Ho Ho Ho as you well know it’s that time of year again and Santa (yes, me) has a nice long list of holiday gifts just for men.
I’m not going to go on with a long intro because if you’re like me you take a quick scroll down the nice list and move onto the next editor’s list in search of the perfect present. BUT what I can promise you from mine is not something you’ll find — it’s something you won’t — and that’s sponsored items paid for by brands to be here.
Everything that made my list is either something I use (most of this list) or something I’m dying to try. So, without further ado after two pro tips below, here are my top 40 gift ideas for 2020.
Pro Tip 1: Avoid holiday themed gifts. I love a holiday mug full of sugarplums and candy canes as much as the next guy, but by the time you give that gift we’re either days away, right at, or in some cases after Christmas… which means that mug will be hiding in a holiday bin within a week of you giving it.
Pro Tip 2: If you are buying someone clothing (don’t), be sure it’s returnable or exchangeable and always size up. Better to say, “Wow you look great but that sweater is too big”, than “Wow, I hadn’t seen you in a while, I guess you got bigger”.
And one more for the road — it’s going to be a long winter, so don’t forget to treat yourself, gentlemen.
For the Stocking Stuffer
Boy Smells Candles
This is not your mother’s Yankee Candle. What I love most about them is that they’re strong, but unlike a Glade Plug In(too strong), they leave the entire room with a refreshing, elevated, and masculine scent. Hinoki Fantome is my favorite.
For the Masculine Jewelry Man
I’m not much of a jewelry man, but for something simple and masculine that complements any look, New York based Zadeh cannot be beat. We all love a leather look but my favorite, in the spirit of adventure, is one of their parachute cord bracelets. There’s just something about the invincibility of it.
For the Lifter
Bowflex Adjustable Weights
So, gyms can’t seem to decide if they want to stay open or closed, but you won’t need to worry if you’ve got these puppies. They come in two sizes, 52 lbs and 90 lbs, and adjust by the 5 lb increment so it’s basically like having an entire weight rack in your home that take up the space of two shoes. They make adjustable kettlebells, too.
For the Drinker
Raise your hand if you’re alcohol consumption went up significantly in 2020. Yea, mine too. A great set of barware glasses, the right bottle of booze, and those big ice cube’s that for some reason make our drink taste that slightest bit better can make for a great night in in lieu of a night (or several nights) out.
For the Artwork Upgrade
The Poster Club
For those who have a hard time choosing artwork I got several framed posters from here that took my room from college dorm to… let’s call it an elevated young professional’s man-cave. Plus, you’re not spending cash on travel, so it may be the year to drop a few bucks at the place you call home.
For the Anti Ager
iS Clinical Youth Serum
We may not have been able to do much this year, but we did still manage to get a year older (sorry). This stuff really is the best on the market and worth every penny. And of course, while Youth Serum makes a great gift, be careful who you give it to — perhaps either someone with a great sense of humor or who specifically asked for it!
For the Self-Caretaker
I’ve only recently started using masks because *cough* 30 is coming up real quick, and I have to say just taking a quick 20 to lay back, give your face a helping (and hydrating) hand and breath in the botanicals is one of the more relaxing hobbies I’ve picked up in 2020. Highly recommend a sheet mask like these from HeTime — less mess, more moisture.
For the Traveler
Away Travel Carry On
When we have all been vaccinated, where’s the first place you’re going? I don’t go anywhere without my Away carry on — complete with built in phone charger — because I’m that friend whose phone is always dead. I’m also that friend that always breaks thing and they come with a lifetime guarantee they won’t break (I’ve gotten mine replaced once already, free, no questions asked).
For the Commuter
My friends with AirPods will hate me for this, but if we’re being honest, I think they look like electric toothbrush heads sticking out the ears. My go-to headphones for the past few years have been Beats X. They stay around your neck, are great for phone calls, look cool, and have some pretty nice bass for their size.
For the Incognito
There is that pair of sunglasses you spend a lot of money on and the pair you don’t. Blenders are great to add a few fun, colorful pairs to your collection and you won’t have to worry about them getting beat up or lost because they’re pretty inexpensive. For me they make a great party pair.
For the Sneakerhead
Sure, I love my Yeezys, but when it comes time to put the streetwear away with a more dapper look, my go-to’s are Koios. They’re simple, classy, comfortable, and don’t draw too much attention away from the main attraction — you!
For the Trend Scenter
Say it after me, we never wear cheap shoes or cheap fragrances (lol). There are some great high end fragrances out there that I love: Frederic Malle, Byredo, and Le Labo all have great masculine scents. But my go-to at the moment is Creed. They’ve been around and I’ve been missing London town.
For the Guy with the Hair
Serge Normant Hairspray
Before I found this hairspray they always did one of two things — give me helmet head or absolutely nothing at all. Serge’s hairspray is crazy lightweight with the perfect hold that keeps your hair looking and *feeling* like hair.
For the Comfy Hoodie
This is the quintessential LA hoodie by a quintessential LA brand. Soft, simple, and stylish — though as a surfing aficionado (by no means expert) I may be biased. Nonetheless if you’re going for that Venice Beach vibe this is where you find it.
For the Effortlessly Stylish
Daddy. No I don’t mean Ron Dorff is my dad (or daddy) I mean this is where the infamous line of clothing with the word DAD on them come from — along with a whole line of other witty, classy, and catchy lines. Hands down he’s my favorite designer of 2020 and what I like to think (or perhaps pretend) is the embodiment of my personality.
For the Traditional
Tizo Backgammon Set
And now we’re on to dad — because I’m pretty sure very few of us under 40 know how to play it. Either way, Backgammon is the classic game that never goes out of style and always looks great on a coffee table. This set from Tizo is a stunner.
For the Old At Heart
This gift is meant to impress and really is the finest there is for the craft cocktail aficionado. Black tie not required but youmay feel like getting dressed up with one of these at your fingertips.
For The Gambler
L’Objet Crocodile Playing Cards
Noticing a theme here? Since we might all be spending more time at home, let’s go harder on gaming — in the classic sense, not the console. Poker, bridge, or even a game of solitaire with these luxurious leaflets will leave you feeling rich,win or lose.
For the Gentleman
Simon Pearce Martini Set
Handmade glassware for a handmade martini? Count me in. For those looking to up their martini game this is the only way it can be done aside from going harder or higher on the ingredients. #madeintheUSA
For the HypeBeast
Baccarat glass by Virgil Abloh
This may be one of the more extravagant gifts on the list at $550.00 for a drinking glass but for the streetwearer in your life it will be one they never forget. They are hard to find, very expensive, and over the top — perfect for that person in your life who is hard to find, very expensive, and over the top!
For the Sommelier
Twomey / Silver Oak
I am not a wine connoisseur, but I know a good one when I taste one. Silver Oak, and their sibling vineyard, Twomey, are my two long-time favorites. Grab someone a bottle for a good time or a membership to their wine club for a long time — either way no one will be disappointed.
For the Perfect Beard
One of my secret weapons. It takes literally 60 seconds to trim my beard every morning with this. It’s also great for the whole body from your back to your… other places. No pain or cuts and smooth as a baby. ‘Nuff said.
For the Movie Nighter
Stovetop popcorn maker
The perfect way to up the ante on a regular Netflix and Chill night — handmade popcorn. I don’t have to tell you popcorn goes great with a movie, but I can tell you that popping your corn fresh right on your stovetop will make any regular movie night a lot more fun. Pro tip: Get a flavor to go with it (my favorite is white cheddar).
For the Fashionably Challenged
If you (or the lucky recipient of your gift to them) have no idea how to put together your own look, Trunk Club assigns you a personal stylist who interviews you to figure out what it is you like then assembles your ensembles for you. You only pay for what you like and send the rest back so it’s a perfect way to elevate your appearance.
For the Knick Knacker
Like Trunk Club, Bespoke Post will put together a fun box of clever gifts based on themes using cool, up-and-comingbrands. Their website will give you a sense of what they are all about and my favorite part about their monthly subscription box (you get to see it before they send it) is that it quite literally is the gift that keeps on giving.
For the Coffee Lover
We all have our favorite kind of coffee and this one is a known classic. I usually like a cold brew to start my day, but nothing is nicer for a caffeine fix than a fresh espresso while working from home, socializing from home, partying at home — oh yea we do everything from home now.
For the Home Body
Stubbs and Wootton College Slippers
For those of us that didn’t go to Oxford or Cambridge but wish that we did, pour yourself a Gin and Tonic and throw a pair of these cool smoking slippers on your feet. It’ll be just like being home, only classier… well, and you will still be at home.
For the Mug Maven
How many mugs does a person need? Just one if it’s an Ember Mug. It’s battery operated to keep whatever you’re drinking whatever temperature you want it all day every day.
For the Daring
You will be someone’s favorite something if you get them this. It’s a trick to get the hang of it, but once you do, you’ll have the time of your effing life tearing up the streets. Note: Your mom and your friend’s mom will be less enthusiastic about this. Don’t send them photos.
For the Bedroom Upgrade
One thing I have found during the COVID pandemic is that any small everyday moment that can be made nicer is a gift. Since we spend roughly a third of our lives in bed — if you haven’t upgraded your linens lately please do so. Parachute sheets aren’t crazy expensive but they are crazy comfy.
For the Nights In
Haptic Lab Blanket
If you don’t have a fireplace like me and have to fake it a little harder it’s nice to curl up with a throw blanket. TheseHaptic Lab throws embroidered with maps of your favorite cities are great for feeling at home or reminding yourself you’re not at home — just depends what city you go for *wink*.
For the WFHer
Fully Standing Desk Converter
For the friend who Zooms all day, nothing beats a standing desk converter. Not only is it healthier for you to sit less and stand more — after 8 months of working from home it gives you a chance to redo your office with the press of a button as often as you’d like.
For the Plant Dad
Nothing gives life to a home like life, plus these plants are just really beautiful — from the plants themselves to the pots you can get them in. Fully grown, delivered directly to you, ready to live with, and hard to kill. Consider them the James Bond of plants.
For the Chef
I had to give the midwest a little lovin’ with this one. Maybe it’s the home cooking I’m missing or just the fact that my mom uses really good seasonings in everything (these ones) — even the simplest recipes can seem special with the right spices and Penzey’s is as good as it gets.
For the Designer Skincare Regimen
Boy de Chanel Moisturizer
Chanel broke a barrier this year as the first major brand in a long time to develop a line of cosmetics specifically for men.I’m not a makeup guy but I did try their moisturizer to see what it was all about and I am now all about it. If there’s someone we can trust in this space to create a luxurious product that actually works — it’s Chanel.
For the Day After
Peter Thomas Roth Gold Under Eye Patches
My savior after a night out and I never do a shoot without putting these on first. They’re the gold standard (lol – sorry had to) for getting rid of under-eye puffiness and helping you look fresh after a night out or just because. Get this for that friend who is Zooming all day and partying all night.
For the Beach Goer
Slowtide Beach Towel
Ah, the beach — something most of us haven’t seen in a while. Don’t you miss fun? Well, when it’s time to have some in the sun again grab one or two of these. A towel is a towel, but I like these because of the cool patterns and they’re lightweight so also easy to throw in a beach bag.
For the Cook
Great Jones Pans
There’s a lot of great cookware out there, but when I give a gift I like to give something that stands out and these do just that. They come in standard pan color, but with a complimentary pot that’s REAL bright in color and adds a whole lot of flavor to the otherwise boring brass.
For the Hiker
A friend gave me my first Hydroflask bottle last year and about three mugs, two more bottles, a tumbler, a wine holder, and several other things later I’m pretty obsessed. A lot of brands out there claim to keep your beverage hot or cold for a long time, but this one actually does. Plus there are a whole lot of colors to choose from (so I naturally have all matte black).
For the Playlist Master
Another thing there are a lot of out there — and I have to say on this one the ratings don’t lie. It’s number one everywhere for a reason and for me those reasons are beauty and bass. It looks great, sounds better, and fits in most bags so I take the party with me everywhere, including places I shouldn’t.
For the Oops I forgot to get you something
It’s the night before Christmas and all through the house rang your anxiety because you suddenly realize you forgot a gift for someone. Please don’t get them an Amazon gift card if they’re over the age of 18. We’re here to do better, so here area few great gifts that can be grabbed on the fly with a few clicks of the keypad.
A friend gave me a Masterclass subscription last year and I am hooked. Athletes like Serena Williams, chefs like Gordon Ramsay, actors like Helen Mirren and Natalie Portman, and writers like David Sedaris all offer up intimate, personal, and informative “courses” on their areas of expertise, all in bite sized pieces that can be watched over morning coffee. I’m addicted. Coffee or Chocolate Subscriptions
As opposed to a Starbucks gift card, Coffee roasters like Partners in Brooklyn and Chocolatiers like Dandelion Chocolates are special, beautifully packaged, and of course, user friendly.
Dinner for Two
A gift certificate to a favorite local restaurant or bar with a nice note that reads they have to use it with you because you’re not only buying, you’re giving the gift of your time, take gift-carding the extra mile. And who doesn’t love a fun night out.
If you read this far, first of all — congratulations you are not a gift-giving expert. So, as a reward I’ll tell you I’m coming out with the perfect gift for any man — launching this week.
That’s all, folks. Stay safe out there and have a very happy holiday.
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