gift! Tell those you love that you know they’ll qualify by giving them testing vouchers!*Mensa Home Test

You'll never be bored with the board games. Every year, our dedicated Mensa Mind Games® judges pick the five best new games to be named Mensa Select. This year's winners were: Forbidden Desert, Ghoost!, KerFlip!, Kulami and Suburbia. Order them — and all previous years' winners — through the American Mensa SmartBuys store.

If you’re not quite ready to take the Mensa Admission Test, we suggest the Mensa Home Test to whet your appetite. It’s is a fun way to discover if you’re Mensa material. While it won’t qualify you for membership, it does offer a strong indication of your likelihood for success.*

We sincerely thank GEICO for sponsoring the 2013 Holiday Gift Guide.

* Are you a Mensan? These vendors offer discounts or other special benefits to American Mensa members! Visit our Benefits & Services page for more information, or look into joining now.