Instead of sitting around this holiday season wishing you could spend time with your friends and family members, take the time to find gifts that help you stay connected.
Be it a video game console that's sure to keep your kids and their cousins connected and entertained, or something more personal for you and your partner, there's something for everyone in our list below.
Heck, there's even a lamp that changes colors every time your friend touches their own version of the same exact lamp. Sometimes it's the little things that mean the most.
Below are some of our top picks for tech gifts that will help you stay connected this holiday season.
The Apple Watch can do a lot of things, like track your heart rate, sync messages from your iPhone or double as an Inspector Gadget-like walkie talkie. With a couple of taps on the screen, you're instantly connected to a loved one, where you can take turns talking to each other directly from your wrist. Pretty cool.$259 at Amazon $259 at Best Buy $279 at Adorama
Visit each others' islands in Animal Crossing, team up on Rocket League, or drop-in on Fortnite. Gaming together is a fantastic way to create memories while staying in touch.$199 at Walmart $200 at Best Buy $200 at Adorama
Facebook's Portal devices have some of coolest video conferencing tech. The camera will follow you around the room, zoom in when you're talking, or zoom out when someone enters the shot. There are various designs and models to pick from.$129 at Amazon $130 at Best Buy $129 at Adorama
Not only does the Xbox offer a multitude of online gaming that you and your family members can play together, but it doubles as a streaming device to watch shows and movies as well. The latest generation, Series X and Series S, will be hard to find this holiday season, making it an even sweeter present.$500 at Best Buy $500 at Adorama
Have a family member who refuses to use social media even though they are missing out on all the cute photos you post? The Aura Frame will let you send pictures directly from your phone to one of its frames (internet connection required, of course). The photos will show up a few seconds later.$199 at Aura Frames
Of course, Sony is also launching its latest generation gaming console, the PS5. It will be hard to find, just like the Xbox Series models, so if you have the opportunity to snag one, we suggest you do it the moment you find one.$400 at Best Buy $400 at Adorama
The base model iPad is the most affordable, but it doesn't leave anything to be desired. You're still able to play games, chat, and, yes, use it for FaceTime video or audio calls with other Apple-using friends and family members.$329 at Amazon $280 at Best Buy $329 at Adorama
The Echo Show 8 is an Alexa-powered device with a screen and camera built-in. You don't have to use it only for video calls, but you can also drop-in on a loved one's Echo for a surprise audio call whenever you want.$129 at Amazon
It may not be as good as hanging out in person, but hanging out in VR isn't a bad way to spend some time with a friend. The Oculus GO VR headset doesn't need a powerful PC to run, and there's plenty of games that you can play.$299 at Amazon $299 at Best Buy $299 at Adorama
If you don't want or need an iPad, Amazon's Fire HD 8 Plus is the best bang for your buck when it comes to tablet. Use the front-facing camera for Zoom video calls, and then when you're done, you can finish shopping on Amazon.$75 at Amazon $75 at Best Buy
Friendship lamps take a more subdued method to stay connected with a loved one. Whenever you tap the lap to change its color, your friend's lamp will also change colors, letting them know you're thinking about them. It's no doubt unique.$299 at Friendship Lamps
For the more adventurous, LoveSense offers toys for both partners that can be controlled remotely via a desktop app, a smartphone, or tablet. And when your schedules align, you can take advantage of the two-way interactivity feature. Think of it as a mutually beneficial gift.$190 at LoveSense
Need more gift ideas?
Our sister sites also have the following gift guides:
- CNET: Stellar gifts for 2020
- GameSpot: Gift Ideas for 2020
- Chowhound: The best gourmet food and drink gifts
- ETOnline: Best gift ideas for home, beauty, baby and more
- TechRepublic: Holiday gift guides for techies, remote workers, and everyone else on your list
- Rachel Ray Show: 2020 Holiday Gift Guide