“Ah! Socks!” My father-in-law had just opened his present and was genuinely happy to see the gift inside. As a kid, I hated getting socks for Christmas, but my father-in-law, an avid outdoorsman, always needed thick wool socks to keep his feet warm and dry. As I’ve learned over the years of shopping for guys with traditionally masculine interests, it’s important to try to get inside their heads—just because socks seem boring to me doesn’t mean they aren’t the perfect gift for someone else!
It’s always been easy to shop for my friends, mom, and sister, but when it comes to the guys in my life, it’s not so simple. I often end up focusing on homemade Christmas gifts, but sometimes there’s just not enough time to make something from scratch for everyone. Plus, if you’re playing Secret Santa with a group you don’t know as well as your family, it’s a good idea to have a few ideas in the back of your mind.
Whether you’re shopping for a family member, coworker, or friend, these Secret Santa gifts for guys are perfect for the manly men in your life.
Hearty Food Gifts for Men
My husband picked up a gift from under the tree. It was cold to the touch and slightly squishy. He looked nervous, but as he peeled back the wrapping paper, his face lit up. “Bison steaks!” he exclaimed. My hubby is pretty hard to shop for, but he loves game meat. My sister had gotten him the perfect gift!
Choosing presents for men can be challenging, especially if they don’t seem to have any hobbies that are easy to buy for. But luckily, the key to a man’s heart often really is through his stomach, and these edible Secret Santa gifts for guys are sure to hit the mark:
- A bacon or sausage subscription box to keep him fed all year
- A selection of gourmet jerky so he can have hearty snacks on-the-go
- Game meat (fresh, frozen, or dried) to give him a taste of the wild
- Something homemade to satisfy his sweet tooth, like a pan of brownies or candied bacon
- Strong roasted coffee beans to give him the jolt he needs to start his morning
- A gift basket of fitness-enhancing foods, such as protein powder or meal bars
Every man needs to eat, and an edible gift will always put a smile on his face—once he’s done chewing, that is!
Manly Self-Care Products
When I was younger, I used the cheapest shaving cream, face lotion, and deodorant possible. But as I grew older, I realized that you get what you pay for. So I was startled when my husband and I moved in together and I saw the rusted can of dollar store shaving cream he was still using (though it did explain his razor burn). He works outside a lot and loves to hike and fish on the weekends, so his skin takes a beating. Yet he’s reluctant to use any of my skincare products.
That’s why last year for my husband’s birthday, I put together a gift package full of high-end men’s skincare products. I was afraid he might not be interested, but after a little encouragement and instruction (turns out he didn’t know what to do with face lotion!), he became a huge fan. These days, he’s almost pickier about his skincare products than I am!
Here are some of the self-care Secret Santa gifts for guys you can add to your shopping list:
- Heavy-duty hand lotion for guys who suffer from rough or cracked, calloused hands
- Face lotion with an SPF, especially if he spends a lot of time outdoors
- Extra-moisturizing shaving cream or lotion, which is key to preventing razor burn and cutting through rough facial hair
- Beard oil so he can groom his manliest accessory
- A fancy razor because the cheap drugstore ones are hazardous
- High-end deodorant/antiperspirant, so he doesn’t walk around smelling like a frat boy
Pack the items in a nice leather case so he can keep track of everything, and keep it out of the way if he’s a little insecure about taking an interest in the finer things in life.
The Ultimate Sports Night Out
To me, it’s a dirty old baseball. But to my dad, it’s everything. My mom had gotten my dad the ball, signed by one of his favorite Red Sox players, for one of their anniversaries, and it sat proudly on our mantle every year since. Like a lot of people, my dad was obsessed with sports, be it baseball, football, or NASCAR racing. As such, the most successful gifts for him had to do with his favorite teams and athletes.
But instead of trying to get your hands on a piece of expensive sports memorabilia, you can surprise your Secret Santa recipient with an experiential sporting gift. After all, the gift of an experience is something everyone can treasure, even those guys who say they don’t want anything. For instance:
- Tickets to the big game: Treat your guy with two tickets to a game of their favorite local sporting team. If you know them well enough that you’ll be their plus one, you can offer up your epic tailgating skills, too. Just make sure you bring plenty of food so they don’t have to get up during the game for a bite to eat.
- A night out on the town to watch a game: If you don’t live near a big stadium, offer the next best thing. Give your Secret Santa recipient a gift certificate to the best sports bar in town, with enough that they can get as many wings and refreshments as they need while they watch the game.
- Host the ultimate sports night: Throw your Secret Santa recipient a game night party at your house, where you take care of all the decorations and refreshments. Bonus points if you have a big screen TV and comfy couch!
Sports mean a lot to true fans, and giving your Secret Santa recipient a gift that speaks to their passion will make them your number one fan.
Selecting the Best Secret Santa Gifts for Guys
Shopping for the manly man in your life— whether it’s the burly guy from accounting who you were assigned to in Secret Santa or your outdoorsy husband—doesn’t have to be a chore. These gifts offer something for every guy, from the foodie to the bearded to the sports fan. And if you’re still not sure what to get, you can start a Secret Santa gift exchange on a site such as Elfster, where every participant can create a wish list that makes choosing their gift easy.
I won’t lie—when the holidays roll around, I still get nervous about finding my husband the perfect gift. But with these ideas in my back pocket, I can always get him something I know he’ll love. Seeing the smile on his face when he opens his present is what the holidays are really all about—bringing joy to the people around you.