#1: craft coffee - I know a few guys who hate coffee, but the vast majority of men seem to like coffee. The vast majority of men also won't be treating themselves to a costly brew and will probably, like my poor father, survive off an ancient can of Folgers, brewed blindly in the pre-dawn hours. Instead, treat them to a bag of locally-roasted or carefully-sourced-and-roasted beans like those from Brash Coffee.
#2: shaving paraphernalia - This is a category I hadn't necessarily thought about, but which my dad and brother and who knows who else loves. I mean, a guy's gotta shave so why not do it in a way that would make White Collar's Neal Caffrey proud? Get some good shaving soap and a badger brush from The Art of Shaving, or if your fellow is of the bearded variety, give him some scented beard oil. Apparently it's a thing, like conditioner, only for your beard. My friend, Melinda, offers two varieties from her company, Healthy Farm Girl Organics .
#3: drink-wares - There's little for making a guy feel like 21st-century Ernest Hemingway like receiving something fancy for his drink-hour. Even if the fellow on your list "doesn't drink" (and most on my gift-list subscribe to this view), they'll still love a handsome copper mule mug, or a fancy stainless steel ice-cube set. Okay, I want that ice cube set.
#4: wool coat - This counts as a big-ticket item. The sort of thing I'd reserve for my boyfriend or fiance or as a graduation present for my younger brother. But a classic wool pea-coat is an investment that not only will allow your man to look fifty percent better than most guys walking around, but will also last about a century, properly taken care of.
#5: novelty board game - Last Christmas I gave a vintage game called Airmail to my younger brother, rather on a whim. It has since become one of those fun games no one else owns and you can pull out to great acclaim when the occasional house-guest is over for a game-night. One of the coolest games in this respect is Dixit. I love this game. You should own it.
#6: homemade version of their favorite candy - not only does this avoid the predicament of looking like you just popped into the nearest Dollar Tree and bought a box of Milk Duds, but your version will also probably taste better than the original. This is an especially good idea if your guys are fans of something not readily available in the U.S., as in the case of my cousin, who loves a Romanian candy-bar not sold here that I was able to recreate with ease at home.
#7: gift-card to a men's clothiers or leather-goods store - if the guy on your list is the sort who probably wants to pick out his own gift, why not give him a gift card to a place he wouldn't ordinarily shop for fear of looking like he's "splurging?" Your brother might not shop at Brooks Brothers on the normal day, but if he can treat himself to a shirt you've covered 50% of, he just might be persuaded to do so. Alternately, you can buy them a bottle of Aqua di Gio and have them smell divine forever after.
#8: handsome copy of a favorite book - this gift has the double appeal of being attractive and personal. Last Christmas by older brother bought me a hardback copy of the very first (and most beautiful) version of The Hobbit we read together. It was a perfect gift because not only will I use it and display it now, but it also holds nostalgic appeal. Find a story you and the fellow have shared or loved or found together and buy the nicest copy of it that you can afford.
I hope these ideas are useful for those of you who still have shopping left to accomplish! Goodness knows the men on my list are always the hardest ones to buy for! If you have any other ideas for masculine Christmas gifts, leave them in a comment below. I'm always scouting for inspiration!