The Sure Cure for Cabin Fever: Get Outdoors!

Remember winter when you were a kid? You prayed for snow days. Frigid temperatures were not something to be cursed.

These days, you may avoid the outdoors during cold weather. But the common affliction of cabin fever can lead to feelings of lethargy, sadness, sleeplessness, and even claustrophobia. Instead of suffering through another year of seasonal malaise, why not embrace the weather. Get out with your kids or grandchildren and actually enjoy the unique gifts winter brings.

Have you been cooped up indoors so long you’re not sure how to get started? We have some suggestions for outdoor winter play, so put on your snow pants and let’s go! 

This toy blaster makes softball-sized snowballs and launches them up to 80 feet, assuring victory in neighborhood snowball fights. Simply place snow in the forming chamber and close the lid; it instantly packs three perfectly spherical snowballs. To blast your target, place one ball in the muzzle, aim the launcher and pull back the slingshot. 86783_1000x1000

Even several weeks past the winter solstice, nightfall comes much too early. Don’t let darkness put an end to sledding fun. This Bavarian-style performance sled features LEDs that update the classic Alpine schlitten for evening enjoyment. Two stainless steel runners and an innovative, shock-absorbing steering system deliver responsive maneuverability in all snow conditions. Any sledder of any age will appreciate this unique gift. 12498_1000x1000

Perhaps you already enjoy snowmobiling or exploring snowy trails on an ATV. Use either vehicle to tow this two-person Snow Craft for an exciting winter trail ride. The craft will glide over snow, ice and slush on its two flexible steel skis. A gas-operated shock suspension system ensures a comfortable ride.

While much of the country has been basking in the unique gifts of a mild winter so far this year, we can be assured of more snow in our futures. Get out your mittens and get ready for enough fun to cure even the worst case of cabin fever!

Feel the Force of Cinematic History

Although just released a mere month ago, Star Wars: The Force Awakens already is one of the highest-grossing films of all time.

Considering nearly 40 years have passed since the original Star Wars film debuted, that translates into incredible staying power for the franchise, not to mention for the collectible merchandise and unique gifts that portray the movie’s iconic characters.87707A_1000x1000

The complete Star Wars collection at Hammacher Schlemmer ranges from books to robes and slippers to remote-controlled ‘droids. Here are some of our favorites, whimsical items not commonly found elsewhere. These are the perfect unique gift ideas for any collector of Star Wars memorabilia, or even just for yourself. 87799_1000x1000

These Star Wars steins impart intergalactic intrepidity to your imbibing. Made from high-quality ceramic with pewter lids, each 32-oz. stein is crafted in the likeness of R2-D2, Darth Vader, Chewbacca or Boba Fett. Each stein is available individually, so a collector can choose a favorite or get the whole set.

Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, this Darth Vader humidifier remedies room dryness with a mist that emanates from his helmeted head. Ultrasonic technology dispenses the gentle, soothing mist without using a loud fan that can be heard far, far away. The stoic Sith Lord can humidify a room for up to 12 hours. Darth also incorporates a night light to ensure a room doesn’t slip over to the Dark Side. 88079_1000x1000

Convert your car’s windshield into the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon with this sunscreen. It depicts the classic “that’s no moon” scene from the original movie, proving that your car is indeed the “fastest hunk of junk” in the parking lot. The screen deflects the sun’s rays as effectively as a blast shield deflects the particles of exploding planets.

We have over two dozen unique gifts that will delight any Star Wars aficionado. Check out our entire collection today!

Make Space to Put Every Thing in Its Place

A better-organized home leads to the unique gift of a simpler, saner life. This may even be one of your New Year’s resolutions.

Today, we have three simple solutions to help you get you started on a new clutter-free lifestyle.83407_1000x1000
Organize Your Family Room or Den. Banish that pile of books, magazines and newspapers from the top of the coffee table. The Organized Reader’s End Table features four open shelves that keep reading material organized and easily accessible. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, the bookstand helps reduce clutter and holds enough printed matter to sate even the most voracious reader, in only 1.5 sq. ft. of floor space. 83456_1000x1000

Organize Your Closet. Save loads of closet space and make the right pair of pants easy to find. This trouser rack keeps 20 pairs of slacks neatly hung and readily accessible. Another Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, it mounts on a closet wall or door and has a steel support bracket with 20 hardwood dowels so you can hang trousers flush against the wall, then swing them out individually. 81628_1000x1000

Organize Your Dresser. Get earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings off the dresser where they might get tangled or lost. This wall-mounted, illuminated cabinet – available nowhere else – keeps up to 104 pieces of jewelry organized and easily accessible. Plus, it has six LEDs inside to help you quickly locate your favorite pieces. The cabinet has a key lock, it is lined with microfiber that prevents tarnish, and the exterior of the door has a mirror. We think this is a unique gift that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day, too!

That old adage about “a place for everything, and everything in its place” is true. Once you conquer the clutter throughout your home, commit some time each evening to make sure everything gets put away. It’s a habit that needs to be cultivated, but once you do so, you will be rewarded with a home that provides the unique gift of a less stressful environment.

Cut Heating Costs to Amp up Your Savings

With bills from the holidays rolling in, you may have a resolution for 2016 to put household spending on a diet.

A great way to start replenishing your bank account is to reduce your home heating bill. Apropos, this Sunday is National Cut Your Energy Costs Day and we have several tips to help you stay warm, even as you dial down the thermostat.

Make sure your home is well-insulated. Easy DIY steps you can take are to add or replace weather stripping around doors, use caulk to seal cracks around windows and put piping insulation around both hot and cold water pipes. 87694_1000x1000

Turn your thermostat down to 62 degrees at night. You can stay warm and cozy in bed with a heated mattress pad. This heated pad earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it generated the most consistent warmth and was the most comfortable. Panelists lauded The Best model’s soft cushioning, virtually undetectable heating elements, and soft, smooth cotton/polyester 200-thread-count fabric.

Take advantage of sunlight. Open drapes on south- and west-facing windows on sunny days for the unique gift of warmth provided free by Mother Nature. Close drapes on cloudy days and at sunset to add extra insulation to your windows. 88051A_1000x1000

Heat the room you’re in and turn down the furnace by using a space heater. This portable radiator features a patented heat flow system that provides consistent, thorough heating of a room. Seven vertical tunnels enable radiant heat to rise faster than typical oil-filled radiators for faster, more even heat distribution in a room up to 144 sq. ft. A digital thermostat maintains your preferred ambient temperature. This heater also makes a thoughtful and unique gift for any handyman with a garage workshop. 87563_1000x1000

For the latest technology in space heaters, The Hammacher Schlemmer institute recommends this tower heater as The Best because it warms a cold room faster and warmer than any other competitor. Designed for both safety and style, The Best model has a quiet heater that oscillates for efficiency and a minimalist form with no exposed heating elements or whirring blades, plus it automatically shuts off if tipped over. It also can be focused to direct heat to a specific area or distribute it evenly around the room.

Keep your heat registers clear. If furniture is placed over a heating vent, the flow of warm air will be limited. Rearrange rooms so floor vents are completely unobstructed.

Have your furnace cleaned and serviced every year. A clean furnace runs more efficiently. The technician will also ensure your unit has no carbon monoxide leaks, so you and your family will stay safe, making this perhaps the most important tip of all.

Energize January with the Best Home Entertainment

The excitement of the holidays is behind us now. Kind of a relief, isn’t it?

On the other hand, you may experience post-holiday let-down once visitors have left, the colorful lights are packed away, and the college bowl matchups have been decided. Combat the ennui January brings by cocooning in the comfort and warmth of your own home. In other words, it’s the perfect time to upgrade to the latest in home entertainment technology. 12724_1000x1000

The best TVs on the market today are 4K OLED. An Organic Light Emitting Diode display has several advantages over conventional LED technology. It’s possible to create a thinner, lighter-weight screen. OLED is more energy efficient and eco-friendly. For the viewer, OLED pixels provide a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1—the highest available. This 4K OLED television won the King of TV award at the New York Consumer Electronics Show because it produced the most stunning, lifelike picture, deeper black levels, superior contrast, and the best color accuracy. This TV automatically upscales traditional high-definition content to true ultra-high-def resolution. 83991A_1000x1000

Leave winter behind and put yourself into another reality with the help of internet-connected goggles. These wireless goggles create the full-immersive experience of a personal 100″ high-def computer screen. The goggles come pre-loaded with Android apps that support streaming video and audio anywhere a Wi-Fi connection is available. Escape your surroundings to watch movies, play video games, surf social media, and check email from within a virtual environment that simulates a front-row seat in your own private theater. 82997_1000x1000

You may want to use your cocooning time to dive into your collection of movies and music. But is your collection organized the way you want it to be? This Mission-style media library stores up to 1,044 CDs, 468 DVDs, or 240 VHS tapes. Available exclusively from Hammacher Schlemmer, the unit has eighteen shelves that can be raised or lowered to any height, allowing you to create custom storage configurations.

So put on your comfiest PJs, make some popcorn, and take advantage of January’s chilly darkness to enjoy the best entertainment, right from your own couch.

Will 2016 Be a Great Year? Time Will Tell

No one ever has enough time. But every one of us enjoys the unique gift of all the time there is.

Today is National Tick Tock Day, a reminder that only two days remain in the year…two days to accomplish unfinished business, make one last stab at those resolutions, and reflect back on the accomplishments of the past 12 months.

As we mark the final hours of 2015, you may find yourself preparing resolutions for the new year. Along with getting fit and being more organized, you might be resolving to use your time more efficiently in 2016. Why not start with a new clock to motivate you? We have some suggestions to help you mark time with style. 83875_1000x1000

The Hands Free Gear Clock features small moving gears that rotate a large outer sprocket to tell the time. Instead of hands, this industrial-design clock has a simple arrow that points to the current time on the wall clock’s large outer dial. The clock is nearly 2′ in diameter, with large numbers easy to see from a distance. 86274_1000x1000

This oversized Outdoor Lighted Atomic Clock maintains unerring accuracy from the radio clock transmitter in Ft. Collins, Colorado, so this clock will never gain or lose a second. Along with glowing hands, four LEDs illuminate the face when its light sensors indicate dark conditions—features available only from Hammacher Schlemmer. This clock also displays the temperature and relative humidity. 78047_1000x1000

When your days are busy and your mind is occupied, sometimes you need to be reminded of the day of the week, in addition to the time. The Day of the Week Clock’s face includes seven pie-shaped sections, each labeled with the day, Sunday through Saturday. The clock makes a thoughtful and unique gift for a retired person, too, to help them keep track of the week in their newly freed-up schedule.

So, as the clock ticks to close out the year, we would like to thank each and every one of our readers. We look forward to serving you throughout 2016 with ideas for unique gifts, including The Best, The Only and the Unexpected, for all occasions.

Laugh in the Face of Winter with Warmth

Last night, just a few moments before midnight in the Eastern time zone, the sun reached it most southerly declination for the year marking the winter solstice.

In the U.K., well over a thousand people celebrated nature’s unique gifts at the moment the sun aligned with Stonehenge’s ancient monuments. (Incidentally, the sun lines up with buildings in New York City in a similar way in late May and mid-July…a phenomenon popularly called Manhattanhenge.)

The darkest days are behind us now and we can celebrate the gradual return of light! But because the coldest days of winter lag three to four weeks behind the solstice, there is bound to be plenty of frigid weather in our future. We have some suggestions that will keep you or your loved ones warm and cozy on winter’s coldest days.87915_1000x1000

This cordless heated throw, available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, provides a layer of warmth away from an electrical outlet. Ideal for outdoor sporting events, untethered use on the couch, or chilly airplane cabins, this plush fleece throw provides up to nine hours of heat from a four-hour charge. It makes a thoughtful and unique gift for that person who always feels cold. 86725_1000x1000

The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute rated these heated gloves The Best because they generated the most heat and were the most comfortable. On their highest temperature setting, The Best model generated almost twice as much warmth as lesser gloves and dispersed heat across the top of the hand. The Best Heated Gloves warmed hands for more than 12 hours on low power and are soft and flexible, making it easy to grab things. 87921_1000x1000

For drivers who prefer not to wear gloves, this battery-operated heated steering wheel cover completely encircles the wheel to keep hands warm during winter drives. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, its three heat settings keep the surface between 95° F and 110° F to keep the wheel warm and comfortable as you maneuver wintery conditions.

These unique gift ideas are sure to delight anyone who lives in a northern clime. You’ll be able to laugh in the face of winter and smile at the return of longer days as we head toward spring.

You Won’t Skate Bored with One of These

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel…but there’s always a need to reinvent how the wheel gets used.87687_1000x1000

If someone on your holiday gift list embraces skateboarding, odds are they’re looking for new and different ways to enjoy this particular form of transportation. We have some unique gift ideas that will make them the envy of all the other shredders at the skate park. 87162_1000x1000

This freestyle slalom skateboard is propelled by a skiing-like movement that provides an exhilarating ride. Simply push off the ground with feet on either side of the back wheel, and lean side-to-side to propel the scooter forward. To stop, the rider holds on to the integrated handle and places a foot on the ground, similar to stopping a more ordinary skateboard. 88116_1000x1000

Smartphones now control so many aspects of our lives…why not skateboards! Here’s the electric skateboard controlled by a phone. A free app lets the rider accelerate, slow down and stop simply by sliding a finger across the screen. An electric motor propels the board up to 12-1/2 mph. The skateboard even has a regenerative braking system—similar to the systems used in hybrid cars—that recycles power to recharge the battery incrementally when braking.

This electric self-balancing personal transporter is a completely unique gift that will guarantee plenty of attention. Leaning forward or backward on the foot platforms propels the transporter in that direction up to 11 mph. Simply leaning to one side enables easy turning, and standing up straight provides confident stops. The transporter even has a headlight and taillight for riding at dusk.

Any one of these unique gifts will give mega-fun on wheels…and no forced smiles on Christmas morning.

Boost Your Health with Chocolate

Many a medical study has maligned some of our favorite foods. However, research consistently shows that chocolate is good for you. This is research we can get behind!12264_1000x1000 2

Tomorrow is National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day and it’s a great time to celebrate all things cocoa. Chocolate contains the alkaloid theobromine. This alkaloid is a unique gift from nature because it can help improve blood circulation, stimulate the brain, reduce cholesterol, and prevent coughs. Couple this with chocolate’s mood-lifting properties and you might call it a natural wonder drug! 12759_1000x1000

Marry rich chocolate with hickory-smoked bacon and you get this decadent treat. Premium thick-cut bacon is oven-baked until golden and crispy, then expertly hand dipped in chocolate. You might want to keep this bacon for yourself, but it also makes a perfect unique gift idea because it equally pleases those who love sweet or savory flavors. 12636_1000x1000

These crisp Moravian cookies are crafted using Old World techniques and enrobed in rich artisanal chocolate. The cookies are baked with all-natural ingredients and are coated in rich milk chocolate to create a sweet-tooth satisfying treat.

Using the best and freshest ingredients, these scrumptious pecan turtles start with a thick bed of fresh Georgia pecan pieces, topped with a dollop of caramel. Capped with a thick crown of rich milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or white chocolate, each turtle variety offers an irresistible combination of crunchy, creamy, and chocolatey goodness with every bite.

Don’t let tomorrow slip by without some chocolate. It’s a great excuse to enjoy the great taste of cocoa that just may be good for you, too.

Santa…Coming Soon to a Chimney Near You

The colorful, twinkling lights are up, unique gifts are wrapped and under the tree, and now millions of children are counting down the days till a visit from the fat, jolly guy in a red suit.

No matter your age, Santa Claus is an image as closely associated with the holiday as a Christmas tree and the brilliant star. The earliest origins of Santa come from the Byzantine Empire, what is now Turkey. St. Nicholas, a 4th century bishop, was famous for his generous gifts to the poor. Over the centuries, St. Nick evolved through European folklore in variations such as Sinterklaas and Father Christmas.75754_1000x1000

In 1823, the poem we now know as ‘Twas the Night before Christmas was published in Troy, NY. New Yorkers embraced the child-centric story. Now, you can own an authentic hand-painted figurine designed by renowned artist Thomas Kinkade that recites this beloved poem in the artist’s own voice. The figurine stands a foot tall and depicts amazing detail, with toys under the tree and a miniature version of Kinkade’s Cobblestone Christmas painting behind Santa. 84639_1000x1000

Kinkade also designed this snowglobe, inspired by a classic Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post cover. Like Rockwell’s original, Kinkade’s Santa surveys a magical globe with a magnifying glass, putting the finishing touches on his “naughty or nice” list. The village within the globe lights up with four golden LEDs as a blower mechanism swirls snow through the sphere. At the touch of a switch, the globe plays a medley of eight holiday favorite tunes. This keepsake is the perfect unique gift idea for anyone who collects snowglobes or is an aficionado of Kinkade or Rockwell. 12165_1000x1000

For the younger set, this personalized heirloom story book traces the journey of a child’s letter as it travels to the North Pole and recounts Santa’s dutiful delivery of presents on Christmas morning. Told from Santa’s point of view, a child’s first name appears on all 10 spreads, both in the book’s rhyming verse and across 10 illustrations.

At Hammacher Schlemmer, we love ol’ St. Nick. He lives in our hearts through the spirit of generosity, the power of love, and the joy that comes from giving to others. No matter how big or small the present, whether simple and homemade or a unique gift that becomes a conversation piece, share the magic, the hope and the happiness that comes from Christmas.