Earlier today on a round of errands, I noticed that Christmas was aggressively invading the inventory at my local CVS. Ugh. Then, as I walked along one of the main commercial thoroughfares in my area of Brooklyn, Court Street, I noticed that Main Street USA-esque holiday decorations were already hung and waiting patiently to be lit across intersections and on streetlamps. Double ugh. The holidays are officially upon us.

Don’t get me wrong. I like the holidays. But I always feel bombarded when they come. It’s like someone has flipped a magic switch and suddenly I’m overwhelmed by Maria Carey holiday songs and tourists in Santa hats.

Since I’m a bit of a holiday pre-planner, when late October hits I can’t stop thinking about gift giving. On a recent visit to the fabulous, nonprofit green pop-up shop, BoHo Bodega (pictured below), I picked up (for myself) a USB AA Double Battery Charger from Kikkerland (yes, I didn't own a battery charger since I don’t really use that many battery-powered things around the house these days aside from TV remotes).

This strikes me as the type of item that would make for a most excellent stocking-stuffer or what have you. Growing up, I used to get jumbo-sized packs of batteries in my Christmas stocking since I was into battery-powered gadgets and gizmos. Years later, a battery charger, not batteries, makes a whole lot more sense financially and environmentally. Kikkerland's USB charger is especially eco-forward since instead of powering up a separate charging device, you're consolidating your energy use by simply plugging a sleek little charger (it charges two AA Ni-MH rechargeable batteries) into the USB port of your laptop or desktop. The Kikkerland USB AA Double Battery Charger doesn't recharge at a rapid speed, so don't expect to look up from writing an email and find that your batteries have been fully charged. 

I admit, battery chargers don’t make for the most sexy gift items but this one (Energizer makes a similar, USB-based device) is quite unique. I'd recommend it for use in any battery-dependent household where a computer is frequently being used. 

Kikkerland USB AA Double Battery Charger @ Kikkerland Shop ($27)

BoHo Bodega photo: Amy Sarisky

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.