For the lucky few (and most of the young), the holidays are largely about the bountiful joy and spirit of the giving season. For the rest of us, they are a quagmire of impossible expectations, difficult family complexities, and the insidiously mind-breaking challenge of what to get loved ones. The best gifts, in my experience, come not from rote requests or jam-packed Amazon want-lists, but when you truly surprise someone with something they hadn’t yet realized how much they desperately needed. To that end, here’s a shortlist of possibilities for the males in your life, be they loving husband, SO, best friend, or father.
Trust me, dudes like knives. And this one, with super-sharp, deeply serrated edges cuts bread, meat, vegetables, and fruit rinds with equal conviction. One knife to create a perfect Sunday morning breakfast bagel, with a side of melon? Count me in.
2. Smith Dolen Sunglasses
Where I come from — um, upstate New York — sunglasses make a statement about who you are and what you’re made of. With that in mind, consider the polarchromic goodness of the Smith Dolen, a sleek, stylish frame housing an extraordinarily clear and well-formulated pair of Techlite Polarized glass lenses. Perfect for the trail or the urban prairie, whatever the hell that might be.
The maverick director, a decidedly male auteur, is considered the godfather of the American indie scene. His films are poignant, brutally honest and emotionally excavating, and this excellent Criterion boxed set includes some of his best-known works including Faces and A Woman Under the Influence.
When it comes to home drink manufacturing, you want to be able to create an exquisite aperitif for your company, but you also want to do it in style. This handsome fellow sports a 16 oz. capacity (about three generous martinis) with a decidedly modernist design.
Salter’s latest opus is a master class in contemplative narrative drive: The story of Philip Bowman begins with his fighting in Okinawa, and surveys the life he eventually builds (and repeatedly destroys) upon his return. If your man appreciates the written word, this is a hell of an option.