Friday, December 12, 2014

Gift Ideas for Hard-to-Shop-for Men

Sunday is my brother's 28th birthday (Happy birthday, Patrick!) and since he doesn't read this blog (aforementioned shoutout null and void), and his gift is supposed to be delivered today anyway, I thought I'd share what I got the guy:

A Man Crate

A what, you ask? Basically, a manly version of a gift basket, without the wicker or ribbons. The wooden crates (or ammo cans, or tactical bags) are packed with snacks, gadgets, gear, and even retro video games, if that's what your guy fancies. The novelty of these gifts really is in the packaging though. The wood crates are tightly sealed and shipped with a crowbar. You can even pay extra for "wrapping," meaning the good folks at Man Crates will completely cover the cardboard box your gift is shipped in with sticky, silver duct tape. You know, just for the hell of it, to make it that much more difficult for the recipient to open. Men like a challenge, yes?

Part of me wishes I had sprung the 10 bucks for the duct tape cocoon, but alas I cheaped out. I'm sure Patrick will still get a kick out of opening his Man Crate with a laser-engraved crowbar. There are tons of crates to choose from: jerky and meat gifts, personalized gifts, hot and spicy gifts, sport and hobby gifts, even, uh, zombie preparedness gifts (a fave of "The Walking Dead" fans, I'm sure). I ended up choosing the Slaughterhouse Crate (pictured at the top of this post), which is filled with six packs of jerky as well as snack foods.

My brother, like most men I imagine, is notoriously difficult to shop for. The fact that his birthday is less than two weeks before Christmas only compounds my gift-giving woes. (Full disclosure: I'm still trying to figure out what to get him for Christmas!) He doesn't love getting clothes, though I have successfully bought him shirts and sweatshirts in the past. He likes video games, but I never know which ones he already has (not to mention I don't like encouraging sitting in front of the TV or computer screen for hours on end), and his other hobbies (computers and shooting/fishing) are a bit out of my price point.

My brother always appreciates beer, though I learned he doesn't want to make it. I got him a home-brewing kit (by Mr. Beer) once and it just sat in the box, unused. For his birthday, I considered sending a beer gift and there are countless options out there, with buckets of beer and fun accessories (some customizable) from, Half Time Beverage, Craft Beer Connect, Home Wet BarGourmet Gift BasketsGift Tree, Red Envelope and Give Them Beer, which is based right down the road from us in Pinellas Park, Florida.

In case you have a hard-to-shop-for man in your life, here's a few of my favorite beer gifts that I may or may not get for my brother (a girl's gotta keep some things a secret).

Clockwise from top left: Best with Beer snack basket // Wooden Six-Pack Holder with optional engraved plaque // Conceal and Carry Bottle Opener Key Chain // Stainless Steel Growler (or, similar personalized option) // Beer Nut Snack Mix in a beer can // Humphrey Bogart Quote Leather Koozie // Mighty Magnetic Bottle Opener with optional initial engraving

And now I'll leave you with something completely un-manly, but I don't care: a photo of Patrick and I on my wedding day. Love you, bro!

Do you have any tough-to-buy-for guys in your life? If so, please share any tips and tricks or go-to gifts in the comments below!

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