Holiday shopping is stressful enough without the added pressure of deciding whether the gift you’re giving is sending the right message, or whether you should even be exchanging gifts. Hint: a gift is always a nice gesture; the key is to make sure you’re respecting the relationship boundaries. To help with that, and to give you some great ideas, I’ve created this handy dandy guy-centric gift guide. These suggestions are certainly interchangeable, but you probably won’t go wrong if you stick strictly to the category each gift is listed in. And if you have a FWB you don’t want to leave out, I’d skip right on down to the list of stocking stuffers. Bacon candy canes, anyone?
For argument’s sake, let’s define a “new boyfriend” as someone you’ve been dating exclusively for less than three months. You might stay at each other’s homes occasionally, but you don’t, like, have a drawer at his place.
If he has a mustasche and likes quoting dead people: Blend Your Own Whisky
I love the idea of creating a whisky fan his very own blend from a variety of available ingredients and personalizing it further with a name you pick out yourself. It’s romantic without being overly so. Or you could always let him create the whisky himself with his own home blending kit.
If he likes people to leave him alone on the subway: Audio Technica Headphones
I got Drew these headphones I think for our anniversary this year after a music fan friend of ours recommended them. Drew reports that the sound quality is perfect and no one bothers him on the subway anymore. Mission accomplished.
If he always has to get off the phone with you because “his battery’s about to die”: iPhone extended battery case
This was another gift I got Drew this year that he is very happy with. His iPhone battery lasts twice as long and I haven’t heard a peep about him being out of juice in the months since I gave him this.
LONGTERM BOYFRIEND/ FIANCE/ HUSBAND
You’ve been together for a while now and while the spark is still there — hopefully — you’re also comfortable enough to: A) spend a bit more than you would on a brand new guy; B) give gifts that aren’t necessarily “sexy.” C) help improve his style a bit.
If you’re worried about him getting cold feet: Sheepskin slippers
I have the lady version of these and I basically don’t take them off from November ’til March, they’re that cozy.
If he’s been wearing the same ol’ coat since Bush was president: Ben Sherman Men’s Wool Melton 4 Pocket Coat
It’s hot, it’s rugged, he could wear it to meet your parents for dinner or take you bowling some Saturday night. Also, it will make his cheekbones look like the guy in the picture, so win-win for everyone.
If he is a gadget geek:iPad mini
Because you really love him, and he really loves Apple.
If he’s losing his hair and feeling a li’l insecure about it: POPS driving cap
How you gonna feel insecure when you look so good, amiright?
If he has events — like dates with you — he has to be on time for but isn’t the kinda guy who would wear much bling on his wrist: Nixon Classic Analog Stainless Steel Watch
It’s cool, modern, sexy, masculine, understated and versatile (hopefully, just like your man). Plus, it costs less than what you probably spend for a cut and color on your hair and it will last a lot longer.
BROTHER/ LIKE A BROTHER
This guy has your back and you’ve got his. Maybe you share a similar sense of humor and maybe you’ve invested lots of time advising each other on relationships and such. Show your appreciation when any of these fine gifts.
If he likes skinny jeans: Tight Wallet
This is a brand new product that will take the bulk out of a man’s pants. Wait, what? In a good way, I mean! Ingenious AND stylish.
If he likes to cook: The Meatball Shop Cookbook
The Meatball Shop is a restaurant in Manhattan that typically boasts two-hour-long waits for a table. That’s because the food is damn good. If I knew someone who loved cooking, I’d get him this cookbook and cross my fingers I’d score an invite for dinner some time.
If he likes to mix a mean cocktail: All-in-One Home Bartending Tool
If you want to spend a bit more, throw in a bottle of his favorite booze and some tasty bitters, like these.
Where would you be without him? He gives you fashion advice, watches “Real Housewives” with you, shares your crush on Ryan Gosling, and never makes you feel like you’re in competition with each other. He’s the best.
If he likes his bathroom looking just so: Nine Space Hand Towels
They’re masculine, modern, and make a statement without being fussy.
If he travels a lot and likes to look good doin’ it: The Weekender Bag by Everlane
It’s just a good-lookin’ bag.
If he likes martinis and dinner parties: Mad Men cook book
He’s the first man in your life you ever trusted. He survived your adolescence and probably deserves a medal for it, but any of these gifts would be just as good.
If he likes coffee and being cool: Impress Coffee Brewer
This is a brand new coffee brewer that works like a french press, but more effectively, and can be used as a travel mug once the coffee is brewed. Plus, it looks really cool.
If his doctor told him to get in shape: Fitbit
The Fitbit Zip tracks steps, distance, and calories burned — then automatically syncs the data to the owner’s Fitbit account through any and all of his gadgets. Even if he hates exercising, he’ll probably enjoy the geek aspect syncing data to his gadgets.
If he’s recently retired and lookin’ for a new hobby: Beer Making Kit
BEER! Need I say more?
Baxter of California face wash (Drew said using this is like “being on vacation”)
Zippo Hand Warmer High Polish Chrome Pocket Lighter
Makers Mark cigar
Bacon candy canes
Cremo cream shave
Replacement ear buds