Friday, December 9, 2011

Nurture Your Family - Gifts For the Guys

Why are men so hard to shop for? Growing up I remember always being stumped on what to get my dad for Christmas.  He usually ended up with dress socks, Hanes white t-shirts and a few new ties (the Hypercolor shirt we got him in the late 80's went directly to the bottom of his drawer and never reappeared). Although practical is always good, especially went it comes to boys, here are a few ideas that just might surprise him.

Band of Brothers / The Pacific Special Edition Gift Set, $82.99,

Thanks to my husband, I have seen every episode of HBO's Band of Brothers and The Pacific series (produced by Steven Spielberg & Tom Hanks) multiple times. This new Special Edition gift set released for the holidays features both series in their entirety and many bonus features including a documentary of the post-war lives of the veterans in both series, intimate portraits of the Marines featured in The Pacific and footage of the making of both shows.  Even if your man isn't a history or war buff, he will love watching the incredible battle scenes and identify with many of the characters who were everyday men before they were entangled in World War II.  Their bravery and dedication are inspiring and are a reminder of all we have to be thankful for. You can watch trailers for Band of Brothers and The Pacific by clicking on their titles.

From Top: Adidas Century Mid Vulc, $39.00; Adidas AdiRise High-Top Sneaker, $95; Adidas Dragon, $70, all available at

Practical (he loves) and stylish (you love), a pair of new shoes is a great way to start the new year and is probably something he will fail to get for himself.  My husband's shoes have had holes in the sole for the last six months and he still wears them almost daily!  Just look at what he is currently wearing and that will steer you in the right direction.  Barneys ALWAYS has a great selection of men's tennis shoes in all styles and colors. These are a few of my favorites.

Beer Making Kit, $39.95,

For the beer-loving man, Williams-Sonoma has a great starter kit for brewing his own beer at home.  With a choice of either fresh summer wheat or India pale ale, this kit comes with all the speciality equipment he needs, including the grains, hops, and yeast.  The process takes 17 days to complete and he can reuse the kit over and over again. If you really want to surprise him, secretly invite a couple buddies over for a taste-test of his first brew.

Craftsman Clench Wrench, $29.99,

If your man is the handy type, this new Craftsman Clench Wrench may be the perfect gift.  I won't pretend that I understand its full capability, but the reviews have been awesome.  It is the first collapsible, ratcheting, and adjustable wrench with arms that fold in like a pocket knife and can be locked into dozens of positions to increase leverage in tricky spaces.  It comes in two sizes (6 and 8 inch) and can tackle 50 different sizes and kinds of bolts, including wing nut, eyebolts and hooks.

Sony Streaming DVD player with WiFi, $99.99,

If your man is constantly on his IPod, IPhone and IPad all at once, you might want to consider this Sony Streaming DVD player with WiFi.  It streams in HD movies, T.V episodes, videos & music from NetFlix, YouTube, Pandora, Hulu and can grab content from your PC and stream it to your television.  There is also a USB port so you can watch your family videos and view photos.  Even cooler - your IPhone, IPod Touch or Android phone can become a wireless remote for the player with a free downloadable app.  Although it is a gift for him, I have a feeling you will be watching your favorite shows on Hulu before the new year.

Steve Jobs, By Walter Issacson, $17.87,

This engaging book, based on 40 interviews conducted with the visionary Apple founder over the course of two years as well as friends, family, and colleagues, tells a riveting story of a man who had a passion for innovation and a tireless drive for perfection.  Although he cooperated with the book, Jobs made no subject off-limits and encouraged all those interviewed to speak candidly about their experiences and perceptions of him. Many who have read this describe it as a page-turner full of interesting anecdotes and stories of a fascinating man who revolutionized the way we live. The best part - you can borrow it when he is done.

ESPN's 30 for 30, Volume 1, $38.99,

For the sports fan: An unprecedented sports documentary series, ESPN's 30 for 30 tells 30 of the greatest sports stories of the last 30 years. Muhammad Ali, Marion Jones, Reggie Miller, Len Bias, Allen Iverson, Michael Jordan, and George Steinbrenner are just a few sports legends who are subjects of these insightful documentaries. From the story of the random Cubs fan who caught the foul ball in game six of the 2003 NL Championship to the incredible story of NBA players Drazen Petrovic and Vlade Divac, former best friends who found themselves on opposite sides of a deadly civil war, each documentary is an engaging portrait of great moments in sports history.  One of my personal favorites is "Straight Outta L.A.," in which Ice Cube explores the unlikely marriage between the Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles rap culture and discusses the fascinating history of the rap scene in 80's L.A. (Full disclosure: It was produced by our dear friend Jon Weinbach and I am so proud of his incredible talent!).  There are so many wonderful stories in this series, I guarantee you will end up watching most of them too.

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