Great Gifts for Men
Uncommon Goods Desktop Skee-Ball
The classic arcade game has been scaled down to about one-eighth of the traditional size to fit atop any game lover’s desk. When four o’clock rolls around and he needs a pick-me-up, this game will allow him to let loose, even if only for a few minutes. Combining aspects of pinball (the launcher) and Skee-Ball (the target), this 15-inch game will certainly score you some points. No matter who stops by his office—from his boss to a visiting friend—they will likely want to give it a go. Play individually or take turns against an opponent—the player with the most points wins.
To buy: $35, uncommongoods.com.
Williams-Sonoma No Kid Hungry® Chef Series Silicone Spatula, Jimmy Kimmel
If your man loves whipping up home-cooked meals or baking delicious desserts, this silicone spatula—adorned with Jimmy Kimmel’s face—will make a funny addition to his collection. The late-night talk show host paired up with Williams-Sonoma to create items for No Kid Hungry®, an organization that helps to end childhood hunger in the United States, and 30 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the organization. Check out the designs from other celebs (Chrissy Teigen, Ayesha Curry, and Ina Garten just to name a few) if your guy wants more celebrity art in his kitchen.
To buy: $12, williams-sonoma.com.
Allbirds Wool Runners
Step up your guy’s weekend jeans-and-tee uniform with these lightweight, durable sneakers. Crafted from super-soft merino wool, they’re comfortable enough for the usual outdoor activities (bike rides, park outings, soccer games), but also stylish enough for dinner out on the town. The material is what makes them so awesome: It’s way more flexible than leather or canvas, so it conforms to your foot, like a memory-foam pillow. Additionally, these shoes have added benefits: They wick away sweat, don’t itch, reduce odors, and resist getting dirty. And they are machine-washable, so just toss them in the laundry when necessary. The seller also offers them in women’s sizes.
To buy: $95, allbirds.com.
Gentlemen’s Hardware Credit Card Tool
For your teen or college-age son, a 007-worthy device that slips into a wallet and enables him to handle small repairs, emergency cheese slicing, and possibly minor breaking and entering. With a can opener, a knife blade, a screwdriver, a ruler, a bottle opener, a position wrench, a butterfly wrench, a saw blade, and a two-position wrench, he’s ready for anything. This is a fun add-on with a gift card or the perfect accessory to embellish a money clip. Gentleman’s Hardware, the manufacturer, makes an equally charming bike-repair kit also available on jcrew.com, elevating your overall stocking stuffer game this season.
To buy: $16, amazon.com.
YOU DIRTY DOG Men’s Premium Grooming Set
Is your guy looking to “shave” some time off his morning routine? We’ve got him covered. This trio of grooming products for guys includes a face wash, shave cream, and aftershave moisturizer—everything he could possibly need for a clean shave in mere moments. Made with soothing aloe and hydrating shea butter, these balsam- and eucalyptus-scented creams will become his go-to morning maintenance set in no time. The cheeky name is sure to put a smile on his face, even first thing in the morning. And, as the company says, the products in this set were tested on only one animal: man.
To buy: $49.50, owenandfred.com.
Brika ‘Use the Coasters’ Coaster Set
He’s pretty laid-back about his bachelor pad. But he is fussy over just one thing: keeping that handsome wooden coffee table pristine. Keep him from having to remind his friends to use a coaster under their drinks with this Baltic birch plywood set. Each one comes etched with a saying like “Oh look, coasters,” or “It’s ok, use this,” so he can slyly suggest the rules of the house without having to say a word. Though it’s a perfect fit for his personality, the natural wood finish means that it goes along with his decorating style, too, no matter if he’s more urban or woodsy.
To buy: $35 for four, domino.com.
ThinkGeek Death Star Waffle Maker
Upgrade his morning Eggo habit with this kitchen appliance for the ultimate Star Wars fan. Compact and easy to use, this waffle maker works equally well in a family kitchen or as a late-night-snack-maker in a small dorm room. Its nonstick cooking plates emblazon an image of a Concave Dish Composite Beam Superlaser (he’ll know—it’s from Star Wars) on each side of the waffle and pockets are just right for toppings or syrup. Just be warned: You may be taking breakfast orders for the foreseeable future. Bonus: The non-stick cooking plates make for easy cleanup.
To buy: $40, thinkgeek.com.
CB2 Braided Cotton Bike Lock
Safety first, right? But good looks come in at a close second and this piece checks both of those boxes. Thick braided cotton (available in either blue or red) binds to form a secure cord that will connect his bike to a lamppost, bike rack, or other parking spot, with a four digit numerical code to finish it off. This is an inexpensive gift that will give any cycling enthusiast on your list (whether kid or adult, rural or urban) peace of mind—and maybe even some added clout among fellow bikers. The cord measures nine inches in diameter.
To buy: $15, cb2.com.
YETI Rambler Colster
For the guy who has dreamt of owning this beverage cooler with a cult following (the classic styles can reach upwards of $500!), consider an individual “cooler” for his favorite refreshment. His canned or bottled beverage will stay chilled for hours within this double-walled insulator—without chilling his hands as well (the exterior will not get too cold or sweat with condensation). This stainless-steel drink sleeve seals the container securely with a twist-on gasket to offer up maximum temperature consistency. He can even show off his team pride: Yeti has 20 college team logos available, as well as custom options.
To buy: $30, yeti.com.
Fred's Atomic Nose & Ear Hair Trimmer
Let’s face it, men can be more than a bit touchy about their hair. And when it comes to nose hair, forget it! This tongue-in-cheek trimmer cuts to the chase with zero shame. Its clever design—it looks like a mini power tool—and extreme practicality will win him over in mere moments. The packaging makes it look like a special treat, more than just a smart grooming tool. Also meant for ear hair, which may not be an issue at the moment, but just you wait. It’s only a matter of time. One AA battery is all he’ll need to get trimmin’.
To buy: $20, fredandfriends.com and amazon.com.
Toysmith Retro Amp Mini Speaker
Music aficionados of all ages will appreciate Toysmith’s desktop (or shelf or countertop) device cleverly designed to look like an old-school guitar amp. It’s the ultimate mini speaker, bringing a hipster vibe to a dorm room, kids’ room, or living area—and offering high-quality sound at a low price. It’s versatile, too: You can plug it into a smartphone, MP3 player, or laptop or desktop computer, and customize the sound using the controls for volume, bass, and treble. Power it with batteries (3 AAAs, not included) or a USB cable.
To buy: $25 (7 x 6 x 4.5 inches), amazon.com.
Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition
He’ll jump for joy (like Mario!) when he opens this vintage style gaming console. Outfitted with 30 classic games (including Donkey Kong, Super Mario Brothers, Zelda, and Pac Man), this unit will immediately transport him back to the glory days of 1985. This highly coveted console is smaller than the original, but uses the same controller, which is sure to bring back memories. If he’s the kind of gamer who hates to stop mid-action for fear of losing his progress, he’ll be able to lock it in place and resume the game later. One controller included.
To buy: $60, nintendo.com and target.com (available 12/12).
UncommonGoods Scotch-Infused Toothpicks Gift Set
Mark Twain once said, “Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.” Imagine what a kick he would get out of these Scotch-infused accessories—kiln-dried toothpicks that have been bathed in a barrel-aged Islay single-malt Scotch. Even without a Twain-type on your list, this elegant boxed set—sophisticated and smart—is a winner for anyone who enjoys a nip now and then, appreciates fine design, and is just plain delighted by old-timey charm. And what better way to maintain proper dental hygiene than with these clever toothpicks stashed in a desk drawer?
To buy: $36, uncommongoods.com.
Pro Passback Football
Hup, two, three, four! Got an aspiring football player in the family? While there’s nothing quite as fun as tossing the pigskin with your kids, chances are their enthusiasm exceeds your free time. Show your support (and give yourself a break) with this passback football, which allows players to have a practice session on their own. Your athlete can throw it against a wall, and, thanks to one flat side, it rebounds right back. The passback football is intended for players 14 and older, so it’s just right for your high schooler. This just might be your gift item to buy in bulk this year—one for every athlete in your extended clan.
To buy: $40, passbacksports.com.
ThinkGeek Table Tennis Notebooks
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Why not mix it up with a ping-pong set that allows for strokes of creativity to be recorded with only a moment’s interruption in the critical game? Three notebooks—two with rubberized sides and one that “serves” as a net (see what we did there?) make up this set, which is great for small spaces. In the middle of a study session and need a break? Grab a ball and get to it! Feeling creatively blocked while brainstorming? A few sets might be just the thing to get the juices flowing again.
To buy: $16, thinkgeek.com.
Askew 21-Ounce Muscle Beer Mug by Mercury Row
A man-cave essential, these muscle-bound glasses have not-so-subtle strength in the handles (get a load of those biceps) and hold a generous 21-ounce pour. From a distance they look like something straight out of an Irish pub; but close up you’ll get the joke. 8 1/2 inches high and weighing in at about a half pound each, this set of four makes a substantial, impressive gift for the beer-lover on your list. These glasses are dishwasher safe, with classic detailing, like lines along the base. Silly? Yes, but you’ll like ’em too—and won’t mind so much if they end up tucked away in your kitchen cabinets. Cheers!
To buy: $33, wayfair.com.
Grillmaster 5-in-1 BBQ Multitool
Think of this all-in-one grilling tool as a Swiss Army Knife for the outdoor cook. Featuring a stainless steel two-pronged fork, a rubber brush for basting (extra barbecue sauce on that burger, please!), a bottle opener and corkscrew (the cook needs a drink!), and a stainless steel spatula (which detaches to making washing easier), it’s the kind of grownup toy that will bring a smile to the face of grillmasters of all kinds. The rosewood handle adds a luxe feel, making this item look considerably more expensive than it is. It also makes a great host gift, especially when the weather warms up.
To buy: $49, overstock.com.
Pop Chart Lab 100 Essential Books Poster
Read any good books lately? Hip print company Pop Chart Lab offers a battery of suggestions on this creative scratch-and-reveal poster. Full of classics like Naked Lunch, Animal Farm, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, this interactive artwork invites the lucky recipient to scratch off the gold foil “cover” of books he or she has read to reveal an additional title-specific image underneath. Finally, full credit for having gotten all the way through Moby Dick. Now this is the kind of book list you won’t forget.
To buy: $35, popchartlab.com.
The Daniel Drawstring Backpack
Tactile and rugged, there’s something about waxed canvas that makes it irresistible. Like leather, it gets better with age. Unlike leather, it’s exceedingly affordable. And this handmade scaled-down backpack—measuring 19 inches tall and 15 inches wide when laid flat—has the added richness of nickel-plated grommets and thick 3-ply cotton rope. It’s an ideal man-purse for the jeans-and-flannel guy. Color options are varied, but we love the gray-and-black combo. One warning: You might decide to steal this for yourself before it even makes it under the tree, so consider investing in a spare (may we suggest the caramel-and-natural version?).
To buy: $45, italichome.etsy.com.
Spicer Bags Monogrammed Dopp Kit
This monogrammed dopp kit is all about rugged sophistication. The toiletry case is accented with cork, which happens to be the material of the moment, combined with canvas and leather. At nine inches long, 4.75 inches tall and 3.25 inches wide, the kit can hold full-size supplies, plus a generous helping of travel-size items. Choose from a variety of fonts and thread colors for the personalized monogram. Our favorites include Times typeface for the classicist, or Berlin Sans for the modernist, stitched in light-brown thread, which picks up on the cork. Order right away—this made-to-order gift requires two weeks lead time.
To buy: $56, spicerbags.etsy.com.
Jack Black Beard Oil
Shakespeare famously wrote, “He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man.” That may be a little extreme, but if your man happens to measure up against the bard’s beard bar, he certainly would appreciate a potion like Jack Black’s Beard Oil to keep it—and the skin beneath it—healthy, smooth, and itch-free. This one-ounce retro apothecary-style bottle contains lots of the good stuff (Marula oil, plum oil, potent antioxidants, vitamins, Kalahari melon oil, vitamin E, brown algae) and none of the bad stuff (parabens, sulfates, phthalates).
To buy: $24, sephora.com.
Club Monaco Wool Pocket Square
It’s a challenge to shop for the trend-savvy guy on your list. You can’t spend the kind of money it would take to buy him a sweater he would actually wear, and he doesn’t really go for practical items like kitchen tools or books. Club Monaco has the solution: a light-as-air, elegant pocket square that he is sure to agree is just the thing to take that suit jacket to the next level. Match your color choice to the eyes of your recipient—there’s a brown combo and a blue combo (which will also work well for green-eyed folks)—for extra personalization.
To buy: $50, clubmonaco.com.
UncommonGoods Personalized Keychains
Inspiring all sorts of puns—go “nuts” with this gift, practical “with a twist,”—this stocking stuffer is begging to be loaded up with more whimsical charms (and, of course, keys—not included). On the same site, find keychains hand-forged from reclaimed iron, a pocket-wrench keychain, and a heart-shaped bronze one that doubles as the “key” to a bottle of beer. Whatever your guy’s personality, this site has a unique keychain sure to please. This one is made with gold- and rhodium-plated hardware on a brass keychain, and is hand assembled in the good ol’ US of A.
To buy: $20, uncommongoods.com.
Mark and Graham Travel Domino Set
“The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings,” said Robert Louis Stevenson in his classic A Child’s Garden of Verses. And as “things” go, there’s not much that’s more delightful than this perfectly compact, beautiful monogrammed (metallic, debossed, at no extra charge) set of go-anywhere dominos. The elegant case is lined with linen, has a faux-leather exterior and it measures four by six inches. Standard delivery is six to eight days, but rush shipping is available for a fee. Gift wrapping is free.
To buy: $49, markandgraham.com.
Schulz & Malley Gentlemen's Daily Routine Grooming Kit
Remember the thrill of receiving a box of new crayons? Then, perhaps later on, the joy of a makeup palette? This is the well-groomed fellow’s equivalent. Schultz & Malley Trading Company is offering a starter set of their beautifully packaged grooming products. The kit includes a mild Cleansing Face Wash (six fluid ounces), the conditioning Pre-Shave Oil (one fluid ounce), the Brushless Shave Cream to soften hair and protect skin, and a lightweight Aftershave Balm to rejuvenate shaved skin. If you buy this for your significant other, get ready to make some room on the bathroom shelves, as he is likely to want more.
To buy: $59, qvc.com.
Raden A22 Carry Charging Luggage
The constant traveler in your life will be thrilled to receive this carry-on suitcase that charges your devices while it protects its contents. With a hard polycarbonate shell, this sleek case shields your gear from the elements. The lucky recipient will appreciate its small size (it weighs less than nine pounds) and smooth ride, thanks to double-spinning polyurethane tires. If your fella is always on the go for work, this baby will make him grateful to you at every turn (these wheels have 360-degree maneuverability). Choose from white, light blue, black, light purple, hunter green, navy, and light pink. And though it’s definitely a splurge, shipping is free.
To buy: $295, raden.com.
Snow Peak Single-Wall Titanium Mug
This is not just a mug, it’s a symbol of adventure. It’s made to heat over an open flame. It’s made to fold and slip into a pack. It’s made to scoop cold rushing river water after a challenging hike. This is not just a mug. It’s permission to travel, to climb, to reach. It’s a love note that says, “Go for it.” This is not just a mug. It’s an affirmation of a lifestyle. Give it to say, “Let us go then you and I/When the evening is spread out against the sky.” To mark this as a year of doing and reaching and trying.
To buy: $36, mrporter.com.
Happy Plugs Sound Piece Portable Speaker
If you’re looking for a gift for that family member who insists on music in every room, why not choose something functional, yet subtle? With the look of Carrara marble, this little beauty fits the bill. At six-and-a-half inches long, it blends in seamlessly with your décor, while it rocks the house. With Bluetooth connectivity, a battery lifespan of 15 hours, and an emergency power bank to charge a phone on the go, it may become his new constant companion. Weighing in at less than a pound, this portable speaker is easy to tote anywhere.
To buy: $99, happyplugs.com.
L.L. Bean Hunter’s Tote Bag
For camping weekends away, business trips out of town, and even trips to the grocery store, this strong, durable canvas tote is great to grab and go. Available in three colors (black, olive drab and camouflage) and three different sizes (medium, large, x-large), consider purchasing multiple bags so he can travel in style, with a matching set of gear. This water-resistant baggage has a full-length zipper so smaller items will remain secure while in transit. You can even add embroidered initials, a single letter, or a full name to make this piece extra personal and easy to spot in a crowd.
To buy: $39, llbean.com.
Photo by amazon.com
If you’re sick of hearing him talk about his golf swing, redirect the conversation toward his phone. This futuristic glove allows him to investigate topics like club speed, club plane, tempo, and backswing length, all with incredible accuracy. He’ll get to review his swing in HD video and compare it to the pros, observing his form in 360 degrees from any angle. He will even have the chance to glean tips from expert coaches. It’s like saying, “Honey, I love you and you love golf and I don’t love golf, but we’re good now, right?”
To buy: $150, amazon.com.
UncommonGoods Baseball Dartboard
Want to hit the bull’s eye when it comes to giving a killer gift this year? This handmade cork, birch, adhesive and pinewood piece comes equipped with everything your sports-loving guy needs for hours of screen-free fun, including mounting hardware and instructions, three darts, and a scorecard template. Split up into two teams and compete with family members after Christmas dinner is done, or he can play alone to improve his form. Not into the baseball-themed board? UncommonGoods also has a basketball version for the dude who prefers to sit courtside or slam-dunk in his free time.
To buy: $120, uncommongoods.com.
Apple i.am+ BUTTONS Bluetooth Wireless Headphones
These wireless headphones are just the ticket for the guy who deserves a splurge. Available in either metallic black or gold, these stylish Bluetooth-connected earphones have a 30-foot range (meaning his phone can be in the next room, but his tunes will still play). The two ear pieces connect magnetically, so he can keep them hanging around his neck all day and disconnect them when he gets a call or has an urge to listen to music. And the six hours of battery life will have him rocking out without plugging in for a good chunk of the day.
To buy: $230, iamplus.com.
Stance Star Wars Socks
If he is a Star Wars fan, a pair (or more) of these socks is sure to delight. With 27 styles featuring characters ranging from Kylo Ren to Princess Leia, there’s a pair for every George Lucas fan. So go ahead and up your guy’s office attire with these cute socks. If you think he won’t want to go so bold as to have a Storm Trooper peeking out during staff meetings, there are more subtle options based on the films’ scenery, including Endor or the Death Star. May the Force be with him.
To buy: $20 per pair, stance.com.
Reed Wilson Design ‘Sup’ Doormat
Your favorite guy likes to keep things cool and casual when hosting guests. So why not upgrade his standard doormat for this concise greeter? Made from coir (coconut fibers) and weatherproof vinyl, this cheeky welcome mat will receive his friends, family, and coworkers like he does—with a succinct “Sup.” Not his greeting of choice? Reed Wilson Design makes these flocked lettering mats with an assortment of other pithy greetings, like “Hola,” “Holla,” and “Howdy.” Upon opening, we guarantee you’ll get a “thx” (or two). Make sure you allow at least two weeks for shipping for this American-made product.
To buy: $50, domino.com.
A sleek contraption made up of an outdoor explorer’s (ahem) “essentials”: a bottle opener, a flask, two collapsible shot glasses, an oil-filled compass, and a dual-mode LED ‘flood’ beam flashlight (batteries are included, too) that lights up large areas. So compact (it’s just nine inches long and two inches in diameter) and light (weighing in at only slightly more than a pound), this four-in-one piece of outdoor gear will actually give his pack a bit more space for other trekking needs (graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows for s’mores, perhaps?). Take camping to the next level with this contraption.
To buy: $72.50, vsslgear.com.
East Dane Nixon DNA Leather Belt
For the fashion-forward friend, son, brother, or husband, this cowhide leather belt will become a valuable accessory in the new year. Paired with a sport coat or blazer for a night out, jeans and a tee during the day, or even a full suit for a fancier occasion, this accessory polishes up any outfit. The rose gold buckle will give any outfits a subtle edge. The matte black leather makes this piece an elegant addition to any wardrobe and it will become a staple in his closet the minute he receives it under the tree.
To buy: $40, eastdane.com.
This ceramic and glass treat dispenser is inspired by bird feeders, but it’s a lot more fun for entertaining purposes. Party hosts, generous bosses, and dorm dwellers alike will delight in watching their guests come back for seconds…and thirds. Fill the “feeder” with up to 32 ounces of candy, nuts, popcorn, and other small snacks. When assembled, the snack system is just over nine inches high, making it the perfect addition to a large shelf, too. Between uses, give it a spin in the dishwasher for easy, thorough cleaning. Available in both white and red.
To buy: $40, uncommongoods.com.
It might look like he’s carrying a yoga mat, when, in fact, something much more delicious and thirst quenching is on his back. Give your brother, uncle, or boyfriend a cooler like one they’ve never seen before. This sturdy, narrow pack features an adjustable sling strap that makes quick work of toting cans of your favorite beverages to the beach, tailgate, or campground. A water-resistant, insulated liner ensures your drink of choice stays ice cold. Fits six 12-ounce cans (or a few less if he’s toting tall boys). Available in three colors (ice gray, dark camo, and natural hemp).
To buy: $22, amazon.com.
Portable Wireless Speaker With Leather Strap
This awesome gift contains the powerful sound of big systems in a gilded and richly detailed portable Bluetooth version. A rechargeable battery provides up to five hours of high-quality sound—no matter where the party is taking place. All controls and ports sit within a sturdy aluminum grill and a durable unfinished leather handle makes for easy carrying. An added bonus? The speaker will charge your device as it plays music. Compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled devices including: iPhone, iPad, iPod, Samsung, Kindle, Smartphones, Tablets. Even technophobes can play their favorite tunes by using the included 3.5mm audio cable/AUX-IN jack.
To buy: $60, amazon.com.
White House Soaps
If the latest election left him with a longing for the good ol’ days, this gift may help him forget those maddening debates and bring a smile to his face (at least during his morning routine). History buffs will luxuriate in these triple-milled bath soaps, each in a 5.8-ounce bar that comes in a scent favored by a particular president. A quick lesson: Number Six was Washington’s favorite, Almond Cold Cream was selected by Eisenhower, and Jockey Club was favored by John F. Kennedy. The set comes pre-packaged in a stately box, so all you need to do is add a bow.
To buy: $28, amazon.com.
Bottle Cap Map
Beer connoisseurs can keep a visual record of their favorite brews with this fill-it-yourself hipster wall art. Select a laminated wood map of the entire country for hardcore travelers, or choose their home state for a personalized gift. The wall art that doubles as a showcase for his collection is available in the shapes of all 50 states and Washington D.C. Or, show some international pride and choose from a selection of 10 countries and continents around the world (USA, Canada, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, British Isles, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, and Europe).
To buy: From $39, beercapmaps.com.
Photo by cufflinks.com
Nothing against ratty old frat tees and worn-in baseball caps, but here’s a pick that allows him to suit up with a more subtle hint of school spirit (and, let’s be honest, you will be glad to see those old frat tees go the way of the dinosaurs). With 19 different color combinations to choose from, there’s bound to be one to match his alma mater. The tie clip is an ideal accessory for homecoming or an alumni dinner, but he’ll need something to pop open those brews, too. Give him a little extra this year, and pair it with a matching bottle opener.
To buy: $12 each, cufflinks.com.
Made of concrete, this high-end catchall is both handsome and hefty. The soft leather interior ensures more delicate items—watches, phones, glasses, and all of those items that get tossed on his dresser in a hurry—remain in pristine condition. So luxe for the buck, you may need one for yourself, too. And why not? The handsome tray, which measures just over nine inches long and five inches wide, and one inch high, is available in black, tan, or navy. A matching accessory shelf completes the look if you envision this dish living in his entryway or mudroom.
To buy: $54, owenandfred.com.
Mini Arcade Machine
You’ll score with this handheld toy that offers hundreds (two hundred, to be exact) of downloadable video games from the good ol’ days (Think: Pac-Man, Frogger, and Pole Position), complete with joystick and button controls for game time that feels just like those afternoons at the boardwalk. A