I've always been something of an overachiever when it comes to holiday gifts, especially for the people I really care about. I don’t know if I’m trying to impress people or I just really want to make them happy, but it’s rare if I’m not going over the top. When I give a gift and it's received with stunned silence, I kind of don’t know if they are super impressed or if I’ve scared the shit out of them and they are planning their immediate exit from my life.
Speaking of scaring the shit out of someone with a present, it's very easy to do with a guy you've just started dating. In my experience, the thing that works is to show your S.O. that you're thinking of them but not thinking of nothing but them. He's probably only going to buy you a Chipotle gift card anyway, and there's nothing wrong with that other than the fact that Chipotle = explosive diarrhea in recent months.
Here are some gifts that are personal without being too personal too quick.
Atlas Coffee Club, subscriptions start at $14 a month
I could never be with someone who does not share my affection for stimulants (coffee) and depressants (wine). Sorry, everyone else. I also think that when you're dating someone new, what better way to stay on their mind than with a recurring gift? Each month subscribers receive specialty-grade coffee from a new country, coffee facts, tasting notes, and recommended brewing method.
Pretty much every guy can use a pair of jeans, and shopping for men for holiday gifts is actually appreciated, whereas a guy shopping for you usually nets out as an epic fail. He will like these super-soft jeans because they'll fit in with his denim collection (they will pretty much fit into any guy's denim collection...see the trick there?), plus if you know anything about 7 jeans, the stretchy material tends to be very flattering on guys' legs, so it's a bonus for you too.
Getting close to someone who smells good is always a plus, and Heretic’s Pistol Whip is unisex (meaning you’ll smell good if his scent ends up on you).
Sea Bottle, $37
Weirdly, I’ve been in more than one guy’s bathroom and not found hand soap. Do they not wash their hands? Is there some sort of hidden compartment? Whatever the case, soap may sound like an odd choice, but this soap is actually a great choice: It’s not girly, it's totally something you might give to a guy you just started dating to make his bathroom look nicer, it helps the oceans…! Who wouldn’t want to date a guy that helps the oceans?
Skyroam, $99, includes three day passes
I enjoy talking about porn and about gadgets, and for this reason, I tend to get guy speak, especially when they're talking about gadgets that make their lives easier. Does your new guy travel a lot for work? If you're like me, you probably want him to still be able to text you dirty dick pics. Skyroam is a personal Wi-Fi hotspot that will let him stay connected as he roams the globe, without him having to deal with expensive roaming fees, switching out SIM cards, unlocking phones, or swapping rentals in every country.
iPic Gift Card, $25 and up
iPic theaters are fancy. If you've never been, it's like seeing a movie in first-class seats: you know, the ones that retract alllllll the way back into a bed. They also bring you first-class food (menu: crispy rice, mahi mahi fish tacos, truffle fries, something called "Cheesecake Brulee"), and DRINKS. Yes, booze in the movie theater. It's also a covert way of getting him to take you on an awesome date.
RunLites Full-Length Fleece (LED light units included), $40
If he’s a runner, he'll dig RunLites, gloves with built-in flashlights designed to keep him safe while participating in low-light activities, without limiting the use of his hands. In my opinion, they can be used for other things too, like a glow-in-the-dark silent disco.
Introduce me to a woman who doesn’t have a musician fetish or a man who doesn’t have an inner rock star. Rock 'N' Rolla Jr., a briefcase turntable, has three-speed playback (33/45/78) built in with selectable automatic stop function, two high-quality full-range dynamic speakers, headphone and external speaker outputs, USB encoding to record and back up vinyl directly to a memory stick, and three input options for connecting digital devices.
Petcube Play, $200
My dog is my everything, and I gravitate toward men who likes pets (if they don’t, they probably don’t have a soul, right?). Does he love his dog too? Petcube Play is the next-generation of that creepy Petcube Camera where you can spy on your pet and/or real-time play with them remotely from a smartphone.
You don’t have to be a man to love a hunk of meat, but if your guy does love meat, this is a great gift to share with him. Omaha Steaks has all sorts of gift packages that mean you can gift him with a fancy dinner — without having to go out or wear anything but pajamas. For example, the Tasteful Gift includes filet mignons and top sirloins, Omaha Steaks seasoning, juicy pork chops, potatoes au gratin, and even caramel apple tartlets for dessert.
There’s an added benefit to getting your new S.O. a fancy shave kit: If things head south, you can use it to murder him?
Rocketbook Wave, $27
The Rocketbook Wave lets you write with a traditional pen and a paper notebook; then, all "beam me up, Scottie" your notes go into the cloud using your smartphone. You can also erase your notes using your microwave oven and reuse your notebook. Seriously.
Pals Socks makes these werewolf and zombie socks that are great for staying warm and cozy while you binge-watch late-night zombie and horror movies together. They're mismatched on purpose because it's fun to be with someone different.
This wool cable-knit sweater will keep him warm throughout the holiday season and you won't have to think twice about what he's wearing on New Year's Eve if you make it his Christmas gift.
If you expect cocktails on demand, as I do, this is how you help him be better at making them. This jigger slides up and down to help adjust measurements so the at-home bartender can add precise amounts of each ingredient to his drinks.