It’s Wendy. I’m back to do my annual Christmas Gift Guide for the men in your life, whether that be your husband/boyfriend/father or even some grown children.
Keeping Track of Time
Let’s start with watches. Nothing quite turns a boy into a man like a good watch. Here are some great ideas any guys, whether that are always connected or love to get away from it all.
It does almost everything an Apple Watch does at a fraction of the cost. It also works with Apple iOS and Android devices.
- Notiﬁcations at a glance: calendar events, text and emails, incoming calls, and more.
- Includes Pebble Health, a built-in activity and sleep tracker with daily reports and weekly insights.
- Built-in microphone for voice notes and quick replies (sending voice replies works with AT&T iPhone accounts and most Android apps including SMS, Hangouts, Gmail, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp and hundreds more. iOS voice features for other carriers will be available in a future software update)
- 9.5mm thin chassis with curved, ergonomic profile.
- Marine Grade Stainless Steel bezel with PVD coating, matte and polished finishes.
- Tough, 2.5D glass display
- Tactile buttons for easy, eyes-free control.
- Magnetic charging with cable that works in any USB port.
- Vibrating motor for discreet alerts and alarms (wake yourself, not your loved ones).
- Includes 22mm Silicone Strap and USB Charging Cable.
- Battery life up to 7 days
- Water resistant to 30 meters
- Always on, color e-paper display with LED backlight
Another popular option is the Fitbit Blaze Smartwatch.
Luxury and quality don’t always have to cost a fortune. The Invicta Pro Diver men’s dive watch features a 43mm wide and 12mm thick solid stainless steel case with a unidirectional rotating blue accented silver tone bezel and textured screw down crown. Invicta is powered by Japanese TMI PC32A quartz movement. This stylish watch also features a sharp looking blue dial with white accents silver tone luminous hands and dot hour markers along with the date display function, scratch resistant flame fusion crystal and water resistant to 200 meters. The Invicta Pro-Diver watch comes in an original Invicta gift box and is backed by a 5 years limited warranty.
I bought one for Jordon for his 40th Birthday and it’s looks amazing and draws all sorts of attention whenever he goes out with it.
Discover the sleek, streamlined design of the Timex Men’s Atlantis 100 Watch. Features include a 100-hour chronograph with lap or split in large digits, an easy-to-use 100-hour countdown timer, a 99-lap counter, a daily alarm, day and month calendar, and a two time zone setting ideal for traveling. Thanks to the Indiglo night-light system, the digital face is easy to read, even in low-light situations. A strong black resin case and stationary black resin bezel hold a durable acrylic window to protect the dial, while a black resin strap with a buckle clasp make this watch ideal for exercising. This versatile timepiece uses precise quartz movement and is water-resistant up to 165 feet (50 meters).
Both Jordon and Mark have (different versions of this) watch and it is their everyday watch which is great for work, looks good if they are going out and tough enough when they are hiking the trail or we are camping.
For even less money, check out the attractive, tough and affordable Casio Illuminator watch.
Jordon has the 2016-2017 version and loves it. What makes this dayplanner better than all of the other ones out there, it has your weekly calendar on one side of the page with a full page of notes on the other side. It is a good enough planner to make Jordon give up Google Calendar and go back to pen and paper.
A great daytimer is nothing without a great pen. This pen is nice and durable enough that he will always want it with him but affordable enough that he won’t be afraid to leave home with it.
From there, let’s look at some personal gifts like an amazing shaving kit or as the British call them, a dopp kit. You can spend a lot of money on a dopp kit of use an old pencil case. Personally I find the Kenneth Cole Reaction Shaving Kit to be the perfect balance between the two and you get a bag he will use for the rest of his life while being a good value.
Don’t just get him a Dopp Kitt, inside it place some essential shaving products that he will love. The market leader is the Gillette Fusion Proglide Power Razor With Flexball Handle Technology. It’s a razor any man would love and if he doesn’t have one, it’s a great upgrade.
Jordon has preferred the Schick Hydro 5 Power since it came out. The blades are quite a bit less expensive then Gillette’s yet they last a long time and the shave is a great.
If you are looking to save some money up front and down the road, I recommend the Magnum M5 razor. We got one for Mark and he loves it. 5 blades, good shave and a package of blades lasts a long time.
Kingsley Shave Soap Bowl with Lid Dark Wood: This will last for decades and he’ll think of you every time he uses it.
Henry Cavendish Himalaya Shaving Soap with Shea Butter & Coconut Oil: He may not admit how good this feels on his skin but he will appreciate it.
Escali 100% Pure Badger Shaving Brush: The bristles on this brush are made from genuine pure badger hair, for a soft and luxurious feeling every time he shaves.
Victorinox Swiss Army Classic Eau de Toilette Spray: For when he goes out and wants to smell nice but still let the world know he is still tough enough to conquer it.
Jordon switched to one of these a few years ago and we later gave one to Mark for his birthday. It easily holds a bank card, a couple of credit cards, drivers license, health card, and a few others without causing your pain if you sit on it or irritate you if it is in your front pocket.
A great looking and affordable high quality leather briefcase. He will take it with him everywhere.
Out for an Adventure
Jordon’s grandfather had a wooden pocket knife that he carried with him every day for his entire life. This is the knife that your guy will carry will carry in his pocket each and every day of his life.
Not only that but if the fate of the world does happen to depend on him, he will be prepared with the same knife that MacGuyver had with him.
Jordon and Mark aren’t big fans of Bear Grylls (they one time watched him bite the head off a large frog for no real reason) but they love this knife. It is small enough to carry in a pocket or toss in a bag that is ready and packed for adventure. Jordon’s knife has been used to make kindling for a fire, cutting some branches to cook with and is what he grabbed when we a wolf came into our campsite. He also uses it for work and carries it pretty much everywhere. If the guy you are shopping for takes pride in being self-reliant and the one that fix any problem, he needs a good knife. It’s one of those gifts that not only will he appreciate but when he bails everyone out because he has it, you will too.
Jordon has a Primus Classic Stove and Mark has a MSR Pocket Rocket stove but they fuel canisters. This does not. It burns twigs which are always around if you are camping and boils water in under 10 minutes.. It is a Gear of the Year winner from Backpacker Magazine and is ideal if the guy you are shopping for loves the outdoors.
Jordon gave me a pair of these for Mother’s Day and a pair for Mark for his birthday. Jordon keeps a small pair of binoculars in this bag all of the time for when we are hiking and they are great for watching Mark’s football games at SMF Field. The 10 times magnification is great for almost everything and they are good for almost any kind of daylight viewing.
Chilling out at Home
We live in a small house in Saskatoon. We don’t have the room for a vast sound system or home theatre system. So if we are entertaining at home, we want a great room filling audio system in a small package and good headphones when we want to escape into our work or a great playlist.
Let’s start with some headphones.
Bose Sound True around-ear headphones II were engineered with advanced Bose technologies. They feature exclusive TriPort technology so your music sounds deep, clear and full of life. The headphones feature a softly padded headband that distributes weight evenly across your head, and memory foam creates a gentle cushion around your ears. So they stay light and comfortable whether or not you are working in a co-working space or just relaxing to a long playlist at home.
If the cost of the Bose headphones are too much, check out a long lasting resident of these gift guides, the Sennheiser HD 202 II Headphones are a great value.
The HD 202 MK II closed, dynamic hi-fi stereo headphones are the ideal partner for DJs and powerful modern music, providing great insulation against ambient noise and a vivid, crisp bass response. The rugged lightweight headphones have a secure fit and can be used for both mobile sources and home (mini) hi-fi systems. When out and about, a convenient cord take-up lets you adjust the headphone cable to the required length.
For when we want some room filling sound, we use our Bluetooth speakers. It is discrete enough to never be noticed but has enough oomph to fill the room.
This is the sound system you have been looking for. For almost all of us, the first time we ever heard one of these, we went, “Oh, that is what the big deal is about.” The latest Bose Wave System IV works with your home Wi-Fi network and Bluetooth devices so you can play almost anything you can imagine. Use it to stream millions of songs from music services like Spotify and Pandora, thousands of Internet radio stations and your stored music library. There’s also a CD player and AM/FM radio tuner. So you can hear whatever you want with room-filling sound-all from an easy-to-use system that now comes in a new design.
It is the kind of gift that not only will he love but so will the entire household.
You really want an Amazon Echo
I don’t know how to best describe Amazon Echo other than comparing it to either the computer on Star Trek or Jarvis from Ironman. It is like Siri for your home.
It started out as a music player but it keeps getting smarter and smarter. Check this page out for what it can do now (and it keeps getting smarter in the future). Of course if you aren’t looking to play music, check out the Amazon Echo Dot. At $50 you can have them all over your house. If two of them hear you, the closest one answers. It connects with everything to your phone to your furnace. Again with it being cloud based, the upgrades happen online so you aren’t a slave to adding new hardware all of the time.
Anyone who owns a smartphone or tablet would probably enjoy owning a portable Bluetooth speaker. The best deliver sound quality that’s good enough for casual music listening, podcasts, and Internet radio. Portable Bluetooth speakers have a rechargeable battery that lets you easily take them all around the house or to the park or the beach. We’ve found they make hotel rooms feel more like home and long business trips much more bearable.
Here is what The Wirecutter has to say about the UE Roll 2
The original UE Roll was our unanimous pick for best portable speaker when we tested 30 new models last year, and we feel just as strongly about its replacement, the UE Roll 2. Like the original, the UE Roll 2 sounds full, with smooth reproduction of everything from bass notes to cymbals, and it plays loud enough to fill a hotel room or a beach blanket with sound. It’s so watertight it will survive being dunked one meter underwater for 30 minutes. Seven months of worldwide traveling with the original Roll have only confirmed our love of this design. The only real downside is that it lacks a speakerphone function.
For those who want even better sound quality and louder volume and don’t need their portable Bluetooth speaker to be super-portable, the Bose SoundLink Mini II is worth the cost (roughly twice the price of the Roll 2). It’s shocking to hear how much better the SoundLink Mini II sounds than most of its competitors, with clearer voices and a fuller sound closer to what you’d expect to hear from a decent small stereo system. It also plays loud enough to drown out a small dinner party. At 1½ pounds the SoundLink Mini II is perfect for lugging along on family vacations or from room to room in the house but probably heavier than backpackers and business travelers will want to carry.
These are always dirt cheap and available everywhere so it’s easy to dismiss them as not that good but The Wirecutter’s blind hearing test of in ear headphones consistently rates these near the top of their rankings despite their low price. So if you are on a budget but are looking for a great gift for a traveler, hiker, or someone who is always on the move, you can do a lot worse than a pair of these headphones.
Something to Watch
Looking for an affordable tablet? The Acer Iconia One 7” Tablet is the one you are looking for.
Of course you will want a discrete case to carry it in. I recommend this one that looks like a manila envelope.
Jordon got one of these when he bought a Kindle a few years back. They protect the tablet well and people smile whenever he pulls a tablet out of one.
If you want to go higher end, check out the Apple iPad Mini 4.
Capture the Action
Why does he wants a drone? Why do you want a drone? Check out this video of a New Zealand family vacation which I love.
How much fun would one of these be to document a family vacation or a long weekend away. Our household is a big fan of Casey Neistat and his use of drones do such a great job of capturing his adventures and they are so easy to use.
One of the best drones one the market as well as more affordable than other options on the market. Since it folds up, it is small enough to fit in a shoulder bag and carry with you always. A 27 minute battery life gives you the time to capture all of the footage you want.
The Yuneec Breeze is another affordable drone that is designed for social media. If the DJI Mavic is there to capture cities and adventures, the Yuneec Breeze exists to capture you. It’s even easier to fly, works well inside and out, and has a 4k video camera to capture everything.
It doesn’t have the performance that the DJI Mavic does but it costs about half as much.
Around the House
So if you are convinced the world will end in 2017 or 2018, you probably already have this. For the rest of us, this seed vault offers a wide variety of seeds to take you guys garden to the next level.
These 20 fruits and vegetables provide an excellent source of nutrients you need for a well-balanced diet. Each seed variety is individually sealed to remove air and moisture and will store for five years and even longer at temperatures below 75 F.
What’s Inside the Survival Seed Vault:
- Blue Lake Bush
- Beans <150 seeds
- California Wonder Bell Pepper < 70 seeds
- Market more Cucumber < 150 seeds
- Scarlet Nantes Carrot < 800 seeds
- Parris Island Cos Romaine Lettuce < 900 seeds
- Golden Acre Cabbage < 530 seeds
- Detroit Dark Red Beet < 260 seeds
- Lincoln Sweet Pea < 100 seeds
- Stowell’s Evergreen Sweet Corn < 260 seeds
- Beefsteak Tomato < 180 seeds
- Champion Radish < 320 seeds
- Green Sprouting Broccoli < 500 seeds
- Waltham Butternut Winter Squash < 100 seeds
- Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach < 260 seeds
- Yellow Sweet Spanish Onion < 145 seeds
- Black Turtle Bean < 70 seeds
- Hales Best Cantaloupe < 70 seeds
- Snowball Cauliflower < 285 seeds
- Black Beauty Zucchini < 50 seeds
- Crimson Sweet Watermelon < 60 seeds
If you guy likes to cook, raise his game with one of these fun cookbooks this Christmas. I picked a barbecue/entertaining focus because not only will this encourage him to help out around the house but he’ll have some friends over to eat all of the food he has proudly made. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
You might us well upgrade his cooking utensil game while you are it.
A great all-round knife that at a great price. The Fibrox Pro 8″ Chef’s Knife is optimally weighted with high-quality, lightweight European steel that reduces hand and wrist fatigue, making it feel less like a knife and more like an extension of the hand. Perfectly suited for dicing onions, mincing shallots, chopping herbs, crushing garlic, slicing meats of all varieties, and shredding cabbage, its versatility will quickly make it his go-to knife.
- Grill set includes chef’s spatula, grill tongs, silicone basting brush, 4 pairs of corn holders, cleaning brush, and extra brush head
- Also includes aluminum storage case–perfect for the on-the-go griller
- Durable stainless-steel tool construction
- Elongated handles; convenient handle rings for hanging
- Spatula has built-in bottle opener