Frosty the Snow-Man
Today’s gift guide is totally for the guys. After my gifts for ladies blowout last week, I knew I had to come up with 10 equally awesome gift ideas for the gentlemen in your life – husband, father, brother, son, in-law, you name it – there’s something here for everyone!
The Battle of Alberta: The Historic Rivalry Between the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames by Mark Spector – $32.95
My husband mentioned to me the other day that the Flames and the Oilers are tied for last in their division – making this already long-simmering rivalry that much more intense as of late. But sports journalist Mark Spector goes back to the heyday of their fisticuffs, in the 1980s when the two teams were duking it out for top honours, as two of the very best teams in the entire NHL. While it may be a far cry from how the teams are currently performing, Spector successfully captures a glorious time in hockey history for both teams, which is kind of neat for both those that lived through it or those that were too young to really remember it. Filled with insider interviews and anecdotes about the schemes, fights, and dirty plays, as well as plenty of never-before-seen photographs, this is a must-have read for any sports fanatic, particularly those living in Alberta.
Icebreaker Bodyfit ZONE Long Sleeve Half Zip – $129.99
If he’s an active fellow, gift him with something he can wear all year long – like this innovative base layer from Icebreaker. It’s made from a surprising material: merino wool. I say surprising because most activewear brands will use synthetic fabrics, but Icebreaker is committed to merino wool because it offers many of the same benefits: it’s breathable, keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer, offers natural UV protection, and it’s naturally anti-bacterial, meaning no smells after a hard run. Available in a few different hues, this body-skimming pullover has strategically placed merino mesh panels for extra ventilation, and is ideal for a whole host of outdoor activities – whether he’s hitting the slopes, running around the block, or going for a mountainside hike. Ladies – there are female equivalents for you too, if you want to get all matchy!
L’OCCITAN Star Gift – $76 @ L’Occitane
Every guy loves grooming products, but it’s rare to see a guy purchasing the good ones for himself. Ladies, I’m leaving it to you to be their skin salvation by popping into L’Occitane and picking up one of their gift sets specifically geared toward men – like this gorgeous collection featuring their L’Occitan scent. It’s loaded with four fragrant products inspired by the great outdoors in Provence – including a shower gel, shaving gel, after shave balm, and eau de toilette. This classy gift set also has a charitable benefit. It’s one of the products L’Occitane is selling this season where $10 will be donated back to Dress for Success, which provides women with the training and clothing they need to make an impression at their next job interview.
VSSL Supplies Kit – $99.50 USD
This Canadian gift idea is a fabulous choice for the great outdoorsman – or even just as a great backup to have stashed in your car. Nestled in a slim, waterproof tube, this compact and lightweight survival kit contains everything you need in the event of an issue on the trail, although it’s also useful to have handy for everyday hikers and campers too. First off – the tube is actually a flashlight. Inside are several other little containers that have everything you need to stay safe and supplied while experiencing the great outdoors. On the safety side, there are water purification tablets, a tiny first aid kit, trail markers, a whistle, and a fire starter and mirror. On the practical side, there is also a razor blade, a can opener, a compass, a candle, a compact wire saw, and rope. I’m only featuring the Supplies kit in this post, but VSSL carries a range of other tubes for different functions – including first aid, shelter, a flask, and humorously, zombies (it comes with a sharp pokey stick). You can also buy refill pucks for your core VSSL set, in the event you have to use some supplies up. I’m not the only one that loves this Canadian gift idea – it’s been featured in plenty of international magazines, drumming up tons of buzz for this great brand.
Style Boxes – $99 USD each @ The Tie Bar
Spiff up his style this holiday season with a cool collection of accessories from The Tie Bar. If you’ve never been, this is *the* place to get a fashionable assortment of men’s ties, bow ties, belts, socks and more at a great price. I love buying guy accessories because then you don’t have to worry about sizing – and they can mix and match with what they have already in their wardrobe. To make things extra easy, The Tie Bar has awesome Style Boxes available in a range of colour-coordinated hues. So if you know he favours a particular palette, pick a Style Box that either matches his fave colours or complements them. Each box includes an assortment of regular ties or bow ties, as well as pocket squares and socks, making this one dapper gift idea!
Bongo Speakers – $140 USD @ Otis & Eleanor
Looking to get the party started this holiday season? You needn’t look further than this amazing little bamboo speaker that packs crystal clear sound into a pretty little compact package. The speaker is created by fledgling Brooklyn-based brand Otis & Eleanor, which is committed to returning to an era of craftmanship, working with designers around the world to create distinctive, quality products. Bongo is one of their first products, and it’s a beauty. Made from lightweight bamboo, it’s easy to toss into your carry-on bag or purse to break out for spontaneous dance parties. It comes in tons of different wood and speaker fabric combinations, and it’s Bluetooth-compatible so you can wirelessly stream songs from your favourite devices. And with a long-lasting rechargeable battery, you just plug it into your laptop to get it powered up again. I was given one to test out and I loved it – it’s so small, I can stash it on my kitchen counter and play songs whenever, and the sound quality is superb!
Swingbyte 2 – $169 USD
If he’s a golfer, he needs this gift idea. It’s a super lightweight device weighing just 1 oz that you can attach to any club in your bag – putter to driver. The purpose? To record your swings. Swingbyte speaks to an associated app on your Apple or Android smartphone or tablet, giving you a real-time look at how you’re doing on the links. Everything from your club head speed and acceleration to your angle of attack are recorded, plus you get a full 360 degree view of your swing so you can check what worked on the ones that get you on the green, and what went wrong when you ended up in the rough. The app is also launching a new Virtual Coach feature that provides suggestions for attacking the next hole, as well as drills and lessons to help improve your game. It’s an amazing fusion of technology and skill that will only make him a better golfer.
Steam Whistle Products – From $2.95
Canadians and their beer go together like peanut butter and jelly. So it’s no wonder we’ve got plenty of indie brewers across the country doing their thing and doing it well. Take Ontario’s Steam Whistle Brewing, which has focused their brewing energies on making one spectacular beer from just four non-GMO ingredients, distributed across most of Canada through liquor stores, restaurants and bars. The cult favourite has gained plenty of fan love and critical acclaim – it’s nabbed a 2012 Gold Medal at the Canadian Brewing Awards and it’s a five-time winner at the Ontario Brewing Awards. If he’s a fan, then treat him to some fun Steam Whistle swag, decked out in bright green like their signature glass bottles and featuring the brand’s fun retro-flavoured style. There’s plenty to pick from – little stocking stuffers like bottle openers and pins, stylish picks like a retro garage jacket or toque, and unexpected picks like a bicycle bell or a phone case. When in doubt, you can also acquire Brewery Tour passes to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of their craftsman approach to beer.
MEC Station Shoulder Bag – $79
Technically this is a unisex bag, so ladies if you love it, feel free to snap one up for yourself too – but the rugged styling of this handy tote made me think it’d be an excellent gift for guys. Available in three neutral tones, this lightweight bag is inspired by designs from the 80s but is made with a decidedly modern fabric – it’s polyester, but 50% of that polyester is actually recycled and has a DWR finish. Inside, the bag features a fun printed fabric to give it a little more personality, and also has a padded back panel. The most impressive part of the bag however, is its versatility. It has stashable straps that can be used to carry the bag like a backpack, but it can also be used like a messenger bag (thanks to a removable strap) or like a briefcase. It’s an excellent pick for travelers looking for a great weekend-worthy bag, the water resistant fabric, high quality zippers, and front pocket are just a few more of the features he’ll love in this universally appealing gift idea.
Blumoo – $99 USD
Introducing the next generation of the universal remote. Yeah – you know what I’m talking about. Those clunky gadgets from the 90s and 00s that had a million and one buttons and were a nightmare to set up? Say bye bye to them and hello to Blumoo, a crazy device that syncs with all of the gadgets in your house (including those in cupboards and in other rooms) for one seamless experience. It’s shockingly easy to set up and works on any device. Meaning if you set it up once, everyone in your household that has a smartphone or tablet can access its capabilities. It’s a shortcut to those ‘smart homes’ people spend thousands of dollars on, and it offers plenty of other cool features, like upgrading your audio system to have long-range playing functionality or syncing with your cable provider to ensure you’ve got the right channels popping up on the app. If dad’s a tech whiz, music lover, TV binger, or simply just wants to never stare down the face of an overwhelming remote again, then he needs Blumoo in his life!
So once again, I have a crazy awesome prize package filled with gift ideas you saw in this post – with a value of over $1,100! If you win, these items will show up in your mailbox:
- The Battle of Alberta by Mark Spector
- Icebreaker Bodyfit ZONE Long Sleeve Half Zip
- L’OCCITAN Star Gift Set
- VSSL Supplies Kit
- Bongo Speaker
- Swingbyte 2
- Steam Whistle Socks, Bicycle Bell, Wall-Mounted Opener, 2x Brewery Tour Passes
- MEC Station Shoulder Bag
- Blumoo Universal Remote
Here’s how to enter and make this the best Christmas ever for him!
1) Important Note: You must be a subscriber to the Canadian Gift Guide to enter this giveaway. It’s as simple as finding ‘The Gift of Gab’ box in the righthand column and dropping in your email or clicking follow. Then leave me a comment below by December 19, 2015 telling me your top gift idea(s) from this list that you’d love to gift or receive!
2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around December 20, 2015 to select the winner, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.
3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible for this promotion.
4) Bonus Entries: Do as many or as few of the following as you’d like. For every bonus entry you rack up, be sure to leave a separate comment with proof (i.e. a link) or your bonus entries won’t count! For example, leave one comment to start, as per step 1 above. Then, if you decide to like one of the brands on Facebook and leave a wall post, leave a link back to your wall post in a separate comment below. And so on! Google is a helpful resource for learning how to link back to social posts online.
Random House of Canada – Is the publisher of The Battle of Alberta. Follow them on Twitter and Tweet about this giveaway, tagging them + me (@cdngiftguide) and providing a link back to this post.
Icebreaker – Follow the brand on Instagram and either Regram one of their photos, or share a photo from their site onto your feed (try a screenshot). Be sure to tag Icebreaker in your post!
L’Occitane – Follow the brand on Twitter and send out a Tweet about the giveaway that tags them + me (@cdngiftguide) and links back to this post.
VSSL – Like the brand on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall about who in your life would love a VSSL kit. You have no obligation to mention the CGG.
Otis & Eleanor – Follow the brand on Instagram and either Regram one of their photos, or share a photo from their site onto your feed (try a screenshot). Be sure to tag Otis & Eleanor in your post!
Swingbyte – Follow the brand on Twitter and send out a Tweet about the giveaway that tags them + me (@cdngiftguide) and links back to this post.
Steam Whistle – Follow the brand on Twitter and send out a Tweet about the giveaway that tags them + me (@cdngiftguide) and links back to this post.
MEC – Follow the brand on Instagram and either Regram one of their photos, or share a photo from their site onto your feed (try a screenshot). Be sure to tag MEC in your post!
Blumoo – Like the brand on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall about who in your life would love a Blumoo. You have no obligation to mention the CGG.