I don't receive many gifts at Christmas anymore. This year, I received exactly two presents: my favourite gum from my oldest son and a water resistant bluetooth speaker from my daughter so I can listen to podcasts and mp3s while in the shower. It was a great Christmas.
Over the last few years, there have been a few gifts that have really changed my day-to-day. One per year, actually, and only one was given to mark an occasion.
In 2012, for my birthday, my girlfriend (now wife) bought me a new bicycle. She had heard me talk about how much I loved cycling the city in my younger years and thought new wheels might spark a return. She was absolutely right and just last week I cleared 4500 km for the calendar year, a personal best.
In 2013, I bought myself a podcast recording studio. I wanted the audio I recorded at home to sound professional, so I truly splurged to do this right. Just last week I sat down with Strombo to record my 103rd episode and produced what I sincerely believe is my finest work to date.
This year, my wife and I decided to buy a couple of Chromecasts, one for each television in the house. It has completely changed the way we watch television, movies and YouTube. I can't recommend Chromecast highly enough if you stream entertainment via Netflix, YouTube or even if you're just watching a local MP4, AVI, MOV or MKV file. It's brilliant.
So as much as I talk about not wanting any more stuff and rejecting most consumerism, there have been a few gifts in recent years that have changed my life for the better. And they often come without reason or fanfare and once they're here, they stick.