Mitch here! Pardon the Grizzly Adams appearance, but fatherhood, full-time teaching and part-time “blog husbanding” have clearly taken their toll on my appearance. To my mother and mother-in-law: I’m sorry, Ladies. I’m sorry for screwing up the Christmas card photos and for scaring your friends. I promise that by Christmas, I’ll have this taken care of.
But back to the point of this post: presents for the guys in your life.
Guys are simple. Don’t overcomplicate the holidays with convoluted gifts. The key to a solid unwrapping session for your guy is to manage the experience. Here are a few tips:
- Give him a gift for right now: Give your guy something to use right away. If gifts are exchanged in the morning, give him a new set of comfy PJs and slippers to slide into, for example. If it’s a midday gifting session, a French press with specialty coffee and Baileys could work. For an evening exchange, a set of fancy tumblers and a bottle of his favorite drink would rock. You get the point.
- Give him a gift for later today: Guys like to set stuff up. I don’t know your guy, but I bet he’s mentioned a new toy he’d like to plug into the wall. Give him something to play with when the gifts are all unwrapped. Do it right and you might get unwrapped yourself. He’ll love thinking of you every time he turns it on!
- Give him a gift to look forward to: January and February are the worst months of the year, at least in Chicago. Brighten the winter months by giving your man something to anticipate. Schedule a fancy night out with drinks at his favorite bar followed by dinner at a new restaurant, box up his team’s jersey along with tickets for a few weeks from now, or search his playlists for a band that happens to be touring this winter.
Even with these tips, I freely admit that guys are tough to shop for. I can only imagine the kind of stress Kelly is under to put something together for me this year. But have no fear! I’ve selected the top 30 “Man Gifts” in the world. The world! The list spans from fun tech gizmos to fancy leather goods with a few randos tossed in between. And I’m sure your guy will love (almost) anything on this list.
1. Beats Solo 3 Wireless Headphones: Bluetooth headphones suck. But this pair was specially designed by Apple to not suck. Headphone jacks are on the way out, so get him the best pair available before the freakout.
2. Skagen Jorn Leather Strap Watch: Give him a daily reminder of you generosity! The Skagen is a decently priced, gorgeous watch. Kelly recently acquired a Skagen and I’ve already claimed it as my own. (She will only find out if she actually reads this post. Hi, Kelly!)
3. Burberry Heritage Check Cashmere Scarf: A man can dream. I’m actually not very into luxury goods, but this classic Burberry scarf is something I’d appreciate. It’ll look as good today as it will in 20 years. It’s a classic, timeless piece that’ll fit any man’s look.
4. Ugg “Cooke” Slipper: Comfort and stink protection all in one.
5. Patagonia “Better Sweater” Zip Front: I wear this thing every day. EVERY. DAY. And only now did I realize that it’s a sweater and not a sweatshirt. Tricked into wearing a sweater…
6. Vineyard Vines “Whale Logo” Cap: Consider the stocking stuffed.
8. Shinola Slim Bifold Leather Wallet: I like Shinola because I hang out with Neal, and Neal is a classy guy. Give your guy a nice wallet to remind him of where he used to keep his money before Christmas rolled around. :/
9. Barbour Leather Gloves: It is about to get wicked cold outside. I look like a 12-year-old when I put most gloves on. But these Barbour Leather Gloves are meant for adults!
10. MVMT Leather Strap Watch: What time is it?
11. Ray-Ban ‘New Wayfarer’ Sunglasses: I no longer have the $5 sunglasses hookup on St. Mark’s Place in NYC, so I guess Ray-Bans will have to do.
12. Chanel Bleu de Chanel Eau de Parfum Duo: If I’ve learned anything from being somewhat involved in the blogging industry, it’s that Chanel trumps all, and that one day (hopefully far into the future), I might be buying a Chanel bag for Kelly. (A used one. A very, very used one.) For now, she has Chanel perfume, and it’s pretty cool that there’s a scent for guys, too.
13. Amazon Echo: Give him an Echo to put in the bathroom. He will marry you. And if he’s already married to you, he will sequester himself in the bathroom for a couple of hours per day and give you that “alone time” you’ve been dying for.
14. Google Wifi: Hell hath no fury like a man whose video is buffering due to poor WiFi. The idea is that you put these little routers in “wifi dead zones” in your home, and they make everything better.
15. Xbox One S: This is just obvious. Look at this thing. Kelly gave me an Xbox a few Christmases ago and I married her. It’s that simple!
16. Tablo: A little-known device that’s changed my life. Cord Cutters unite! All the best TV stations are already being sent over the air to your home for free. The Tablo is a DVR for those free channels. Record your favorite shows and never watch a commercial again.
17: Sonos Play 1: Fill your place with music. Sonos is the best techy thing I’ve ever purchased. And the “Play 1” is awesome because you can easily move it from room to room, and it fills the space with incredible sound. Careful, though: Sonos is addictive.
18: Sonos Playbar: Like I said, Sonos is addictive, and this is the king of Sonos. We built our whole living room around this speaker. It is so good. My dad and my father-in-law both have ’em, too, and they’ll all tell you they’re amazing.
19: Apple Watch Series 2: The newest Apple Watch fixes every issue the first version had. You can take this thing swimming! I suggest buying the 38 mm version as it’s cheaper and cooler looking.
20: Canon Eos Rebel T6 Camera Kit: Give him the gift of a creative hobby. Added bonus: you’ll have amazing pictures of your upcoming year. Warning: he may run off and start a fashion blog.
21: Ring Video Doorbell: I hate it when our doorbell rings. Noodle goes nuts, Emma cries, and the whole family falls apart. The Ring Doorbell replaces that mayhem by texting your phone with a video feed of who’s there, whether you’re home or not.
22: Instant Pot: Remember the machine in Back to the Future II that transformed a hockey puck into a pizza in two seconds? Well, the Instant Pot is real and almost as cool. My favorite recipe: Dump a bag of frozen vegetables and a frozen chicken breast in, turn the Instant Pot on, and eat a perfectly cooked meal 20 minutes later.
23: Canada Goose Graphite Chateau Parka: Kelly says Canada Goose is the warmest coat she’s ever worn. Can’t think of a better gift for this time of year. Especially if you live in Chicago.
24: Nest Thermostat: Perfect gift for any man of the house. It learns your habits and heats your place perfectly throughout the day. You can also log in from work to turn the heat down and piss off your wife.
25: Barbour Tartan Telescopic Umbrella: I don’t personally use umbrellas. I am too lazy to hold them up, and would much prefer getting soaked. But I would consider this Barbour umbrella.
26: Barbour Ashby Jacket: Ever since I won a Barbour at a street fair (and met Kelly’s family), I’ve loved Barbour. This one is a fave.
27: Sperry Men’s Tan Decoy Boots: One of life’s purest pleasures is walking through a slushy puddle with waterproof boots on. Don’t deprive your man of this experience.
28: Red Wing ‘Iron Ranger’ 6 Inch Boot: I want these boots bad. I’m including them in this list as a hint for Kelly to buy me them. You should probably get your guy a pair, too.
29: Barbour New Easton Beanie: He’ll be wearing a beanie for the next few months. This beanie doesn’t suck.
30: Segway Mini Pro: With a Segway this size Gob wouldn’t need to worry about hop-ons. Anyone? Anyone?