Every year our families, significant others, and co-workers ask for a list of things we'd like for Christmas, and every year it's a struggle. It's not that we don't want things, or that we don't want to participate in the festivities. These gift ideas need to be moderately priced and easily attainable, but if we really wanted something that was moderately priced and easily attainable, we would have just bought it for ourselves already.
So what to ask for? Gift cards? No, that's lame. Nothing disappoints the little kid in all of us more than when we get to open a single envelope while others are shredding paper and ribbon from boxes.
No matter, Primer is here to help. We've listed here a ton of cool things we'd love to have, but probably wouldn't spend the money to buy on our own — the perfect gifts!
Diod Glass from IKEA – $1.99/each
Inexpensive and perfect rocks glasses for sipping some bourbon on the rocks. Wild Turkey Rare Breed, now that I think of it. Or Maker's Mark 46, if that's your preference. Every guy needs a decent bourbon/whiskey to go with his rocks glasses.
Fisher Space Pen gift set – $17.10
One of the most popular pens of the 20th century, this pen, with its special ink cartridge, was invented in the 60's for the space program. It can write at any angle, under water and in a temperature range of -30 to 250 degrees.
Silver tie bar for skinny ties – $15
The problem with evolving style is that your 2.5 inch tie bar is now way too big for those rockin' skinny ties we keep promoting. The gents over at The Tie Bar have an affordable and good looking tie bar that does just the trick.
French Press – $19
A good cup of coffee is hard to come by … unless you use a French Press. Try a typical drip coffee that has been on the hot-pad for an hour and make a French Press … you'll be amazed at the difference. (Check out why we love French Press coffee in our article “Make Coffee With a French Press That is Cheaper Than Starbucks and Tastes Better Too“.)
AeroPress Coffee Maker – $25
Supposedly, this makes a cup of coffee that rivals the ultra-expensive Clover machines, and it's only $25. (Editor's note: I actually have one of these, it makes pretty good coffee and is very portable, but I don't have any experience with more high-end machines.)
6-in-1 Utili-key – $10
While this is item is only about $10, it's gotten me out of countless jams in the past. One of the saddest days I can remember was having to turn it over to airport security in Vancouver, because I forgot it was on my keys.
Novel-T Shirts – $24.95
Classic authors and literary characters organized into two baseball teams. Get the “jersey” of your favorite.
Picture Window from Urban Outfitters – $15
Snaz up your apartment with a selection of your favorite prints.
The West Wing on DVD – As low as $18.99
Any season of this show, or even the entire set (which can be found for as low as $80 occasionally), would make a fantastic gift.
Gil Hibben Pro Throwing Triple Knife Set – $25.10
When darts just aren't good enough anymore.
Libbey Vina Stemless Red Wine Glasses, Set of 4 – $10.39
Make a good impression with these modern wine glasses, sans stem. If Draper were a wine drinker, I picture these in his office.
Paracord Parachute Survival Bracelet – $2.95
Pick up a custom-made bracelet made out of 550 paracord with 200 lb tensile strength. You'll never be without rope. Why would you need rope? Well, read our armageddon survival guide and you'll understand.
Domain Name – $1.99-$9.99
This is a great gift for anyone who you think might want or need a web presense! They are easy to buy and then you can transfer the ownership to the person once they get the gift free of charge! As low as $2!!!
Progressive International GMMC-68 Microwavable S'Mores Maker – $9
Let’s face it: smores are awesome but kind of annoying to make. With this little contraption you can make the perfect smore without the hassle of it falling apart in your microwave. It will probably still be messy when you eat it but that’s a good thing.
Whiskey Stones – $20
Serious drinkers might not know it but they’ve always had a real problem: ice is just not tough enough for alcohol. It melts and literally waters your drink down. So what to do? Get some stylish stone drink cubes! These stones have the exact same results as ice but without all the wussy water. Get ready for a cold drink that stays strong until you’re finished.
Bormioli Rocco Selecta 7-Piece Whiskey Gift Set – $21.50
No Mad Man fan would be complete without his office liquor station. Get this classic decanter and rocks glasses set and drink the afternoon away on the man's dime. (Not actually recommended if you want to keep your job.)
Fresh Balls -$15
Every guy struggles with swampy balls, and the only thing the cosmetic industry has ever thrown our way was smoky, smelly baby powder — until now. Fresh Balls is a cream that goes on without leaving a residue and is a ton less messy than a powder. The stuff actually works, now go tell your girlfriend you want ball cream for Christmas.
Clint: A Retrospective – $20
Clint Eastwood is an easy man to look up to: rugged, strong-willed, determined and successful. Get the whole picture of a career spanning six decades in this beautiful coffee table book.
NBA A-Z DVD – $20
A swell visual companion to NBA JAM (below) is NBA A-Z, a collection of the best and laughably worst plays in the NBA from last season and the past. The clear highlight? A collection of superstar Dwight Howard’s attempts at celebrity impersonations.
Kershaw folding knife – $34.58
The Leek series from Kershaw is an incredibly versatile knife for pocket carry. The size is just right for most men's pockets: small enough to not interfere with keys and phones but large enough to handle almost any common cutting task. The knife's slim, flat profile adds to its utility as a discrete but handy tool. It also features assisted opening. I recommend the serrated version for cutting rope and other difficult materials.
686 Original Belt with built-in tools – $40
This is probably the most useful belt ever made. Boasting a detachable #2 Phillips screwdriver and #2 flathead screwdriver, a detachable belt loop with 8mm/10mm/11mm wrenches AND a built in bottle opener. You can fix stuff and drink a beer all while keeping your pants on.
Xikar cigar lighter / Xikar cigar punch – $30.95 / $23.99
For the budding cigar aficionado, this starter set is just right as a timeless gift. Many men won't let themselves spend upwards of $40 on things like cigar accessories, which makes them a perfect gift opportunity. Xikar quality ensures that the recipient will use these quality tools for many years to come. Furthermore, many beginning cigar smokers are only familiar with cigar clippers, and not cigar punches. A punch creates a uniform, clean hole in the cigar for smoking.
Kikkerland Clap-On Cube Alarm Clock – $30
Sure, it may look like a simple yet stylish cube of wood but when you clap you will see that it is a digital alarm clock.
Finish Line Doormat – $32
Doormats are by definition boring or unnoticeable. None of these options are acceptable for a champion/winner like you and I…so what are we supposed to come home and scrape our feet on? A finish line doormat is what.
NBA JAM by EA Sports – $39.99
The popular arcade game has returned… in the comforts of your home. Many of us launched quarters into this game when the likes of Ewing, Pippen, and Barkley were still around. Now you can “BOOMSHAKALAKA” with the current stars.
Wok Set from Crate & Barrel – $49.95
A stir fry is a simple, healthy meal that any man can master, especially with a wok set like this one.
30 lb Kettlebell – $51
As a Primer reader you know we have a love for kettlebells. They are simply one of the best workout tools out there. Check out more on how to use a kettlebell in an article from our 100 Days of Fitness series.
Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Box Set – $45
If there's a geek in your life that hasn't read these books, you owe it to them to give this graphic novel collection.
Four Piece Shaving Set – $52
This shave set comes with a chrome plated badger, stand and razor that works with Mach 3 blades.
iPhone App Coasters – $59.99
Upgrade your coffee table to iOS with this set of coasters featuring the icons from Apple's iPhone.
Vans Customs – $60
Vans have always been pretty cool but the ability to make your own custom colored shoes online?! Awesome. Plus the slip ons are fantastic for travel. If you REALLY want to go all out on the custom Vans idea, check out slipsoffs.com where you can get hand painted vans with ANYTHING you can think of. Sure it’s a little pricey ($180) but these are one of a kind.
Gerber AO Fast 3.0 – $41
We wrote about this daily carry knife a few months ago and gave it a good review. Robert Fure still carries it everyday. It opens quick and is a good size for your pocket or your survival pack.
The Remington MicroScreen MS2-390 – $59.99
Here's the thing about electric razors, you NEVER buy it for yourself, it's always given as a gift. And let's be honest, when we most need one we don't have it. The reviews for the MS2-390 are very good, with many saying it gives a terrific close shave.
Square-Framed Aviators by American Optics – $42
We've yet to meet a man who doesn't look in square-framed aviator sunglasses. Don't take our word for it, our man Draper wears 'em too. Pick them up at your local Army/Navy store or scoot on over to Amazon.
Reasonably Priced Digital Camera – $90
Everyone needs a digital camera. Yes, almost everyone has a camera on their phone, but if you really want to capture a moment, you have to have a true camera. The Nikon CookPix is a great start at $90
Flip HD – $119
We are now living in a time when we don't need hi-tech video equipment to capture our exciting moments. You can get an older version (still HD) of the Flip Cam for under $100!
Skagen black on black dress watch – $110
We touted black on black watches earlier in the year and heard nothing but agreement from all of you. Check out this reasonably priced option by Skagen, you'll easily confuse others into thinking it cost much more.
Frost River Flight Bag – $120
Every guy should have a durable bag he can pack at a moments notice to hit the road on a weekend trip. Check out this American-made Flight Bag by Frost River. Read our review here.
MIMO 7″ USB Monitor – $150
At $150, this is a little pricey, but it's amazing! Some of my co-workers have these, and they're an amazing way to get some of your Photoshop palettes, or anything else, off of your main monitor, to give you some more screen real estate. There's also a touchscreen version for $50 more.
All the rage now, and especially for anyone who does a lot of mass-transit traveling, the eReader is the way to go! There are quite a few good choices: the Amazon Kindle $139, the Sony eReader $179 and the Barnes & Noble Nook $149.
Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Four Star 7-Piece Block Set – $170
A man's kitchen needs a good set of knives, and we wholeheartedly recommend this set from Zwilling J.A. Henckels.
Black Rivet Leather Cycle Jacket – $200
This high quality jacket knocks the pants off of overpriced designer leather jackets. It comes slightly aged, giving it that “this coat has followed me to hell and back” look all great leather jackets strive for. More pictures in our review here.
Still need more ideas? Check out these lists from our partners in crime:
- Affordable Gifts for Men – Dappered
- Art of Manliness Holiday Gift Guide 2010
- Gift Guide '10 – Valet
- Gift Guide 2010: The Adventure Maven – Gear Patrol