B&L's Great Gifts List - Part 3

Dear Guys, Why are you so hard to shop for?  Seriously.  I can waltz through any old store and find something that I know my mom, sister, best friend, and every other female in my life will enjoy, but dudes?  That's an entirely different story!  Every single man I know fits into (at least) one of these hard-to-get-gifts-for categories:  

  • The Guy Who Buys Whatever He Wants For Himself And Doesn't Leave Anything For A Christmas List.  This man is a challenge because he'll beat you to buying a gift for him and turn up with that tablet, hockey tickets, or sweater you were going to give him.  Hang on to this guy's gift receipts, you'll likely have to return something before Christmas in a last-minute scramble to find a gift replacement.
  • Not to be confused with the Guy Who Buys Whatever He Wants is the Man Who Already Has It.  You hunted feverishly from store to store, finally selecting what you deemed to be the perfect gift that he would surely love, only to find out upon Christmas morning that he's got it already, in red and blue, to boot!
  • The Dude Who Claims He Doesn't Want Anything (i.e. gives you no hints about what he may indeed have his eye on).  Frequently disguised as a Dad, this character is a wild card because he could legitimately just not want anything in particular and genuinely appreciate surprises, or he could have something very specific on his mind and expect you to read his mind and pick up on his man-hints.  The latter is likely to end in failure. 
  • The Outrageously Picky Guy: no matter what you get him he will find something wrong with it and likely return it.  Store clerks run in fear when they see him (or you. or his mom) coming post-holiday.  He's now the King of gift cards.  
  • The frat bro who is likely to lose, break, or in some other way damage your thoughtfully selected gift.  He probably just wanted some Fireball and a six-pack, anyway. 

Instead of throwing up my hands in frustration, I now take this to be a personal challenge.  I have assembled a range of gifts that I firmly believe will suit pretty much every hard-to-shop-for dude or dad in your life...except for the guy who is never satisfied.  Just give him a cat-stocking stuffed with gift cards.  Then keep the stocking.

I know, you're thinking "Socks?! He'll hate socks!".  But these are padded snowboard/ski socks, which he could surely use...especially if they come with a set of lift tickets.  ::hint::hint::

This wall decal sums it up.  

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How novel! (hehe)  When in doubt, books are always a good option.  I've found that the most successful literary gifts I've given to dudes have been books about music, history, and how-to man skills type books. 

Soooo these are weird but a good idea.  They're basically caffeine "dip" replacements.  So if you're trying to encourage your guy to break that nasty habit, these might be worth considering.  He'll probably still spit that sick juice everywhere, but at least he won't get jaw cancer from it!

Guys with papers need paper weights.  These are simple, practical and feature a nice little message "Stay Levelheaded".  It's a play on words.  Get it?  ;)

Ties normally suck as gifts, but that's only when they're boring!  These ties are hand-crafted and feature manly fabrics and fun animal patters.  If there's such thing as a sexy tie, it would be these.  

A toiletries kit with a fun greeting is good for traveling, heading off to college, or just corralling his stuff off the vanity!

A good old fashioned shoe-shine kit is a great gift option for all sorts of men, from the new grad to the grandpa to the traveling business man.  Bonus: this kit keeps it all together in a sharp case.

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Encourage grown-up drinking habits (I.e no more shotgunning beers and shots of Komchatka) with some whiskey stones and a matching book.  I'd finish this gift off with a bottle of locally crafted whiskey or bourbon. 

Realistically, I'd wear this shirt.  It's a badass modern Henry David Thoreau, complete with nature tatts and hipster hairstyle.  Bibliophiles, nature-lovers, and hipsters alike will appreciate this fun shirt (and if Henry D. Thoreau isn't your main dude, this maker has a Brawny Herman Melville design as well).

This smells so good, even I'd wear it --I don't though, because I don't want people to think I just got done frolicking in the sheets with some hot dude all the time.....  Comprised of notes of Bergamot, Grapefruit, Cinnamon Leaf, Pink Pepper, Lavandin, Chilli, Saffron, Elemi, Vetiver, Balsam Fir, Tobacco Accord, White Leather Accord, it's seductive, spicy, manly and delicious.  Spray it on everything.

Gifts for campers, hikers, roamers, and wilderness-lovers!

This lightweight collapsable chair is perfect for cookin' up some eggies on the campfire or chillin' and watching the stars. 

Whoa!  This straw makes it possible for you to safely drink water from any natural source without the risk of getting "beaver butt" (aka giardia)--or worse!

It's a pot and a kettle, all in one!  Safely pour hot liquids or cook a full meal, all using the same little contraption.  Its lightweight ultrathin stainless steel is easy to clean, pack away and transport.

I love this print of North American bird feathers.  It makes such a nice gift for friends of nature, bird-watchers and tree-huggers. 

If I could afford it, I'd give Go-Pro's to every person I know!  Whether it gets strapped to a snow-sports helmet, a mountain bike, the front of a kayak or used for any other outdoor endeavor, it's a fun way to capture those extreme sporting moments. 

An emergency survival kit is a surprisingly practical gift for your loved ones who like to go off-the-grid.  Maybe tuck in some jerky for good measure. 

Powerful insulation with a sporty-sleek design works equally well for urban, arctic, and everything-in-between winter adventures.

If you can't sign him up for Bear Grylls' wilderness survival boot camp, this is the next best option (okay, it probably isn't, but it's still a good, if mostly amusing, one!)

Safe enough to use if you're camping in the Boundary Waters or anywhere that "traditional" soap is not allowed.  The tea tree and eucalyptus must feel so rejuvenating when you've been sweating and hiking all day!

Okay, let's be honest, you don't have to even remotely like the out of doors to love these blankets.  They are just beautiful.  I want one in every color, and then I will snuggle under them with a hot cocoa and watch the snow fall outside, wear them as a campfire wrap, use them for picnics, toss one on my bed....the possibilities are endless.

A log carrier.  For carrying your logs (LOL. I made myself laugh).  But seriously, this is really useful whether you're camping or just transporting firewood inside your humble abode.... or if you just really like chopping wood and now your wife needs you to move it off the lawn.

A super durable case for your smart phone allows you to take pictures underwater, while skiing, climbing a volcano or rappelling into a Mexican Cenote.  If the thought of being available by phone while you're off exploring and galavanting puts a bad taste in your mouth, just think: you can still screen your calls and claim you "didn't have reception" but if you wind up in trouble you'll have a phone to use and all it's built-in goodies.  Win-win!

A set of wilderness adventure cards!  Give 'em or keep 'em!  They also make a super stocking stuffer!

A wildly cool topographic map of the Great Lakes. 

As always, the Scandinavians know how to do it right.  I'm pretty sure you could wear this jacket for practically anything and remain warm and fashionable.

I'm eager to flip through this book.  I am so guilty of choosing books based solely on the cover and this one is beautiful and intriguing.  


I hope this planted some seeds of good gift ideas in your heads!  Stay tuned for the rest of the Bert&Lou Holiday Gift Guide, coming soon!