One of the better Yuletide traditions is the venerable holiday Advent Calendar, in which each day of December leading up to Christmas is marked off on a special calendar by opening its corresponding door to find a small gift, toy or chocolate squirreled away inside.

This year, we here at Cult of Mac decided we wanted to give our readers their very own Apple-themed advent calendar, filled with the year’s best apps, gadgets, stories and other curios. So each day in December, we’re going to lovingly peel back the door on the Cult of Mac 2012 Advent Calendar to reveal another delicious morsel, something really special that came out this year that we think every one of you should enjoy.

So what’s up with door number 6? It’s a handy little charging solution called the PlugBug that puts a spare 10 watt USB charger in your MacBook power brick.

Over the last couple of years, I have developed an obsession with traveling light that has been wonderfully encouraged and cultivated by Mssrs. Cook, Ive & Co. When I go out of the house and need to work remotely, my bag is as light as I can possibly make it: an 11-inch MacBook Air, an iPad, my iPhone, a couple pens and a steno-pad for notes.

Despite the sheer amount of silicon and tech stuffed into my shoulder bag, it’s always light, always svelte, always uncluttered. As they have done with so many other things when it comes to consumer electronics design, they have turned making gadgets thin into a cutting-edge art.

Well, except for one thing. The chargers.

The standard Apple MacBook Charger is easily two to three times thicker than my MacBook Air. The same can be said about the Apple 10W USB charger, which is just a brick compared to the thin slate it powers. Between the bricks and the cords, Apple’s chargers add an extreme amount of thickness and ungainliness to a streamlined gadget bag… and since my MacBook Air, at least, doesn’t have 10W USB ports, I can’t piggy back charging my iPad off of just the one charger.

Well, not without TwelveSouth’s ingenious, button-cute accessory, the PlugBug, that is.

The PlugBug is a marvelous idea. It’s an adorable little, blood-swelled parasite that leeches off of your standard Apple charger, supplying 10W of USB power to any device tethered to it, while passing electricity through to your MacBook at the same time. In other words, the PlugBug replaces the standard outlet adapter on your Apple charger and not only charges your MacBook but your iPad too… at the same time, from one electrical outlet. And it works exactly like it says on the tin.

The PlugBug has become one of my most indispensible accessories of the year. If you don’t have one already, you want one for Christmas, and it oonly costs $ 34.99.

« »