Chances are HIF isn't the only freebie site you traffic. One obvious difference you've probably noticed is that I hardly ever publish deals. I don't even think I mentioned Black Friday or Cyber Monday this year and I've never been big on posting HOT coupons or SUPER deals because…ugh. That's just not my cup of tea.
Part of the reason I avoid coupons and deals so much is because I don't want to publish 10 or 20 posts a day. Another reason is I don't shop that much! I rarely know if something is a great deal, so I don't like pretending to be an authority on something I'm not. And finally most deal blogs cover (A) female stuff (B) children stuff and (C) coupons. I'm not a woman, I don't have kids, and here's my dirty secret – I suck at couponing. I just don't do it. Like, at all.
It makes sense that so many sites cover those topics though. Most of you reading this are female and most people running deal blogs are as well. But here's the thing. I'm a dude. Without kids. And that's something I'm an authority at.
A common refrain from the women in my life is that guys are hard to buy gifts for. Particularly me. I find that crazy, because I'm incredibly thankful and appreciative for anything given to me. But I'm always told I'm hard to shop for because I like everything and I imagine that most guys in their twenties are the same way.
So I decided to put together a list of my favorite things just in case you too are having trouble buying gifts for the guys in your life.
These aren't deals. Chances are everything is selling for what it normally does, though I did try to provide coupons and matchups where I could find them. More to the point is that every single item below are things that I use in my daily life and absolutely love. They were either given to me or I stumbled across them by accident at some point. They're things that I would give my own brothers and as such have earned the Goob Stamp of Approval.
Whiskey Rocks – It's no secret that a splash of water brings out the flavor in good whiskey, but one thing I hate is when the ice melts and waters it down. Enter whiskey rocks. You store them in the freezer, throw them in your drink, and you suddenly have a cool but not watered down beverage.
Moleskine – These are hands down the best affordable notebooks I've come across. As I've mentioned before, I carry a pocket-sized, ruled, softcover notebook with me everywhere I go. They have a hardcover line as well, but their basic ruled notepads are the ones I'm in love with. When you have a memory like mine, this is how you make sure never to forget.
uni-ball Jetstream pens – Some of you may remember these pens from a few years back when they were given away as freebies. Well that's when I got hooked – they're fantastic. Though you can probably get them cheaper at your local store. Maybe not. To be honest, I buy them in bulk, but I doubt you'll want to pay $20 for a box of 12 pens.
Tide To Go – I'm a klutz and I hate doing laundry. Need I say more? I keep one of these in my messenger bag at all times and I can't count the number of stains they've saved me from.
Baseball – This is one of those things that you need to buy in a store. But having a real baseball next to my computer is such a stress reliever. I can't tell you the number of times I pick it up throughout the day and walk around my apartment tossing it to myself just to think or clear my head.
Yankee Candle – I don't care what any guy says, having a nice candle around is a good thing that we all enjoy. Whether we're entertaining a lady friend or trying to clear the air after a night of Mexican food. I personally like the Drift Away scent or many of the other wood/water related scents. Try to stay away from any food smells. Those always make me unnecessarily hungry. You get the best bang for your buck with the larger candles since they burn for over 120 hours.
SwissGear Computer Backpack – This backpack can take a beating while protecting your laptop. It's padded, it's got decent storage space, tons of little loops and belts if you need them, and what I use when travel. I also have a SwissGear laptop bag, which kind of looks like a messenger bag, but I got that in a Beijing market. Even SwissGear knockoffs hold up well!
Kindle eReader – I read voraciously as a child and then fell out of it for a while starting in high school. A few years back I had the opportunity to get a Kindle and my world changed. I've read more in the past three years than I had the previously decade. The one pictured above is the older model, which I prefer, however the newer model is cheaper. I actually had my original Kindle stolen this autumn, so I picked up a newer Kindle Paperwhite, which has built-in lighting. My only gripe is there's no buttons on it, so in order to turn the page you have to manually tap the screen and it's not that responsive.
Asics Onitsuka Tiger 81 Shoes – I never in a million years thought I'd rave about shoes, but these are the bees knees. They're extremely lightweight and supposedly made 30 years ago for running, though the only running I do is to the subway station a block away. Zappos has them on sale plus they have a million color combos and free returns. I do want to note that they breathe so well that you don't want to wear them in rain as they get soaked pretty quick.
Lands' End No Iron Pinpoint shirts – And finally we have dress shirts, yet another product that I never thought I'd care about. It's no secret that I can work in nothing but my underwear every day and the only person to find out is the mailman. However I like to actually get dressed every morning just so it feels like I'm going to work and I don't slack off. And Lands' End shirts are the best. You can pair them with slacks and throw a tie on or wear them out at night with jeans. Plus the no-iron ones never require ironing (just hang them in a steamy bathroom if they get wrinkled) and they never stain thanks to those Tide pens above.
So there ya go. All of the stuff listed above can be found in my apartment and I stand by them as good gifts. Hope that helps a few people this holiday season.