*Disclaimer! Brian Henderson had NO involvement in the creation of the title of this blog post.
In the third grade I asked for a plastic Rambo with a tripod and attached grenade launcher. Can’t really believe that they made kids’ toys based on an R-rated movie like Rambo III, but hey, it was the 80s. I wasn’t much of a gun guy, even back then, but something about Sly Stalone’s lubed-up biceps cradling that thing in the commercial really made me want one. I was surprised to find that cool gun beneath my Christmas tree by either my parents or Santa. I’m told I was elated. I’m told I couldn’t wait to play with it. It’s been a while since I played with my toys. I can’t remember what I did that morning. I think I ran out to the garage for something, perhaps orange juice? After returning home, 20 minutes later, it was Christmas. I was in a panic when I saw the toys and paper wrappings scattered around. “Was it Christmas already?” I frantically asked over and over again, my eyes in a dizzy glaze. My parents were obviously worried about my condition and rushed to the ER. It was there that it was discovered that I had bumped my forehead while in the garage, and suffered a fairly bad concussion. Our Labrador may have knocked me to the floor. But the result was a kid who couldn’t remember Christmas. All the joy and excitement that I’d experienced earlier that morning had been forever lost down a black drain of amnesia. Sad, right? The moral of this story is that you should always record your children opening their presents, so they can remember it when they suffer concussions. Give people gifts they will remember. I’ve composed this list of memorable gifts, which will hopefully help you with the man in your life. Personally, I’m going to add a football helmet to the top of my list and wear it all morning long. Here we go.
In Oregon, wearing layers is essential, and a weatherproof jacket is also a must. This is my go-to layer when the weather starts to change in early fall. It’s light enough to layer beneath but warm enough to throw over a t-shirt if that’s all you need. Big fan.
Speaking of Oregon, it’s constantly raining up here in the winter and demands some good waterproof shoes. It’s hard to find ones that both look good and get the job done, but these Danner boots pull it off. I love the retro vibe of these boots. Plus they’re very warm and comfy.
10-Year Full Zip Hoodie
I spend most days typing away on a laptop and usually go between being too hot and too cold, so I’m a fan of zip-up hoodies. This one lives up to the name, it’s rugged but soft and very well-made. I think it could go 10 years, unlike some cheaper hoodies I’ve had in the past. It was well worth the price.
Legend™ Sweater Shirt
I’ve always had fantasies of being a lumberjack, and this shirt helps me feel like I just might be one. The blue and white plaid is so good, and the fabric is so soft, it’s a contender for the “I’d wear this every day” award.
Seaboard Soft-Knit Shirt
J. The best is J. This shirt is always well-made, comfortable and will never go out of fashion. Excellent winter shirt.
Cardigan sweater with Merino wool blend
J. Crew cardigan I bought last fall. I wear it every week. It’s so cozy, it’s like wearing a blanket. Sometimes I’ll just wear sweats and slippers and toss this on with my morning coffee and I feel like a super dashing professor of literature or something. And when I wear it out, I def get jealous glances from other dudes like, “Why can’t I pull off a chunky cardigan?” Well, you can! It’s easy to wear!
Manawan™ II Slipper
These slippers are the best I’ve ever owned. They keep my feet warm all winter. Sorel slippers are known to last a long time.
Ray Jersey Hooded robe
Not a guy who wears a robe. Never was. I was a sweatshirt guy until I got the vibe from this guy. Now I’m a robe guy.
Men’s Ankle & Calf Sock Gift Box 12-Pack
Socks make a great gift. But not always. If they’re bad socks, it’s a bad gift. I love Bombas socks and would be happy to receive more if Emily was looking to fill my sock collection.
Air Jordan 1 Low SE
Look at these. Classic, throw-back Jordans that aren’t too flashy for a lame dad like me. These are always getting compliments from other dads.
I’ve made too many hats using this customizable hat company, it’s a problem. I made some with our dogs’ names on them, I made some with the kids’ elementary school, and even the local high school’s mascot for when we go to their games. I’m a fan of the “dad hat” version, it fits well and is super well made. I would love a custom-made hat for Xmas, you can write whatever you want on it, like “Superdad” or ‘My Wife Made Me a Hat” or “I Have Flatulence”… anything!
Pants with Front Side 5-Pockets
High-quality pants for everyday wear. These pants are really nice colors. I’ve been steering away from jeans lately and enjoying some classic chinos. Here are some of my favorites.
This color beanie is my favorite. I’m changing my mind.
We’ve started to do more camping up here in the PNW, and have found that normal coolers just don’t cut it. The real thing is needed to keep those sodas, ahem… ice-cold for the entire trip. YETI’s performance is hard to match.
Spellbinder Parka Jacket | Caliber Parka
While camping, you’re going to want a warm jacket, and these two have served me well. The first is the lighter Spellbinder Parka by Howler Bros. It’s THE coolest looking parka. I’ve got the blue one and get asked where I got it all the time. And when it’s super cold out, I toss on my Caliber Parka from Flint and Tinder and I’m cozy and warm all day long. This is my go-to parka all winter long, it’s rugged and tough but has some stylish details that set it apart.
Allegheny Fleece Sweatshirt
The winter is about snuggling up by a crackling fire. This fleece shirt is perfect for that. The pattern looks cool but not too flashy. I have always been satisfied with this brand.
Pacific Crest Weekender
The set is amazing. It’s masculine without losing style and the matching dopp kit makes any guy look like he’s got his stuff together.
Greenpoint Canvas BBQ Apron & Grilling Utensil Set
This is an easy choice. This apron offers me everything I want: I like to grill, look cool and hate it when burger grease gets all over my pants. It’s a nice apron, with tons of nice little details, and it comes with some BBQ tools? Come on. It’s a home run.
Ooni Koda 12 Outdoor Pizza Oven
We recently bought this Ooni oven and made pizzas for several families. It’s simple to use, just hook it up to your BBQ propane, then make your dream pizza. It’s also a great family activity – keeps the kids busy and interested in cooking. The pies are ready in just two minutes. It’s a big hit at our house.
BOGS Men’s Ultra High Tall Insulated Waterproof Work Rain Boot
This one’s for anyone who’s got pigs or alpacas, or just for some good old-fashioned yard work. These Bogs keep my feet dry and warm all winter, even when I wear them without socks. They’re way more comfortable than I anticipated, which has made doing my chores much more pleasant – I’m stepping in pig poop all day with these things!
A Mustache, A Pipe & Pretentious Behavior Candle
As some of you know, I’m in the middle of getting my masters in creative writing, working on a novel that is (hopefully) approaching the finish line. I like to keep a candle burning at my desk when I’m writing, it makes me feel all artsy and pretentious, which is why I love this candle and its sense of humor. I’d love this in my stocking.
Men’s Essential Pocket Tee
I think I’ve put these pocket tees in every gift guide I’ve ever written, but they’re still my favorite. They’re tight in the right places, loose in the others, and are super-duper soft. They’re literally all I wear, and they’ve expanded the colors so you can get one for every day of the week!
Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger 6-inch Boot | The Original Stretchlace
This is an expensive pair of shoes but it’s worth the money, I think. These boots will last you a lifetime. I’ve worn mine in the rain, the snow, the bright sun, and they look as good as the first day I put them on. These boots are amazing. And here’s a little hack if you get the boots – put in pre-tied stretchy laces so you can just throw them on without bending over to tie! It’s the best!
Portable Pickleball Net System
The Hendersons officially joined the pickleball party. You may hate the sound of the balls being hit, but you’ll love how easy it is to learn and how quickly kids can pick it up. This is the net we have and it’s great, you can set it up in minutes on your driveway and get playing!
Four-Paddle Pickleball Set
But you can’t play with ugly racquets, so get some good-looking ones here. I especially like the 70’s retro-inspired themes.
Enjoy your gift-giving and I hope these tips help!
Sara Ligorria Tramp, photographer.