Today I bring you the second of my three Christmas shopping posts with ‘thoughtful gifts for men 2019’. I haven’t had any help on this one because Mr MC insists that midlife men tend to already have whatever they need. However I’ve tried to go beyond the usual slippers and socks to come up with something a little different. A lot of the ideas are completely unisex so even if you aren’t buying for a man, they’re worth a glance.
I have to say that this is the one time when I don’t miss working in printed magazines. I remember feeling so frustrated because you had to choose items that would look good when they were photographed together on the page – which is why those features are often so disappointing. Anyway, I digress, let’s go through what I’ve found.
Thoughtful gifts for men 2019 – ideas that you can both enjoy
Weekend break subscription service
Mr MC and I usually plan a break away together as our Christmas gift to each other so I’m starting with my absolute favourite, a weekend break subscription service. How does it work? You fill in details of the kinds of trips you enjoy, ticking the destinations that interest you and dates that you’d like to travel and then the company does the rest. All accommodations are rated 8 or higher and all airlines are safe for travel so there’s no need to worry.
It sounds so exciting – we have a few uncertainties in our calendar over the next few months such as foreign exchange students coming to stay but if we didn’t, this would definitely be my gift to Mr MC (and myself) this year.
Cheese subscription service
A monthly delivery of approximately 600g of cheese that includes between four and five seasonal cheeses including tasting notes and a scorecard. Incidentally they do fabulous one-off boxes too, I’ve just ordered this one for our Christmas cheeseboard. Oh and you can buy giftcards too.
A regular date night
I’ve chosen this because so many couples I know make new year’s resolutions about going out together more often and yet they never get round to it. Membership of this society means that you get 25% off the bill (including drinks) at all kinds of restaurants across the country – from those with Michelin stars to Pizza Express. The best way to do it though is to start with a free trial so that you can work out if you’ll use it and so here’s a free four month membership to test. There are discounts on cinema tickets too so if it’s a night where you feel too tired to talk, you could still do a meal and a movie.
A piece of art
And here’s a quirky idea from a tiny new business that has been launched by the daughter of Darryll and Bettina, our friends in France. How about commissioning a giclée print featuring your pet? You simply upload a few pictures of your pet along with some details about his / her personality and she will create a print specifically for you. I’m tempted to order a Gary one but I think it might be a little too soon.
Here’s Frank again – do you remember him from our trip to the D’Azur?
Thoughtful gifts for men 2019 – bigger gifts
A book subscription service
Moving on to individual gifts, this is a lovely way of supporting a small but thriving independent bookshop. Each month they pick out an unusual book that will make you think and deliver it to you, often along with other goodies. There are subscriptions for older children too which would be a lovely way of maintaining a connection with a niece, nephew or godchild.
Darryll and Bettina had one of these when we were in France and all of the men were transfixed by it. No more broken corks, you simply press a button and watch it cut the foil and remove the cork for you.
I had problems with my teeth last year – two broke and needed expensive crowns fitting so I’ve been taking good care of them and using one of these sonic toothbrushes since January. The theory is that as well as cleaning your teeth, the ionic technology suppresses the bacteria that forms plaque too. Your teeth have that shiny, post hygienist feel after using it so I’m not surprised that it’s been winning quite a few awards.
An attractive smartwatch
I never understand why smart watches have to look so ugly – even Apple haven’t managed to design one that I’d want to wear. This one has the appearance of a chic, classic watch while still having the technology to measure your steps, access your music and even send a message to loved ones to let them know how your journey’s gone. You can also customise it using IFTTT technology – more details here.
A man bag
When we’re out and about Mr MC almost always has his camera bag with him which looks like a messenger bag. It’s surprising how many men stop him to talk about it, so here’s a leather one with the all important magnetic fastenings. I have to say I find it especially useful too because I can always make sure I have a pair of comfy flats with me now.
This is such a lovely idea, it’s a fusion of an old fashioned love letter and 21st century tech. The Lovebox was originally created by designed Jean Gregoire who went to study at MIT in the US leaving his fiancée behind in France. One person is the messenger, the other the recipient and keeper of the box. When a note has been sent, the heart on the box spins to show that it’s arrived. You open the box and the message appears on the screen. You can then send a shower of love hearts to your sender in return. I know you could just send a text but this is so much more romantic. Reviews say that people are buying them so that family members can send little messages to elderly relatives who don’t have phones too.
A small mother and daughter company that has been set up to repurpose old cashmere jumpers. They use them to make K’noodles (snoods) and you can specify the size and colours that you’d like your design to be made from. If you have cashmere jumpers of your own that have seen better days, you receive a 10% discount if you send them in to be made into your own K’noodle. They’re particularly snug for ski-ing, cycling, golfing and motorbiking. Two week order time.
Thoughtful gifts for men 2019 – smaller gifts
This is a nice little gift, a set of older and wiser pens… I’m sure he’ll thank you.
Continuing on from Friday’s mushions, how about a family set of car air fresheners? A wide choice of fragrances, orders need to be placed before 5th December for UK deliveries.
BBC Earth water bottle
For all David Attenborough fans, a collection of reusable insulated water bottles in a collaboration between Swell and BBC Earth. The images used come directly from the programmes and the bottles keep drinks cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 hours.
Ray gun trimmer
Soften the blow of hairy midlife ears and noses by investing in a ray gun trimmer. Just like an ordinary nose trimmer but much more fun – handy for peri-menopausal women on occasion too!
Trigger point balls
For those hard to tackle aches and pains, it can be incredibly satisfying using one of these to relieve knotted muscles while you’re sitting on the sofa watching TV.
Emergency tech kit
A handy little kit to keep in a work bag, especially for someone who travels a lot. It includes a cloth, a spray, a 2-in-1 USB cable and a cable tie.
I’m including this because Mr MC fell in love with it when he saw it – his words were “how satisfying would that be?” (and my thoughts were “how frustrating would that be!”). Anyway if you happen to know anybody who loves detail as much as my husband, here you go.
That’s everything for today, tomorrow I’ll be bringing you Chic Treats for Women – ideas for you to put on your own list perhaps.
Until then, just a quick Midlife Lately to get you in the mood for Christmas parties. As I mentioned we went to a rather chic Winter Ball in Kendal on Saturday night. It was organised by Banks Lyon jewellers who have had lovely independent jewellery shops in Lancaster and Kendal for as long as I can remember. We’d been invited to go along as guests of a local stockbroking firm.
We had no idea what to expect but it turned out that we knew lots of people there and so we had a really good time. I was worried that I might be overdressed because people don’t really do black tie in a big way around here, it tends to be very much little black dress territory. This event was an exception though, it was very glam so I was glad that I’d decided to wear my favourite party dress again. You’ll remember it from my 50th (forgive the harsh lighting but it was dark everywhere else).
Moving on to Mr MC, as you can imagine he loathes the conformity of black tie. He has a point, if roles were reversed and women were all expected to wear the same thing it would be very Handmaid’s Tale. So he was chuffed when, as a thank you for all his hard work at the Leeds event, John Lewis & Partners invited him to choose something from their newly relaunched menswear range. It meant he could stretch sartorial boundaries a little because they have some lovely black tie alternatives. So here he is, ready to go – and look he’s even wearing proper shoes!
In case you can’t quite tell, the jacket is navy with black satin lapels. He bought new dress suit trousers and repurposed one of his usual shirts. So thank you JL&P, he has a lot of formal events to attend as part of his presidential role and he’s going to feel much happier now.
I’ll finish with a rare photo of us together that one of our friends took as we were waiting to go in – I wish I could tell you why we were laughing but I haven’t a clue.
We have a dinner in Burnley tomorrow night to celebrate Lancashire Day. Mr MC is there as Chamber of Commerce President and should really wear his medallion of honour but he’s currently refusing – so we’ll see how that pans out. I’ll post on Instagram if we have time before we go in!
Disclosure: ‘Thoughtful gifts for men 2019’ is not a sponsored post
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