'Tis the season to bestow gifts on friends and family, but coming up with fresh ideas can be a challenge. With that in mind, we've tracked down 10 potential gifts covering a range of SKYE topics, including space, travel, the outdoors and, of course, weather.
Click through for a tough, innovative umbrella, a rugged, state-of-the-art digital camera and more.
For the Rain-Soaked Traveler: WindJammer Auto Open and Close Compact Umbrella
Outside magazine called the WindJammer compact "the only umbrella you'll ever need." It opens into a 43-inch canopy, has a dual-canopy that keeps it from inverting in the wind, and retracts into a 12.5-inch cylinder. Good Housekeeping opened and closed it 150 times without fail, so you can be confident the auto-open/close button won't give out. If there's any lingering doubt, the umbrella comes with a full lifetime warranty with a repair and replacement guarantee.
SHOP NOW: $34.20
For the Tech Savvy Stargazer: SkyProdigy 6 Computerized Telescope
You don't have to be a trained astronomer to explore the cosmos with this high-tech telescope. The SkyProdigy 6 has an on-board computer that automatically focuses and aligns itself for a clear picture of the celestial bodies. Astronomy magazine says the telescope "sets a new standard for ease of use." The SkyProdigy 6 also offers a Sky Tour option that presents a list of objects in the sky for your exact time and location to help you see the best of the sky.
SHOP NOW: $999
For the Armchair Traveler: Better Than Fiction: True Travel Tales from Great Fiction Writers
At its best, travel writing transports readers, taking them places they've always wondered about or never before imagined, or by revealing new facets of familiar places. Lonely Planet's new anthology collects travel stories by leading fiction writers, including Joyce Carol Oates, Isabel Allende and Peter Matthiessen.
SHOP NOW: $15.99
For the Playful Architecture Fan: Lego Architecture's Burj Khalifa
If there was ever any doubt, Lego bricks aren't just for kids anymore. The Lego Architecture series "celebrates the past, present and future of architecture through the medium of the Lego brick." The series includes models of iconic buildings like Fallingwater, the Sydney Opera House and, yes, Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the tallest manmade structure in the world. Recommended for ages 12 and up.
BUY NOW: $21.44
For the Tech-Savvy Adrenaline Junkie: GoPro Hero3
GoPro has revolutionized digital video, making small, rugged, affordable cameras that go anywhere and capture anything. Surfers, skiers, BASE jumpers and mountain bikers have taken the little cameras to the edge and brought back jaw-dropping footage. The latest generation is smaller and lighter, and it's earning rave reviews. Give one to your favorite adrenaline junkie or budding auteur — you might just inspire the next YouTube star.
SHOP NOW: $199–$399
For the Score-Keeping Jetsetter: Scratch Map Travel Edition
The jetsetter in your family can have fun showing off his or her travels on the Scratch Map mini. Rub off the gold finish to reveal colorful continents, countries and cities around the world. The map is 16.5 inches wide by 12 inches tall when laid flat and rolls up in into a 13x2-inch tube.
SHOP NOW: $16.49
For the Connected Adventurer: LifeProof iPhone Case
LifeProof's rugged iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch cases are built to withstand any weather or wear. The plastic case seals out dust and water, can be safely submerged in up to 6.6 feet of water for 30 minutes and can withstand the shock of a 6.6-foot fall. What's more, it fits in your pocket and weighs less than an ounce. It's a useful gift for any active adrenaline junkie, outdoorsman or just plain accident-prone smartphone user.
SHOP NOW: $69.99–$79.99
For the Eco-Conscious Powderhound: Soul Poles
Made by hand in Park City, Utah, Soul Poles are eco-friendly bamboo ski poles. U.S. Ski team racer Erik Schlopy and skier-musician Bryon Friedman began the company to help curb waste in the ski gear industry while providing jobs for Park City locals. Not a bad mission. Another bonus: Soul Poles offers a one-year, no-questions-asked warranty; if your pole breaks after the warranty expires, they'll replace it for just $35.
SHOP NOW: $125–$350
For the Earthbound Surfer: Hamboard Skateboard
Have a skateboarder in your life? Hamboards just might be the Cadillacs of skateboards. Shaped like surfing's classic longboards, Hamboards are skateboards that try to replicate the experience of surfing on land. How close do the boards come? Some users actually report an improvement in their surfing skills after riding a Hamboard.
SHOP NOW: $495
Next: 50 Must-See Weather Photos from 2012
For the Eco-Conscious Reader: On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson
This biography of the famed conservationist and writer made the New York Times' 100 Notable Books of 2012 list. The title arrived on the 50th anniversary of Carson's Silent Spring, a book so influential some credit it with launching the modern environmental movement. The Times called the tome "an absorbing biography of the pioneering environmental writer."
SHOP NOW: $19.17