The Art of Manliness Holiday Gift Guide 2009

by Brett & Kate McKay on November 27, 2009 · 60 comments

in Gift Guides, Travel & Leisure


The holiday season is officially here and that means it’s time for the giving and receiving of Christmas gifts. Men are notoriously hard to shop for, so we’ve  once again created a Christmas gift guide full of manly Christmas gifts that we think many Art of Manliness men will dig. We don’t include the latest gizmos like flatscreen TVs or digital cameras. Every other men’s interest magazine and website has that stuff covered. No, we wanted to create a Christmas gift list of manly, useful, and classic products. The sort of things you’d find in your grandpa’s house. We made an effort to find top quality products, many of which are crafted here in America.

Use the guide to find the perfect Christmas gift for your father, husband, brother, or friend, or print out the post, circle your favorites and casually leave it where your loved one will find it. Also, be sure to check out last year’s guide for even more ideas.

Now without further ado, we present our Christmas gifts for men guide for 2009.

Original Leather Head Footballs


Not made of actual pigskin, but about as close to an old-school football as you can get. These footballs are made one at a time and are hand sewn in New Jersey from individually selected hides of American leather, then dyed and oiled for a rich, old fashioned look. They’re so handsome you might have trouble actually using them; but go ahead, they’re made to last. Quantities are limited and these sell out fast, so be sure to get your order in ASAP. $95

Case Pocket Knife/Pocket Knife Gift Set


We all know that every man should carry a pocketknife. So if a man in your life doesn’t have one, then your Christmas gift shopping just got a heck of a lot easier. Our favorite knives are those made by W.R Case and Sons. They’re handsome, manly, and have been made in the US of A since 1889. They also make gift sets that include a pocket stone and honing oil. Also check out a set made especially for hobos (with a knife that comes with a fork and spoon and a lighter). Starting at $35

The Iron Gym


I’m skeptical of anything that touts itself with “as seen on TV.” But this is one of my all-time favorite purchases. It’s a pull-up bar that attaches to your doorway with pressure alone — no screws or bolts. You can take it off or on at will. I’ve never tried the dips or push-ups; I just leave it on the door frame and crank out some pull-ups and chin-ups whenever I pass through. $30

Saddleback Leather Bag


I bet there are a lot of guys out there who would willing forgo presents for the next 5 Christmases in order to get just one of these bags. Briefcases, backpacks, laptop bags, wallets, and more. All crafted to last a lifetime. Or three. $250-$600.


magliteMen love flashlights. It’s our modern torch and thus resonates with our inner caveman. It is also taps into our inner-detective, patrolling the streets looking for bad guys in the shadows. A man’s flashlight should be well-made, long-lasting, tough, reliable, and bright as hell. Some plastic cheapo torch that barely illuminates the hand in front of your face simply won’t do. Maglites come highly recommended-they’re bright yet energy efficient, and their sturdy aluminum base allows them to double as a baton. Blind the bad guys before clubbing them over the head. Made in America with a limited lifetime warranty.  $28 (for the maglite 4-D Cell)

Stanley Thermos


This is the thermos your dad used, and your granddad and your great-granddad. For 100 years Stanley has been making the thermoses that keep your coffee hot on fishing and hunting trips, at football games, and on construction sites and road trips. Functional, well-made, and downright manly. $34

Safety Razor Shaving Set

shavesetMost men today are shaving with super expensive 5-blade cartridges that give okay shaves. Why not introduce a man to the joys and ritual of shaving with a safety razor? We’ve discussed the benefits of safety razor shaving several times on the site. First, I think the shaves are better. Second, razors are much cheaper than what most modern cartridges cost. Finally, it just feels cool to take part in a ritual that Teddy Roosevelt, JFK, and your grandpa did as well. Merkur makes a nice set that includes a safety razor, badger brush, and stand. Shop around on Amazon. There’s always good deals showing up. Look to spend between $70 and $120 for a quality brush and razor.

Crosley Vintage Tweed Radio/MP3 Speaker

vintage radioWhen I was a kid, the old barbershop I’d go to had this really cool tweed covered radio. The sound wasn’t clear like today’s gizmos, but I still enjoyed listening to the baseball game on it while getting my haircut. It just looked timeless and manly.

Well, now you can get that same timeless look and listen to your iPod on it. Crosley makes a small tweed covered AM/FM radio that also acts as an mp3 speaker. So when you’re done listening to the game, you can plug in your iPod and shuffle through some old big band or doo wop tunes. It’s the perfect radio for your garage, office, or barbershop.

Also, make sure to check out some of the other revival products Crosely makes. They have a cool looking portable turntable great for any ruckus room party. But you can also plug it into your computer’s USB port and digitize your vinyl collection. They also have a cathedral radio that looks like the types people would huddle around to listen to FDR’s fireside chats.

Craftsman Wrench Set


One thing I’ve noticed in young men my age is they don’t have tools. Giving a set of Craftsman wrenches as a Christmas gift is a great way to help a young men begin his tool collection. They were my first set of tools. An older gentleman who was a friend and mentor of mine in high school helped me start my collection off by getting me a set of Craftsman wrenches when I graduated from high school.

Two great things about Craftsman are 1) most their hand tools are made in the U.S.A and 2) they have one of the best lifetime warranty policies around. They’ll repair or replace your tools if they “fail to give you complete satisfaction.” $119

The Art of Manliness by Brett and Kate McKay


I’m pretty sure if that kid in The Polar Express hadn’t asked Santa for a bell from his sleigh for the first gift of Christmas, he would have asked for The Art of Manliness book. Yeah, it’s that good. Perfect for boys from 1 to 92.


Men’s Original Stag Shirt by Woolrich

redblackWhether or not you actually hew trees for a living, every man needs a good, rugged wool shirt. They’re soft and warm, and make you look like a man. This one from Woolrich wears like a shirt, but functions like a warm jacket. And it’s name has the word “stag” in it. $108

Filson’s Mackinaw Cruiser


100% wool. Made in America. Uber old-school manly. The only con is the price. Better hope you’ve been really good this year. $279

Schott’s Leather Jackets


Schott’s of NYC has been making rugged, quality leather coats for almost a 100 years. Schott’s was the first to put a zipper on a jacket and the creator of the first leather motorcycle jacket. Their motorcycle jackets became legendary when they were worn by Marlon Brando in The Wild One. Schott’s also made jackets for the military, like the Type A-2 Jacket above which was worn by the Army Air Corps. The inside features an escape map of Europe, which pilots would sow into the jacket’s lining to enable them to find their way to the safety of the Allied lines if they were shot down. Starting from $400

Red Wing Boots

Red Wing Classic Lifestyle BootEvery man needs a solid boot in their shoe collection. But instead of getting some hunking behemoth of a boot, why not get something that’s durable and good looking. Enter Red Wing. Red Wing has been making boots since 1905. And unlike other shoe companies that have shipped off jobs to factories in Vietnam, Red Wing still makes their classic work boots right here in America. We’re particularly fond of the Classic Lifestyle Boot. It looks like something my grandpa wore. You could wear this out on hike or on a trip to the hardware store and you’ll get the protection and support you need while looking uber-manly.  $170

Mountain and Sackett Tie


For the man who’s impossible to find a Christmas gift for, you can never go wrong with a tie. Well you can go wrong if you get some cheapo Tabasco sauce tie from the department store. Get one of impeccable quality that’s handmade in America. Get a Mountain and Sackett Tie. $59-$74

Art of Manliness T-shirts

flying eagle

We’re proponents of dressing well here on AoM, but you don’t need to wear a suit and tie all the time. Sometimes it’s fine to kick it in a t-shirt and jeans. And when you do, there are no better tees to sport than those that show your Art of Manliness pride. We’ve just added six new AoM designs to the Tankfarm store. There’s one for every kind of man.

Experience Gifts

While opening a present on Christmas Day is nice, the influx of new “stuff” can clutter and overwhelm a man’s life. Plus, the enjoyment you get from material objects is almost always short lived. This year, consider giving an “experience gift” to the man in your life. Experience Christmas gifts for men can run the gambit from a fly fishing trip to Wyoming to a class on wilderness survival. Experience Christmas gifts allow you to give a person a memory and skill that will last a lifetime. Below are some suggested experience Christmas gifts that a man might enjoy.

Wilderness Survival Class

lean-to shelter

Manly men are self-sufficient and know how to handle themselves in an emergency situation. Give the Christmas gift of self-sufficiency by buying a wilderness survival class. Most classes last a weekend and cover basics like building a shelter, finding food and water, and how to navigate. Advanced classes show students how to track and trap animals and how to survive with just a knife. Most states have wilderness survival classes. Just do a quick internet search to find one in your area. The following schools come highly recommended by AoM Community members and might be worth a trip out to attend. $150-$500

Ancient Pathways. Ancient Pathways is based in Flagstaff, AZ and is led by Tony Nester. Ancient Pathways focuses more on survival in the desert. Their Bushcraft Course is 6 days. During that time students will learn how to create fire by friction, locate water, and collect edible plants among other things. A good Christmas gift for men who live in the Southwest US. $350-$900.

Pathfinder Training School. Based out of Ohio and headed up Dave Canterbury. Dave has beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes. There isn’t a lot of lecturing, just good hands on training. Beginner’s classes are two days and involve a 2.5 mile hike in where students learn shelter building and fire making skills. Check out Dave’s YouTube Channel to get an idea of his style. $200-$500.

Martial Arts Class


Martial arts are a great way to get some exercise and learn a useful skill while you’re at it. It’s easy to find a karate or tae kwon do studio in most cities and most offer adult classes. If you know a man who’s a fan of Ultimate Fighter, sign him up for a MMA class so he can actually experience the joy of the ground and pound. Other martial arts to consider are boxing, jui jitsu (a favorite of Theodore Roosevelt), and krav maga. Studios often allow you to buy classes a month at a time or pay per class. If they offer pay per class, go with that. It will allow the Christmas gift recipient to find out if he likes the martial art or not. $50-$125

Crossfit Class


For the fitness buff, sign them up for an intense CrossFit session. It’s much more exciting  than the typical weight room workout they’re probably getting right now. CrossFit workouts aren’t geared to give you chiseled biceps or sculpt six pack abs. Rather CrossFit is designed to give you functional strength and conditioning. You know- the type of conditioning you need to save your life or disengage an assailant. It’s no wonder CrossFit is the go-to fitness program for military special forces, champion martial artists, and elite athletes worldwide. Check the CrossFit page to find a CrossFit gym near you. $45-$100

Firearms Class

gun range

If you know a man who’s not familiar with firearms, but has shown an interest, sign him up for a beginner’s gun course. Most gun ranges and gun clubs offer weekend classes where beginners are taught basic gun safety, basic marksmanship, and how to maintain a gun.

For men who are already familiar with firearms, consider signing them up for advanced classes. I’ve seen classes that show students advanced tactical techniques like crouching, lying down, firing around corners, etc. It’s a chance to learn how to use firearms in real life situations and a chance to run around and pretend your James Bond for the day.

In states that allow it, a concealed weapons permit class would be a great Christmas gift for a man as well. $60-$300

Woodworking Class


Woodworking is a great hobby for a man to get involved with. You get to use your hands and you can make beautiful and useful furnishings that will last a lifetime. However, many men balk at exploring woodworking because of inadequate tools and teaching. Well, here’s your chance to let a man get a taste of what woodworking is like without having to drop a ton of money on tools. Woodcraft stores offer short classes on Saturdays that show the basics of woodworking while you work on a real project. Students learn how to turn, plane, and carve. At the end of the class, they’ll walk away with something they made with their own bare hands. Check out the schedule of your local Woodcraft store. If you’re in Oregon, also check out the Portland Tech Shop.

Stocking Stuffers



Every man should carry a handkerchief. But it doesn’t have to be a boring old white one. Show off your personality and manly pizzazz (can pizzazz be manly?) with these cool etsy-made handkerchiefs.

Craft Sodas


When we do our soda reviews here on the site, people always ask where one can get independently made craft sodas. We get ours at a cool place in Edmond, Oklahoma called Pops. If you’re on the West Coast, be sure to check out the Real Soda warehouse in Gardena, CA and Seattle, WA, and of course Galco’s Soda Pop Stop, an awesome soda store in Los Angeles. You can order all of Galco’s sodas online and have them shipped to you (of course the shipping gets really expensive, fast). Try the world’s best root beer – Virgils –for yourself or taste what Dr. Pepper tastes like when it’s made with real sugar, or sample something unique like Double Cola, Cucumber SodaBlueberry Soda, or Mint Julep. Get a soda that a man in your life used to enjoy as a kid and hasn’t had in years or something new and interesting to surprise the palate.

Mustache Hand Towel

mustache hand towel

Now you can wipe your mustache…with a mustache. Free worldwide shipping until Monday. $8.00

Pop’s Authentic Handmade Artisan Meat Snacks


Men love meat snacks (yes, yes, not all men-don’t throw your leftover Tofurkey at me vegetarians!). But you can do better than getting some mish-mash of meat by-products smooshed into a tube. Pop’s Meat Snacks is a family business run out of New Franklin, Missouri. They make their meat snacks and jerky in small batches using local meat and a family recipe passed down from Oscar ‘Pops’ Jennings, who opened a butcher shop in New Franklin 1954. Use the promo code “Oscar” when you check out and you can get 1 free 12 count box when you buy any two 12-count boxes.

Gun/Grenade Soap


Forget those supercharged body washes, what you really need to wake up in the morning is a hand grenade! Handmade, reasonably priced, and scented with black tea (gun) and essence of bamboo (grenade). And they will assurdely not shoot your eye out. Be sure to check out the other incredibly creative offerings from this esty-seller for the lady in your life. Or for someone who’s been bad, she’s even got a lump of coal soap. $6.50-$7.50

Rules for My Unborn Son by Walker Lamond


Rules for My Unborn Son is exactly the type of book that you want to get on Christmas. It’s a fun read that you can relax with by the fire and finish in an hour. And it’s perfectly sized for a stocking. $10

Field Notes

Field Notes are pocket size notebooks inspired by old farmer memorandum notebooks of the early and mid 20th Century. Every man should carry around a notebook to jot down his flashes of insight and inspiration. $10.

Got any more great Christmas gift ideas for men? Know of any worthwhile survival classes? Want to weigh in on what’s the best flashlight out there? Share your ideas with us in the comments!

{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Steve November 27, 2009 at 8:48 pm

If you buy an Iron Gym be sure to keep the receipt or get a gift receipt – it only fits on specific sizes of door frames – I’ve seen a lot of people on the ‘net comment about this problem, and I had the same problem when I got one as a gift last year.

2 John November 27, 2009 at 8:54 pm

That Filson’s jacket looks Nice with a capital N, but I’m not sure I’ve been quite that good this year!

Also I have to second the Red Wings. I got a pair last year for christmas, and they are easily the best shoes I’ve ever owned. I wear a 12 narrow, so it is difficult to find a good shoe that actually fits me, but Red Wing sure did take care of me!

3 jay November 27, 2009 at 9:08 pm

fun list.

4 kevin November 27, 2009 at 9:35 pm

Good list.

Any suggestions on gifts to send for our men fighting overseas?

5 Perry Clease November 27, 2009 at 10:44 pm

I have my father’s Stanley thermos, he bought it in the early 1950s. It is an excellent thermos, very rugged, very well insulted and I highly recommend them.

My son has my Woolrich jacket that I bought in 1967, I am too corpulent to button it up now. I had a youth sized Woolrich wool shirt that was a hand-me-down from a family friend and possibly dates back to the 1930s. My son wore it and now my niece is wearing it. I told her it is not leave the family when she outgrows it. I have a half a dozen flannel shirts of various plaids and solids in several weights and enjoy wearing them.

6 Perry Clease November 27, 2009 at 10:48 pm

“Any suggestions on gifts to send for our men fighting overseas?”

I spent over 21 years in the military service and can tell you almost anything is welcome. However I am sending my nephew, a Marine serving in Afghanistan, some Starbucks VIA instant coffee. This is the best instant coffee that I ever tasted.

7 Kendall Giles November 28, 2009 at 12:34 am

I might suggest a 24 KG kettlebell over a pullup bar, though pullups are not to be entirely dismissed.

Also, I might suggest a session with an RKC (certified Russian kettlebell instructor) over crossfit.

It is hard to be more manly than lifting an iron cannonball with a handle, and getting instruction from an RKC will help prevent injury and will enhance strength and fitness gains.

Books, videos, articles, kettlebells can be seen at

Note: I am just a satisfied user of kettlebells.


8 Carl November 28, 2009 at 9:30 am

The fact that you are thinking about the men and women overseas is already the best gift. Thank you for your generosity.
Happy holidays all you Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coasties and contractors.

9 James November 28, 2009 at 10:33 am

Instead of going for the wrench set, I’d get someone a full Craftsman mechanics set that comes in various piece sizes. Generally they come with three socket sets (standard, metric, and various sizes), a set of screw drivers, nut drivers, metric and standard allen wrenches, and a few other things that are very useful and are stored in a handy case for those that don’t have the space for a toolbox. If you watch Sears you can find them for the same price as the wrench set.

10 steve November 28, 2009 at 12:14 pm

The only item I think you left out was a knife skills class. And I’m talking cooking, not combat, although both would be cool. For the guy that loves to cook, these are skills that will be used forever and speed up the prep process.

11 Shane November 28, 2009 at 1:13 pm

That vintage radio/mp3 player is great! AS well as the saddle bag and Filson jacket.
I have to save up some money now.

12 Dennis P. November 28, 2009 at 2:28 pm

For that pricepoint, I’d much rather have the bomber jacket that is shearling lined from Cabela’s. It gets cold here in Wyoming and this thing has to be the coolest jacket I’ve ever owned.

13 Dennis P. November 28, 2009 at 2:32 pm

I can testify for the awesome manliness of the Saddleback Leather products. I have their large Satchel in chestnut and take it everywhere. I plan on buying a briefcase from them soon. All of their stuff has a great classic look to it.

14 Simon Power November 28, 2009 at 6:24 pm

I have no trouble finding gifts for myself!!!!………what about a list of manliness gifts to give the wife? Year after year I end giving lame presents.

15 Cowboy Bob November 28, 2009 at 6:59 pm

How about Bartitsu, the gentlemanly art of self-defense? You would need to find a seminar or classes, but you can start here:

16 Alex November 28, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Great gift ideas. I surely will put some of them on my shopping list.

17 Dan November 28, 2009 at 10:02 pm

I would have to say that there is nothing like a few CrossFit sessions to make your man happy during the holidays.

18 Daniel November 28, 2009 at 11:10 pm

Your classess are ok but you missed what is by far the best wilderness survival school in the county. Tom Brown Jr’s Tracker School.

19 wes November 29, 2009 at 12:02 am

Try, extremely reasonable prices and awesome quailty sauces and spices!!!! Makes any man pass as an expert on the grill.

20 George Robinson November 29, 2009 at 2:28 am

Does anyone have a suggestion for the Experience gifts on the east coast? I am particularly interested in the survival and wood working classes.

21 Thad November 29, 2009 at 6:34 am

May I recommend a Moleskin Notebook … I have used their diaries over the last several years and they look as good at the beginning of the year as they do at the end. Well made and very useful!


22 John November 29, 2009 at 5:47 pm

Yes, my dad bought me a Maglite that I still have today. Another great (and pricey) flashlight is the Surefire. My dad gave this one to me for Christmas a few years ago. It is a small but very bright. (Great for carrying in your pocket, backpack, or car’s glove compartment.)

For another manly gift, what about a pair of nice leather gloves. Any recommendations?

23 Ben November 29, 2009 at 8:54 pm

I agree with Thad. I was given a Moleskine notebook by a dear friend years ago, and have been completely sold on their quality, usability and range of sizes/styles. I eagerly await the day when I purchase one for another dear friend.

24 Pipp November 30, 2009 at 3:59 am

For a flashlight I would actually suggest a Petzl headlamp. Usually when you need a flashlight you need your hands, so a good headlamp is really a must. Also a super handy item for your camping trip as they are usually lighter than a flashlight and pack smaller,but have a great bright light.

25 Jay November 30, 2009 at 9:23 am

I’m surprised these didn’t make the list with the football. I can’t think of anything more iconic in the development of a young man’s life than playing catch with his dad. These gloves are about the most manly expression of that tradition I have ever seen and as the saddleback guys say, your kids will fight over it when you’re gone. Brett, this would make one hell of a contest come spring :)

Oh yeah, and if you know a kid whose Dad’s not around, go play catch with him.

26 Mark November 30, 2009 at 9:59 am

The Merkur safety razor and badger brush are exceptional; they replaced my grandfather’s Wilkinson when that finally broke some years back.

However, the Merkur gift set’s stand and shaving cup are made of low-grade metal with a VERY thin chrome layer that corrodes almost instantly on contact with soap and water, and eventually *dissolves*. Literally, the cup fell apart with holes eaten through it by the soap.

I went to the “Art of Shaving” store in Bellevue Square Mall, and bought a $12 porcelain shaving cup that fits Col. Conk’s shave soap perfectly, and will last forever. Haven’t replaced the stand yet, but that’s next up.

27 Ryan November 30, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Firearms classes please see: best training I’ve ever gotten and if you sign up for their mailing list you’ll get hideous offers (never pay full price).

Flashlight: Surefire LED6PD Bezzle is okay for beating but you’ll never beat it for durability, brightness, portability, and burn time. Thing is awesome! (If you do use it for a weapon light carry spare batteries, Mr. Murphy is alive an well.)

28 rich November 30, 2009 at 12:03 pm

How about a post about good ideas for what to get girl friends/wifes?

29 nathan November 30, 2009 at 12:22 pm

I was pretty excited to see an old school leather football on there. That’s a pretty awesome gift I would have to say. Also, when I saw the Mag-Light and Stanley thermos it reminded me of my Christmas when I was 10 years old. I received both of those for Christmas that year because that was the year I obtained my hunting license. I also received a lot of new camouflage, and a Mossberg youth model 20 .gauge.

If you have someone in your life who enjoys hunting and outdoors activity, you can never go wrong giving them a gift they can use for it.

30 Ryan November 30, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Rich – I was thinking the same thing on great gifts for females outside the standard boring jewelery, clothes and household stuff.

One that works for women and men is a cooking class. I took my mom to one last year as her Christmas gift and we both had a lot of fun. Plus, I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of the recipes, especially when cooking for my girlfriend. The classes generally run about $100 a head and include dinner, drinks, meeting new people and a ton of fun. I went to ICE in New York City but there should be plenty of others.

31 Living with Balls November 30, 2009 at 1:37 pm

I thought about buying that iron gym once but I was skeptical of how well it worked. It’s good to know that it actually works. I guess any workout method works if you actually do it.

32 Kyle November 30, 2009 at 2:00 pm

I love my Iron Gym. It works exactly as it should. It also doesn’t have a lot of extra frills that aren’t needed. Very nice suggestion.

33 Gift Ideas November 30, 2009 at 8:15 pm

Haha great stuff. loved the grenade soap… Thanks

34 Loris December 1, 2009 at 11:54 am

Funny you should mention it, but I just bought the Merkur shaving set with extra blades for my husband. It looks very classy, but the shipping was an ouch. Amazon had the kit for $87.00 today instead of the usual $99.99. I also got him the L4D2 chocolate helicopter tshirt from the valve store. I hope I get some points for that.

As far as what I want, yes, it’s the usual lame stuff. I want a cashmere sweater, silicone oven mitts, and a guinea pig. :)

35 Robert December 1, 2009 at 11:56 am

Funny, there is no mention here of making something for your family or friend, just buying something ‘old fashoined’-esque.

36 Big Dan December 1, 2009 at 7:10 pm

If you want a higher grade of flashlight, I’d recommend a Streamlight rechargeable. I have a Stinger and a Strion, and both are exceptional flashlights that are extremely rugged, without the need to buy batteries. The chargers are wall-mountable, so you can mount the charger in a convenient location and the flashlight will always be ready to go. I get a full hour of solid runtime out of each battery.

I second the Red Wing boots recommendation. My Red Wing boots are the most comfortable boots I’ve ever owned. I also have a pair of Red Wing loafers that I wear around the office that are just as comfortable.

37 anton December 1, 2009 at 9:38 pm

The old D-cell Maglite is great if you are looking for a light and a weapon, I carried one for years as a patrolman. Now you want the LED lights, they last longer, are brighter and are much lighter (which is a down-side if you are looking to lay someone out). Same quality great price.

38 Loris December 2, 2009 at 10:29 am

@ Robert, if a man has crafting skills, he should absolutely make gifts. My parents’ neighbor makes wonderful bowls from scrap wood on his lathe. He picked up that hobby after his retirement and has gotten good enough to command fat prices at craft shows.

I sew, so every year I make my husband pajama pants instead of buying them. It’s a loving gesture, and also practical since he’s hard on his clothes and usually tears right through store-bought pjs after a few washes.

39 Dakota December 2, 2009 at 1:43 pm

Great suggestions! I think I may use some of them. One tiny detail though: although Edmond would love to claim POPS, I must show some local pride here. POPS is located in Arcadia, Okla., just a few miles outside of Edmond! It’s a great place and Arcadia is glad to have it, because it’s brought a lot more traffic and life to the town. We are also proud that POPS puts “Arcadia, Oklahoma” on many of their products.

40 Spencer Nickson December 2, 2009 at 7:02 pm

>> Oh yeah, and if you know a kid whose Dad’s not around, go play catch with him.

Jay, great reminder. And those gloves are awesome – thanks for sharing that.


41 Jason December 3, 2009 at 10:43 am

Great gift giving guide…so many of those would be on my list if they weren’t already in my home or skillset.

If you guys are looking for a quality place to get some practical handgun training or knife training I’m an instructor located in Kentucky. You can visit my website at and/or email me at…mention AOM and I’ll give you a discount!

Also, I run a flint knapping business and give lessons…

Great gift guide again.


42 Tony December 3, 2009 at 1:25 pm

“Pelican” makes quite possibly the best flashlights for any market or trade. They produce LED lights with multi hour burn time at over 100 lumens that run on AA bats!
Check ‘em out.

43 Ben December 3, 2009 at 1:28 pm

I hear very mixed things about cross fit. Isn’t the certification a joke. You pay $1000 for a training seminar and there is no assessment test to ensure that the individual is actually qualified to instruct cross fit. With the high demand and rapid circuits of in cross fit I’d like to know my instructor is actually qualified to monitor my health, not just push me to brink.

44 Clayton December 3, 2009 at 9:35 pm

Great gift ideas Brett! I can honestly say I’d be pleased to get any of them.

p.s. – I’ve also taken the liberty of sharing these ideas with my wife….

45 David December 5, 2009 at 12:53 am

Another great idea for the outdoorsy type is off-roading/expedition driving lessons from Bill Burke –

Also, Barbour coats are next to unbeatable.

Or, if you’ve got the $$$, a Randall knife –

46 Clark December 5, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Just the other day, I found a Stanley thermos just like the one in the picture for only $19 at Wal-Mart.

47 Lee December 6, 2009 at 9:20 am

You can not beat soda in a bottle. I would sell my soul for quality Dew.

48 Mike M. December 6, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Randall knives are great but the waiting period is a killer…about 5 years. Consider a Swiss Army Knife of one sort or another.

49 Harry December 6, 2009 at 7:36 pm

This list is pretty awesome,I especially like the mp3 player..In case any of you have a very specific wishlist, I found this site called It adds a button to your browser that lets you add any item from any other site onto a list that is viewable by others. Pretty handy if you have obscure tastes like me ( My mother was puzzled when I told her I wanted a vintage trench club.).

50 Eric Stevenson December 13, 2009 at 1:28 am

My favorite LED flashlight is Dorcy. You can get them at Sears, along with any and all craftsman toys- I mean, tools.

Stanley Thermos is fantastic, but on the same note I would add coleman lanterns and stoves.

I’m really excited to see this list. There have been many great products cited in different articles- nice to see the m in one compilation. The Art of Manliness is definitely my default gift.

Thanks to everyone who posted, and especially to Brett and Kate. I am fairly new to the Art of Manliness, but I gotta say, this is the most gentlemanly forum I have ever visited.

51 Micah December 14, 2009 at 10:03 am

Might I suggest Tillers International for masculine experiences?

Classes in every subject from blacksmithing to ox driving

52 Justin December 14, 2009 at 11:37 pm

It would be awesome if I could buy a mustache to stick on other things so I can make them manly. Like that towel. That’s a manly towel.

53 srgonzo December 16, 2009 at 11:48 am

I’d like a Schott’s custom fit Naval-style leather peacoat. Hey, maybe AoM can do another giveaway!

54 Matt M. December 16, 2009 at 5:19 pm

If I may be so bold, might I suggest a copy of my new book:
“Cowboys, Mountain Men & Grizzly Bears: Fifty of the Grittiest Moments in the History of the Wild West.”
It’s packed with manly adventure, brutal survival stories, and ricochet-speed action. And it’s just released and priced right. Check it out at:


55 Jason December 19, 2009 at 8:55 am

If you have an air museum in your area, and you love old warbirds, find out if they offer rides. While it’s not a gift that would keep on giving, like gun training or the like, it would be a once in a lifetime experience.

For example, the Yankee Air Museum, near Detroit Michigan, offers 30 minute flights on either their B-25D Mitchell bomber, Yankee Warrior; or on the B-17G Yankee Lady. Flights cost $400 and $425, respectively.

Perfect for wearing the Schotts bomber jacket you got!
Yankee Air Museum: then click the link on the left menu for “Book a ride”


56 Seth December 20, 2009 at 7:33 am

After reading the site a few months back, I was inspired to ask for a safety razor shaving set. Lets hope Santa got the memo.

Also, re: the soda, Moxie is fantastic! I live in Maine a couple minutes from where it was invented, I’ll have to see if I can find the real sugar version tho. Thanks for the links and ideas.

57 Mitch December 22, 2009 at 9:13 pm

Private Pilot Course … the coolest gift. There are even schools that do the entire thing in 2 weeks for about $7K.

58 Mike December 27, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Hey AoM, Thanks for all of the great suggestions. I ended up with a safety razor set (including badger brush and shaving soap) and a 2 handed axe for chopping firewood.

(My sons got camping gear, and wilderness survival books…all in all a very manly CHRISTmas at our house!)

Semper Fi,

59 Matt B April 30, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Just a note, those etsy handkerchiefs are $25 a piece. That’s a bit much for something you’re going to blow your nose in

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