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  • The Best Christmas Gifts for Men (and Anybody Else) in 2023

    November 21, 2023 6 min read

    The Best Christmas Gifts for Men (and Anybody Else) in 2023

    Let’s face it: guys are tough to shop for. I know because I am one, and people always struggle to get me gifts. Over the years, I’ve found that the gifts I enjoy most are things I get to use on a regular basis. Quality tools and items designed to help me enjoy my day-to-day life make me happy and are always the best gifts. In this article, I’ll go over some of the best gifts that I’ve given or received that have made a real difference in someone’s life:

    Quality Shaving Gear

    Hear me out: shaving doesn’t have to suck! This one always gets a few weird looks, but using a good-quality razor really makes a difference. Pair that with some decent shaving cream and a brush to lather it, and you’ve got a delightful shaving experience! Using the right gear means a closer shave, less irritation, and a more enjoyable daily ritual.

    A basic shaving kit is a great way to get started, as they have all the hardware you need! The Kent of Inglewood Deluxe Kit is a great way to spoil someone you love with the best brush and a fancy travel bag. The Hoxton Kit is more minimal and might give you more room in your budget to add shaving cream and aftershave balm, essentials for a good shave. If you don’t think they’d be into a brush, you can always ease them in with a $50 Hoxton razor which offers an excellent shave without the fancy paraphernalia.

    It’s hard to go wrong with any of the shaving creams or aftershaves we sell, but Hoxton is a great place to start, offering a shaving cream and aftershave balm for around $50. D.R. Harris and Truefitt & Hill are worth checking out as they make more traditional English shaving products and have some phenomenal scents. 

    Beard Care Basics

    A shaving kit may not be so popular with your razor-dodging loved ones, but beard care products are sure to delight! Whether they already have a regime or not, you can’t go wrong with the three basics: a boar’s bristle brush, a beard wash, and a hydrating cream or oil. These three will be welcome additions to a beginner’s routine, and a handy restock for those already initiated into beard care.

    The Kent of Inglewood Beard Brush comes in at $34, perfect for everyday maintenance. What if they already have one? Sweat not; you can always have one more. I have one at home, one on my desk, one in my travel bag… If you’d like to go upscale, check out Kent of England. Their brushes last up to 50 years and are an absolute luxury. A great alternative & stocking stuffer would be Hoxton’s wooden beard comb.

    For washes & creams or oils, you can’t go wrong with Calgary-based brands Tremendous and Mammoth Beard Co. Both make some of our favourite products locally, using all-natural ingredients. Tremendous take more of an unscented approach, whereas Mammoth has a plethora of delightful fragrances ranging from Cedar & Mint to Sex & Cigars.

    Skincare Products

    While many men seem averse to proper skincare, the reality is that nobody ever taught us otherwise. Lots of the guys in my life have been shockingly receptive to a little face cleanser and moisturizer and have thanked me for introducing them ever since. My favourite is Schaf from Ontario, but Crown Shaving Co. is another stellar Canadian-made alternative. The average dude might not switch to a 17-step routine, but I can guarantee you can convince them to use something other than Head & Shoulders on their face. I’ve also noticed that guys often think aggressive scrubbing is essential to get their face clean; it isn’t. Rather than trying to break this habit, just get them a Konjac Sponge! These biodegradable body scrubbers have mild exfoliation properties but are pretty smooth and won’t damage the face the way a loofah would.

    A Handmade Axe

    Need I say more? Nothing will elicit a more excited response than a beautiful handmade axe! Even for those who don’t spend a ton of time in the outdoors, it’s a fantastic tool worth owning. I got my first axe when I lived downtown before I had ever camped. While the tool didn’t see much use for the first several years, the excitement I felt drove me to spend more time in the outdoors, learn to chop and stack my own wood, and I eventually got quite into camping as a result of owning that tool!

    Hultafors is the gold standard when it comes to axes. They’re forged from hard Swedish steel using old, proven technology and around 150 years of experience. In addition to newer axes, I have my grandfather’s Hultafors which is several decades old and still going strong! The Aby Forest Axe is the classic jack of all trades and should be everyone’s first axe. It can handle most jobs reasonably well and is essential on any camping trip. The Hult Splitter is a sturdy option for those wanting to build their own woodpile, while the Hultan Hatchet is great to take on hikes or keep in your trunk for car camping.

    A Lifetime Pocket Knife

    I’ve always felt it’s better to have a knife and not need it than to need one and not have it. I use my pocket knife for all kinds of small tasks: cutting up apples at work, opening packages, trimming threads on shirts, etc. A pocket knife is another super cool gift like the axe, but one they’re likely to use much more often. I love the clean, modern aesthetics and stellar build quality of the blades from the James Brand. The Chapter is my go-to, but the Ellis and Redstone are also on my list. Kershaw offers some slick blades at various price points, and I love the old-world European design of Opinel folding knives.

    A Camping Knife

    Venturing back into the outdoors for a moment, a fixed-blade knife is another super cool gift to give someone who’s into the outdoors. These can be used for whittling, campfire cooking, making kindling, even bushcraft and hunting! Whether it gets used every weekend or just taken out for the occasional hike, there’s a sense of confidence and pride that comes from owning a sturdy knife. 

    Helle has long been my favourite maker of fixed-blade knives. They were founded in Norway in the early 1900s, at a time when everyone had a knife. Better-off folks had two, one for work and one for wearing to church on Sunday, but poorer folks could only afford one knife, so they set out to make a blade that was as functional as it was pretty. Helle knives are precisely that: gorgeous and functional. The Eggen was my first and one of our most popular to this day, and the Steinbit is my favourite knife to take fishing. The Utvear is a sturdy choice for folks who are harder on their tools, especially if they’ll be hunting or camping with it.

    If you’re looking for something extraordinary, Calgary-based blacksmith Chris Green forges some incredible one-of-a-kind hunting knives. I have one, and it’s my desert-island knife, for sure. On the other side of the budget spectrum is Mora, another Scandinavian brand making some seriously affordable outdoor knives.

    Stocking Stuffers for Men

    Now that you’ve found an excellent gift, it’s time to finish things off with the best stocking stuffers. Speed round time:

    If you still haven’t found the right gift, we can help. Pop into the shop to pay us a visit, chat online for some advice, or check out our gift guide!