Feature: Have Yourself a USB-Powered Christmas


    For the first time in a very long time, I’m actually going to have a white Christmas here in Vancouver. It’s really out of the ordinary for us to get this much snow (over 30cm in the last few days), so I’ll be spending the holidays indoors and, more likely than not, I’ll have my laptop open and connected to the Interweb.

    While the song may tell you to have a merry little Christmas, I think it is perhaps more accurate for all of my fellow gadget geeks to have a USB-powered Christmas this year. Poking my way around the ‘net, I discovered no shortage of Christmas-themed USB goodness. Here are five of the best.

    Maybe you don’t have the room (or the time) to bother with a real Christmas tree. For times like those, you can consider the USB-powered Christmas tree instead. No, it won’t be quite as awe-inspiring as an eight-foot behemoth, but it could add a little festive spirit to your otherwise bland home office. This isn’t the only USB-powered Christmas tree, of course, so feel free to shop around to find some interesting variations. Most of them come with some sort of lighting and perhaps a star on top. I’d recommend against wrapping it in garland unless you want a visit from the fire department this Christmas.

    That chubby guy in a red suit will be making his rounds tonight, dropping off toys for all the good girls and boys of the world. Have you been good this year? Will Santa light up your eyes on Christmas morning? Jump the queue and light up your world with a USB-powered Santa Claus. In addition to providing some holiday cheer to your desk in the form of a blue light (in acknowledgment of Hanukkah, perhaps?), USB Santa happens to be standing on a three-port USB hub. This way, you still have room to plug in your wireless keyboard, webcam, and flash drive. Those are important, don’t you know.

    You can’t escape the reach of Sanrio. You’ll see this cat on just about everything from cell phones to MP3 players, and your winterization process is no exception. Check out this Hello Kitty USB foot warmer on eBay. Shaped like a set of slippers, you put your tootsies inside to keep them nice and toasty on those cold winter nights. If you’ve got someone who is a big Hello Kitty fan in your life, I’m sure they’ve love this kind of addition to be placed next to their Hello Kitty flash drive, Hello Kitty computer mouse, Hello Kitty pen holder, Hello Kitty touque, Hello Kitty gloves, Hello Kitty camera, Hello Kitty stuffed animal, Hello Kitty stationery…. you get the idea.

    Do you plan on curling up with a nice piping hot cup of cocoa? Doesn’t it suck when that cup gets all cold while your going around watching YouTube videos and updating your Twitter status? Just as there is a USB cup cooler, there is a USB cup warmer available. This way, your hot chocolate actually stays hot. Sorta. Just make sure you don’t spill that drink all over your keyboard, because no one like sticky keys and electrical fires. That’s just not a nice way to spend the holidays. Or any day, for that matter.

    Got stuck shoveling the snow and now you can’t feel your fingers? The USB heating gloves may be just the ticket. As you can probably imagine, the functionality is quite straightforward, plugging into a USB port and warming up your hands. It can rise ten degrees in about five minutes and the gloves are made of wool.