From Jess: I thought I’d give you all a holiday gift this year…one more Les Bunge post! When I asked him if he had time to write a gift guide he graciously said, “No problem, gotta keep my fans happy.” LOL and eye roll. So I hope this post will bring you a fraction of the joy it brings him:) I’d also like to state for the record that HE got all of us those matching outfits. Ok, enjoy!
The older you get the harder it is buying gifts because you’ve been buying for roughly the same people over and over. How many scarves or sweaters can you afford to buy? It’s a problem to be sure. Emily Henderson Design asked me if I would share my thoughts on this dilemma that we all face around the holidays when it comes to the older men you know. I did not refuse this editor’s request (not in her lifetime). Years ago, I saw my family ogling a new miter-saw with some fancy technology. I didn’t want it I already had two perfectly fine mitre saws. On Christmas morning I found this box, and inside was the mitersaw. I performed an Oscar-winning show of excitement. That day, I learned an important lesson. You should know your partner and listen to him or her. It has made my gift-giving so much easier.
The best gifts I received did one of several things. It made me look younger, feel better, made my life easier or was just plain cool. So let me see if I can’t come up with a few ideas that fit that bill.
Palma Derby | Costa Mid Top Sneaker | ‘Federico’ Oxford
What things make me more attractive? Well, I’m a shoe guy. I am partial to Italian-made men’s shoes. Italian men seem to prefer soft leather with a stylish design. Though I am not Italian you wouldn’t know when looking at my feet when I’m spending a night on the town. I am also very good at women’s shoes. This is because my twin sister was with me in the womb. I have bought many women’s shoes as a gift. My wife, my girlfriends, my friend’s wives. At birthday parties, it’s funny that not one man gets it when the gifts are opened. Interestingly, every woman in the room did. This made me appear more attractive to many women. This also led to me being invited to several birthday parties. HA! The most comfortable shoes were those by Paul Green and Freda Salvado. Mercedes Castillo, Manolo blahnik and Freda Salvador were the most stylish. Christian Louboutins (at least according to me) are the most sexiest. I don’t know how many men read EHD, but this information is for them. You should take note! Nordstrom Rack & Nordstrom has a lot of stock.
Magnanni has some stylish dress shoes that are perfect for men. (All the shoes above). I say dress shoes as if I wear them only when I’m out on the town. In truth, I wear them every day. They are comfortable and break in fast. Many people have commented on how much they admire my shoes. I don’t even notice because it is a habit of mine. It’s true, I do like the attention. Sandro Mocoloni shoes have the softest leather out of all my shoes. Style and comfort are not compromised by the shoes’ comfort. They are beautiful. Once again, people take notice. One time, I was told by a very attractive woman that her mother always thought a man who wore nice shoes was worth a second view. Never forget that. Ha!
Army Green Crocs
Before I leave, let me share a story. I received a pair Crocs recently. I said at some point in my life, “Never and I mean never would I wear Crocs”. But, as to not hurt someone’s feelings I put them on and went to the store. Did they make me appear better? No (but perhaps). Does it make me feel younger when I use them? No (but perhaps). They made my life easier. They didn’t (but they might have). Were they frickin’ cool? No (but maybe). Do I understand my confusion? Yes. No. It is easy to get on and off. These are great for quick trips around the garden or the hot tub, or even to the store. The army green of my first pair was a color I could have lived with. Did I just say first pair? Yikes. I guess I’m not in opposition to them any longer. Even old dogs can still learn new things.
The Chase Gingham Pocket Square, the Blane Blue Polka Dot Pocket Square and Neat Diamond Cotton Pocket Square| The Blane Blue Polka Dot Pocket Square | The Chase Gingham Pocket Square
I also like pocket squares. I’ve found many on this planet. Second-hand shops have vintage versions. One pocket square was actually a US map. I also have a Roy Rogers and a Howdy Doody. PSC Clothing (Pocket Square Clothing), located in Los Angeles, is the company I go to when buying new pocket squares. They have a fashionable and unique outlook on them. I also like their clothing. Can’t go wrong there.
Rice Bow Tie | English Satin Point Bow Tie
What makes me happier? When I am complimented for my clothing, that’s what makes me feel better. I have a few bowties and matching pocket squares in goose feathers. I own one black and one white. I’ve never worn one of them without receiving a lot of compliments. These are truly extraordinary. These are made by Brackish, a South Carolina-based company. This holiday season, I’m going to get a colorful one. It’s amazing how many different colors they come in. And, though I’ve mentioned it before, I always get complimented on any kilt I may be wearing from Utilikilt. Seattle is the home of this company. Love them.
The Classic Straight Leg Jeans – Joe’s | Blake Slim Straight Jean – Hudson
A pair of jeans is always a winner. Old men like me tend to stick with a certain brand and don’t buy anything else. That’s certainly true for me. I wear two different brands. One is Hudson and the other is Joe’s. Both are available from Nordstrom. The Joe’s brand is more of my everyday wear. The fit is a bit looser, and they are more comfortable to wear while still looking stylish. Hudson fits slimmer and is dressier. I wear the “Blake” in the Hudson brand. They fit well (my butt also looks good). Both brands have a flexible waist (best invention). I hate spending hours trying on jeans in a store. I’m sure that is why most men find one or two brands and stick with them. Find out what he likes. Find out what they like. Sometimes that’s enough to get us to change. If you say we look good, we can’t resist.
What’s that? I just found another shoe that I really liked. One of my female customers was wearing a pair that looked great on her. Seeing that I’m a shoe guy I had to inquire. Kane Footwear makes them. The holes make them look like Crocs, but they are not. I know this because I purchased a pair myself. They are You can also find out more about. They provide great support, which is what I need since I walk a lot. Plus, they look amazing. Gotta admit I feel kinda hip in them( don’t worry it will be short-lived ). Ha!
Second Day Hair Creme
There’s another product that I’ve been using for 15 years that helps me look my best. It’s called Second Day. Unite makes this hair cream. I am lucky to have a full head of hair (thanks, Dad) but when I wake up it’s pretty scary and all over the place. Second Day will take care of it. Second Day also helps with my thin hair. There’s nothing worse than having to look like a member of the Monkees at 73. Yikes!
Gold Magnifying Glass| Gold Magnifying Glass
Most things that make my life easier are also pretty frickin’ cool. This is a double-dip. I have a Cyan Design Paintbrush Magnifying Glass. It’s not only coolio but unfortunately helps me immensely (getting old is a full-time job). It was the best gift I’ve ever received.
Wooden bread bow for Pantry
I also have a Farm Pottery bread-slicing blade. This knife is very useful after I got used to eating one baguette per day in Paris. I’m still doing a baguette a day. Baker and Cook is a wonderful bakery in Sonoma. In the past, when I frequented bars frequently, my drink was always waiting for me. My baguette is ready when I enter a bakery. Don’t know if that’s good or bad.
Herb Harvest Strip Tool
Bare bones also produces an herb stripper. It’s a simple gadget but saves time in the kitchen. Shockingly, I have gotten into gardening…sort of. Must admit there is something about having your hands in the dirt that I didn’t understand before. Amazing!
Garden Hose and Holder
Garden Glory sold me a cool garden-hose and a hose-holder. Mine is called “Night Rider Kit “. It’s kinda expensive but really good looking on the front of my house.
Dog Puffer Jacket
If you are lucky enough to have a pet dog in your family (I’ve got a brand new puppy, Babe! Blueberry Pet does make a dog jacket. Who knew?
You should have chickens (I have 5, yikes!) Grubbly Farms offered me a chicken feed subscription. It’s easy and shows up every month. The quality of the product is unmatched.
Frigidaire Stainless steel Ice Maker
There is a great tabletop ice machine for RV owners. There are a lot of brands. I own a Frigidaire. I have an Airstream, and I used to always buy bags of ice at the campsite. The ice maker is the first thing that I plug in. You’re set for the long haul. It’s really nice to have. Also, when I have dinner parties or the like I’ll set it up on the patio with the drinks so people can serve themselves. This is really cool, and it simplifies my life. Yay!
I don’t want to be too personal, but every man needs underwear. (With the exception of Scottish regiments). Boxer briefs are the best invention of the modern man’s wardrobe. It is hard to imagine how we ever lived without them. I have tried many brands in the past. Calvin Klein is the winner. These are silky and soft. They are durable and provide excellent support. You look more athletic wearing them. Who doesn’t like looking like a jock? Even a man as old as me.
I hope you got some good ideas. I’ve always been of the opinion that “outside the box “ is always better than “dull in the box“.
Krazy Klean Toilet Cleaner
Before I leave I want to give you a present. I live in a region of the nation with hard water. I had a problem with a ring always around my toilet bowl. I was cleaning it almost every day. If I had visitors in my house, I knew that when they used the facilities in my house they thought they were using a gasoline station on Route 66. It was a nuisance. I then stumbled on a product called “Krazy Klean“. I’m pretty sure I saw it on TikTok. Here was this person who said she hadn’t cleaned her toilet in a year. Really!? I was sucked in and bought some. You are instructed to thoroughly clean the bowl using a pumice. Then you drop this cartridge in the tank and you’re done. I did it six months ago. My toilet is still sparkling. It is incredible. Who knew I would be so excited by a toilet bowl cleanser? Not I.
Plant Paper Toliet Paper
And, as long as we’re in the powder room let me tell you about another product. I was at my niece’s wedding. When I used their bathroom, I noticed that the toilet paper looked different. The toilet paper was beige and had a soft texture. I visited their gift shop the morning after I had left to see if I could buy the bathrobes I saw in my room. The burnt orange colour was appealing to me and I thought I could use it in my hot tub. I noticed they sold toilet paper in a box, so I bought them both. When I got home I googled the brand “Plant Paper“. The website explains a lot of things I didn’t know about toilet paper. This environmentally and ecologically safe product sold me. I promise you, you’ll like these two bathroom products.
I didn’t mean to end this gift guide in the crapper it just sort of happened. I hope that it was okay.
One more thing, don’t forget about you. I went to Iceland recently to witness the Northern Lights, Merry Christmas to me. Do something nice for you. You are the only one you can buy a present for without needing a gift receipt. Ha!
I wish you all a happy and prosperous Holiday Season.