Whether we’re talking Christmas, birthdays or Father’s Day, it’s no secret that us blokes are notoriously difficult to buy for. I’d even go so far as saying that trying to come up with thoughtful gifts for men is a right pain in the arse!
Throughout the year we usually just buy ourselves what we need, when we need it. We’re generally the worst at giving suggestions of things we want. And there’s only so many years you can buy us pants, socks and a bottle of wine before you give up on going down the thoughtful route altogether.
So this Christmas, I thought I’d share a list of some of the very best and most thoughtful gifts I’ve received over the years (mainly from my seriously thoughtful wife), that have made me smile thanks to their originality, usefulness or just for being seriously cool.
And hopefully, for anyone who is completely stuck for ideas this festive season, it’ll give you a little inspiration to skip the novelty socks this year…
Thoughtful gifts for dads
Nut cracker (and nuts!) – £10.99
My wife gave me this incredible nut cracker last year (along with a big bag of walnuts and pecans from the supermarket!) and it’s genuinely one of my favourite presents ever. Taking you right back to simpler times when, as a boy, cracking open a chunky walnut at Christmas was the height of sophistication and pure excitement. When it comes to thoughtful gifts for men, nostalgia wins every time.
Rad Dad t-shirt – £24
I’ve had this lovely t-shirt from the brilliant Black & Beech for years and it’s still my favourite to wear. Amazing quality, cool design (check out the graphic on the back!), really comfy and well made. Plus, I think we should all be supporting our small businesses this festive season and Black & Beech is one of the very best in my opinion!
Anthony Burrill print (signed) – £60
I love everything that British graphic artist Anthony Burrill creates, and this print especially (which comes signed by the artist himself) is one of my favourites, with a personal message of positivity that I think we all need in our lives (and on our walls) right about now.
Personalised gym bag – £45
There’s nothing like a personalised gift to give a man all the feels and these organic cotton barrel bags from Mary & The Guys (available in red or navy blue) will go down an absolute treat, personalised with their initials in your choice of Liberty fabrics. Made with love in South London, with sturdy cotton handles, these make the perfect companion for a trip to the gym, the pool or a weekend away (once lockdown’s over obviously!). Each one is made to order, so get yours in quick before the Christmas rush!
Mahabis slippers – £79 (but you get an extra 10% off first order)
Slippers seem like a really boring, classic dad type present, but these Mahabis are in a totally different league. They’re not cheap, but honestly they are the comfiest and best designed slippers you’ll ever own, with a soft wool lining, adaptable foam foot bed and a clever heel cradle to either keep your foot in place or switch to a slip on slipper. Honestly, he will love them.
Spacemasks – £15 (for a pack of 5)
If you think eye masks are only for women, think again. I, and many other guys I know, have had the immense pleasure of using these magic Spacemasks (usually stolen from our wives’ bedside tables), which are honestly out of this world; jasmine scented and cleverly designed with a thin layer of iron filings inside that heats up as you use it, helping you fall into a deep state of relaxation. You might think I’m exaggerating but honestly, every time I’ve used these I’ve had the best night’s sleep of my life. You have to try them. And while some guys might initially raise an eyebrow when they initially unwrap the box, it won’t be long before they are a convert too. Oh, and this box here is extra special, as £1 from every purchase is donated to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, so buying one also contributes to a great cause.
PAPA Sweatshirt – £50
I bought myself one of these super soft PAPA sweatshirts (in navy) from Selfish Mother two years ago and it’s still one of my absolute favourite things to wear. Not only is it still really cosy and soft, made from 100% combed organic cotton, but it also looks great and is the perfect thoughtful gift for proud dads. They’ve just launched this lovely Forest Green version of the PAPA sweatshirt, which looks ace for the winter months ahead. Also available in grey if that’s more your bag!
Where’s Dom? – £8.99
A bit of a wildcard novelty product, but it made me laugh and I think a lot of guys will really get a kick out of this book. A take on the classic “Where’s Wally” franchise that we all knew and loved as kids, but this time searching for the infamous ‘Should have gone to Specsavers’ special adviser Dominic Cummings, hidden amongst the crowds at Barnard Castle and many other of his favourite holiday haunts. A great little book to keep dad entertained during one of his epic loo sessions of a Sunday morning.
Thoughtful gifts for outdoorsy guys
Trusco Toolbox – £38
Rosie gave me one of these awesome metal Trusco toolboxes and it is so useful as a smaller container for the tools I use regularly (to save me from having to get out my massive toolbox out for smaller DIY jobs). Made in Japan, these toolboxes have gained a cult following thanks to their durability and honest good looks. Robustly constructed from painted steel, and featuring a ‘barn roof’ top to maximise its capacity, it’s available in silver, olive or my personal favourite, red.
Opinel folding knife – £25
I bought one of these brilliant knives for myself last year, crafted by French knife masters Opinel, and it’s so cool, very sharp and extremely useful for jobs in the garden and around the house too. Made with a high carbon steel blade and a natural beech wood handle, you can either buy it on its own or in this special wooden gift box, which includes a premium brown leather pouch and free sharpening stone.
Orvis shirt – £59 (but an extra £10 off if you subscribe to their newsletter)
My in-laws gave me two of these lovely shirts last Christmas and this navy one is my personal favourite and my go to shirt for all things outdoors/in the garden. Made from two yarns side by side, twisted into one, then woven in a dense, crisp, square pattern that allows the cloth to breathe yet hold its shape. Comfortable yet durable and cosy too for working in the garden over the long winter months.
Classic Timberland boots – £180
Every guy needs a pair of these classic Timberland boots. Timeless, useful, durable…you can’t go wrong.
Thoughtful gifts for foodies
The Roasting Tin Recipe Book – £9.99
I have one of these brilliant books from the amazing chef Rukmini Iyer, and if you are looking for thoughtful gifts for men who love their food, I can’t recommend it enough. 75 delicious dinners for food lovers, all made in a single roasting tin so super easy and hassle free cooking. The concept is simple: fresh, easy ingredients, a few minutes prep, and let the oven do the work.
Personalised Marmite – £12.99
If they love marmite, they’ll love this personalised jar. If nothing else, to guarantee that everyone in the house knows who this jar belongs to…hands off!
Tony’s Chocolonely – £25.99
Hands down the best chocolate you can buy at the moment. Proper chunky man chunks of chocolate, in a range of amazing flavours (milk chocolate, milk caramel sea salt (MY FAVOURITE), milk almond honey nougat, dark almond sea salt, milk hazelnut and extra dark). Available to buy as single bars or in this brilliantly indulgent six pack!
The Marshmallowist gourmet marshmallows – £7.50
A lovely and seriously delicious alternative to chocolate, these gourmet marshmallows from The Marshmallowist are unbelievably good, and even more incredible if you toast them on the fire. Melt in your mouth amazingness.
The Botanist Gin – £34
Unlike a nice bottle of red, which is gone in a flash, gin is the gift that keeps on giving month after month. And The Botanist is my current gin of choice (and the bottle is awesome too so it makes a lovely gift).
Thoughtful gifts for men with style
Veja V-12 trainers – £105
Seriously cool trainers from an amazing, sustainable brand, made out of ecological and sustainable materials, including recycled plastic bottles! I have a pair myself and they not only look amazing, they’re really comfortable too.
Trendhim Frisco urban tube scarf – £45
Infinitely cooler than a boring old scarf, this snood from Trendhim is a must have this winter…and I love the colour too. Something a bit different, which can double up as a face covering too when you inevitably forget your mask when out and about!
Barbour Lutz Quilted Jacket – £179
You simply can’t go wrong with a Barbour…a true classic and guaranteed quality. Built to last and stylish too, this navy quilted jacket is my personal favourite from their latest collection.
Nike Benassi JDI Sliders Black – £24
All the cool kids are wearing them, and my God they are comfy. I refused to even consider wearing sliders for years, thinking socks and sliders was a massive faux pas, but I was wrong…super comfy and a great choice of footwear for anyone working from home!
Bentley Beyond fragrance – £165
I was given the Bentley Majestic Cashmere fragrance last year and it’s honestly my absolute favourite thing to wear. As thoughtful gifts for men go, you can’t go wrong with such a luxury item, packaged beautifully in a bottle styled on Bentley’s cut-crystal glass headlights with a hand-stitched leather cap…sure to make him feel special, and the next best thing to actually owning a Bentley 😉
Beats Studio3 wireless headphones – £299
My absolute favourite item that I own and a seriously special, seriously thoughtful gift, for any guy who likes to immerse himself in an album, podcast or movie, without any background noise to ruin his vibe. They also look great (this navy version especially) and the battery life is massive too, which is a serious plus.
I hope you’ve found this list of my 23 most thoughtful gifts for men useful! I honestly can’t recommend these products enough and think the guys in your life would be very happy opening any one of them on Christmas day, or whenever you decide to treat them!