A drink at their place rivals any experience you’ve had at a bar. Their reach for the top shelf is as quick as Mr. Eastwood’s draw, at least when you’re around. Seize the rare opportunity to settle your tab this gifting season by arming the mixologist with more tools of the trade. And be sure your generous side prevails — because in this case, re-gifting is always welcome.
Stirring Hearts and Glasses Alike
Gear that Suits the Man and the Machine
The holiday season can be stressful, especially if you’re buying for a gearhead. But never fear: if you’re in need of a present for that special guy, there is an array of automotive gifts out there that will suit any driver’s tastes, and enhance his time behind the wheel.
Every year, more and more gadgets and gizmos — you know, gear — come out for the kitchen. And every year, there are plenty of food fans that have distinct opinions on all of it. So regardless of if you’re buying for your favorite foodie, friend, or yourself, we’ve curated some of the best, most unique gastronomic options to ensure your present makes the cut.
For aesthetically minded design buffs, here’s a list of things that will last for decades — because, unlike the pile of reindeer socks and plastic tchotchkes littering your closets from holidays past, they’re meant to.
Gifts Meant to be Scratched, Smashed and Destroyed
Everyone knows a man who doesn’t mind a little dirt under his nails. He knows how to tie more knots than you have paisley ties; he casts for fresh fish, you Seamless for sushi. We all know him, and he probably destroyed something or another on his last adventure and is looking for it under the tree. So use this guide to give him something for his next outdoor excursion, and maybe he’ll let you tag along this time.
There’s a word for someone who appreciates the finer details in digital entertainment. (There’s also another word for someone who takes appreciation to a level of obsession, but we’ll focus on the positive one — it’s the holiday season.) After all, anyone worth buying for probably deserves a bit of downtime, and there’s nothing like a splash of A/V newness to stimulate the senses. It’s true that a screen is a screen and a speaker is a speaker, but buy with that mentality and all you’ll get is the “I love the knit sweater!” forced smile. Nobody wants that. So start here, with our recommendations to suit the media fanatic in your life.
The Well Curated Life
The Dapper Man’s the type of guy who takes his time on things and still comes out ahead. He’s an example of a well curated life and considers all the details. These gifts are sure way to show your secret hero you’re on his level, and you got “it” too.
Twelve Gifts For The Handiest of Men
Today’s handyman is far more than a mere fixer of household problems. Armed with knowledge and the right tools, no task is too complex for their capable hands, from fine carpentry and engine work to maintaining wi-fi-based home ecosystems. They deserve celebration and appreciation — and yet, as you’ve undoubtedly noticed, they are an incredibly humble breed, their most cherished rewards being the result of a hard day’s work. We’ve put together a dozen gift ideas guaranteed to boost enthusiasm, bolster abilities and foster talents for the do-it-yourselfer in your life.
Ready for Takeoff
Whether it’s a comfortable pair of slacks or the ultimate travel bag, making him feel like travel royalty is only a good buy away. This is the best globetrotting gear of 2014 — gifts so good he’ll feel right at home, even when he’s getting familiar with a TSA agent.
Gifts for the Spartan Renaissance Man
Today’s athlete is a spartan renaissance man, a conglomeration of multi-faceted fitness that culminates in one fine-tuned machine ready for whatever the world will bring. And the modern fitness man requires diversity in gear — something to guide him in excellence in all of his athletic follies. This gear will aid him in crossing the finish first, whatever that finish line may be.
Because There's Always More to Explore
Whether you’re a thrill seeker shopping for yourself, a worried parent trying to protect your baby, a best friend looking to help a buddy shred it up, or a tagalong seeking some extra comfort, the best thing about the gift of outdoor gear is that it serves all those purposes simultaneously. These are the best adventuring gifts money can buy.
Stay Ahead of Planned Obsolescence
In a world cluttered with uncertainties, you can be assured of this: you’ll never be stumped for something to buy if there’s a techie in your life. As the pace of innovation hastens each year, the technology fanatics among us can’t ever seem to find contentedness. That’s bad news for one’s wallet, but it’s great for those hoping to send the perfect message this holiday. Have a look at our recommendations below — just be sure to gear up for one or two massive hugs in return.
Dads, Look No Further
Your padre taught you (almost) everything about life you couldn’t learn from the classroom or the cache of treasures stashed under your older brother’s bed. Through his actions, you gleaned the proper way to conduct yourself in a crowd and how not to putt. Deciphering the method to his madness is now clear with the wisdom of hindsight. It is, and always was, about tracing his footsteps while avoiding his detours.
This father’s day, prove he’s taught you well and solidify your position as the favored son by giving him something to help him improve on one of the many facets of his already impressive game.
Here are 80 excellent suggestions.
Almost as appreciated as a full night's sleep
Being a new parent carries many worries, but it’s also the perfect entry point into a new world of gear: strollers, car seats, bags and all kinds of other gadgets, apps and convenience products await. You now have a reason to buy that Eames highchair and test drive that stroller bike. Been looking for a reason to get a wipes warmer, bottle steamer or little super hero tights? Perfect. So for the guy who has it all and now has good reason to get some more, may we present: the holiday gift guide for the New Dad.
Gifts for the Rubber Burner
Drivers can be a picky bunch. It’s likely that fuzzy dice and sheepskin seat covers won’t cut it this (or any) year, so take some direction from us this holiday season. Car or motorcycle guys tend to appreciate things that enhance the experience or provide a bit of insight into the hobby/obsession. And you have no excuse to be stingy. He’s given you rides in his vintage roadster, and he even bought you some driving gloves for your Camry SE in hopes of steering you toward a more legitimate ride someday. It’s time you ponied up for something he’ll appreciate. Of course, you can still stuff his stocking with a box of synthetic 5W30.
Gifts for the resident jock
Part of you doesn’t want to buy The Athlete any gift at all. He roughhouses at the Thanksgiving football game; he runs negative splits at the charity 5K; he seems to be toweling off every time your girlfriend is around. While we’re all worse for wear, he’s aging like a Rodin. But ultimately, he’s a good guy who just really likes to get the blood flowing. He whipped you into shape for Tough Mudder, remember? And who came along for a second opinion when you bought the used Cervelo? Who’s consistently willing to do an aerial chest bump? Yeah, that’s him. Go ahead, get him a little something nice for the holidays this year. We’ve got all the ideas you need.
36 gifts for the well-dressed gent
If you’re a stylish gent, you’re acutely aware of each seasonal shift. Spring affords chances to wear lighter, refreshed colors; summer is time for light material and sunglasses; autumn means breaking out a chunky cardigan. But it’s winter when a man can truly shine. He can layer. He can sport rich fabrics and hulking boots, overcoats and purposeful accessories. When there is such a wide, deep array of options in the winter wardrobe world, what exactly do you give the man who lives stylishly? We’re here to turn that dilemma into fruitful present curation. So brew up some nog, get out the wrapping paper (even if you’re giving to yourself) and check out our top picks in these important categories of winter style for the well dressed man.
The right tools for any of his many jobs
Handyman, craftsman, mister-fix-it, Dad. Call him what you like, but the Do-It-Yourselfer on your list gives his all for you, no matter the task. Be honest: that beautiful new deck that causes envy in the eyes of all your friends would’ve been a creaking pile of splinters were it not for him, and you’d probably be sharing space with Fido out in the yard — in the K9 condo he designed and built no less — had he not stepped in to save your recent en suite experiment. Like most men of his ilk, your handyman rarely receives anything more than a hot coffee to start his day and a cold brew to finish it, which is fine by him. Isn’t it about time you gave him something more? Here are a few gift ideas that should ensure your calls for help continue to get answered.
Gifts For The Wilderness Explorer
What do you get the guy who spends more time sleeping under the stars each year than most people do in their entire lives? The guy who has gear for every season, every sport, journey, and surprise bug-out? When buying for the discerning backpacker, climber, skier, and general “live larger” type, you can’t simply walk into the nearest outdoor shop and buy something flashy. These explorers live and breathe in the world of Gore-Tex, crampons, and ice axes — and a gift card will get you dropped faster than the cell phone coverage on his last jungle trek. Stumped? Don’t be. We’ve tested out some great gear this year and zeroed in on the best selections for the adventurer. He might destroy your gift on his next expedition into the wild, but he’ll be grateful you bought the best.
Stuff to fill his white space
If you’ve ever spent time around this next guy on our list, you’ve probably been exposed to one or more of the following: the name-that-font game; conversations on additive vs. subtractive color modes; mistaking Roy G. Biv for a close friend; wagers on the over/under lifespan of the flat design trend. What’s Gaelic to them is Greek to us; the designer’s discerning eye can leave you feeling rudderless and depressed when it comes to gift buying. Suddenly you’re lost in the libraries of Hoefler & Frere-Jones, killing time by exploring the classified section of Architectural Digest. That’s a dark place, my friend. We’re here to help. Moral of this story: leave it to us. We know these people. We’ve sailed to the farthest corners of digital commerce to bring you the best selection of holiday gifts for The Designer.
Good Gifts, Whichever Way You Slice 'Em
We get it — everyone is a foodie now. From your buddy excitedly fawning over the new Santoku he just picked up to your dad calling to inform you about the super authentic Ethiopian place he wants to try next time he and mom come to visit, the chances of having a cookie on your holiday shopping list are greater than ever.
But what do you buy them? Your food-focused gift-getter obviously already has the basics — the knives, pans and culinary detritus that make up his obsession — and nothing says, “hey, I’m too lazy to make an effort, but I think I remember you’re into food” like a gift card that ends up only covering half the bill at the restaurant-du-now. Thank Bourdain, we’ve got you covered with a dozen of the best gastronomic gifts for the season.
Gifts for the Continent-hopper
Your friend’s passport has addendum pages for the addendum pages and looks like Costanza’s wallet. It’s easier to count the countries he hasn’t visited than those he has. Travel-weary? Not a chance: this rolling stone likes to be moss-free, so we have the perfect collection of goods to keep your favorite road warrior in fightin’ trim. The tools below cover technology high and low, all to ensure the journey is every bit as enjoyable as the destination. The lucky recipient of your generosity will easily navigate airports, checkpoints (TSA or Syrian Free Army), and resort lobbies with aplomb, arriving refreshed and relaxed, ready for the work (and play) ahead.
Music to His Ears
Thought purchasing a Christmas gift for your in-laws was tough? Try shopping for someone who knows everything about media gadgetry and can’t abide anything but the best. The Mediaphile’s affinity for films, games, music, and yes, eBooks, goes beyond the bounds of reason and continues to expand as the consumer market welcomes the latest tech innovations daily. Best believe he’s on top of everything from next-gen gaming consoles to popular subscription-based apps. This presents a problem, because you think HDMI, DSLR, DAC and WAV are medical tests and/or prerequisite exams for grad school applications. Don’t run to the Geek Squad yet. We’ve pulled together some awesome media-primed options worth your coin this holiday. He’ll thank you — and then you won’t see him for a couple months, save for Doritos runs and the rare bathroom break.
Gifts He'll Actually Remember in the Morning
What to call a man who obsesses over alcohol? A connoisseur? A fanatic? A drunk? We call him The Mixologist, and you know him well. He’s the man whose cupboards are stocked with more bitters than spices, whose basement is reeking of homebrew, whose glass is always half-full — at least. And yours too, for the Mixologist prides himself in the cocktails he makes and the beer he serves. He’s an enabler of fun, an anti-Scrooge, a Holiday MVP. He’s every character in Billy Joel’s Piano Man — in fact, he does a mean Billy Joel if the night goes late enough. So cheers to The Mixologist. Here are a few gifts he’ll cheers to.
A Dozen Gifts for the Mountain Man
We’ve all got a guy in our lives who’s more at home chopping a cord of wood or filleting his latest fly fishing catch than spending the day lazing in front of the TV or playing Halo with the bros. He’d wear flannel and hiking boots to board meetings if he could. For that ultimate outdoorsman on your gift list this year, forego the REI gift card and DVD set of Duck Dynasty. Whether he spends his time hunting big game, scouring the river for the best brook trout lies, or just enjoys living in front of a campfire instead of a laptop, we’ve got the best gifts for the modern day backwoodsman.
Talk about shopping in advance
Oddly enough, the proliferation of electronic gadgetry, computer stuff and other digital goodies has made buying for the discerning sparkhead (we just coined that — please enjoy and proliferate at will) tougher. With this list, we aim to make the shopping a little simpler by covering suggestions for readers, photogs, movie buffs and gamers. Take a gander and start clicking; your techie giftee will thank you, probably with an email or holographic video message or something.
Spoil him, because he'll never spoil himself
Sometimes when trying to find a gift it’s best to inundate yourself in options. Hence our plan of attack for this year’s Father’s Day Gift Guide: a massive barrage of sweet gear, from outdoor to tech, cheap to astronomically expensive, swanky to rough-and-tumble. Play six degrees of Kevin Bacon with a ridiculous watch strap you…
Skip the fruit: overnight these awesome $25 and under gifts
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12 gifts for the adventure seeker
He shows up at Christmas dinner with new scars and less digits from his latest cage dives and winter Alpine ascents. His tales, most of them true, scare Aunt Betty to tears and enchant the kids. And while the adventurer’s gifts for you usually amount to a carved tribal trinket or a rock from a…
12 gifts for the booze lover
The Mixologist’s gotten you into plenty of blissful adventures, most of which ended without real long term damage to your record or your marriage. He’s a passionate guy, and he knows his craft: beer, that is. Malts, mash, wheat, barley, rye, and oh yes, sweet sweet delicious hops — he sucks them all down, grinning…