Holiday Gift Guide For Men: Think Outside the Box

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Despite what he might lead you to believe, buying gifts for men can be tricky.

They often say, “get whatever,” and you’re left scratching your head as you try to come up with something exciting to give them.

You’re often forced to go back to the well of buying a sweater or a shirt repping their favorite team instead of giving them something they could use or enjoy.

If this sounds like a typical situation, here are some suggestions that can help you be the perfect gift-giver this holiday season.

Turntable and records

There’s just something about putting on an album that you can’t get from digital music. It’s a fuller sound, and it has a more authentic feel.

A new turntable can range in price from relatively inexpensive like this Jensen Turntable with built-in speakers ($49.99) to something with a higher price tag like this 1byone that features vinyl-to-mp3 converting and Bluetooth capabilities ($129.99). 

Complete the gift with a few record from his favorite artists, whether they be contemporary or vintage. You can find an array of records at 2nd and Charles or check out Little Amps Coffee Roasters on Green Street.

Kopack Backpack

If he’s still carrying around his backpack from college or a worn out broken messenger pack, he’s probably in need of an upgrade.

This backpack ($37.99) is lightweight with plenty of pockets and padding for whatever he’s hauling around. It even has a protected computer slot in the back with extra padding.

It comes with a lock to keep your computer safe and an external USB port to charge your phone while using a portable charger.

A new notebook

story supply

I think the boss has given me a new notebook for every holiday or birthday present for the past two years, and I’m always thankful because I am continuously filling up old ones.

Story Supply Co. is a York-based company that offers a variety of notebooks to fill any need. Their Pocket Staple Notebook ($10, pictured above) is a classic notebook, and it comes in packs of three.

If they are in need of a new sketchbook, the Mike Hawthorne Edition ($14) is unlined and ideal for all their drawings, ideas, or notetaking.

Air Popper and popcorn kernels

Sara calls popcorn the perfect snack, and she is right. (Check out her recent Instagram post for further evidence.)

I got an Orville Redenbacher air popper ($22.99) last year and will never eat popcorn at home any other way. You’re left with very few — if any — unpopped kernels, and you never have to worry about burnt popcorn. Plus, it’s fun to watch them pop.

Be sure to grab unpopped kernels so he can start popping right away. Popped Culture sells bags of kernels at their Broad Street Market stand, or you can pick them up at the grocery store.

Help them customize their popcorn with some spices from Calicutts. I’ve been using their Fire Salt in my recent popping experiments.

It’s the gift they never knew they needed.

Subscription Boxes

I love a good subscription service, and it’s perfect if you have no clue what to get for that guy in your life.

There are subscription boxes for every interest.

LootCrate ($15.99 a month) is perfect for the nerd or gamer, and it delivers shirts and collectibles every month. Plus, their boxes turn into storage units for everything from games to comic books.

Does he have a sweet tooth? Get him a subscription to Urban Churn’s Pint Club ($15-27 a month). The local creamery puts together a sampling of two or four pints of ice cream that are delivered right to your doorstep every month. No more running out late at night to get your ice cream fix.

Urban Churn Continues to Grow and Experiment

Birchbox ($20 a month) can help give him his own style with a monthly delivery of accessories and products like socks, shaving cream, sunglasses, and more.

While Birchbox is great for accessories, Trunk Club (prices vary) can redefine his wardrobe. It’s a bit more complicated, but it’s worth it. He’ll start by talking with a consultant to cater a box towards his style (if he has one). Shortly after the consultation, a trunk will arrive with an assortment of clothing, which he can choose from and only pay for what he wants to keep.

His Favorite Booze

This is a staple in every gift guide I have done because it’s a failsafe.

Every guy, if he imbibes, has a favorite drink. Maybe he’s bourbon guy or likes his gin and tonics; perhaps he’s more into craft beer or wine.

Whatever he likes, you won’t hear any complaints if you give him the gift of booze.

One suggestion would be a Gift Basket from Midstate Distillery. It comes complete with a bottle of their Pennsylvania-made spirits, custom flask, and a bottle tote bag.

What are you giving this holiday season?

James Werner
Author: James Werner

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