There’s only 12 days left to do your Christmas shopping, and if you’re anything like me you haven’t even started yet. I threw together a few of my favorite things from the past year to hopefully give you a few ideas if you’re needing a present for a special man (or lady) in your life.
Clothes can be hard to buy as gifts, but I also stand behind everything in my 1 Year 1 Outfit challenge. Some standout pieces that would make great gifts would be the American Trench Raincoat and the Apolis Chore Coat.
1. Shaving Stuff
Most guys need to shave, at least sometimes, and there’s no better way to do it than working up a lather with a badger hair shaving brush and then scraping off that stubble with a double-edge safety razor. Plus new blades cost pennies and do away with the environmental impact of all that disposable plastic.
Merkur Safety Razor – this is what I use, they are easy to find online or at local shave/smoke shops, work great and will last a very long time.
Omega Shave Brush – silver tip badger hair brush – no badgers were harmed in the making of this brush. ** That’s probably not true, but treat it right and it should last decades of lather building greatness
Shave soaps, creams, and oils – this one is wide open. Proraso is a reliable brand and is easy to find in drugstores. Get adventurous and make up a nice little basket. He’ll appreciate the thoughtfulness and you’ll appreciate his fresh scent.
No one hates being comfortable and there is no better way to get comfortable than to throw on a pair of slippers when you get home.
Arrow Moccasins – It’s almost definitely too late to get a pair of Arrow Moccasins in time for Christmas, but it’s never too late to get him/her a gift certificate for a pair of handmade leather slippers that are so sturdy they can be passed on as heirlooms.
Some other recommendations that might be worth checking out:
Townview Moccasins – also handmade in the USA. Purportedly excellent build quality and likely a softer more refined feel than Arrow’s hefty offerings.
Laurentian Chief Moccasins – these are made in Canada and tend to be softer and more slipper like as well. My partner has a pair of their fur lined and she quite enjoys their snug coziness.
These seem to be a Christmas gold standard, but don’t mess around buying 12 packs of cotton socks that will get holes in weeks. Instead get your loved ones something wonderful to slip their feet in for when they aren’t wearing the slippers you bought them.
Outlier Megafine Merino – you can get 12 of these for $144 and just cross everyone off your list at once. That sounds like a lot per sock, but hear me out, I’ve been wearing six pairs of these for the past six months (that’s a month of straight wear per sock) and they have yet to even start showing wear in the heels or toes. They are a thinner sock, so they won’t be great for outdoor winter activities like skating or skiing, but they also fit easily into any footwear. I’ve tried plenty of socks and these are definitely the best at staying comfortable all day long, they have an amazing ability to stay in place and not bunch up or stretch out throughout the day.
Outlier’s also got a gift pack on right now with towels, socks, and a key holder, you could pretty much get all of your shopping done in one shot.
Smartwool PhD – for those who are gifting to someone in a colder climate or for the outdoor adventurer I haven’t found much better than Smartwool’s PhD line of merino wool socks. They have extra padding in the heel and forefoot and the medium weight is plenty warm enough for me during high energy winter activities like alpine skiing.
Kirkland Merino Wool – these are easily the best value in socks that I’ve come across. Costco only brings them out for a limited time in winter so grab them up while you can. They don’t have the sleekness of Outlier or the performance of Smartwool’s PhD socks, but they are hard to beat for everyday wear.
(ok, I accept I have been a bit longwinded with the above 3, I’ll try to keep the following gift recs a little more brief)
4. Wallets and Watch Bands
form•function•form – I’ve had my Button-Stud Watch Band and Architect’s Wallet for a couple of years now and they just keep getting better. They also just brought out some brand new iPhone cases and a full cover version of their notebook wallet that I could see working well with the women as well. I can easily recommend any of their products and right now you can get 20% off with the code “toysareFFFun” until Dec. 16.
5. Coffee Grinder
If I’ve learned anything in my short time on this planet it is that a better coffee grinder is the crucial first step in achieving better coffee.
Porlex Hand Grinder – if the someone you love is someone who loves a good coffee, but is still using their Magic Bullet to grind their beans, then this handheld ceramic burr grinder will definitely improve their life. It pairs perfectly with an Aeropress Coffee Maker if you want to make a package deal out of it.
Baratza Enore/Virtuoso Electric Burr Grinder – if that someone you love also has a job or any other responsibilities in the morning that may preclude them from 2-3 minutes of dedicated coffee grinding each morning then this is probably the safer grinding gift choice.
Kindle Paperwhite – I have quite literally bought half my family Kindles as gifts over the past year. I am such a convert myself that I feel the need to spread my love for Kindle reading to everyone I know. I think this is how religions start…
7. Key Chain
Corter Leather Bottlehook – It keeps your keys, it opens bottles, and it hooks or your belt loop, plus it looks great and it opens bottles. What more do you need to know?
8. Leather Belt
Hollows Leather Rail Belt – this is bar none the heartiest slab of leather I have handled. It does its job well and will likely do it long after I’m gone. Nicholas Hollows makes some incredible stuff with leather and any of his various wallets, keychains, belts, or other accessories would easily put a grin on anyone’s face come Christmas morning.
So that is a pile of stuff that makes my life a little better each and every day. If the person you are buying for already has all of this stuff (me), then I guess you probably need to look at another list. Whatever you do, don’t get too caught up in the ridiculous materialism of the holiday season, enjoy some time off, visit with family, and if all you have to give is a hug then I guarantee that will provide more warmth then a pair of rabbit fur trimmed, merino wool lined, handcrafted by artisans in the heart of America, free-range organic deerskin moccasins.