Author Archives: John

A Good Neighbor Is Always by Your Side

In today’s turbulent times, we need close ties with our neighbors more than ever. This Thursday marks National Good Neighbor Day, celebrating the unique gifts of good will that come from the friendships we form with those who live nearby.

Neighbors are an important part of our lives, but sometimes we don’t get to know them well enough. We have some suggestions to help you promote social get-togethers in your neighborhood. Add extra fun to your block and you’re likely to foster friendships to last a lifetime.

Fun and friendly competition do a lot to build social relationships. Have the neighbors from either side over to play on the only outdoor six-player foosball table. Designed for outdoor use, the table is made with sealed beechwood panels, enclosing a UV- and moisture-resistant soccer pitch. While it’s made for the outdoors, this unique gift is equally suitable for a family game room, too.

Perhaps your neighborhood already enjoys a close social network. If so, it should be easy to find willing volunteers to enter this backyard dunk tank. It functions just like those seen at fairs and fundraisers. You may want to consider using it for a fundraiser at your next block party, with proceeds going to a local food pantry or homeless shelter.

If your neighborhood get-togethers are better with the assistance of socially lubricating libations, you need this Pedal Pub. Up to 17 friends and neighbors can pedal, serve, drive, and imbibe as it travels. This tavern on wheels hits speeds of up to 5 mph, making it ideal for traveling house-to-house on the closed-off street of your block party.

Ultimately, the point of Good Neighbor Day is to encourage people to be nice to each other. If you need to break down the proverbial fences in your neighborhood, take some cookies to the neighbors or invite them over for a meal or a cocktail hour. It only takes someone to make the first move and you’ll be enjoying the unique gift of neighborliness right where you live.

Fall Hands on Deck!

Today is only the first official day of fall, yet trees are already beginning to show their colors. All it takes now is a brisk autumn wind, and suddenly those color-tinged leaves are all over your lawn and deck.

We have unique gifts to help you take some of the work out of fall yard work and still keep that deck looking fine. You’ll have more weekend time to watch football or enjoy late-season warmth outdoors, cold beverage in hand.

You’ve seen household robot vacuum cleaners…here’s a robotic lawnmower that landscapes autonomously in much the same way. The lawnmower cuts grass in a straight line and changes directions when it reaches an obstruction or virtual wall. Its sophisticated intelligent design enables the robot to generate random cut patterns, navigate narrow passages, and remember up to four outdoor areas. The robot returns to its docking station when it completes cutting the lawn, needs to be recharged, or detects moisture/rainfall.

This push lawn sweeper is a labor-saving unique gift that quickly collects fallen leaves on your yard and driveway without backbreaking raking and uncomfortable stooping. The sweeper’s flexible plastic combs spin rapidly as you push it, grabbing leaves, grass clippings, pine needles and other small detritus. The nylon collection basket lifts out easily for emptying.

Been planning to get a rain barrel? With this one, you don’t have to wait till next year. Unlike common rain collectors that must be drained and stored during the winter, this Canadian-made year-round rain barrel can be kept outdoors 365 days a year. Even if left completely full, the durable plastic barrel won’t crack in temperatures down to -40°F. Its brass spigot accommodates a garden hose so you can wash fall’s filth off your deck the environmentally friendly way.

Before you know it, your fall yard work will be done and you’ll be able to enjoy the unique gifts of a pleasant autumn weekend. Savor these days now because leaves are falling faster than a wildcard chaser’s chances at Octo ber baseball…and temperatures won’t be far behind.

Unique Gifts Take Pain Out of Your Day

The month of September marks Pain Awareness Month. We’re certain the estimated 100 million Americans who suffer from some sort of chronic pain likely are already all too aware of their discomfort.

For them, we have unique gift suggestions that offer relief without medication, or as a supplement to medication.

Offered exclusively by Hammacher Schlemmer, this flexible back wrap has deep-penetrating infrared and red LEDs, providing soothing warmth to relieve pain and stiffness in the back. The wrap utilizes technology developed by NASA to ease discomfort caused by arthritis, tendonitis, sprains, and strains. The 60 medical-grade LEDs generate therapeutic light that penetrates deep beneath the skin to increase blood circulation, reduce swelling, and temporarily relieve joint pain.

Using similar technology, this mitten-like device is designed to offer the unique gift of sweet relief from chronic pain in the hands. A study at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee showed the LED technology used in these devices reduced painful inflammation by up to 37%. In addition to the LEDs, an imperceptible heating element warms the mitt’s interior to 105° F for soothing therapy on your hand’s surface.

Along with LED therapy, this exclusive hip pain reliever adds heat therapy and vibration t o knock out pain with a triple hit. Eight heating discs generate therapeutic heat up to 149° F to stimulate circulation and provide relief for stiff or fatigued muscles and achy joints. The device’s four integrated massage nodes produce 4,000 rpm vibrations to help knead out tension while loosening tissue and relieving sore muscles. You can operate its three functions independently, two at a time, or all three simultaneously.

Use of any of these unique gifts can be combined with other drug-free methods of pain relief: biofeedback, meditation, gentle stretching, applying ice…or even making use of soothing music and aromatherapy. With these strategies and modern technology, you may find the pain relief you are seeking.

Put Fun Around a Fire into Your Fall

The crisp air of the past few nights has us reminiscing about autumn evenings spent around a bonfire. It’s time to bring this tradition back! We have several unique gifts to add fun around a fire back into the fall season.

Of course, it may not be practical to build a bonfire in your yard or on your deck. Here’s a unique gift that combines a beautiful stone patio table with a propane-fueled fire pit. This hearth table has a solid granite top cut from the mountains of China’s Shanxi province. A cutout section in the table’s center contains a stainless steel fire pit that can be used for cooking or just for enjoying its warmth on a cool autumn night.

A table like that deserves stylish seating around it. This set of stackable deck chairs was inspired by the designs of Danish furniture master Hans J. Wegner. Wegner’s wide seats and curving backrests are world-renowned for their stylish functionality. These are made from Brazilian eucalyptus, one of the densest, strongest woods in the world. They’d even make the perfect unique gift for anyone looking for beautiful, yet comfortable, extra dining room seating, too.

Stimulate memories of college-days bonfires with this portable stereo system that optimizes the 30-year-old concept of the boombox. Built onto a steel chassis that rolls on four pneumatic tires over any terrain, it’s pulled along and steered with an integrated wagon handle. Providing over 2,000 watts of sonorous symphony, it plays music from any Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or MP3 player, its built-in CD player, or AM/FM radio. A USB port and 3.5mm input provide additional play options.

Any evening in fall is a great time for a bonfire, or a campfire, too. We highly recommend it after a football game, as part of a late-season barbeque, or as a way to enjoy the unique gifts of friendship with the neighbors. You may enjoy it so much, you’ll want to do it s’more.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The most wonderful time if you’re a parent, that is.

School’s back in session and the kids are whining. It’s time for mom and dad to relax…and get wining. Whether it’s a glass of merlot or a goblet of chardonnay, we have unique gifts to help parents uncork a toast to a return to the kids’ regular schedules and earlier bedtimes.

The school year is long, but here’s help for storing your “supplies”. This countertop wine refrigerator provides superior temperature accuracy and consistent chill of your preferred libations. Its thermoelectric cooling system is virtually silent and vibration-free. Built-in lights cast soft illumination when the door is open, allowing you to select or organize up to eight bottles.

After a lengthy session of helping with homework, you may need something stronger than a glass of pinot. This clever glassware helps you enjoy a vintage wine or a mixed martini all in one glass. Its innovative design tapers in the middle, forming an hourglass-like stemless structure that imparts whimsy and holds a generous pour of either beverage. These glasses make an ideal unique gift for a shower, wedding, or housewarming, too.

Kids can wear you out, so don’t feel you need to finish an entire bottle of wine in a night. Winner of multiple industry awards, this patented wine carafe preserves a vintage’s original flavor for several days with the utmost simplicity. Unlike complicated systems that require vacuum pumps, you just pour the remaining wine into this carafe and insert a special float to create an air-tight barrier against flavor-robbing oxygen. When you’re ready for another glass, the float tilts out of the way for easy pouring.

We have several unique gifts designed to enhance your kid-free time with some vino. But unfortunately, there’s one problem we can’t solve for imbibing parents: knowing which wine pairs best with dino-shaped chicken nuggets.

Celebrating 50 Groovy Years

Incredibly, it’s been a half century since the famous Summer of Love. In 1967, society underwent a transformation in fashion, attitudes and notably, music. The movement was driven by flocks of young people who descended on San Francisco to experience the hippie scene, and it changed pop culture forever.

Some of the most unique gifts to fans of classic rock came from that year’s releases. The Rolling Stones, the Who, Jefferson Airplane, and the Beatles all issued records in ‘67 that remain important today.

Among the most celebrated albums—not just of 1967, but of all time—is the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Innovative recording techniques met with an artistic maturation of the Beatles themselves. If you still enjoy bouts of Beatlemania, here’s a unique gift for you. This Beatles wall clock was inspired by Ringo Starr’s snare drum. The clock features the group’s famous dropped-T logo as it first appeared on the percussionist’s Ludwig bass drum made famous on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Although a different musical genre, you can’t ignore the influence of Elvis Presley on music of this era. In 1967, he released a gospel album that won him his first Grammy Award a full 12 years after his first hit, Heartbreak Hotel. This classic-style jukebox is a virtual audio/visual shrine for devoted Elvis fans. The centerpiece of the CD-playing jukebox is an interior illuminated mural of The King performing on stage. Handcrafted by Rock-Ola and updated for modern use, it has a 100-CD changer and built-in amplifier with five speakers.

Along with its mark on pop culture, the Summer of Love is also important to those who love to reminisce and examine the nostalgic side of life. Decades before 1967, the Victrola – nostalgic to its very core – ushered in the acoustical recording era. Today, you can create a generational mash-up by streaming your classic rock on this all-in-one stereo system, reminiscent of a Victrola from radio’s golden age. It streams music via Bluetooth, plays AM/FM radio, has a cleverly concealed CD player and, of course, plays 33 and 78 rpm records.

We’ll never forget the influences those groovy days of 1967 had on attitudes toward the unique gifts of peace, love, and a respect for the Earth and all mankind. Come to think of it, we could use another summer like that today.

Is Your Labor Day a 3-Day Work-End?

Labor Day first became a federal holiday in 1894. The U.S. Department of Labor notes the day is a “tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” If you work, used to work or just know someone dedicated to their work, we hope you take at least one day of the long weekend to rest, relax, and enjoy the unique gift of time with friends and family.

While your company may give you a day off, your home and auto may not. We can help you preserve some R&R time on the home front with these work-saving unique gifts, just in time for Labor Day.

You may have seen iRobot’s Roomba vacuum, but here’s a version that’s even better. The self-operating Roomba 960 lets you control the cleaning from anywhere via a smartphone app. The free app for Android or iPhone lets you start, pause, and monitor Roomba 960, set a cleaning schedule, and even track job history—or you can simply press the “clean” button directly on the unit. It also works with voice commands using your Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant device.

Your lawn doesn’t care that it’s Labor Day and you might even need to gas up the mower to prepare the yard for holiday festivities. Winner of an Edison Award for innovation, this patented gasoline dispenser is designed for easy pouring with no mess. This gas can features a rotatable hose on its bottom, a trigger valve, and a self-venting system for effortless, controlled flow of up to two gallons a minute. Simply position the spout, press the thumb trigger to start the flow of gasoline, and release it to stop.

Finally, should your holiday weekend include a road trip, make sure your tires are ready to roll. This automatic cordless inflator automatically shuts off when it reaches a desired tire pressure. Ideal for topping off low tires—as well as filling inflatables, bicycle tires, and sporting equipment—the desired pressure is set using its digital pressure gauge. Operating similarly to a cordless drill, a simple squeeze and release of the locking trigger begins inflation. This is one unique gift that will make sure you’re “pumped up” about the holiday!

Tell Us What’s Bugging You

It’s the time of the year you might feel something’s bugging you…buzzing around your ear…crawling up your wall.

It’s the peak of bug season. Late summer and early fall lead to increased reports of West Nile Virus, a mosquito-borne illness that causes few symptoms in many people, but can be dangerous to those over 60 and to people with compromised immune systems. The best way to prevent the virus is to prevent mosquito bites. These unique gifts will help keep the numbers of mosquitoes down inside and outside your home.

This natural-attractant trap lures and kills mosquitoes in yards up to one acre without harmful chemicals. The trap emits warmth, odorless carbon dioxide (the same gas people expel during respiration) and light to attract mosquitoes. When mozzies are drawn inside the device, an integrated fan traps the insects and sends them to a removable net where they die of dehydration.

Here’s the most environmentally friendly bug zapper we’ve found. This sun-powered unit has five solar panels on its top unit that require only moderate sunlight to power its rechargeable Lithium battery. It eliminates mosquitoes, flies, and other insects instantly with a 750-volt electric charge…no harmful chemicals need be applied to your body or your yard.

Swat a mosquito on your wall and likely your next task is to clean up the bloody splat. An ideal unique gift for arachnophobes, too, this handheld cordless vacuum earned the Best rating from The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it captured the most bugs in the shortest time and was easiest to handle. The lightweight design allows complete control with a flexible neck and a suction cup tip so you can clear out mosquitoes without leaving stains on the wallpaper.

We have many more unique gifts to protect you from itchy mosquito bites and other insects that might “bug” you. Visit our online Pest Control Center and put those bugs on notice to leave you alone.

The Season Sizzles on with the Perfect Cookout

Don’t let summer’s lazy days slip away…seize the season and don’t let go!

You can hang on to these waning warm days of summer with the perfect cookout. We have several unique gifts to make August spectacular while you entertain guests at a backyard BBQ or neighborhood block party.

This backyard flat top grill allows you to do things a conventional grill can’t: cook a giant pancake-and-sausage breakfast for the block or a special event…grill superb Philly steaks en mass…have a patio-side teppanyaki, complete with Hong Kong prawns and rainbow rice. Four gas burners can be set to distribute heat evenly across the cooking surface or to different temperatures for searing steaks and gently cooking vegetables simultaneously. The non-stick rolled steel cooking surface allows you to cook up to 15 hamburgers, buns, and toppings like onions and mushrooms all at once.

Serve your favorite craft beers on draft! This refrigerated outdoor tap provides beer lovers the exact temperature and pressure for the finest micro-brewed IPAs and the coldest thirst-quenching pilsners. The commercial-quality outdoor beer tap delivers frosty drafts with creamy heads to please even the most discriminating craft connoisseur. Its energy-efficient refrigeration system and stainless steel exterior withstand outdoor summer heat and defy rain and resist corrosion for years of reliable use. This is a fabulous unique gift for any beer lover!

While thirsty guests sip their favorite tapped beverages they can cheer on their more competitive friends in a brazen game of shuttlecock. This freestanding badminton set instantly creates a court on a lawn, driveway, beach, or any flat surface. Requiring no tools for setup, the net comes apart as easily as it assembles and all components store neatly in the zippered nylon carrying case when play is done.

Don’t forget that every sunny summer day is a unique gift from nature. Plan your late-season cookout now and you’ll make the most of what’s left of summer.

Happier Ways to Raise Your Spirits

What is a happy hour if not happy? If you find your time for libation is missing mirth, we have unique gifts to lift your spirits whenever you’re lifting spirits in your glass.

Margarita mavens know a fiesta is a sure means to elevate the mood. This margarita mixer transforms any stale get-together into a fiesta instantly. Evocative of a mariachi’s maraca, this version of the Latin percussion instrument uses ice to create the rhythm while providing one with a freshly mixed and properly chilled cocktail. 

These wacky wine glasses with bent stems add a touch of whimsy. Ideal for setting a relaxed, lighthearted mood at the beginning of a gathering or for a surreptitious stemware switch as guests start on their second Syrah, each glass sits atop a wide, sturdy base that holds wine securely, despite the impaired appearance. Consider these glasses as a unique gift for hosts who have—or need—a great sense of humor.

You may have seen pedal-powered ice cream carts – here’s a better version. This beery pedal trike sports built-in taps to humor parched partygoers with cold brews at block parties, beaches, and local festivals. The “tap room on wheels” keeps several kegs of your preferred brew sufficiently chilled in its insulated aluminum cooler. With color-changing LEDs and integrated speakers, everyone will be in very good humor when this trike pulls up.

We recommend any of these unique gifts to add a heaping helping of happiness whenever it’s 5 o’clock somewhere. Your guests will definitely leave smiling.