Design

Gift Guide #2: Your Husband Who Makes You Coffee Every Morning and Still Tells Good Stories After All These Years.

jcrew chambray shirt

Chambray shirt, $39.50, which looks good/fancy/cool even with sweatpants.

Ebbets ball caps

Historically accurate ballcaps for his favorite team, $49.

cinnamon projects incense

The sexiest incense, which we burn every night. It smells like amber, cinnamon, lavender and oak moss. $30. (Plus, a simple incense holder).

our place pan

A genius non-stick, non-toxic, multi-purpose pan with a cult following, $95. Perfect for his Sunday morning scrambled eggs. (Alex loves this pan.)

Jimmy Hendrix

The Birth of Loud, $16.56, a gripping book about how the electric guitar rivalry between Leo Fender and Les Paul shaped the sound of rock and roll.

Negronis in a box

Negronis in a box, $59.99 for 20 servings. And they’re made with Greenhook Gin, so they’re not kidding around.

saxelby cheese ham

A wedge of long cured ham from a third-generation American cure-master. $48.

spyfall game

Spyfall, $25, an AMAZING game where you have to figure out who’s the spy. (Also, Codenames, which we’ve played one million times this year.)

John Donahue restaurant prints

A museum-quality drawing of your favorite New York City restaurant, $55. Bonus: Fifty percent of profits are donated to the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.

dartboard

A dartboard to bring his favorite bar game home and it’s very fun to play together. $150. (Or this budget-friendly one.)

Emily McDowell cards

A note saying how much you love him, since that’s all he really wants anyway. $5.

P.S. Last year’s husbands gift guide, and the 2020 gift guide so far.

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.

  1. D says...

    I have tried and failed to make it a good game with two people. What am I missing?

  2. ML says...

    OMG Thank you for this great guide! I love the restaurant prints. Was able to get one where we had our first date and one where we got married. Love.

  3. Lisa says...

    So sweet that he makes you coffee every morning! My father in law does that for my mother in law. Sadly, it’s too dangerous for my husband given his previous attempts at making coffee led to melting one stove top espresso and nearly burning down his sister’s flat

  4. Whitney says...

    Negronis in a Box? That can only end badly.

    Add to cart…

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha

  5. Love these ideas, especially the restaurant prints! Anything that reminds us of the happy few years we spent in NYC is always a winner.

    My husband makes me coffee to enjoy in bed every morning and it always blows people away when they find out…but my dad has made my mum coffee in bed every day of their marriage, so to me, that *is* marriage. On his birthday, I get up and make the coffee, but otherwise, it’s all him!

    • Shwetha says...

      Ahhh I can relate to the coffee comment! Birthday and Father’s Day are the only 2 days I make coffee for my husband otherwise each morning he wakes up and makes coffee while I lay in bed. He brings out the coffee from the kitchen and that’s when I wake up. It’s the sweetest thing <3

  6. kathleen says...

    I just bought a drawing of JG Melon- my husband’s favorite spot from his years of living in NYC, and the first spot we go to when we go back to visit. I plan to give it to him with a note that promises a trip once we feel safe to fly. I can’t wait for that burger, sitting at that bar. The print will surely remind us of both a favorite spot and a hard year, for the rest of our lives. Thank you for the idea. xo

  7. Cynthia says...

    I had to click on the ham link, and this ham comes from Surry, Virginia, a quaint little town. Surry and Smithfield, Virginia are known for their hams and pork products, and also peanuts. I saw that the ham is sold out, but here is the link directly to Edwards’ Hams. https://www.edwardsvaham.com/edwards-ham-shop
    I have ridden by there several times on the way to the Virginia Diner in Wakefield, which serves Southern style food at its best, and it’s also home to Virginia Diner Peanuts, some of the best peanuts. Virginia peanuts are larger and crunchier peanuts than your typical Planters’ Peanuts. You can order them from the diner and have them shipped. I live just outside Richmond, Va. and a couple of local grocery stores stock them. When my brother was alive, he’d ride down to the Virginia Diner on his motorcycle, have lunch, and buy peanuts for Christmas gifts. When he passed away 10 years ago, I kept up the tradition. Here is the link to Virginia Diner:
    https://www.vadinerrestaurant.com/

  8. Rachel says...

    Funny story about the card – a few years ago both my husband and I gave that exact card to one another for Valentines day. We really wondered if we were soulmates or needed to spend less time on our phones!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Hahaha love it!

  9. Stephanie says...

    The joy in these comments just made my morning, and this list is perfect. Have a wonderful day internet friends <3

  10. Mel says...

    Cup of Jo friends, I’ve had a ceramic pan for several years, and everyone (previous roommate, current spouse, mom, and myself) who tried it hates it. It’s been sitting in the bottom of a cupboard and we never use it. I paid about 75$ for it. Am I doing something wrong? Did I get a bad one? The brand is Cool Kitchen.

    • Luisa says...

      “Current spouse” 😂

    • Mel says...

      Lmao, actually my previous spouse hated it too. ;)

  11. Anna says...

    Thank you for linking a dart board from Target! I’ve been trying to break my Amazon this year, and have found that Target offers every convenience I thought I’d miss from Amazon–free fast shipping, easy returns. AND they actually pay taxes and invest back in their community. Obviously it’s better to shop small, but sometimes you just want two day delivery on essentials

    • Kimberly says...

      I’ve been trying to break up with Amazon too. Cup of Jo, if you ever feel like doing a post on it, I’m sure a lot of us would love to hear people’s hacks for eliminating Amazon purchases from our lives (for the good of the planet and humanity!).

    • M says...

      I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said about target. I also prefer the extra friction of having to spend 25 or 35 to get free shipping. It forces me to think twice about my purchases, which saves money in the long run.

  12. Emily says...

    Who has two thumbs, no partner, and might order a box of Negronis just for herself? THIS GAL.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Hahahaha yes!!

    • Kat says...

      Love it! Enjoy Emily. A big cheers to you!

    • Cece says...

      literally same !!

  13. I love your gift guides! Joanna, would you ever consider a list of COJ makers? Or maybe just a post where people could comment with their product and website? I’m not sure how many of your readers are also makers, but I know I would love to support them with my dollars. (As a tiny mom and pop shop, my husband and I are grateful for every single customer, as they directly support us and our five kids.) It’s been a rough year for everyone (us included – people don’t really need belts to hold up their sweats on Zoom – lol!), and I hope I’m not being inappropriate by suggesting this. I can’t imagine how much work goes into these posts,
    they are just so perfect and thoughtful! I just figured it might be nice to be able to support others, especially if we had something specific in mind. Thank you!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      That’s a great idea, thank you!

    • Courtney says...

      I’d love to see that! I am not a maker, but can confirm that I’d love to be aware of the small, creative shops owned by readers so I could support them and find unique stuff!

    • Cynthia says...

      I like to support small crafters/businesses. Great idea!

    • DW says...

      I would also love to see this!

    • Allison says...

      love this idea!

    • Joanna says...

      I live this idea. Also not a maker but would support in a heartbeat. Maybe have a submission form to filter through?

    • It would be so lovely if you’d consider us for your holiday shopping! Our teas are a great stocking stuffer and will keep you cozy all winter long! We also specialize in private label. Thank you!
      http://www.empiretea.com

      Ps- we have loved CoJ for years- thanks for all your inspiration, Joanna!

  14. katie says...

    I love the restaurant drawings. I need to find something similar in Chicago.

    Three years ago, my husband and I had an immediate-family only ceremony followed by brunch at Cindy’s, which overlooks the lake and Millennium Park. Later that evening, we invited friends over to celebrate. PQM catered. Drawings of those two restaurants would be a perfect accompaniment to a small watercolor we picked up on our honeymoon in Lisbon.

  15. Kathryn says...

    This was just the list I needed for my husband in a moment when I was feeling very grumpy. I bought him a pan (to be HIS, as I am always hovering over him when he uses “ours”), the book (he idolizes Jimi), and the cured meats (MEAT)! But the best was the reminder of the restaurant prints, as I’d emailed with the artist last year about the restaurant we went to the night we got engaged. I went to look at the site and HURRAH, there was The Mermaid Inn (RIP). Ordered that, too. THANK YOU, for both the ideas and the reminders of so many things I love about him, which softened my attitude completely.

  16. A.N. says...

    hi, COJ readers! what kinds of small things do you gift to people like mail carriers, bus drivers, trash guys (i only say guys because my particular one is a guy :), etc?

    • Emily says...

      I think the last gift guide of the year is usually things for miscellaneous or hard to shop for people! I typically give a card and cash.

    • liz says...

      cash inside a card

    • Haley says...

      Mostly straight cash, but in addition or instead of that I’ve done things like gift card “bouquets” ($5-10 to a few local places or the basics like starbucks, sephora, etc). I’ve done homemade cookies as well, or a blue apron meal. One year I made a huge batch of homemade granola and put it in cute little paper bags for everyone.

      If you’re giving money, I find that the addition of a one or two little things like a cookie, a lindt truffle, a cute funky keychain, or something similar makes it feel homey and personal. More so if you put effort into wrapping it in a pretty way – then, even if it’s cash, you can put some thought and warmth into it! I try to write them a good note as well, like at least a few lines about how I appreciate them.

    • Julie says...

      For our mail carrier we did a Target giftcard, there’s a limit on what they’re allowed to accept and cash wasn’t an option. We figured they may not love amazon considering that they are always delivering for them.

      Also–if you’re hesitant on cash or it feels impersonal, there are some really beautiful small business thank you cards out there that would be nice to support local and also give these folks something that’s useful.

      I’m really loving Graphic Anthropology right now:

      https://graphicanthology.com/collections/thank-you-cards/products/heartfelt-thanks

      https://graphicanthology.com/collections/thank-you-cards/products/thankful-for-you

      She also has cards in Spanish:

      https://graphicanthology.com/collections/thank-you-cards/products/mil-gracias-card

    • A.N. says...

      USPS website says their carriers are to never accept cash or gift cards – but can accept gifts valued up to $20. do we just hope that they have deniability if you put the cash in an envelope?!

    • Andrea says...

      A.N.–I’d go for a giftcard to a place nearby that does coffee or breakfast stuff (I am getting our carrier a Dunkin Donuts card), or a giftcard that can be used anywhere, like an amex one.

      Our locality caps the amount public servants such as mail carriers can accept and it can’t be in cash. Ergo, why I am giving a $20 DD card.

    • Chelsea says...

      My grandfather use to wake up early on “trash day” and pick up donuts. He would then bring them out to the garbage men once they pulled up. He eventually got Alzheimer’s and had to move out of his home, and I imagine they missed him after that. I love thinking of small acts of kindness for people that receive the least amount of thanks for their jobs.

    • MozartsGirl says...

      Our postie, refuse collectors and veg box delivery person all get a big tin of assorted candy plus a card with some cash…this was so common when I was growing up but apparently now we’re the exception, I guess because most people are out when they call? It’s so appreciated by them. I’m going to go all out this year too as they’ve given such a great service through two lockdowns (I’m in the UK)

  17. Becca says...

    I get gifts for my hubby off of this list every year. Thanks for the book and dartboard suggestions!

  18. MK says...

    The Birth of Loud is so good! Highly recommend!

  19. Meg says...

    Thanks for the great list. I was wondering, isn’t Codenames for 4 or more people? How have you played during Covid? Just curious because I’m considering it!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      you can play with two people! there are instructions in the game, or you can email me if it’s hard to figure it out :)

    • Megan says...

      I just found out there is a 2-player version of Codenames, called Codenames Duet. I have not played that version but thought I would pass it along.

    • Jessica says...

      Codenames Duet is a lot of fun – my hubs and I play it after the little goes down.

  20. Angela says...

    FYI looking at the meat gift sent me off to look for cheese, naturally. Found plenty of cool sets, particularly the beer lover set for my husband and wine lover for my SF wine aficionado BFF.
    Thanks for sharing, COJ!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes!!! saxelby cheese is amazing — and was founded by the incredible Anne Saxelby. I love that their logo features Anne on her bike! https://saxelbycheese.com/

  21. H says...

    Your board game recommendations are always the best. We played code names with my in laws over the holidays last year and my SIL said “Game, 2” and EVERY word on the board applied to game. Set, match, net, ball, score, point, win, play, and on and on. It was hilarious and mortifying at the same time. I always laugh when I think of it.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha I love that! the best one I ever heard was when our friend John said “cheers” and the two words were “cliff” and “post” (because cliff was a character in cheers and he was a postman!) — his wife got it and we were all so impressed!!

    • Caitlin says...

      I’m tempted to buy the game just so I can understand this comment thread, hahaha.

    • L says...

      @Caitlin Me too!

  22. Laura says...

    I git my husband that card for Valentine’s Day a few years back and it was a huge hit! Love her cards.

  23. Jen says...

    Love this list. I purchased the Negronis in a box then kept it for myself. So I just got another one for him. 😂

  24. Marie says...

    Pretty sure the rolled up sleeves are going to sell that shirt :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahahaha

    • Amy says...

      Came here to just say that: I sat down with my morning coffee and scrolled down and thought, “Hellooooo, Chambray.”

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Hahahaha

  25. Anna says...

    Love that you are doing one a day, at least so far! I am antsy to get people presents this year :) Crossing fingers and hoping so hard that we can make the holidays feel bright and special this year.

    For anyone else who needs to seriously budget to afford extra spending at Christmas/holiday time, my broke-grad-student trick is to use my credit card rewards from throughout the year. I just leave them in my account and then cash them out in November/December — that way I don’t have to have like a third savings account that’s just for gifts! For me that always seems to be just the right amount of money I’d like to spend on gifts anyway (my card is about 2% on everything).

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      So smart. Thanks for the tip!

  26. Charlotte K says...

    I am pretty sure that man in the chambray shirt is my husband in a parallel universe. ;-)

    • Maywyn says...

      Whatever you do, consider caution looking at the Heathered Allday Crewneck long sleeve tee he’s modeling. Major swoon there.
      Too young for me though by a generation. lol

  27. Hope says...

    I forgot Joanna started drinking coffee! Yet another way that COVID shifted my world

  28. Hali says...

    I can’t count how many times I’ve been served ads and sponsored content for that damn pan. This did it though! COJGG magic! My dad’s getting one for christmas! Mom got to pick out the color, of course, and she’s excited too. So it’s nearly a two-in-one gift situation. You’re on fire this year!! Bookmarked the incense, book, and shirt for reviewing in the weeks ahead!

  29. Becky says...

    Thank you! My husband’s birthday is shortly after Christmas. Sometimes coming up with meaningful gifts he will appreciate for both occasions is challenging for me. Based on your list, I just purchased him a drawing of Momofuku Ko where we he had one of his favorite meals ever.

    • Luisa says...

      My BFF and my bf both have birthdays within a week of Christmas. I have 2 tricks:
      1. Get the birthdays figured out and shopped for by Halloween so I can spread out the spending and not get overwhelmed by all the Christmas stuff.
      2. Themes! I make the birthday gift/s one theme and Christmas another so they are distinct from one another and not just a big blur of stuff.

  30. Hilary says...

    My family isn’t doing gifts, but I immediately sent two of these two friends/family members and they *loved* them! So glad they can treat themselves to something fun and unexpected this year.

  31. A says...

    Love that dartboard, but realized that it doesn’t come with any darts! Does anyone have other good recommendations for cool dartboards in the same price range (with darts)? Thanks!

  32. J says...

    Thank you so much for this! My NYC born and bred husband will absolutely love the restaurant print! What a great find!!

  33. Christina Marsh says...

    As always, knocking it out of the park, Joanna! You’re a life saver :)

  34. Dianne says...

    Thank you for the link to the restaurant prints! My husband and I had our wedding brunch at the Mermaid Inn in the East Village, now closed due to COVID. Thrilled to be able to get him the print and I may hang onto it until our anniversary.

    • Katie says...

      Love this! My husband and I first said “I love you” after a date at the Mermaid Inn and then spent every anniversary there after :) I think this will make the perfect anniversary present.

  35. I ordered the pan in sage for my boyfriend…but I really might keep it for myself. It’s so oddly cute, I want to stick googly eyes on it and give it a name!

  36. JoyL says...

    I got my husband that card for Valentine’s Day last year. So true to life :)

  37. MariaE. says...

    I love all your guides!! I just ordered The Birth of Loud for my husband! He is an avid guitar player (as a hobby)! Thank you so much!!

  38. Maclean Nash says...

    I bought not one, not two but THREE of the Always pan yesterday after seeing it so many times on TheKitchn!
    One for us, one for my mom, and one for his!
    We cant wait to try it and know what all the hype is about!

  39. Eloise says...

    Pan (his current “egg pan” is disgusting) and book are being ordered tonight – and the “restaurants artist” does custom orders!! Throw in the “beginner guitar” he already knows about (he gets to pick it out), and my husband is DONE! This may be your best GG, yet!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yay!!! Makes me so happy!

  40. Sam bodamer says...

    Eerie! The title is exactly my husband, and today I gave him the Our Place pan in sage for his birthday! hahaha. Sometimes it feels like you live in my head.

    • K says...

      I keep seeing these pans advertised to me on all my social media!! I’ve been resistant bc I feel like they’re not that great and they’re just trying to push pretty, but not-great-quality cookware on me (plus I’m very wary of Instagram targeted ads), but now it’s on here! Do people truly love it? Is it really a cult favorite?? I do need a good non-stick…

    • Caitlin says...

      I’m with you, K! I’m also wary but now I am so tempted esp because they are on sale! Our pots and pans are old, crappy, and probably toxic so I would like to replace… Would love to hear what people love/don’t love about them!

    • Amy says...

      I just bought this pan for myself (such a deal with 45% off) For what it’s worth – Mark Bittman just said in one of his current emails that he thinks this pan is one of the best nonstick pan he has ever used. His recommendation clinched its worthiness for me.

    • Caitlin says...

      Thanks Amy, SOLD!

    • K says...

      OK, I’m sold too! I googled some reviews too and it appears pretty well loved. They say it probably won’t replace “all your other cookware” if you’re a serious cook (but honestly I wouldn’t expect a non-stick pan to do that), but most people like the quality!

  41. Dee says...

    The restaurant drawings made me sob? I guess I really miss Penelope. What a truly excellent idea, thank you!

    • Brigid says...

      Me too.

  42. Rue says...

    We’re newly engaged. On Sunday we had a conversation that I’m already mentally archiving as “let’s buy a damn house.” Yesterday we had a lovely couch conversation where we agreed that giving ourselves a house and a wedding IS the gift exchange this year, and I could not be more thrilled to be sharing this with him. I think I will spend a few $ on a sweet card though!

  43. Lesley says...

    You seriously do the best gift guides every year. Thanks COJ!

  44. Rachel Stevens says...

    I can’t help but think each of these Gift Guides should have a recommended mask. I keep thinking I want to get a mask for each family member and I would LOVE a CoJ recommendation!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Coming up soon! Thank you so much, Rachel!