Either you’re married to a golfer, or you have to actually dream up a non-Dorf present every year for the man in your life. I’ve had to hone my gift-giving skills over the course of our 13-year marriage, as my preexisting paradigm of “man present = Titleist product” did not adequately prepare me for picking out presents for my husband. I love Hallie’s gift-giving guide and am joining in the link-up with a few gifts that my own husband liked OR IS RECEIVING THIS CHRISTMAS SO HONEY I MEANT IT STOP READING NOW. (Note: all of these links are affiliate links, so if you purchase something after clicking one of these links, an angel gets his wings and I get a small cut. Of the purchase price. Not, like, a paper cut.)
Because we are such packrats, we are trying to focus more on gifts that can be consumed in some way. This is also a neat trick because if your guy likes the gift, you can pretty much provide it in subscription form for the next several Christmases.
First up, because this is a blog for spiritual living: liquor. As for me and my household, Blanton’s is the gift of choice. I don’t know from bourbon, but I have been assured that this is a unique delight. What I like about Blanton’s is that each bottle comes with a different horsey top. I believe the technical term is “stoppers,” but the important point is that there are eight different horseys, each in a different pose. You can collect the full set (see – a repeatable gift) and then display them in a genuine Blanton’s barrel stave. Or if you’re not man enough to consume eight bottles of Blanton’s in a year, you can just buy the barrel stave with the stoppers as a set. But why would you do that, when you could spend hours perusing liquor stores for the missing horsey? (You can tell which is which because they spell B-L-A-N-T-O-N-S and there are two different N’s.)
The spirit-filled life is best enjoyed with the help of quality glassware. A nice set of old-fashioned glasses is a luxury item that doesn’t break your budget. And if you yourself are a person of animated talking and hand gestures, perhaps invest in a couple of sets of glasses to make up for the ones you’re going to knock onto the floor. We also like this set of super durable drinking glasses. Not the most romantic gesture, perhaps, but there is something timeless about buying glasses in bulk. And for those of us in warmer climates, an insulated tumbler that actually works without cracking or coming unglued is a practical, inexpensive gift that will be used frequently – Tervis makes really great ones.
Uh, I realize this gift guide is starting to sound very pedestrian but I have one more drink-related item HONEY I TOLD YOU STOP READING: whiskey stones. I don’t know who first came up with the idea of putting rocks in a glass, but what could be a more manly drinking experience?
Moving on – another consumable gift is a magazine subscription, and my husband loves getting Garden and Gun every couple of months in the mail. It’s the kind of magazine that leads off a gift guide with a $40,000 watch, but gosh, is it pretty. The writing is great, the photography amazing, and there are usually some great recipes to try.
Hallie linked to a shaving kit and I second that gift suggestion. This pre-shave oil from Origins is a great compliment to a shaving brush and it smells great. I was going to say “one bottle lasts a whole year!” but then I remembered that my husband usually uses $.99 grocery-store shaving cream and only uses the Origins stuff for special occasions. But still: smells really good.
If your guy likes to go camping, or if your guy has to go camping because of a child’s extracurricular activities, a portable tent fan is…maybe a Texas thing, I dunno. I just know that when we went on our first camping trip as a family last weekend, I immediately recanted my earlier mocking of this item when it was time to herd the family into the tent for the night. Yes, it was December, but this is Texas, and we needed a fan. This portable tent fan isn’t the same as the one we found at Academy but it gets good ratings.
For the grillmaster: Two words: three colons: fire gloves. Hold fire in your hand. For a couple of seconds, long enough to heave…things…coals…actually, I have no idea what he uses them for, I just know that they are an important part of The Process By Which Steak Happens. These tong-turner jobbies are another nice accessory for…turning things…with tongs. Just in case their function was unclear. Top it off with the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer, which you should purchase just so you can fully enjoy the glory that is the Amazon.com review section for said item.
A few book recommendations – Dan Lord’s new book, Choosing Joy, is excellent and will receive a proper review soon. From me. On this blog. You heard it here first. No, I am not in the pocket of the Lord Family Publishing Empire – I genuinely think this is a different sort of book from lots of the “Love God, and you’ll be happy in no time!” stuff that’s out there. Really impressed.
My husband has been listening to Stephen Tobolowsky’s The Tobolowsky Files podcast on his daily commute and every evening has a funny or poignant story to tell me as a result. HONEY IF YOU ARE READING THIS YOU DESERVE TO NOT BE SURPRISED. I think he’s going to love having the stories in print form in the new book The Dangerous Animals Club.
For your real literary types, the discerning among us, the kind that deserve the best in life: a gift subscription to Dappled Things, a literary magazine in the Catholic tradition. A digital stocking suffer for the man with a sense of humor: Matthew Lickona’s new ebook, Surfing with Mel (Lives of Famous Catholics), available from Korrektiv Press. And Brian Jobe’s first book, also from Korrektiv Press, Bird’s Nest In Your Hair: “a novel about bartending, old-time religion, and the twilight years of commercial pornography. Plus, poetry!”
Be sure to visit Hallie to check out her recommendations and see the other posts in the link-up. Happy gifting!