10 Holiday Gifts He’ll Never Expect
For the Guy Who’s Basically Attached to His iPhone
'Round this time last year, remember saying, "This is the year that I'm going to surprise the pants off of him with my totally unexpected holiday present!"? And then, just to refresh your memory, after you gave him his present, he still had his pants on and said, "Thanks so much! I was hoping I'd get this." Well! This year, that's not going to happen again, because we've brought in a pro gift guide curator to help you out...
I asked Amanda Waas, obscure gift guide curator extraordinaire and the brains behind You're Welcome: a Gift Guide for All of Life's Awkward Occasions (that's her up there!) to put together a list of prezzies for you ladies who have some hard guys to please.
Grove Custom Bamboo iPhone Case ($119, grovemade.com)
Your techie’s phone is in his hand so much you wonder how they haven’t melded into one. Since he's so obsessed, these custom bamboo cases from Grove give him a unique way to trick out his favorite gadget.The cases can be hand-carved with any design: his favorite lyrics, his favorite quote from The Office or the date of your anniversary. He’ll love that.
For the Guy Who's Not Afraid to Bear His Feminine Side
Le Labo Santal 26 Candle ($60, lelabofragrances.com)
He keeps a clean apartment and enjoys nice things, but he’s not about to use a Cinnamon Bun-scented reed diffuser to create a mood while he’s playing PS3. This candle has a smoky, leathery scent to it and is poured into a slightly dinged up vintage tin that projects an air of manliness. Bonus for you: atmosphere. (Also, you look great in candlelight.)
For the Guy Who’s a Weekend Musician
Mojave Picker’s Wallet ($30, whippingpost.com)
The minute he walks in the door, he’s emptying his pockets of his keys, phone, spare change and at least five guitar picks. By day he’s crunching numbers in a suit and tie, but on the weekends, he’s busting out his acoustic guitar, Jack Johnson-style. He can get organized while still keeping his cool-cred with this wallet featuring a built-in slot for a guitar pick.
For the Guy Who’s a Serious Foodie
Chef’s Secrets: Insider Techniques from Today’s Culinary Masters ($15.95, quirkbooks.com)
He’s not your typical meat-and-potatoes, hey-why-don’t-we-have-a-BBQ guy; instead, he favors more exotic, adventurous cuisine. You love this about him because it means that a.) he takes you to nice restaurants and b.) he cooks for you. This book provides insider tips from renowned chefs, providing practical advice on how to master difficult techniques. He’ll feel like a culinary genius, and you’ll never go hungry again.
For the Guy Who’s a Hopeless Romantic
John Hughes T-Shirt ($23.95, dpcted.com)
He’s the sensitive type: the kind of guy that will send you flowers for no reason, and draw you a bath when you’ve had a hard day. Yes, your relationship resembles a romantic comedy way more than you ever thought possible. This super-soft t-shirt pays tribute to the filmmaker John Hughes, suggesting that the two of you get to work on your own private romantic comedy. Just don’t get carried away; a lit birthday cake on the dining room table a la Sixteen Candles is just plain old impractical.
For the Guy Who Refuses to Grow Up
iCade Game Cabinet ($150, urbanoutfitters.com)
You’re dating a gamer, which means you’ve become accustomed to your guy disappearing into a his weird game-zone for hours at a time. It’s fine: how else would you be able to get so much done while he’s playing PacMan on his iPad? This present will get him off the computer, and back to sharing the fun with you: the iCade Game Cabinet plugs into his iPad and is outfitted with a joystick and old-school game buttons, transporting you back to flirty arcade days.
For the Guy Who Completely Zones Out When the Game is On
Reclaimed Gym Floor Frame ($48, uncommongoods.com)
Football season rolls around and you automatically begin wondering, “Where is my boyfriend?” Don’t worry; he’s just at the bar with his buddies, watching the game. This will never change. Even if you can get him to stop wearing those terribly unflattering team jerseys, his love of sports is thoroughly engrained. Show him you’re down with his obsession by getting him this frame made out of a reclaimed gym floor. It’ll be the perfect place for him to display a photo from his glory days (a.k.a: his stint on the high school basketball team).
For the Guy Who's Kinda Tough, But Still Has Swagger
Dolla Dolla Bills, Y’all Brass Wallet ($120, gunsgermssteal.com)
He loves old school rap and rarely smiles in photos. He'll love this brass wallet, engraved with his personal mantra: “Dolla Dolla Bills, Y’all.” If you’re looking for something more personalized, you can get it engraved with a custom message for an additional $30. Just try to keep the gin and juice references to a minimum.
For the Guy Who’s a Boozehound
Graffiti Cocktail Shaker ($30, fredflare.com)
While his competitive beer pong days are long gone, he’s gotten into making specialty cocktails at home (call it the Don Draper effect). Any home-mixologist hoping to master classic cocktails needs a good shaker, and this one, shaped like a spray paint can, allows him to experiment without taking himself too seriously.
For the Guy Who’s Constantly Traveling
Custom Stamped Luggage Tags ($25.95, Of the Fountain on etsy.com)
The constant parade of crowded airports and too-small hotel rooms wear on your Business Travel Warrior, so help him add a little personality to the grind with these custom leather luggage tags. Whether you get them stamped with practical info or his favorite Kerouac quote, they’re sure to stand out the next time he’s waiting around the luggage carousel.