It’s been a unique year to say the least. And undoubtedly, it’ll be a unique holiday season. However, we shouldn’t let COVID or political turmoil dictate our lives — how we celebrate, how we socialize, or how we give.
This year’s list (our 7th edition) is packed with all the things a man wants but feels guilty buying for himself, as well as the things he probably doesn’t even know he wants. Regardless of how deep your pockets are, this is the only holiday gift guide you’ll need — from the practical to the fantastical.
In years past, we’ve focused on the notion that Santa loves rich kids more. While it’s important to unapologetically enjoy the fruits of our success and appreciate the finer things in life, it’s also important to embrace a sense of empathy — now more than ever — as well as optimism with respect to an eventual return to normalcy.
For His House:
No matter how big your house is, it got a little smaller this year, but there are a few things I’d recommend. For starters, adding a few American artifacts to your house is always great, like this sword from the War of 1812 ($42,000), this Signed Letter from Martin Luther King Jr. to Sammy Davis ($54,000) or this Bible signed by Trump ($37,500). Feel free to have these items placed in the background of your Zoom call to give yourself something else to talk about besides this “new normal”. Also, stop saying “new normal”.
While everyone rushed to buy Pelotons that they’ll only get a few months use out of before turning it into an overpriced coat rack, I purchased this sauna ($1,700), something I knew I would actually use. Lastly, if you haven’t improved your coffee set up yet, go with this alarm clock coffee maker ($445) and be sure to get a Breville milk frother ($130), this coffee grinder ($32), and these Death Wish Coffee beans ($19). If you’re still using Keurig pods then I can’t help you.
For His Closet
Like most, I’ve had a slim rotation of clothes worn this year. I recommend spending your days wearing the pants from Birddogs ($95), which are perfect for the office, on the golf course, our lounging around the house, along with a James Perse Polo ($265). Looking beyond COVID, now is the perfect time to refresh your top drawer with these Brummell Boxer Briefs ($23) and Undershirts ($25). Even if we’re stuck inside, they make ideal comfort ware. And post-COVID, Brummell’s basics are the perfect foundation for all occasions. And if you do go outside, go with these Paige Denim ($209) or Tom Ford Jeans ($720).
For His (WFH) Office:
Your guess is as good as mine for how long this work from home will continue, but now is an excellent time to build the ideal home office. Start with some inspiring artwork ($200,000), an antique desk ($12,500), a Bamboo Plant ($195), and either a dartboard ($140) or golf simulator ($26,000) to keep you entertained while being muted on conference calls. Although I hate being on video, this Logitech camera ($99) and Lume Cube Video Conference Lighting ($69) have helped more than I thought it would. And of course, this Targus Webcam Cover ($9) — no need to pull a Jeffrey Toobin.
For most of us who spend too many hours staring at screens, I’d recommend the Tom Brady-designed Christopher Cloos Glasses ($179) with blue light protection lenses. They will literally save your eyesight; your older self will thank you. Finally, while you’re not paying attention to your Zoom calls, it’s fun to check out what your favorite celebrities, VCs, and industry titans are investing in with Public.
For His Bar Cart
With Corporate America getting rid of the bar cart culture, go ahead and tap into your inner Don Draper and build one in your home office. I’d start with this Mid Century Bar Cart ($4,500), a proper Copper Ice Bucket ($1,300), this Baccarat Decanter ($1,315), and these SOHO Crystal Whiskey Glasses ($196 — set of four).
And be sure to have a bottle of Macallan 30 Year Old Sherry Oak Single Malt ($8,900), at the very least have a bottle on hand of Johnnie Walker Scotch Blue Label ($199) or make your life easier with a Pour More subscription. And even though I’ve never tried it, my wife speaks highly of Haus — Citrus Flower ($35) and the Ryan Reynolds Gin ($50).
For His Library
2020 has been the year of the book — with sales up more than 7% this year. And yet, most people only read, on average, a single book per year. As we’ve said many times before, “Reading allows you to borrow someone else’s brain.” This year, I’d recommend the following: Josh Brown and Brian Portnoy’s “How I Invest My Money” ($18), F. Scott Fitzgerald’s last piece of work “The Last Tycoon” ($14), Morgan Housel’s “The Psychology of Money” ($16), and Matthew McConaughey’s “Greenlights” ($19) — after reading this, and watching him on Joe Rogan, I like him even more; Hollywood could really use a few more McConaugheys. Lastly, The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness ($13) is a rewarding read.
For His Kitchen
If you have no plans for the next three months, then make it a priority to get good or even better at cooking. Other than drinking and fly fishing, cooking is my primary form of therapy. For the guys in their 20s, put down the Xbox and learn how to cook. This year I like this Six Piece Copper Set from Made-In Cookware ($1,200), really anything of theirs is great, this personalized cutting board ($110), this knife set ($1,500), and this George Jensen Champagne Cooler ($400). Since everyone else got one this year, you might as well buy your own Air Fryer ($130). And although I was impressed when I tried my first Beyond Burger this year, I still prefer real meat any day and the Butcher Box offers a nice subscription option. And of course, for your grill, this Lorenzi Milano Bamboo Leather Travel BBQ Set ($4,555).
For When He Comes Out of Quarantine
After going the longest I have in 20 years without shaving, its time to invest in a Wilde & Harte Razor Set ($430). Even though I didn’t use my luggage for any traveling this year, it seems like a good time to replace it with a Rimowa Suitcase ($1,160) and this Tom Ford weekender bag ($3,750). And while this brand is new to me, I respect Rowing Blazers trying to bring back and normalize the Banker Bag ($135). And whenever we’re allowed to travel internationally again, be sure to have this Hermès passport holder ($225), this Tom Ford card holder ($340), and a pair of timeless Cloos sunglasses ($169) which have the same top quality and style of leading brands, but at a fair price, making them the ideal gift. It goes without saying, quality sunglasses are essential for men; they let women know a man appreciates nice things, and is responsible enough to take care of them.
For His Midlife Crisis
Although I think I had a midlife crisis three or four times this year, I have come to the realization that while my hair may not grow back any faster. I’d settle for sitting behind the wheel of either this 1964 Ferrari 250GT/L ($1,525,000) or 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster.
For His Kids to Inherit
Other than a watch and a wedding ring, cufflinks are the only other acceptable form of jewelry, because the only thing worse for women than seeing a desirable man with a wedding ring on is seeing a desirable man with a ring on any other finger. More importantly, cufflinks and watches are the few things that you can pass down from generation to generation. For black tie functions, I like these Diamondere cufflinks ($3,615), these vintage cufflinks ($5,500) and this 1951 Patek Philippe dress watch ($7,985).
For His Conscience
I previously wrote a separate article listing ways to donate this Christmas season, including donating a Christmas Tree or Christmas Meal to a family in need ($30). Check and see if any of your favorite restaurants around you have a relief fund and be sure to donate and then you can also buy Hotel Bonds from places like The Labotessa in Cape Town on Buy Now Support Later. Or a pair of these Bolivian Mugs ($36) from UMA Ceramics, each one is handmade by its founder, and part of the proceeds go to supporting Bolivian artisan shops.
And if you need a few more things to help you get through your quarantine, I’d recommend this foam roller ($150), this 20-pound Casper weighted blanket ($190), this alarm clock ($130) stop sleeping with your phone next to you, this set of candles ($100), a light therapy lamp ($38), and a box of cigars ($204). Also, for your friends that all got quarantine dogs this year, this Furbo Dog Camera ($200) is kind of cool.