December is in full swing and so am I. It seems like there’s a get together every night of the week, not to mention all the extras that come along at Christmas: presents to buy, cookies to bake, halls to deck. I am getting up earlier and working later, but somehow my to-do list keeps getting longer! Where does the time go?
Amidst the holiday hustle and bustle, there is good news. All those get togethers mean I get to see folks I don’t see all the time, and that means lots of catching up and storytelling. Since my husband and the girls are out of town, my dad has offered to help trim the tree, hang the lights, and get the house in tip-top, A-1, Clark Griswold shape before everyone is home for the holidays (which will be, in and of itself, a Christmas miracle).
So what does that leave? Baking cookies and buying presents. I’ll enlist my daughters to help with the cookies, but the presents . . . they’re on me. And probably on you if you’re reading this. There’s more good news though! This year I have somehow (inexplicably) started my shopping early and I’ve managed to pull together a list of some of my favorite things. No, not raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens. Favorite gifts to give! If you aren’t quite sure what to get your father-in-law or your wife (it’s okay, I won’t tell) or your favorite four-legged friend, hopefully you will find the perfect little something in these Gift Guides.
[Note to members of my family who have been known to snoop around looking for clues to their Christmas presents: I’d stop right now if I were you. Remember: Santa knows if you’ve been naughty or nice . . .]
First off, a little inspiration . . .
And Now, Gift Ideas for the Men in Your Life
I spent the weekend at The Garden & Gun Jubilee, which was SUCH A FUN TIME (wait ‘til I tell you about the fried chicken, but that’s a story for another day). In addition to the food and the band and the dogs, there were goods from some of the best Southern artists and artisans you can find. And they were all in one pretty spot. Thank you, G&G.
One of my favorites: Billykirk, makers of fine leather and canvas goods. I’ve used a Billykirk card case for years and the leather is beautiful—it’s aged so gracefully. Billykirk has Southern roots, but their flagship is in NYC. So, imagine my surprise when I saw brothers Chris and Kirk Bray embossing and monogramming up a storm at Jubilee! They’re as nice as they can be, and they make beautiful things. Really beautiful things.
You’ll find something for everyone on their website (if that something is not already sold out). One of my favorites: the “change is good” valet tray. Perfect if you happen to know someone who empties the change from his pockets onto the dresser at the end of every day (??). $36 at billykirk.com.
Know someone who loves music? I do. For the tech- and music-loving guy on your list, check out Skybuds, wireless headphones that have incredible sound. They’ve won all kinds of awards and been written up in all kinds of magazines and, yes, they actually fit in your ear and stay there. They also work for your phone and come with a handy charger. But here’s what sealed the deal for me: When I was talking to one of the founders about them, he said “it sounds like the music is in your head.” Done. $249.99 at skybuds.com.
Do you have a hunter on your list? Or someone who likes hunting dogs and also bourbon? Pair this decanter set with a bottle of his favorite brown liquor and maybe you’ll get to help try them out, too . . . $86 at ggmercantileco.com
While we’re on the topic of outdoorsy types . . . For all of those guys who spend a lot of time on the water—fishing, paddling, boating—make them happy with super soft and sustainable gear from Free Fly.
I love supporting local companies and small businesses, and Free Fly is both of those. And I also love giving folks things they don’t expect to love as much as they do. The bamboo shirt from Free Fly will become the shirt they wear every day because it’s so soft, it fits so well, and it looks so good. I particularly like the Henley and right now the entire site is 25% off with code HOLIDAY25. They’ll thank you for it!
Last but not least, for the man who likes to cook, especially over an open fire: the Smithey No. 10 Cast-Iron Skillet. Just to be clear right up front: this is one fancy skillet. It’s hand-polished (right here in Charleston) to give it a super smooth finish, and it’s heavier than the standard Lodge, which means it retains and emits heat longer. I have a special place in my heart for my cast iron skillet (it was my grandparents’, from way back when they got married in 1927). I used to think “they don’t make them like that anymore.” But, now, they do. $160 at smitheyironware.com.
That’s all for now! Gifts for the Women in Your Life soon to come!