The holiday season is officially upon us and that means it’s time for our annual Art of Manliness holiday gift guide. When we make our gift guides, we try to hunt down and share the kind of products an Art of Manliness Man would want to find under the Christmas tree: manly, useful, and classic. We also try to include gifts that are unique and one-of-a-kind.
In this year’s gift guide, we incorporated useful items that we talked about in posts this year, as well as classic items that seem to have been the most popular in gift guides past.
Use the guide to find the perfect Christmas gift for your father, husband, brother, or friend, or print out the post, circle your favorites, and casually leave it where your loved one will find it. And of course you’ll want to send a copy to the man at the North Pole.
If you don’t see something on the list that strikes your fancy, be sure to check out our gift guides from previous years for more ideas (including one entirely dedicated to stocking stuffers!).
If you’re looking for gift ideas for the ladies in your life, check out the Art of Manliness Women’s Holiday Shop on Huckberry.
The items below are organized from least expensive to most to help you find something that best matches your budget. Hope you enjoy browsing the list as much as we enjoyed putting it together!
6 Pack of Locally Brewed Beer (or Soda)
Local and regional breweries have hit an all-time high in America. There’s a reason for the popularity; small breweries simply create a better product than the big boys of beer, and can take more inventive risks. In the last year I’ve (Jeremy) had watermelon beer, rosemary beer, and even Rocky Mountain Oyster beer. For the man who enjoys a libation every now and again, a six-pack of fine, handcrafted beer is a great gift. For the gentleman who doesn’t partake in libations of the alcoholic variety, some handcrafted, local soda makes a fine replacement. $6-$12
Back when we wrote our book, Manvotionals: Timeless Wisdom and Advice for the Modern Man, we came across a fascinating illustration that served as the frontpiece to a book published in 1899: Traits of Character Illustrated in Bible Light by Henry F. Kletzing. We thought it would make for a great poster to help inspire men to strive for excellence.
Enlarged and sharpened to beautifully display the qualities of true character, this handsome and inspiring poster is ready to be hung on your wall and serve as a daily reminder to be your very best. $9 (you can buy this print framed for $32)
Easily one of the best books we’ve read this year, and also one of the most important. Our modern society has largely said that one’s twenties are sort of a throwaway decade — why bother “growing up” when you can do it in your thirties and be just fine? In reality, however, instead of freeing you and relieving you of stress, putting off your life goals does the exact opposite, and creates anxiety in your life. Your twenties matter. You’re life isn’t limitless, so don’t waste perhaps the most important decade of your life. For even more insight, check out the podcast we did with author Meg Jay. $10
Earlier this summer, I did some “scientific” testing of products for men that reduce the inevitable phenomenon of swamp crotch in the hot and humid summer months. One of the products that came out on top was Fresh Balls.
Your recipient will laugh when they first pull this out of their stocking, but come summer they’ll be thanking you. $12
If you’ve enjoyed Marcus Brotherton’s articles on AoM, then you’ll enjoy his most recent book, Voices of the Pacific: Untold Stories From the Marine Heroes of World War II. Marcus has carved out a niche for himself in the WWII history genre by interviewing veterans of the Big One and publishing what they have to say with minimal editing. You get to read what actual soldiers experienced and felt without the author putting his own spin on things. I kid you not, when you read one of Marcus’ books, you feel like you’re sitting at a kitchen table surrounded by WWII vets telling you their war stories. In Voices of the Pacific, Marcus interviews the Marines who fought on the Pacific front. Be sure to check out We Who Are Alive and Remain for stories from the Band of Brothers in Europe. $14
Cast irons pans last a lifetime, cook your food evenly, and even impart a low dose of iron to your food. It feels sacrilege to cook bacon and eggs in anything else. Be sure the recipient of this gift knows how to properly season and care for their new skillet. $19
Every man should carry a torch. Always keep a smaller one on your keychain and a more heavy-duty one in your house and garage. When it comes to the former category, you can’t go wrong with a classic Maglite. The LED bulb will last nearly forever, and heavy-duty aluminum casing gives it shock and water resistance. Can’t beat the price tag either. Don’t let your home be without a Maglite. $17
If you want to give your handwritten correspondence some class, upgrade your paper. While this seems an easy task, most stationery is a bit feminine in nature, which is why we designed our own Art of Manliness stationery. Made from high quality stock, these correspondence cards will impress your coworkers, friends, and family alike. With over 20 designs to choose from, you’ll have no problem finding one that matches your manly personality. $20
Get both of our books in a handsome vintage-inspired cigar box along with six manly coasters for around $20. That’s about what it would cost to buy both books separately, plus you’re getting a cool cigar box and some nice-looking coasters! What man wouldn’t want to find this awesomely manly book collection under the Christmas tree? The cigar box the books come in is even accented with festive red and green. All the more reason to give it for Christmas. $23
Like most kids, I went through a “magic phase.” Here I am a 30-year-old man and I’m going through another one. It’s primarily so I have cool stuff to show my kids when they get older, but I’m re-learning how much I
genuinely enjoy learning magic tricks. I’ve been enjoying this trilogy of instructional DVDs on card tricks and flourishes from the Buck Twins. Be sure to check out their line of great playing cards, too. I’m particularly fond of their Vintage Plaid deck. If you’re looking to become the coolest uncle or dad on the block, knowing a few card tricks will certainly help. $25 for each DVD
If every man should carry a handkerchief, it might as well be the damn manliest handkerchief you can find. Introducing the Art of Manliness hankie set. You’ll find three white linen handkerchiefs with an embroidered image of John L. Sullivan emblazoned on the cloth. These are a great edition to your everyday carry. Each set of hankies comes with a print of our illustrated guide to using a handkerchief drawn by Ted Slampyak. $25
This sucker will be the only traveling thermos you’ll ever need. Made with stainless steel, the Stanley Thermos is rustproof and naturally BPA free. The 8-ounce lid doubles as a cup for your coffee, hot chocolate, or soup. Oh, and it keeps its contents hot/cold for 24 hours. Need more convincing? Didn’t think so. $25-$50
Every man should carry a pocket knife. The Art of Manliness pocket knife offers the high quality materials, precision in German engineering, and the sharp look and fine details of the modern Böker knife. This traditional double
bolster knife takes us back to the good ol’ times. Fine polished brass bolsters and synthetic handle scales with inlay. The blades are made of high performance 440C stainless steel. This everyday carry is laser etched with the AoM monogram on the outside and the Art of Manliness logo on the inside and makes for a perfect coming-of-age gift. $29
The Timex Field Watch has been a staple of our gift guides and Outfitted & Equipped series for good reason. These wacthes were inspired by the field watches issued to soldiers during the first half of the 20th century and look great with a wide variety of get-ups. While there are more expensive name-brand versions out there, if you’re looking for a simple, yet handsome-looking watch and can’t bear the thought of having your wife fork over $150 or more, this is perfect. Consider the Timex Camper or Timex Expedition. $30
Last spring we embarked on an epic journey through the life of Jack London. If that series left you wanting to learn even more about the life of this incredibly virile and yet complicated man, pick up a copy of the most recent (and supposedly very best) biography written on London. Just published, Jack London: An American Life by Earle Labor is high on my to-read list.
London’s own writings also make for a fantastic fireside companion during the winter months. While you can read many of his numerous works for free online, it’s nice to have them collected in one place. This copy contains his most well-known writings, and can be found on the cheap. $30 for the pair
Bottle of Scotch
For the man who enjoys a good glass of Scotch while he stares out the window at night manfully pondering deep thoughts. Scotch is considered by many (including both Nick Offerman and his TV character Ron Swanson) to be the king of the expansive whisky family. Its caramely, biting taste is perfect to warm yourself during a winter night around the fireplace with a thick, manly tome in your hand (perhaps Ulysses by James Joyce). You can get a bottle of Scotch at most liquor stores for anywhere from $30 to $300, but the $60-$80 range is probably your sweet spot. Lagavulin 16, pictured above, is Ron Swanson’s choice, and fits nicely in that sweet spot. $30-$300
A shoeshine kit makes the perfect gift; it’s something that no guy thinks to buy, but every guy needs. I have fond memories of my dad bringing out his wooden shoe shine box once a month to shine his boots and our family’s
shoes. Buy a quality kit in a manly wooden box that has all the necessary accoutrements to keep your loved one’s shoes shining like a sheet of glass. Included in this set are two cloths, a tin each of brown and black polish, two sponge daubers, two 100% horsehair brushes, a shoe horn, and of course the handsome wood box. $35
You never know when you’ll plunge off a cliff and find yourself trapped in a sinking car. That’s why a T3 Tactical Auto Rescue Tool from StatGear should always ride along with you. The knife and belt cutter make getting out of your seatbelt a breeze and the spring loaded steel tip window punch allows you to shatter your window so you can swim to your escape. Make sure to check back on the site next Thursday for an illustrated guide to escaping a sinking car. $40
In the chilly winter months, a cozy pair of slippers is a staple for when you’re at home lounging around. Nice dress socks aren’t known for their warmth, so coming home to a pair of comfortable and warm slippers is about as good as it gets. And when you’re stepping out of bed in the morning, there’s nothing better than slipping your dogs into a waiting pair of fleece-lined foot-pillows. If a full-on slipper isn’t your thing, check out the awesome astronaut-inspired slipper socks on Huckberry. $40
Have you ever wished that you could carry something around that could both sign checks and injure would-be attackers? If so, you sir need a tactical fountain pen. This pen combines the gentlemanly refinement of a fountain pen with the virile ruggedness of a tactical pen. Made with aircraft aluminum, this tactical fountain pen can withstand the most rigorous of beatings. $40
Who knew that the humble wax seal could be so interesting and so fun? We did a write up earlier this year, where we discovered the fascinating history of the wax seal that dates all the way to the Middle Ages. The practice has changed very little since that time, and it’s easy to do yourself to bring some class to all the handwritten letters you’re sending. While there are various kits out there, in my testing, J. Herbin proved to be the best of the bunch. This kit contains one brass seal engraved with a letter of your choice, and four sticks of their supple sealing wax. $40