The three most difficult recipients on my list are my dad, my brother and my husband. I think this is evidenced by the bazillions of gift guides for dudes that suggest dopp kits and whiskey stones. Guys, my dad likes ice, my brother isn't a big at home drinker and my husband got whiskey stones in 2005. They've all got dopp kits, they've all got wallets. So here are my weird selection of things on the table for buying dads and brothers and boyfriends:
The New York Times 36 Hours - David and I are always emailing each other 36 hour columns because even if we aren't going to visit Portland, Maine anytime soon, we like knowing where we should eat breakfast there.
The Farm by Tom Rob Smith - I worked my way through the NPR Reading Concierge this year and this was one of my favourites. Tom Rob Smith is always good for a page turner and I think my brother (with a recent interest in Scandinavia) would love this book.
Aran Sweater - Is there anything in the universe better than a hand knit, wool sweater? David and I bought lopapeysa while we were in Iceland this September and I knit another one when I got home. They are ideal fall and winter uniform and I'm of the mind that you can never have too many. I'm pretty sure everyone in my family has already done a fair isle option so a lovely, thick aran is just the neutral to mix up your wool sweater uniform.
Boat Print - Jack Donaghy said that "The horse is one of only three appropriate subjects for a painting, along with ships with sails and men holding up swords while staring off into the distance” and David agrees with him. I'm constantly buying art that I think is beautiful and David finds deeply upsetting. Maybe this ship print could make us both happy.
Down Vest - There is something about a vest that is sort of better than a jacket and also better than a sweater. It keeps your core warm while your arms are free to cool down as you run around the city. My brother, the metro commuter, walking and taking the trains are basically his only mode of transportation and I think a vest would be just the thing to keep him warm this winter.
Shower Radio - This is a true story: My mom is a hippy and I was born at home. The morning after my birth my parents listened to NPR, as they have every morning since my birthday and probably every morning before my birth going back to the time of NPR's creation. The first song my baby ears ever heard was The Morning Edition theme song. This is all to say that NPR is a big deal to my parents and I think my dad would like to be able to listen to NPR in the shower.
Yoga Mat - Also for my dad - in the past five years he's turned into a yoga maniac. He takes four classes a week, has gotten my mom and sisters into it and this is apparently THE yoga mat. The Very Best One.
Dogs Book - For anyone, because this chunky book of dog photos is a sheer delight and because my brother can't have a dog, my husband can't have any more dogs and my father has two dogs he loves insanely.