Meaningful Gifts for the Men We Love.

By: Jen Shoop

As a follow-on to last week’s meaningful gifts for women guide, today, I am sharing a round-up of meaningful, off-the-beaten path buys for gents. I’ve been stockpiling these ideas for weeks and weeks. My goal was to ferret out items that spoke to true craftsmanship and design — considerations Mr. Magpie values highly — and to go “deep” / “far” on slightly niche interest areas. As such, this is less of a generalist guide to men’s gifts and more a roundup of items that may speak to men (or women) passionate about specific undertakings.

01. LUVHAUS MOON DEMITASSE — Something special for the espresso lover. These are hand-made and one-of-a-kind. I love the idea of making the everyday just a bit more magical with a thoughtful gift like this. If you want to blow his mind (big splurge year), buy him an espresso machine to go with. There are lots of Reddit threads dedicated to this subject. Warning: they can be crazy expensive (one thread I was wandering around in kept praising the La Marzocca GS3. I checked, and it’s a $7500 machine).

02. FELLOW BURR GRINDER — Mr. Magpie’s treasured possession. He is a true coffee afficionado and has gradually upgrade and tinkered with every element of the coffee making process, from beans to grinding technique to filters to mugs. For awhile, he was using a manual grinder, because coffee nerds insisted that this yielded a finer, smoother cup of coffee (and was experientially superior), but this became a major drag every morning and any time we had guests over. We switched to this slick looking grinder and he’s never been happier. Looks handsome enough to keep out on countertop, too.

03. LOJEL ALL-TERRAIN BACKPACK SET — This cleverly designed kit enables your man to adapt the backpack to his needs. Has lots of smart storage / design elements, and looks slick enough to work for an office commute bag / travel bag if needed.

04. JAMES ANZICK KNIFE — “We spent two years working with Sitka, chefs, and hunters to design a professional-grade chef’s knife that was tough enough to spend its whole life outside.” This is the kind of design-centric but functional buy that a true outdoorsman / outdoor cook / outdoor explorer will appreciate.

05. RHONE COMMUTER PANTS — Mr. Magpie’s favorite golf pants. These pants are strangely marketed — I find it’s unclear what the purpose of these pants are. Are they performance material? Are they everyday pants? I think this is because some men like to wear athleisure all the time? Anyway, these are golf pants. They look polished but are made of performance material. Go with the classic fit unless your man is super slim / into super fitted pants. I think even the classic ones are slim-looking. Run TTS.

06. TART CELERY VINEGAR — “This is the one that started me down the vinegar hole. I wanted to make celery soda from actual celery. The short story of how I make this vinegar….. I buy fresh seasonal celery, blend it, inoculate it, then it hopefully turns into wine, and then vinegar. It’s monitored for the perfect balance of acid and pH. This vinegar is raw and alive so it will grow another mother if you leave it open. Store in a fridge after opening for the intended flavor profile.” Mr. Magpie will freak out over this.

07. JAMES CARABINER — Men have endless needs for these? These look slick.

08. GOLF ALIGNMENT RODS — For the golfer. Mr. Magpie loves these and keeps them in his bag while at the driving range. Bundle with item below and some new golf balls.

09. GHOST MICROFIBER GOLF TOWEL — Magnetic so can be clipped to golf club head, golf cart, etc.

10. FLYMEN FISHING CO FLIES — “A game-changing innovation for fly fishermen seeking to reel in trout. This miniature Game Changer-style fly is a highly articulated nymph, featuring four separate body segments that produce a lifelike, natural swimming action in the water.” Ordering these for my angler dad.

11. BLACKWING MATTE PENCILS — The pencil with the cult following. These would be a thoughtful, in-the-know gift for the type of man who pays attention to the quality of his notebooks, skincare, coffee beans, etc.

12. APPOINTED NOTEBOOK — I love all of the paper products from this D.C. based company so much. Handsome colors for men, too.

13. SWISSMAR OYSTER SHUCKER — Mr. Magpie’s favorite shucking knife, and he shucks a fair amount of oysters himself. Bundle this with an order of oysters to be delivered between Christmas and NYE.

14. AETHER STORM ALL-WEATHER JACKET — An upgrade for inclement weather.

15. GROVEMADE WOOD HEADPHONE STAND — Frankly, I want this. I love the idea of giving everything a proper home in your writing studio. You could bundle with headphones if he doesn’t already own a set. I’ve already talked your ear off about mine — I could not be happier with this purchase. I’m considering buying Mr. Magpie a set because I am just (!) so (!!) enthusiastic (!!!!).

16. LOJEL MEDIUM SUITCASE — I liked that this is a bit different from the standard Away. It has some clever design elements, too — “Designed with small spaces in mind, open this flat top system and have room to move. This spacious system ensures you can carry anything you need for your journey.”

17. LOWENSENF MEDIUM MUSTARD TUBE — I saw this and ordered on the spot for the stocking. Mr. Magpie and I are huge mustard lovers. Would be fun to bundle this with a few other brands (Lusty Monk was a rec from a Magpie a year or two ago and we were obsessed with it).

18. POLYFACE FARMS MEAT BOX — A great gift for a home cook; Mr. Magpie discovered this VA-based farm back back in his Omnivore’s Dilemma phase of culinary education, as it is featured heavily (and praised!) in the book. They have lots of options for different boxes / subscriptions.

19. HERNO JACKET — I’m obsessed with Herno jackets and would love one for myself. I noticed they have a whole line of handsome styles for men, too. This style is cool, too — it mimics the shape of a classic blazer.

20. COLLEGE PENNANT. This Etsy shop was a Magpie reader discovery, and contains vintage style pennants from lots of colleges.

21. WONDER VALLEY OLIVE OIL. Have heard amazing things about this Lake County-based California olive oil.

22. LAGUIOLE STEAK KNIVES. My uncle gifted us a set of Laguiole steak knives similar to these on our wedding day and we use them constantly. So attractive and timeless.

23. BENNETT WINCH LEATHER BRIEFCASE. A handsome investment for a major work milestone or promotion year. Equal parts rugged and sophisticated. For something less spendy, Mr. Magpie owns and loves this Filson.

24. AMARO ANGELENO — Only available to my Cali Magpies, this is “a California style bitter liqueur in the vein of the Italian classic Aperol.” Cocktail lover’s delight!

25. STREAMLIGHT MULTI-FACTION TASK LIGHT. Mr. Magpie bought himself a fancy flash light a year or two ago and has on multiple occasions waxed poetic about its utility, design, etc. This task lamp seems like a good buy for an outdoor grilling enthusiast / handyman / camper / etc.

26. HERMAN MILLER AERON CHAIR. You would not believe how passionate people are about this desk chair. If your husband is still languishing away in a crappy desk chair in his home office, this will be a huge upgrade to his daily life.

27. MACK WELDON HENLEY. Few things more attractive than a man in a henley? Transform your husband into a Yellowstone character with one $68 purchase. On the function side: this is made with Thermolite, meaning it warms like a sweater but wears like a tee.

28. HAAND SERVING PLATTER SET. These are the kinds of platters Mr. Magpie always gravitates toward — something broad and white with a slight lip to hold in juices / make a mound in the middle. He would love this handsome, organic set for serving up a big platter of potatoes with grilled chicken and/or sausage on top — very much his approach to cooking and serving. (Writing about that reminds me that this cookbook is excellent and has lots of dishes that would be perfectly suited to serving platters like these, as they usually involve some veg/grain and some meat piled on top.)

29. RADIUS OUTFITTERS GEAR BOX. “Perfect for any overland vehicle or SUV, we use this camp storage box in the Sprinter van for snacks, kitchenware, wine & tequila, pet stuff and more. The moveable velcro dividers allow you to create customized compartments and the quilted sides keep things quiet when you’re on the road.” Mr. Magpie would love this given how often we’re schlepping stuff around / stowing purchases in the trunk.

30. AXEL ARIGATO — These will set him apart in a sea of Veja, Nike, and New Balance.

31. HESTRA WAKAMAYA GLOVES — This century-old glove-making company knows its stuff about well-made gloves, and every man needs a good pair!

P.S. That time Mr. Magpie handed me an envelope that contained the world.

P.P.S. I won’t soon forget. (I love letter to Mr. Magpie.)

P.P.P.S. Something I especially admire about Mr. Magpie.

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8 thoughts on “Meaningful Gifts for the Men We Love.

  1. Some really fun and different ideas here (I am fascinated by that vinegar!). I am currently a bit stumped on a gift idea for my husband and would love to hear if you (or other magpie readers) have any bright ideas. I’m planning to combine his birthday (milestone year) and Christmas gifts into one and would like to get him something that he will use often and have for a long time, maybe men’s jewelry or some sort of leather good? I’d like to stay around $1,000. The obvious milestone gift is always a watch but he has a dream watch that is a few times what I would like to spend this year (maybe the next milestone birthday, ha!) and I’d rather not buy him a placeholder. Any suggestions for a men’s milestone gift that is in that tricky over 500 but not quite 5,000 range?

    1. Hi Ali! Thanks so much for entrusting us with this question! I am going to do some recon and will answer in an upcoming Ask Magpie post!!


  2. So happy to see the link to the college pennants! This shop used to be a staple at the flea market on the UWS for years but disappeared from the flea during Covid. I can’t say enough about how lovely the owner is and how good the quality of all of the pieces are. They were my go to gifts for years, at this point almost everyone in my life has something from them. This used to be the case (and hopefully still is), he was fantastic about sourcing pennants/memorabilia from less mainstream/popular colleges or universities. Thank you to the Magpie who made this discovery, so happy to have this shop back in time for the holidays!

  3. Ooh thank you for the AMARO ANGELENO rec. We’re all about the spritz life after returning from Italy. Purchasing now!

    We love our laguiole knives as well!! And they’re so beautiful.

    My husband has gone down a similar coffee journey (it’s kind of shocking how expensive the grinders can get and it’s a whole “thing”!)and he bought a JURA ENA4 this year. We *love* it and an interior designer friend purchased for us from crate and barrel and was able to use their trade discount. I wanted a super automatic as did not want to deal with having to tamp etc when I wanted espresso, and we didn’t want to milk attachment as that’s often the first thing to break and wanted more control over the foam. He pairs it with the nanofoamer and makes some of the best lattes we’ve ever had!! We’ll occasionally still head to our neighborhood blue bottle occasionally if we’re craving the coffee shop experience. And our favorite source of beans is a micro roaster called Zumbar from San Diego! Surprisingly reasonably priced and free shipping if you buy a large bag, plus super fresh beans. The Hummingbird is the most popular. We lived in San Diego for a long time and they were one of our favorites (you know they’re good when the building sign for the shop just says “coffee”).

    1. Yay! Let me know what you think about the amaro angeleno! I’m so intrigued. Wish I lived in CA so I could order for Mr. Magpie’s stocking!

      Thanks also for all the coffee intel. I know fellow Magpies will appreciate the detail!! Looking up Zumbar now…


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