Christopher Knight knows about gadgets.  After a very successful career as a child actor (Peter Brady on the Brady Bunch), he turned to the computer industry.  Because of his love for technology, Knight became vice president of design system marketing and sales at New Image Industry, and helped develop the 3D rendering and imaging offerings that are so huge today.  Now, he’s a regular at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and is respected for his insight into the consumer trends.

Each year, the holiday shopping season seems to begin earlier.  That’s why Knight believes it’s best to shop early, and shop smart to get the gadgets and gifts everyone will be talking about.  He list some timely suggestions on how to pick the perfect gadgets based on the personality of different family members and how to save money. 


During the holidays I am always looking for extra outlets. So a unusual gadget that is perfect for the holidays is the revolutionary RoboReel Cord Reel.  It is the world’s first extension cord reel worthy of being called a power tool and is designed as an easy way to help keep an extension cord neat, safe and out of the way when you’re not using it.  This portable, motor driven power cord system delivers 50 feet of 12/14 gauge cord with a ‘smart’ three outlet receptacle ball on the end.  It can be placed virtually anywhere, including being mounted on the wall, ceiling, or on the back of a truck.

Also the RoboReel is very safe.  If the extension cord is ever completely severed, power will shut off in less than a second to help prevent electrical injuries. It also winds in fast and slows down to docking speed – all at the touch of a button – to prevent whipping action that can cause injury or damage. Another safety feature is that it features redundant thermostats to prevent overheating and fire hazard, and features a 15-amp circuit breaker to protect those valuable tools.  

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We’ve all heard about Anceancentry It’s the world’s largest online family history resource, and it’s easy to give as well as easy to use. You can start a family tree and add new discoveries while searching Ancestry’s database of over 10 billion historical records. I did some digging into my family on, and I discovered a record of my great-grandfather as a young immigrant in New York, working as a real estate agent in Manhattan. Fast forward 20 years and here he is in the 1920 Census, where he owns his own home AND his own real estate business. The records document how he lived the American Dream: Coming to America and building a better future for the next generations.

Another fun fact: 4 out of 5 Americans are interested in learning more about their family history, and every family has a unique story. So it’s the perfect gift for everyone on your list. You can purchase gift subscriptions at, and have your shopping done in less than 5 minutes

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One of my favorite gifts is low-tech and it really keeps the holiday spirit alive. It’s the AFLAC Holiday Duck.  This little guy is a great stress reliever that quacks just like the ducks in the commercials. All the proceeds go to the oncology unit at the children’s cancer hospital nearest to where the Holiday Duck was purchased. The duck can be found at more than 600 Macy’s across the country.

Monica Sandoval is the first cancer patient to design the Aflac Holiday Duck
The six inch duck goes for $10 and the 10 inch duck sells for $15. But remember, 100 percent of the proceeds go to the research and treatment of childhood cancer.  For more than ten years the AFLAC Holiday Duck has raised nearly $3 million in the fight against pediatric cancer. Since 1995, Aflac has donated more than $67 million dollars to this fight.



A high tech item you’ll be hearing more about is this Sonos Wireless HiFi System that can wire your entire home with sounds and ties into your iTunes or music service like Pandora, Songza and Tune In.  It comes with a free iPad app that is easy to use to control you Sonos through your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or Android phone as a remote.This year’s ultimate gift of music is the Sonos Wireless HiFi System.

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