Well, it’s that time of year again: Christmas shopping time. If you’re anything like us, it is sometimes really hard to find a good present because there’s not much that we really want or need. Maria and I don’t like buying gifts for each other just to have something to open. We like our gifts to be practical, meaningful, and something that will actually be used. And of course, they also need to fit within our budget.
With that in mind, we decided to put together some holiday gift ideas for you, our readers, that are meaningful and practical at the same time. And I get to start our series off with a gift guide for men. Whether you are shopping for your husband, fiancee, boyfriend, father, or brother – these suggestions are a great place to start.
We’ve included affiliate links in this post to make your shopping easier. If you make a purchase through a link, we receive a small commission that helps support the blog. Happy holiday shopping!
1. Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition ($60)
I’ll be the first to admit that this is the most gimmicky present I have on the list, but it is SO COOL. Nintendo made this miniature version of the classic NES from the 1980’s with 30 games pre-loaded on it, including Super Mario Bros. 1-3, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Pacman and Dr. Mario.
The biggest drawback to this item is that it is selling out almost instantaneously, so it will be very hard to get. (Don’t let the two star rating on Amazon fool you; that’s just people being bitter about how hard it is to get). I’m personally hoping to find this gift under the tree this year because it is just so nostalgically awesome.
2. Bose Soundlink Mini II ($180)
The Bose Soundlink Mini II is a very portable bluetooth speaker that has replaced almost all the stereos in our house. It’s small, the battery lasts a long time, is really easy to connect to devices, and has fantastic sound.
I listened to a podcast on ours while I ate my lunch and then I grabbed and walked into the office to listen to music while I worked on this post.
Maria was so impressed by this speaker when I got mine that she bought another one for her classroom and multiple friends of mine have bought their own. With that many people loving their Soundlink Mini II‘s, it’s hard to go wrong.
3. TV Streaming Device: Roku Premiere+ ($99)/Apple TV ($149)
So many of our friends and family don’t even have cable anymore; instead, they stream EVERYTHING. Maria and I are the same way. Fortunately, you have a couple of fantastic options here: the Apple TV and the Roku Premiere+. These are little devices that you plug into your TV to stream movies and TV shows from the internet. They’ll turn pretty much any TV into a smart TV.
If you’re completely pro-Apple or just have a lot of movies and TV shows that you bought through the Apple Store, you probably should go with the Apple TV.
If you prefer Amazon, then grab the Roku Premiere+. Aside from the platform differences (Amazon vs. Apple,) both devices are very similar and have Netflix, Hulu+, various sports channels, and lots of other streaming channels.
4. Kindle Paperwhite ($120)
If your guy loves reading, this one is a no-brainer. Kindle is the dominant e-reader out there. The Kindle Paperwhite is a touchscreen version of the Kindle that comes with little LED lights in it so you can read in bed (which is why I want one for myself).
Not only can you get books through Amazon, but you can get lots of free e-books from sources like Project Gutenberg, the Tor Books ebook club, or even your local library.
5. Jigsort 1500 ($130)
Maria posted about our Jigsort puzzle case last January. The Jigsort 1500 puzzle case is amazing for people who love puzzles, but want to store them out of sight when they are not being worked on.
The Jigsort 1500 is meant for 1,500 piece puzzles (we really only do 1,000 piece puzzles, but we like the extra space on the puzzle mat). If you want smaller versions, there is a Jigsort 1000 ($100) and a Jigsort 500 ($75).
6. Lodge 12″ Cast Iron Skillet ($33)
I’ve already shared my love of cast iron on the blog. It’s an extremely versatile piece of cookware that, properly cared for, will last your entire life. I personally have the Lodge Cast Iron 12″ pan.
If any of the men in your life love cooking, it’s hard to go wrong with cast iron. The Lodge 12″ Cast Iron skillet is my personal favorite, but there are smaller sizes out there, too.
7. Swiss Army Pocket Knife ($14)
There’s just nothing like a good ol’ Swiss Army pocket knife. I think every guy should have on on their keychain. I did, right up until I started going to court on a more regular basis. Pocket knives are super handy to have around, and for more than just cutting things.
The one I have pictured here is the Classic SD. If your guy needs something a bit more heavy duty, you can go for something like the Climber II ($22).
8. Booze ($50+)
While somewhat cliche, a bottle of good booze is always a good fall back present. Plus, there’s a ton of variety available. It does help to know what type of liquor your guy likes, be it whiskey, scotch, vodka, tequila, gin, brandy, or cognac. My personal favorites are scotch and bourbon.
The great thing about liquor is that you can almost always find something that fits your budget. If you want to spend a ton of money on some scotch, you can get a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue ($100-180 per bottle). Or you could spend a medium amount and get a bottle of Laphroiag or Macallan ($65 per bottle). Or you could go basic and get a bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey ($30 per bottle). The same goes for other liquors as well, so you can always scale the present to your budget.
9. Gift Basket of Favorite Foods, Beers, and other Items
Every year for Christmas, Maria’s brother and sister-in-law get us a big gift basket filled with various craft beers, snacks, and a few small items like neckties for me and scarves for Maria. It’s frankly become one of my favorite presents because we get to enjoy it for weeks to come. Plus, you can easily tailor the basket to the tastes of the person you are giving the gift to.
10. Subscription Box
One of the more recent awesome things to come out of the internet are the wide variety of subscription boxes available. It’s not just Stitch Fix, Trunk Club and Bombfell. (Although, if you want to gift the guy in your life with a personal clothing service, Stitch Fix is our favorite.)
There are so many other possibilities out there for all kinds of different tastes. Here’s just a few suggestions, though we haven’t tried all of these:
- Wine Awesomeness: a monthly box of three bottles of wine.
- Faithbox: a box full of inspiring and Christian-faith books and devotional materials
- Carnivore Club: cured and dried meats every month.
- Book of the Month: one book (or more) a month
- Craft Beer Club: twelve craft beers a month
11. An Experience
More and more as I get older, I find that the best thing to get is an experience instead of an object. Last year, the Manore family took Maria’s parents to a Tiger’s game and it made for a great weekend. A few years back, the Gavin family bought Rob’s parents Red Wings tickets so they could go downtown for dinner and a game. It doesn’t always have to be sports-related, though. You could go to a movie, to a museum, to a concert or other type of show, to an afternoon at a spa, to the zoo, to a ski resort, to a weekend at the beach, a really fancy date night, or any other outing that the recipient would enjoy.
Hopefully those eleven ideas in our gift guide for men will give you some great ideas for some of the guys in your life. If you have any great suggestions for gifts, share them with everyone in the comments. Happy shopping!
My husband LOVES FuegoBox, a subscription hot sauce box! He absolutely loves it! He gets 3 bottles every quarter, though you can set up the subscription for other intervals. This was just the best deal for the price we could make work with our budget. But it’s great! They even offer suggestions of what foods each sauce pairs well with! :)
Rob Gavin says
A hot sauce subscription box sounds like a great idea! Personally, I’m not that into hot sauce, but I have so many friends who are. Thanks for the tip!
The BOSE Soundlink Mini is amazing! I asked for a cheap bluetooth speaker for my birthday and my husband surprised me with the BOSE. I honestly was not thrilled initially because I didn’t know if it was worth the money since quality wasn’t a huge issue (or so I thought). Oh man, was I wrong. It travels from room to room with me, it sounds amazing and for someone who is not the most technically savy it’s great because it so simple to set up and switch devices.
Rob Gavin says
Glad to know we’re not the only ones who love ours so much. They have good customer service at their physical stores, too. Maria’s Soundlink Mini had trouble connecting to some devices, so they just replaced it. No problems since.
Thanks Rob! Lots of good inspiration here. And I need some! I think I’ll go for the frying pan. PS we have a Lodge griddle that works on our gas range (will also work on coil or glass stovetops). We think it makes amazing steaks although we originally bought it for pancakes. Maybe something for your list…