Design

Gift Guide #8: Your Bearded Husband Who Reads Alternate History Books and Plays Queen on Sunday Mornings.

11 Great Gifts for Men

A cashmere scarf for him to cuddle up in and you to cuddle up to. (This one is nice, too.)

11 Great Gifts for Men

It’s been a decade (!) since Alex has shaved, but for men who do, these old-school safety razors are fantastic. (Plus, the world cycles through 2 billion disposable razors every year, and a safety razor you can use for years feels so much better.)

11 Great Gifts for Men

A tricked-out cutting board, including a spot to place your iPhone.

11 Great Gifts for Men

Playing cards for evening games of gin rummy.

11 Great Gifts for Men

An illustrated book of iconic New York restaurants for reliving your first date and many since then.

11 Great Gifts for Men

Filson briefcase to take to work every day and look damn good doing it.

11 Great Gifts for Men

Homemade coupons for fun things, like a romantic dinner at home, a post-work shoulder rub or a trip to the gym together (like Caroline’s gym-averse boyfriend gave her last year!).

11 Great Gifts for Men

Dog mug to make him smile year round.

11 Great Gifts for Men

Stumptown coffee subscription for that perfect coffee shop roast, without ever leaving the house.

11 Great Gifts for Men

Salami made with New Mexican hatch chili peppers and small-batch absinthe. (Alex LOVES this, and they have other flavors, too.)

11 Great Gifts for Men

A card saying how much you love him, since that’s all he really wants anyway.

Note: If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We recommend only products we genuinely like. Thank you so much.

P.S. Last year’s gift guide for husbands, and the full 2019 gift guide so far.

  1. I love your gift posts! I want some of these items. May need to discuss with Santa.
    I love Food 52 too and checked out their cutting board when they released it. I cook all the time and frankly, I think that the phone slot is very strange. The last thing I want on my cutting board is my phone. It would be covered with food stuff. Since I wouldn’t put my phone there, I would have an empty crevice that food debris would fall into that would need to be cleaned out. I may be unique in this opinion.
    However, I did ask for their beautiful market tote for Christmas!

  2. Ashley Habib says...

    omg PLEASE sanitize your phone before placing it on that cutting board with food. yikes.

  3. Taylor says...

    Not sure why this list is described in gendered terms. All of these items would be wonderful for anyone, man or woman. (Also, repeat after me: safety razors are not just for men.)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Thanks for your note! I base these gift guides on my own family members so I’m writing about each of them, but I completely agree with you that these could work for women too! I want a safety razor :)

    • For the last two years I did my blog posts for groups of people (those who like to travel, cook, etc. to avoid listing things for one gender or another. I do like that Joanna ties them to her family and friends (her twin sister, husband, Mom and so on). Her gift post titles are so much more interesting than mine. :-) I’ll take that razor too!

  4. As the wife of an Alex who likes all these things this article is spookily accurate.

  5. Ceridwen says...

    These are all excellent ideas. I love how through the gift guides your selected fun, thoughtful not too huge things. Thoughtful. Our immediate family, have started doing two KKs. One is the Christmas Eve book giving (thank you Cup of a Jo for that idea) and the other is where we have to make another person a gift. Our kids are 6 and 10 now and they just love it. We all love it. It’s such fun planning what to make, secretly trying to get tips about how to make it without giving it away, and then carving out a little time for the making of something for someone else. Last year I made lip scrub for my daughter, my youngest made a collection of little notes for me, my husband painted a beautiful picture for our youngest and my eldest made a biscuits to be found at the end of a treasure hunt for my husband. It was so sweet and fun. Our best gifts.

  6. Deirdre says...

    I love John Donohue’s restaurant drawings! He also sells individual prints which is another nice way to celebrate a special first date spot. I bought a print of my husband and my (now closed) favorite spot for a wedding anniversary gift.

  7. Deana says...

    I want all these gifts for myself and I’m neither a husband nor a man – great choices!

  8. Which gift is for playing Queen (music, I presume?) on Sunday mornings?

    (My husband plays Queen seven days a week, as do I. Big fans here.)

  9. SEVDI says...

    OK, this may sound weird, but English is my second language. Is “plays Queen on Sunday mornings” an euphemism for expecting to be pampered on Sunday mornings with breakfast in bed or does Alex blast We Are the Champions every Sunday morning? ;-)

    • Marisa says...

      Hahaha, Sevoi- your comment made my day! English is my first language, but this line also gave me pause, just for a minute – I decided it was the second, right Joanna?!

    • Deana says...

      I don’t think it’s weird – I’m a native English speaker (and part English) and it took me a while to realize it’s the band, not the expectation of pampering!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, that’s so funny! yes, it’s the music not the pampering ;)

  10. Sabrina says...

    Hi- would you ever consider doing a gift guide one year that’s “experience” driven? Something that doesn’t encourage people to buy more stuff? I totally get the stress/difficulties/want of being able to find the perfect gift for people you care about, but it would be great if we could limit novelty gifts. Maybe a gift guide for different family members with ideas based on the city you live in?

    • Lauren E. says...

      Totally here for this! A couple years ago I gave my dad a gift certificate for improv classes in his home city. He absolutely loved it.

    • Isabella says...

      Love this idea! It would be especially relevant for little ones, who seem to get so innundated with *stuff* from well-intentioned grandparents at every holiday.

    • Robin says...

      Yes please!! For my kids I’ve suggested to the grandparents/aunties:
      – classes (one or multiple. music, circus, climbing – so many options! Bonus points for volunteering to get the kids there and back)
      – dates – early pick up from school and the chance for some 1:1 time – for my six year old, maybe also the chance to invite a friend – on a trip to the local board game cafe/ escape room/ aquarium etc
      – donations to help another kid/family – Doctors Without Borders, or a local shelter, or an organization that supports refugee kids.

      Any ideas to sell non physical/wasteful gifts to both givers and recipients much appreciated! I love physical things myself as gifts (the tactile experience if not their environmental impact). It’s hard to figure out how to give these things so that it feels as substantial as a $30 scarf that’ll get lost in a year.

    • Lulu says...

      My husband and I decided this year not to give any physical gifts but instead we booked tickets to see the Nutcracker between Christmas and New Year’s. I have been wanting to go for years and I am really excited to get dressed up and go to the theater. This would also be a great family event. The theater we are going to also has family showings and someone told me that at the family showings the kids can even meet the actual ballerinas beforehand :)
      We have had a tradition the last couple of years of making each other advent calendars. Which is very sweet, especially this year since we live apart. It’s nice seeing that someone is thinking of you even when they are not there. I try to get him his favorite bottle of beer or I make little coupons for back rubs and put it in his calendar.

      For my brother-in-law we bought local products this year for their gifts: seeds for their garden and they can even reuse the seeds in the following years, plus a bottle of oil olive only available from the town that he lives in plus a bottle of vingear, so that they can make tomato mozzearella.

  11. Deb says...

    My husband uses my late father’s safety razor. He’s been gone almost 20 years, but it’s still a nice daily reminder of him, to see that little totem sitting on the bathroom counter every day.

  12. Kim says...

    Except choose any gym over Equinox or Soul Cycle. Shop with your conscience!

  13. kristy says...

    The safety razors are awesome! Highly recommend. My bf constantly uses mine. If you feel like supporting a small business who is dedicated to sustainability, check them out at the packagefreeshop.com (based in NYC!). They ship only with recyclable material.

  14. Alison says...

    I was very VERY excited to see that card featuring a multi racial couple. If you come across any more, please post! (I already ordered it!)

    • Amy says...

      You should check out @kwohtations work! Lots of inclusive work reflecting life as it is – the absurdity and the joy.

    • Amanda says...

      It would be nice to see some smaller companies being mentioned on this list. Especially a coffee subscription that isn’t to stumptown, which is a giant company. There are so many small roasters to support.

  15. Anne says...

    We have gold playing cards and they are blinding! But very fun for silly nights

  16. Carolyn says...

    Just in case a safety razor is a bit scary or intimidating, I really love my Leaf razor which also takes plain old razor blades but also has a pivoting head: https://leafshave.com/

    • Amanda W. says...

      Yes!!! We bought a Leaf razor a few months ago, and absolutely love it. I cut myself pretty badly with a straight razor because I tend to shave quickly. Haven’t had a cut yet with my Leaf. And it pays for itself pretty quickly since the blades are so cheap.

  17. Amy says...

    These are good ideas! Cup of Jo has the best holiday gift guides every year, IMHO.

  18. Courtny says...

    I love the cutting board but what I really need is guide in getting my husband to cook! I didn’t think I married such a 1950s guy but gosh is he kitchen phobic and ALL the cooking is wearing me out. He does do other wonderful things but the meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking is stressing.me.out.

    • I have to say that a meal service (we use good food but you can choose blue apron etc) was a game changer for us! My husband seemed more comfortable with a lot of the ground work done and step by step instructions with photos! It has made such a big difference for our dinner routine especially! Good luck:)

    • Kim says...

      Get him some cooking classes!

    • Louise says...

      Trade him in… or send him on a kitchen bootcamp.

    • Anya says...

      Hi Courtny:
      Yeah, I can see how that would be stressful/frustrating. Have you thought about a meal delivery like blue apron? Or make a plan assigning meals to each of you for different days of the week? Your husband doesn’t have to “cook” – some of my husband’s meals are tuna melts, simple salads, pb&j sandwiches, frozen pizza, or getting take out. It’s more splitting the burden of providing the food. And maybe he can help with meal planning too?

    • Genevieve Martin says...

      You could definitely start by asking him to do the shopping to even out the chores.
      Cooking is a skill that needs to be learnt so I guess it can be quite daunting/shaming to have to cook something and serve it to your spouce who is a good cook if it’s turned out a bit rubbish. Anya’s point about dividing up the days and then he is just responsible for sorting out food even if it’s not “cooking” is good, and then from there be sure to always thank the EFFORT. He may well get more confident over time and eventually start cooking more elaborate meals.

    • janice says...

      Let him know he has to pitch in somehow and suggest he pay for a shopping/meal delivery service. He might even enjoy selecting the meals each week for the service. Hope he at least does the dishes every night or pays for a housekeeper.

    • Kat says...

      meal kit delivery was a game changer for my husband on this front! He is a great cook, which I didn’t know until we started getting Blue Apron deliveries (there are tons of options if BA specifically isn’t your jam). Once we started getting the boxes, having the shopping and menu out of the way meant that he could just focus on following the recipe directions and his confidence in the kitchen has gone WAY up as a result. It turns out the overwhelming combination of planning, shopping, AND cooking (the same thing that was crushing me every week) was paralyzing for him too.

  19. Shannon says...

    Quick PSA: That amazing Zoe’s salami with “Mexican hatch green chili” is actually from “New Mexico,” an oft-forgotten true state of the union – you will see the tiny New Mexican flag on the label there (I did) ;) Hatch is the town famous for those delicious chiles.
    -Love, a New Mexican + US citizen

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you, shannon!

    • Shannon says...

      No problem! And not to be nit picky but Hatch would take a capital letter, since it’s the name of a town ;)

    • Laura says...

      Thank you for beating me to that comment, Shannon. :-)

    • Bec says...

      Yes thanks for sharing, Shannon! I live close to Hatch, NM and got excited to see their chiles represented! Wooo!

    • KS says...

      Native New Mexican and Cup of Joe lover here! Thanks for featuring a New Mexican product made with Hath green ‘chile’. ;-)

  20. Eliza says...

    I bought a safety razor for myself (woman) and I love it for the times I shave. The long-term cost is SO much cheaper, it’s recyclable material if I *ever* need a new one, which I probably wont, and where I’m from I can recycle the blades at recycling centers. I know these gift guides are ideas for a range of specific people, but don’t mind if I get something from each list for myself ;)

    • Kari says...

      I use a safety razor, too, inspired by my husband! I find it has significantly cut down on the razor burn and post-shave irritation I always get on my legs from a disposable razor. Def would recommend!

    • Katie says...

      Yes! I love seeing which list I prefer each year. This year the List for Little Brothers really spoke to me, even though I’m NOT a little brother ?

    • Bec says...

      I have one too and cannot recommend it more! I use one from the brand LEAF which I find so easy because it has a pivoting head. It’s a great one to get if anyone is nervous about how to use a safety razor!

    • GJ says...

      Yes! I bought a safety razor from Oui Shave about 5 years ago and am still so happy with the purchase.

      The ONLY downside is not being able to travel with it in my carry-on, but I keep a Venus razor in my travel bag for those instances and still have reduced my waste from shaving significantly.

      For intimidated womxn, I promise the switch is worth it! Total game changer in terms of post-shave smoothness and shave experience.