Why are men always so hard to shop for? I always struggle to find gifts for the men in my life, so this year I asked John for his best suggestions. The majority of these gifts are things we already own and love or that we’ve gifted to others in the past. Now I’m still wondering what to get for John, but I hope these ideas are helpful for you!
Theme 1 :: Cozy Camp Fire
- Helinox Sunset Chair: We actually have the slightly lower “beach chair” version of this. Helinox chairs aren’t cheap but they’re so worth it. They’re incredibly comfortable and unbelievably light- plus they pack down super small when you’re on-the-go. John keeps one in the trunk of his car in case he wants to grab a coffee by the river during his lunch break (or he did when he wasn’t working from home…) Now he wants the Sunset Chair version because he tried it in the store and liked it even more.
- Rumpl: If you don’t have a Rumpl yet, you’re missing out. It’s a blanket that looks and feels like a giant puffy down vest, and it’s incredible. It packs down tight, which is perfect when we’re traveling, camping, or lounging in our hammocks after a hike. Somehow the Rumpl is always the perfect temperature – whether you’re inside on the couch or outside in 30 degree weather.
- Firedragon: John gets made fun of every time he pulls it out, but everyone changes their tune when they see how well it works. The “Firedragon” is three feet long and lets you lift/reposition logs and then blow air directly into the center of a fire without leaving your chair. It sounds simple, but it makes campfires so much nicer (and warmer).
Theme 2 :: Long Coffee Break
- OXO Burr Grinder: It seems expensive for a coffee grinder (I get it!), but John really wanted a true “conical burr grinder” so I got him one for his birthday. Now he uses it every day. I just asked him why the grinder matters, and he swears it’s one of the most important parts of a good cup of coffee. Apparently a burr grinder is the only way to grind your beans evenly, which has a significant impact on the flavor. All I know is that I’ve been getting awesome coffee every morning, so the investment was worth it!
- Chemex Pour-Over Coffeemaker: This is for the real coffee nut! Using a pour over coffeemaker is a slower process, but there’s a reason you see a row of these at high end coffee shops. There really isn’t a way to make a better cup of coffee than you can with a pour over, and the Chemex looks beautiful on your counter when its not in use. If your partner loves good coffee and could use a meditative moment in the morning, then this is a great option.
- Ember Smart Mug: This mug keeps your cup of coffee at your perfect temperature for hours. (Parents, you all understand the value of this!) I’ve heard great things, and this is at the top of John’s list this year because he keeps forgetting to finish his coffee after he gets sucked into work… or baby duty.
Theme 3 :: Relaxed Game Night
- Stone Age: Best. Board. Game. Ever. We play this resource game all the time and now have both expansion packs. It’s slightly more complicated than Settlers of Catan but it’s simple enough to explain to new friends within a few minutes. I personally think the “meeples” are really cute.
- Decanter Set: There’s something really beautiful about a nice decanter set, but it doesn’t have to be expensive to make a statement! A decanter sends a clear signal that its contents are there to be shared, and when we finally get through this pandemic, we’re going to want any excuse to connect with friends and family.
- J. Crew Moccasin Slippers: These cozy slippers seem like a cliche “dad gift”, but there’s a reason they’re ubiquitous – there’s nothing comfier than a pair of fuzzy slippers.
Theme 4 :: Steakhouse Dinner at Home
- Anova Sous Vide: Immersion circulators finally became affordable a few years ago, and we’ve been disciples ever since. Sous vide cooking lets you prepare a bunch of steaks and keep them perfectly medium rare until your guests show. Then you can quickly sear them and drop them on the table without worrying about over/under cooking them. If you’ve cut into a steak at a great restaurant and noticed that it was medium rare from edge to edge (without the gradient from grey to pink), then they used sous vide. Its also the only way I know of to safely have a medium rare steak while pregnant which is just an added bonus for you ladies out there!
- The Flavor Bible: John has started making up his own dishes more often, and this book has been an invaluable resource to him. The author interviewed a list of the world’s greatest chefs and wrote this encyclopedia of food ingredients listing the best things to pair with each ingredient. It makes cooking more of an adventure and less of a gamble.
- Laguiole Steak Knives: Laguiole knives are made by a number of different knife makers in the small village of Laguiole, France and, while they have many different variations, the vast majority share a similar design with a distinctive fly (or bee) at the start of the blade. The design is somehow both masculine and feminine, romantic and modern. John has a Lagouile pocket knife that he got 10+ years ago, which he carries to remember his grandfather. I’m excited to replace our current steak knives with these when I have a good excuse. Maybe this Christmas counts?