4 easy gifts for the men in your life

4 easy gifts for the men in your life

Today: a seasonal PSA.

My husband is hard to shop for—as is my dad, my brother, my father-in-law. They know what they like, own most of it already, and don’t want more stuff. I always struggle to find them gifts that will delight them—or at the very least, be pleasingly practical—and won’t be seen as clutter, or worse, as a chore.

Last year I asked you all for ideas for my husband, and you delivered. (See #2 below.) This year, I wanted to return the favor, because I know I’m not the only one who struggles to buy gifts for the men in my life.

Today I’m sharing four-ish gifts that have been easy to find (for me) and much appreciated (by him). I’m sharing them today because if you want something tangible to give during the holidays—such as the first month of a many-month subscription—now is the time to order.

Affiliate links used on my favorite products. More info here. I hope you find some good ideas below, and please share your own in comments.

Getting Up

A coffee subscription is a gift that keeps on giving, and makes him think of you every morning. We first found the excellent service Craft Coffee when my mom gave my husband a subscription years ago. They deliver fresh-roasted beans from a variety of U.S. roasters straight to your door, on your desired schedule. Will loves the variety, and the quality is top-notch. No decaf, sadly (but only for me—Will wouldn’t touch it anyway). Use the code 5np-lkf to save 15%.

Last year Will surprised me with a Misto Box subscription, and I LOVED it. (Still love it, actually, because I renewed it when it ran out this summer.) They also offer a wide variety of coffees—including decaf. Use the code 2PAL to save $10.

In the past I’ve given Will a Blue Bottle subscription, which he enjoyed. Blue Bottle has featured seasonal gift items in the past: last year I gave him a kit that featured two whole-bean blends and a bamboo coffee box that still sits on our counter. (It’s not in their shop right now—alas!—but they do have some nice gifts right here.)

We also love our Keep Cup, a glass travel “mug” that I love a thousand times more than the typical stainless or plastic travel mugs. Look for these in your local coffee shop, or order directly from Keep Cup (design your own!) from Amazon, or from Prima Coffee.

Getting Dirty

Last year I discovered the Cairn outdoor gear box subscription when you suggested it—and he loved it. The timing was perfect. This year our family has done more camping, hiking, paddleboarding, and general outdoors-ing than we’ve ever done before, both because we want to, and because our kids’ outdoor adventures for school and the like have dragged us into it (though not unwillingly, PHEW).

I subscribed in November so I could put the first box under the tree. Each box typically holds one piece of gear, a trinket, and a food item. Not every item is a home run, but each box has held something he’s loved and used. Will’s favorite Cairn box items have been the Serac hammock (the kids love it), a DrinkTanks tumbler (which I’ve stolen for tea on the go), and this Loominoodle.

Getting Clean

I first gave Will a Dollar Shave Club subscription two houses ago, back when all they did was razors—but they did them really well. Now they have manly smelling hand lotion, lip balm, and all the hair products your man could need from gel to cream to paste. But for gifts—and we’ve given a lot—I still like the starter set + an ongoing subscription.

Getting Social

Snacks and drinks don’t clutter the house and if you go a little nicer than he typically buys he’ll consider it a treat, not just groceries. I live in Kentucky, where bourbon is king, so our go-to is a bottle of something fancy from a small batch distiller. My favorite is to pair this with a great cocktail book like Tequila Mockingbird for drinks with a literary twist, or Gone with the Gin for recipes with a Hollywood spin. Check your local bookstore to see these fantastic collections in person.

For beer drinkers: try a nice insulated growler from DrinkTanks or a classic Stanley. Is he a reader? Some bookstores sell growlers, like this one from Browsers Bookshop. (Just $7!) Create your own subscription-of-sorts by adding a growler gift card to your local shop or brewery, should you be so lucky to have one, and he can refill it on his schedule.

Finally, The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg (a real shop in historic Williamsburg) has fantastic peanut snacks. I’ve given these pretty tins to my dad for more years than I can remember. Then Will discovered you can get these with a habeñero seasoning and they last a lot longer—he can only eat a handful at a time.

Readers, what gifts have been easy for you to give, and appreciated by the recipient? I would love to hear your ideas—please share in comments.

P.S. 25 perfect gifts and stocking stuffers for the book lovers in your life. And for the ladies: Stitch Fix is currently waiving their styling fee for first-time customers. Get started here, and read my best Stitch Fix tips here.

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  1. Melinda Malaspino says:

    I am glad that you mentioned Stitch Fix, which I’ve been using for about a year and a half. My tips? Create a Pinterest board wish list and be as specific as possible in your pre and post messages to your stylist.

  2. Heidi says:

    Last year I got my husband a six-month Shirts On Tap subscription, and it was a big hit. Every month he got a t-shirt and half-price coupons to a different brewery in the Denver area. So he got new, unique clothes, and we had a built-in monthly date to a new-to-us brewery. They are rapidly expanding; if your city has a thriving microbrewery culture, it’s worth checking out.

  3. Jennifer N. says:

    My husband is easy enough to shop for, but my dad is definitely in the category of “buys whatever he wants.” Plus, the gifts I know he’ll love tend to be more expensive than my budget allows. My go-to’s for him are: t-shirts (he’s always wearing his out), nonfiction books (he’s a history buff), and “grandpa” mementos. I might pick up a six-pack from a local brewery for him this year – Raleigh has an ever-expanding beer culture and he lives a couple hours away.

  4. Sue K. says:

    My dear husband drinks no alcohol or coffee, and he buys his clothes (a very difficult fit) at second-hand and thrift shops. He has a 10-year supply of t-shirts (from his races and marathons.) And he is allergic to peanuts. Sounds impossible to shop for, doesn’t he? I usually buy him some obscure tech device, and he’s relatively satisfied.

  5. Brittney says:

    My husband is impossible to shop for!! He really doesn’t want anything, or already owns it (usually some obscure tech device I️ didn’t know existed). BUT one of his favorite and most used gifts I’ve given is a Scratch Map. It’s a map of the world covered in gold foil, and as we travel we scratch off the countries and they appear underneath in color. It’s been fun plotting where to go next so we can scratch off more countries!

  6. Aryn says:

    Last year he got the Dive Bar Shirt of the Month Club. It was great – we both got really excited every month when it would arrive, and we made a big deal out of it! He’d open the package and pull out the shirt while I read the description of the bar from the postcard that accompanies every package. It was a fun thing to look forward to every month, but I need to find something new this year since he certainly doesn’t need anymore shirts. I love subscription boxes because it spreads the joy over the year, it’s not just over as soon as the next present is picked up.

  7. My husband is all about the practical gifts. Last year I got him a Kerurig, and I was just inspired by your post to go check out their monthly subscription plans as well. Due to his thriftiness, he’s mostly just been drinking whatever comes in a 1,000 pack box at Costco. For the same cost per unit, I am going to be able to get him variety packs of flavored-but-not-powder-mix coffees (which he loves), decaf (so he can drink later in the day) and green tea (which he’s the only person in the household that likes, so it will really be for him, not us). Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  8. Mary in TN says:

    For husbands and dads that have a desk at home or work — a desktop photo calendar that stands up (a triangle shape). There are many sites to make them. My husband keeps the current year on his desk and previous years on the bookcases in his office. He loves flipping to the next month.

    One year I scoured eBay and got husband a shirt or item with the name of each city we’ve lived in.

  9. Candace Harrison says:

    Thinking of trying “John’s Crazy Socks” monthly club for my college-age son (who loves fun socks). https://johnscrazysocks.com/pages/our-story
    Started by father-son team when son John, who has Downs Syndrome, wanted to start a business and bring happiness to others through fun socks he loves! Fortunately my husband wants lots of books, so may try a Kindle Paperwhite for him so he can take many when he travels.

  10. Pam says:

    My brother and sister in law got my husband Hot Sauce of the Month club subscription. He (and my daughter) thought it was great. They both found some new sauces that they like and they were sad when it ended.

  11. Priscilla says:

    One of the well-received gifts I gave a couple was a pair of hand thrown pottery bowls, soup-n-cereal size. They were artsy and high quality and beautiful and utilitarian all at the same time.

  12. Livia says:

    My brother is easiest to buy for. I get him books (nonfiction, mostly WWII), board games, gift cards (I wanted him to branch out from big chains, so I bought one for a local restaurant once), and I got him one of those metal model kits that are cut out of thin sheets of metal (the Big Ben in his case). I usually get books (nonfiction, often WWII) for my dad, grandfather, and brother-in-law (he and my dad are the hardest). Other guy gifts I’ve given or suggested are pocket knifes and all purpose knifes, camping cookware, and Groupon activities and restaurant deals.

  13. Denita says:

    Here’s one for practicality: a car wash membership. My husband enjoys his car looking nice, but we live in the Denver area where it snows and then the cars are filthy. In the summer he washes the car himself, usually with the help of the kids. But that’s impractical in winter.

  14. Emily Y says:

    Last Christmas I bought my husband some beard oil products and cologne from a local artist based out of Nashville, TN. http://www.therooseveltsbeard.co
    My husband LOVED the products, named for various National Parks (and the Roosevelt Beard Oil company donates part of their proceeds to the National Parks), I loved the various scents, and it is a great organic grooming product for those bearded guys in your life.

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