12 Days of Awesomely Geeky Gifts: Behold, the iPod Nano (Plus iPod Shuffle Giveaway!)

Personally, I find gifts that you can share to be the most satisfying. I’ve never been the kind of mom to cling to gadgets and keep them from my kid; heck, he’s got to learn somehow. Sure, things can be expensive, I understand that. But gadgets — even the coolest ones — when used with supervision, can be gateways into learning and creative expression. While I’m not letting my son run around like a crazy person with my Droid X, I still make sure I give him plenty of time to cozy up to it.

That said, the iPod Nano is a perfect gateway gadget for kids. And it’s a perfect gadget for moms. Let’s address the kids, first.

Music is important. Nay, essential, to life. And I believe giving kids the chance to explore music on their own terms helps with their development. Granted, parents need to be involved. But one of the things I’ve enjoyed with my son is watching as he decides which music he likes best (so far he loves Steve Miller Band and Tom Petty). And the Nano is great for him for a number of reasons. It’s got volume control, so little ears are protected from loudness. It’s got an iPod-like navigation screen (so little and adorable) that shows album art and can even display photos. It’s small enough for their hands, but super responsive, too. It’s also reasonably priced.

For moms, the Nano goes beyond just music. It’s got a pedometer, a radio tuner, and all those photos and interactive multi-touch features are great for us, too. A splendid companion for working out, it’s so much more portable than the full-sized iPods that it actually makes a jog feasible. Now if only the Nano could also also act as a time-bending device, I might actually have enough hours in the day to go for a run.

At any rate, you can get the iPod Nano just about anywhere. In my opinion it’s an excellent gift for anyone on your list.

And while I don’t have an iPod Nano to give away, I do have a beautiful blue iPod Shuffle that’s looking for a new home. What do you have to do to get this delightful piece of technology? Just tell me what song you will never tire of, and I’ll choose a winner at random. U.S. residents only; you have until Friday!

… go!

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Natania Barron is a Gryffindor, a Took, and a Greyjoy (mostly because of the squid).