When buying a gift for a sister, one of your girlfriends, or your favorite female co-worker, you’ve always got a place to start: “What would I pick out for myself?”
But with the men in your life, that doesn’t quite work. My brother, for example, is a huge sports fanatic, while I have trouble distinguishing a home run from a touchdown. My dad is a gadget guy, and has a television so complicated that in five years, I haven’t figured out how to turn it off. And my best male friend is a better dresser than I am. I love these guys, but when it comes to getting them gifts, I’m at a serious loss.
So this year, I’ve done some research. If you’re equally perplexed by guy-friend gifting, check out these ideas that’ll work for almost every man on your list.
If you love Birchbox, you’ll be excited about gifting Bespoke Post, a curated subscription club for men. Every month, the club sends its subscribers a themed “Box of Awesome” filled with “things gentlemen need to have.” December’s theme is The Cure, and consists of a serving tray made out of aged oak wine barrels, artisan salami, pickled “mean” green beans by Brooklyn’s famous Rick’s Picks, a $25 gift card to Lot 18 (a members-only wine site), and more. Use discount code THEDAILYMUSE for $10 off the first month’s subscription or 10% off any gift purchase (code expires 12/16).
And if you want him to have something to open under the tree, pick up this whiskey lover’s set from redenvelope—the natural soapstone cubes will keep a drink cold for long periods of time, without watering it down like ice.
If your guy refuses to sport anything but t-shirts, why not make sure they’re cool? Check out Slow Loris for Ts and hoodies featuring sketches that are simple but unique (one of my personal faves is this chairlift design).
If an already-made shirt isn’t personal enough, design your own with a favorite inside joke or slogan at YouDesignIt. A cool spin on the classic t-shirt? You can’t go wrong.
If your guy’s apartment or office needs an upgrade from the light-up beer sign and fold-out National Geographic map circa freshman year of college, gift him a cool vintage poster from Print Collection. (This 1930s poster promotes good oral hygiene as a part of the Federal Art Project in Rochester, New York.)
Top either off with the gift of knowledge: Whether your man wants to learn about spirits and cocktails, literary criticism, or neuroscience, you can find a course on DVD, mp3, or CD from The Great Courses. (Bonus: Many of them are 70% off for the holiday season.)
For the man that’s always on the go, gift this doctor’s bag, perfect for a long weekend or a business trip (yes, even if he’s not a physician). With several internal pockets for storage and a beautiful leather trim on the exterior, it’s both functional and stylish. Pick it up for $129 from Peasants and Travelers.
My favorite computer programmer swears that the power squid has changed his professional life for the better. This surge protector is designed for optimal reach, and has flexible outlets that make plugging in cleaner, easier, and more clutter-free.
Or, check out these North Face gloves, which will keep his fingers warm while he types away on his iPhone, iPad, Android, or whatever other gadget he can’t put down.
For the Outdoorsman
If your guy can’t stand to be cooped up indoors, even in January, keep him warm with this base layer long-sleeved shirt from Patagonia, which is designed for protection against wet and cold weather.
Outdoorsy types will also love the Eddie Bauer Trailhead Pack. Sure, maybe he has a backpack already, but does he have one with built-in straps to attach hiking poles? Probably not.
So I know it’s not exactly picnic weather, but I love this too much not to add it to the list. (And it’s never to early to start dreaming about spring picnics, right?) This picnic backpack from Redenvelope comes equipped with a cutting board, salt and pepper shakers, and wine goblets, among other outdoor dining essentials.