The best gifts for every man on your holiday shopping list

Abigale Subdhan / The Social
Want to score major points with the men in your life this holiday season? Toronto Star columnist, Rob Cribb, reveals his favourite gift ideas.

For the sports-loving guys…

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Skate Sharpener from Sparx Hockey
  • WHY WE LOVE IT: “This is a luxury gift that would mostly likely work as a group gift. If your lad and his buddies play league hockey together. this much I can guarantee: they’ve had the annoyance of having to stand in line on Saturdays to get their skates sharpened. This super cool tool is on par with the invention of the lightbulb for me - a portable skate sharpener the lads can all use to sharpen up before the game.”

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“The Breville Boss To Go Plus” Smoothie Maker
  • WHY WE LOVE IT: “The morning smoothie has changed my life. I used to eat the typical dude breakfast diet – sugary cereal or greasy nonsense - now I’m actually ingesting the kale and the flax seed and protein powder. I’ve lost weight and I feel a thousand per cent better.” 

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Fitbit Aria Wifi Smart Scale
  • WHY WE LOVE IT: “This is a very cool bathroom scale that forces accountability, and studies show that when we are faced with our daily numbers, it focuses the mind into focusing the body. This is a habit sustainer.”

Gift Cards from LifeExperiences.ca
  • WHY WE LOVE IT: Whether it’s getting the chance to drive an exotic car or tandem jump out of an airplane, experiential gifts are incredibly memorable and there’s a wide variety at Life Experiences.

For the tech-loving guys…

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DJI Phantom 4 Drone
  • WHY WE LOVE IT: “The drone is the adult male version of our childhood remote controlled trucks. It’s an action toy that transforms us into intrepid adventurers doing important things.”

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Apple Watch Nike +
  • WHY WE LOVE IT: “I run a lot and this is the best running tracker I’ve used among many, and it has the flexibility to measure other, less traditional activities such as the heart rate and calories I burn at morning hockey. Now I find it annoyingly addictive.”

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Kohler Touchless Toilet Flush Kit

  • WHY WE LOVE IT: “I can reluctantly acknowledge the complicated relationship men have with toilet flusher levers. Having lived with men for long stretches of my life, we are pigs. It’s almost a badge of honour. This device removes the argument that pushing the lever was simply too much work. You wave you hand over it.  I believe that even we can do this.” 

For the stylish guys…

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The Gent Box by Present Day Gifts
  • WHY WE LOVE IT: “I love the idea of these gift boxes. The male brain doesn’t typically ponder these kinds of luxuries for himself. A box like this is curated by theme and filled with the kind of unique little gems he’ll be excited to try out. These are male taste refiners. It’s an instant man upgrade in a box.”  

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Shaving Products from Les Industries Groom
  • WHY WE LOVE IT: “Shaving is the great daily male burden. The fix, predictably, is to apply technology and tools. We’re talking badger hair brushes, high end creams and razors. These are some of the richest creams and after shave tonics I’ve ever tried."

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Monogrammed, Bespoke Boxers
  • WHY WE LOVE IT: “Ok, so you’ve heard of bespoke shirts and suits – customized and monogrammed, highly distinguishing, masculine luxury. Marlon Durrant, a Toronto bespoke suit maker has taken it further with bespoke pyjamas and boxers. Monogrammed.”

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Foot Cardigan Subscription Sock Service
  • WHY WE LOVE IT: “Gifts that keep on giving hold allure. In this case socks arriving at your door with the serendipity of wondering what they’ve come up with next. Plus, we all hate shopping for socks. That’s coma-inducing time we’ll never get back.”

For the old-school guys...

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Turntable from Urban Outfitters
  • WHY WE LOVE IT: “Analog is back. A good pal of mine has just opened a vinyl record store.  I told him he’s crazy. He says he’s killing it. There appears to be two key demographics keen on this trend – guys my age who grew up with records or their dad’s record collection - and the millennials, who seem to be fascinated with this in a counter-cultural response to the digitization of all music.”

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Notebooks from Indigo
  • WHY WE LOVE IT: “I have a journal at my bedside that I hold responsible for curing insomnia. When I wake up with 1,000 things that are stressing me out or a turn of phrase that I was struggling to come up with earlier for a story, I open it and start writing. I suddenly feel instant relief. I’ve recorded it, and it creates a wonderfully organic record of the inner workings of my brain over time.”

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Money Clip/Tie Clips from Etsy
  • WHY WE LOVE IT: “The wallet is dead. I think Seinfeld might have killed it.  I used to have a George Costanza wallet – about six inches thick filled with receipts from 2012. …Now its tiny little wallets or clips like this which have a flash of elegance when they are brought out. And the tie clip is another example of stuff our grandfathers knew about that we don’t. It’s a final bit of distinguishing visual polish.”
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