Men are notoriously hard to shop for, but don’t despair. Here are a few low-key ideas for the hard-to-buy-for man in your life:
Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club is a new subscription service that sends high-quality razors to your door for $1/month. (Will upgraded to the $6/month plan after a few months, but the $1 plan ain’t bad.)
Grab a gift card here to let him choose his own plan. Great for the last minute: print it and you’re done.
The Art of Manliness has their own line of manly-themed stationery–you can choose from 25 different manly motifs. I especially like “true north” and “skipjack.” ($15/box of 15)
Monogrammed note cards are always a nice choice. But high-quality plain note cards are versatile and cost a lot less.
Slim notebooks like Moleskines are everywhere these days and come in a huge array of sizes and colors. My favorite is the pocket-sized notebook because of its usefulness as a productivity tool. The Moleskine brand is a classic (and quality) choice but there are many good (and cheaper) options.
A nice pen
The Bullet Space Pen ($20) is a good choice for a pen geek, but if your guy’s got a favorite brand already, go with it. My husband loves the inexpensive Pilot G-2 ($2), so I’d buy him a box of those and call it a day.
Buy it or make your own. I love Michael Ruhlman’s recipe for chipotle beef jerky. Alton Brown’s jerky recipe has 124 (!!!) 5-star reviews at the Food Network–but I haven’t tried it yet, mostly because I haven’t wanted to fork over the money for those air conditioning filters.
We love Perky Jerky at my house. Will might be getting a case of this for Father’s Day (and then the rest of us will end up feeling guilty for snitching it).
Give him a subscription to Blue Bottle Coffee: fantastic fresh-roasted coffee that shows up every two weeks, or as often as you choose.
A homemade pie (or three)
Bake one up, or pay someone to do it for you. My neighborhood is home to a wonderful pie kitchen, and one of their bakery pies would convey as much love as a homemade one (and you wouldn’t have to sweat the results).
This amazing scent is delightfully unexpected, and not one you’d think of as “feminine.” Give him the gift of a masculine-smelling dwelling with a Trapp Black Pepper Candle. He’ll appreciate his bedroom not smelling like a flower garden.
(This is a personal gift–don’t buy a Trapp candle for your father-in-law.)
What not to give
No fatherhood books, unless hand-crafted by his offspring.
No gifts that nag: no tool to finish the long-delayed project, no gym membership, no t-shirts bought specifically so you can trash favorite (holey) tees.
No CDs, movies, or video games unless specifically requested, because they’re a little too generic. These make great just-because gifts, but steer clear of these for important occasions.
Know your guy
Men can be challenging to buy for–but it’s not impossible to find a suitable gift if you think outside the box. When women want to show love through gifts, we tend to think on the grand scale. But really, men just want to be known and appreciated for who they are.
So what does your recipient really like? Go with that–whether or not you’ve seen it in a magazine layout–and you can’t go wrong.
We could all use some ideas, so share your best gift ideas for men in comments.