As a blogger you get a lot of pitches from publicists to add their clients’ products to what is called a "holiday gift guide." Back in the olden times when I worked at a newspaper these were literally special sections of ink on paper that would run before Thanksgiving. These days a holiday gift guide is a blog post collecting a bunch of products that may or may not have been tested by the author and may or may not have been sent to him from publicists.
So…uh, here's the DadTherapy Holiday Gift Guide. Just know that I've at least tried all the below whether bought myself or sent from a lovely publicist. They would make great gifts for the dad in your life…if they like all the same things I do at least.
Some Good Beer
If you're like my wife you kind of know what beers your better half drinks and can go into your local liquor store and ask for some special brews that are up our alley. Just make sure you know whether he likes IPAs, Stouts, Pale Ales etc. before going in. Then get either a really pricey six-pack or a few of those large bottles with the cool labels on them of that variety. A clerk should be able to help out here. It'll make a fun gift sticking out amongst all the wrapped boxes under the tree. And even if it turns out he doesn't love it… IT'S STILL BEER!
Some Good Undershirts
Regular readers know I’m a bit obsessed with undershirts but that doesn't mean other men wouldn't like to get some good quality undershirts under the tree/menorah. I liked the Underfits I tested and they fall into that territory of being nice enough to be a "real" gift. If you want to go bulk I like 2xist, which I found at Nordstrom Rack.
Smoked Sea Salt
If your husband likes to grill get some smoked sea salt. You can find it in gourmet shops or that unbelievable place called Amazon for about $10 for a sizable jar. This gives meats a smoky flavor without having to actually smoke anything. It's great for seasoning steaks or adding to a rub for ribs or chicken. Good for stuffing a stocking or for a night of Hanukah.
Audio-Technica ATH-AX1iS SonicFuel Headphones
I wrote a full review of these headphones here but if he doesn't obsess about music – meaning he already has a pair of high-end phones – than these might be a great low-cost gift for iPad time…otherwise known as the time he spends next to you in bed before going to sleep.
A Shaving Kit
Yes, yes, this is the most common suggestion around for men. But you don't need to get an entire shaving set at a department store at a high price. The most important things to get are the shaving brush (badger hair) and a good cream. You can even buy them separately and they're easy to find on Amazon. I liked Tribute but the company folded this summer. Something like Dreadnaught is a good replacement because it doesn't have a strong scent so he can use whatever aftershave he pleases with it. You also want a cream so you don't need a bowl to lather up the brush every morning, which can be a pain if counter space is at a premium. Put the cream and brush together in a small box, BAM, easy present. Or have two children wrap them separately so they have something extra to hand to pop on Christmas morning.
Dollar Shave Club Membership
Like the above, it's kind of a common suggestion but at least you know it's something he'll use. The biggest "gift" aspect is the fact that the refill blades just sort of magically arrive every month through this arcane delivery system called the U.S. Postal Service. Use this link to get started and I'll even get a reward. Mmmm...karma.
Automotive Themed Hat or Clothes
I know I'm a bit car obsessed because of my job but lots of men out there love their cars and their favorite brand. These days every automaker puts out some rather fashionable clothes and hats like Dodge (above). Hey, Subaru even has some hats on sale...
Beer Themed Hat or Clothes
OK, I'm getting lazy here now but combine the beer and car gear entries above and you get beer-themed gear. Seriously, if you know your guy just can't get enough of Bell's beer (for example) you can easily find something for them online.
One of Those Fancy Repackaged, Remastered CD Sets
No one buys new CDs anymore but there have been a slew of "classic" sets from the 1990s and 2000s re-released in intricate box-sets made for digital listening. So if he happens to love Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins, Wilco or Soundgarden these offer a new way of listening to the original and some bonus tunes. Maybe he'll even read the liner notes like back in the day. If he wasn't listening to any of these bands back in the day he will probably like the just released First Demos by Fugazi. You can get it here.
A Really Nice Carving Knife
If you didn't add a carving knife to your wedding registry chances are you still don't have one in your kitchen. And even if you only really need one a few times a year there is no better feeling for a man than being asked to carve the turkey or slice the prime rib. It feels better if you have a fine blade to do the deed. You even get to use one of those 20% off Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons you have piling up all over the house.
A New Grill
Sure it's going to be expensive but why not get that guy what he really wants, a new grill to replace that aging hunk of metal out around back? It doesn't need to be the extreme Kenmore I've been testing this year, but there are so many more affordable models it really isn't that much more to spend versus another i-Device. If you live up North it might be a bitter gift to give but it's also the best time of year to get a deal on a grill according to Consumer Reports.