My favorite part about holiday gift giving is the excuse to buy family and friends those things that they wouldn’t normally buy themselves. They’ve talked nonstop about how much they want something but can’t seem to justify spending their own money on it for one reason or another. For everyone on my list, it’s because they constantly put everyone else before themselves. That’s where the gift giver comes in. These gifts are things that I, or someone I know, would want, but wouldn’t necessarily buy for themselves.
Sherling Clog Boots
These boots are at the very top of my list. Confession: I’m that guy who always puts fashion over function. I can’t remember the last time I had a pair of winter boots; it’s a wonder I haven’t lost a toe yet. This Minnesota-based company provides warmth without sacrificing style. As someone who tends to blur the line, I’m in love with these winter boots that aren’t overly feminine but also have some masculine touches. Sven will also custom create boots for those of us who want the “women’s” designs in men’s sizing: low-heeled winter boots can be made up to size 50, while mid-heel (2 3/4″) boots go to size 43, which is US women’s size 13.
MovieSac in Chinchilla Dense Phur
At five feet wide and over three feet high, the MovieSac is the best (and most comfortable) seat in the house. It’s perfect for reading, relaxing, and most of all, movie-watching. The fill is made of premium shredded Durafoam which, unlike bead-filled bags, absorbs body weight evenly and doesn’t compress over time. My personal favorite fabrication is the uber-chic chinchilla phur, a unique blend of polyester that is both luxurious and durable at the same time. Because it’s polyester-based, it’s 100% machine washable and is built to breathe, so you get the softness you want without overheating like you may in a more dense fabric.
Quilted Waxwear Travel Duffle
I love a good bag. But not just any bag. I want something unique that will stand out and ups the fashion game. Jack Spade never disappoints and this travel duffle is exactly what I’m going to be using to head north for the holidays. The quilted design harkens back to classic Chanel while the design and waxed treatment update the look for the modern man. Made of 100 percent waxed cotton with leather trim and twill lining, Jack Spade has built this bag to last. Its features include a removable shoulder strap and a zippered interior pocket for those toiletry necessities you need while you’re away.
Intervention – A Party Game for Everyone’s Worst Habits
I’m always on the look out for a new game to play at the next gathering, and this one raises the stakes. This adult party game gives you and your friends a chance to anonymously reveal what you think about each other through taboo, hilarious, and all-around-ridiculous questions. Which of your friends is least likely to be wearing underwear right now? Who is the most awkward hugger? For better or for worse, the truth will be revealed. If you want a test-drive, download and print cards online before buying the real thing.
Top2Bottom: The Gay Party Game
Again, I love a good party game and this one brings the gay in full force. Essentially Cards Against Humanity with a gay twist, Top2Bottom is just as outrageous and dirty as you and your friends (meaning, adults only). One player draws a pink card and reads it aloud, and each remaining player chooses one white card to answer. To come out on top be the first player with six pink cards! For added fun, get one of the expansion packs (May I recommend the one targeted toward lesbians?).
Great for transitional weather and perfect for any guy who wants a lightweight, very packable, warm staple hoodie for his wardrobe. This cool piece is easy to mix and match as well as layer. The jacket comes from Moose Knuckles, a cool-kid brand out of Canada, allowing him to keep warm and toasty while also being able to make an innuendo joke on the side.
King & Stone presents subscribers with a highly curated selection of on-trend designs to choose from, delivering four pairs of shoes per year (one per season) for a simple monthly subscription rate of $25. When the new season drops, subscribers pick the style they want and their new shoes will be manufactured and shipped. Don’t like that season’s shoes? Feel free to skip a shipment or cancel at any time.
Annual subscription, $280; Seasonal subscription, $75
Sock Advent Calendar
As a German, I love Advent calendars. As a stylish man, I love some good socks. Designed exclusively for Mr. Porter, treat someone special to a season of fresh socks with this clever advent calendar by Welsh knitwear specialist Corgi. From the first day to the 23rd, each drawer is stuffed with a cotton-blend pair in festive patterns, while Christmas Eve reveals a luxurious cashmere and silk-blend design.
Duke Cannon “Bloody Knuckles” Hand Repair Balm
I’m so tired of shaking someone’s dry, cracked hand. It gives me the heeby jeebies. But I get it, not every guy wants a fruity or floral-scented lotion found in stores today. For those guys, this balm is just what the doctor ordered, made with Lanolin, so it won’t leave your hands feeling greasy. Everything this company produces is made in the USA and a portion of sales go to The Honor Flight Network benefitting military veterans. Need I say more?
Blade + Blue
This summer, Lavender published an article I wrote on sex trafficking and I haven’t been able to forget about the prevalent issue ever since. In the article, I interviewed the founder of My Sister, an apparel company that works to prevent sex trafficking, educate communities, and empower the population. Designed to be a conversation starter, this Equality tee puts forth the message that equality between women and men is an essential step in eliminating sex trafficking. This classic crew neck tee makes a statement, and the super comfortable fabric makes it a lasting wardrobe favorite. Other designs include “Feminist,” “Freedom,” and so many others.
The Divine Miss M: Deluxe Edition
Rhino Records revisits the early days of Bette Midler’s incredible career with a deluxe version of her iconic 1972 debut album, The Divine Miss M. This two-disc set includes the remastered album, plus a bonus disc of singles, outtakes and demos, as well as new liner notes written by Midler. As a young gay, I’m slowly building up my collection of classics and this re-released deluxe edition is definitely on the list.