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2012 Gift Guide: What to Give the Non-Techies

You need something for the non-tech savvy on your list; you know, the friends and family members who corner you at any social gathering and beg for help with their laptop/DVR/oven timer.

With that in mind, we’ve made a list of gifts for non-techies. Arm your loved ones with confidence, and maybe next year, they’ll give you the gift of not treating you like a walking helpdesk.

Funky USB drives are fun enough that maybe, just maybe, they’ll actually back stuff up on them:

If the recipient is a) a teenage girl; or b) subscribes to Vogue; go with the drive with a Swarovski crystal-filled capsule

Is the recipient more the grandfather type? Chances are he’ll dig an old car.

For the game-obsessed, put a bird on it. An Angry Bird.

There’s something about genealogy that grabs people of a certain age. For the budding family historian, give them a subscription to If they can use Google, they can figure out how to use Ancestry. Soon they’ll be happily spending hours tracking down the birthplace of your great-great-grandfather’s brother’s wife.

Gift cards are the, uh, gift cards of gifts. An iTunes gift card is universally welcome, but you can up the thoughtfulness factor by giving a custom playlist. The recipient will be delighted at the personalization, and you’ll eliminate their chances of accidentally purchasing the karaoke version of their favorite Ludacris track.

Parents and grandparents might say they don’t want anything, but you know they’re lying–they want to be with you. Give them the next best thing: lots of photos.

A Digital picture frame, pre-loaded with photos of children/vacations/dogs. You’ll have to get it ready, but it’s not too hard. Then all Granny and Grampy need to do is plug it in and enjoy an endless loop of photos they love.

Don’t give anyone a cell phone, unless you want to then be tasked with setting it up. But if someone you know already has an iPhone 5, they’ll need chargers. Equip them with an extra Lightning USB cable or three.

Sure, cables lack the flash of a smartphone. But the first time the charge runs out inconveniently, this gift will seem heaven-sent.

Of course, all of these ideas still require the recipient to use technology. If you know someone who refuses to acknowledge the existence of computers (and don’t we all know someone like this), then just give in. Get them a nice pair of slippers, a bottle of wine, or anything that doesn’t require a power source. You’ll both be a lot happier.


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