You know, as a man, the holidays are still fun. Making and giving presents is way more fun that receiving them, because that few moments of surprise aren't what the gift is all about. It's the hours and weeks of crafting, tasks to keep time flowing in the months leading up to the big holiday at the end of the year. All the same, we all often forget about the stockings.

My parents made it a holiday tradition to gift their kids these little Lifesavers christmas books every year. It looks like a book, but has like eight rolls of Lifesavers on the inside... you know what I'm talking about? I'm fairly confident that the first time we got them, we were at our grandparents house for the holiday and those are what they were able to score at the Love's gas station on christmas eve. A Kelso family tradition was born.

While I love that little tradition, I know in my heart, I cannot give that kind of a stocking stuffer to my sisters husbands. Men don't give men candy, and niether should you. If you want to really gift a cheap-but-awesome stocking item this year, here are a few ideas.

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    Good Socks

    Before you say "Nobody wants socks for christmas!" Shut it. As we men grow older, we appreciate the small things like really nice socks. I'm not talking the twelve pack for a dollar type you get at the grocery store, I'm talking merino wool socks. Soft as cotton, natural, and comfortable as heck.

    I know it's too late to order online in time for christmas, but I'm putting this link here as an example of what you're looking for. Locally in Lawton, stop over to Red Wing Shoes. Their socks are legit amazing, affordable, and have a lifetime warranty.

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    Shades

    There's nothing more perfect that cheap sunglasses. There's not a moment in time that you'll find me outside without some shades on. Why? Because I'm cool like that...... Seriously, I'm more concerned about protecting my eyes and ears than anything else on my body. Bones heal, chicks dig scars, but your vision and hearing are gone once they're gone.

    While I don't buy the ultra-cheap shades, because ultra-cheap means crap, I buy right in that sweet spot of good-enough. UVA and UVB blockage, polarized for seeing fish, and I prefer a brown lens compared to smoke lenses. The brown just brightens everything up where as the smoke just makes everything dark. While they only last me about a year, Fisherman Eyewear Hazards are my go-to.

     

  • 3

    Knife Sharpener

    If there's one belief I hold above most, it's that even the cheapest knife is equal to the most expensive knives if it has a sharp blade. Straight up. High dollar knives charge for a name and logo, and probably some better blades, but if my cheapy is just as sharp, they're equal. Hence the importance of a good way to sharpen.

    Here is the sharpener I keep around. There's one in the end table next to my recliner, one in the tool box, one in the tackle box, one in my car... You can't underestimate how a sharp blade is far more important than a name brand blade.

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    Speaking Of Blades...

    Now, while that tactical blade with the serrations and rainbow finish might be super mall-ninja cool, I've always been a minimalist when it comes to things I carry everyday. I don't want a big pocket knive weighing my pants down everyday, and I certainly don't want it taking up space in the one pocket I put stuff... chapstick, mustache comb, change, etc... So I rock a little Leatherman multitool. It has scissors and a knife, it's small and compact, it's good steel blade material, and super easy to sharpen since it has a single bevel. Totally a super gift for any guy.

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    Plain Logo-less Tee's

    On a personal note, I've reached that age in life where I prefer not to wear labels. That's what I tell people, truthfully, I really can't justify spending more than a few dollars on a t-shirt. Plain color tee's are where it's at. Why in the world would you want to be a billboard for a company selling you goods made by kids for slave wages halfway across the world? It just doesn't make any sense at all any way you look at it. Hence, plain single color tee's. I like navy blue and earth-tone greens and tans. Pick these up at the grocery store.