Nick’s 2021 Gift Guide for Men

broadgate london light tunnel christmas
On me: Ted Baker coat current version sz 0, sleeves shortened, Sam Edelman boots sz 5 on sale!
On Nick: Theory coat S (also at Nordstrom). Photo from this post.

2021 Men’s Gift Guide – Nick’s Picks

Nick is back with his annual wish list & tried and true gifts!


‘Twas the two weeks before Christmas, when all through the house, not a gift had been purchased, especially not by my spouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nick’s my gift guide would be there. The children were nestled all snug in their bed, while visions of wireless charging trays, pizza ovens, and other impractical things danced in my head. And mama in her Barefoot Dreams cardigan, and I with my nightcap, had just settled in to come up with a list of gifts that…slap? aren’t crap? you’ll want to wrap?

Ah, rhyming is hard. Anyway, here’s my list of gifts that you, if you are like Jean and haven’t done much shopping for the guys in your life, should still be able to get in time for Christmas.

2021 holiday mens gift guide christmas 2021 guys gifts whiskey and beer

More Style, Less Wires

1. Courant Charging Tray

I’d been eyeing this line of stylish wireless chargers for years, and now since both Jean and I have phones and headphones that can charge wirelessly, we can finally justify getting one. Also, their new linen covered “essentials” line is $100 and under. The question now is do I want the charging tray for my bedside table, the multi-device charger for my desk…or both?

Also available: single-device charger for only $40.
Use code TAKE25 for 25% off their site.

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wireless charging tray for phone

Don’t Jog—Run to Get These

lululemon ABC joggers christmas gifts for boyfriend
2. ABC joggers (short & tall avail.)

Last year, these ended up selling out in the Short length before Santa could get me a pair. Hopefully that doesn’t happen again this year *cough* @jean *cough* grey sage *cough* or obsidian *cough*. They come in a variety of colors and 3 different lengths, in the same stretchy but structured material as my most worn pair of pants, the ABC pants. Size up if he’s between sizes (Medium Short fits me best, even though I wear Small in some other brands).

Crowd favorite alternative: Vuori joggers with 3k reviews

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An Extremely Good Gift for Beer Lovers

3. Beer Advocate’s Extreme Beer Box

My days of attending the Extreme Beer Fest are—to Jean’s delight—most likely over. But the folks who put on that festival are offering this box of 12 interesting, unique beers by 12 different breweries from all over the country. Most of them are one-offs made specially for this box, and they are not for the faint of heart. Big flavors and high alcohol content. A bananas foster imperial stout. A caipirinha-inspired sour.

Note: this box ships in January. That didn’t stop me from ordering it for myself already, though. Just scribble “12 really awesome beers coming soon” on a post-it, put it under the tree, and we can all just keep the holidays rolling well into 2022.

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Backpack’s Back, Alright!

4. STATE Backpack

A great backpack brand that’s made appearances in gift guides of Christmases past. Reappearing this year because functionality + comfort + style continue to be key as we all find new ways to navigate the world of office/home/life. Worth noting, my 15″ laptop fits in a backpack that says it only fits a 13″ (might not provide enough padding, but just be careful and don’t go tossing your laptop bag around ok?).

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STATE backpack gift idea

AirPods? Yes, AirPods.

5. AirPods

If he’s an iPhone user and in need of a headphone refresh, you can’t go wrong here. I’ve tried both the AirPods Pro and the AirPods 2nd generation. I love the noise cancelling, multiple ear tips, and other features of the Pro. Fit wise, though, the OG 2nd gen ones feel like the classic wired ear buds, and are the most comfortable for me. However, YEHMMV (Your Ear Hole Mileage May Vary).

AirPods 2nd generation (under $100)

AirPods Pro

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holiday gifts for men

An Instant Backyard Patio Upgrade

6. Ooni Pizza Oven

This is at the top of my ever-growing list of “Dad Things I Need When We Eventually Have a Backyard.” Actually, building a brick oven by hand with imported Italian bricks is at the top, but the likelihood of that happening is thinner than a Neapolitan pizza crust. Right after my hypothetical patio pizza setup is complete, I’m eyeing a Traeger pellet smoker.

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Ooni pizza oven men's gift

So Soft Yet So…Work Appropriate

7. Cashmere Essentials

These are great if you still want to feel like you’re in WFH clothes but actually need to go into an office and look presentable.

The Cashmere Waffle Sweatshirt is a nice lightweight piece but runs small, so size up if, like me, your guy has been lifting more bars of chocolate than barbells lately. The Ultra-Stretch 24/7 Smart Pant looks like a more business casual pant but has plenty of stretch. It comes in a Short 28 – 34″ inseam and fits true to size. Quince ships from overseas so if you need something that arrives sooner, this soft Everlane sweater hoodie is still in my regular rotation.

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For the Watch Guy (You Know Who They Are)

8. Wolf Watch Winder

I am not a watch person. But this watch winder comes highly recommended from a friend who is a watch person. He recommends it to all the other watch people he knows. And if you know a watch person, you know they are very particular about watch things. And this watch winder looks so nice, it makes me wonder if I should become a watch person just so I could put it on my shelf and look at watch it all day. (Also available at Nordstrom)

For a slightly more budget-friendly option, another friend who is serious watch enthusiast recommends Heiden watch winders.

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watch winder christmas gift for men

A Whiskey That Most Whiskey Drinkers Will Enjoy

9. St. George Baller Single Malt

Whiskey drinkers can have very specific tastes, which makes choosing a bottle as a gift hard. But this single malt has something about it that can appeal to almost any whiskey drinker. The distiller describes it as “A California take on the Japanese spin on Scotch whisky.” And unlike the increasingly popular Japanese whiskies, it’s pretty readily available, at a pretty modest price point.

You can find it at our favorite local shop Urban Grape, and also in my hand right now as I finish up writing this gift guide. Cheers and happy holidays!

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