What Our Gear Guy Is Gifting for Christmas
Top picks from the person who's tried everything
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This has been a tough year for everyone. It has dealt significant financial and personal hardships on such a large scale that it feels ridiculous to even write about presents. On the other hand, as someone who has had the privilege of holding onto his job—and his health—I think if you have the means, it’s a good time to spread extra cheer by being extra thoughtful with holiday giving. Everyone on my list showed me a lot of kindness, grace, and patience this year and I’m thanking them in part with these gifts.
While the more than $10 per ounce price tag makes this steak beyond decadent, I’ve tested Holy Grail’s premium Wagyu and don’t doubt that this will be the best steak my father has ever eaten. I would buy him a bottle of scotch with a price tag north of $150 or grab the bill at a holiday dinner at a fancy steakhouse in appreciation of all he has done for me so this most luxurious of steaks feels just right—especially since he’ll be able to prepare it in the comfort of his own home.
My mom and I have never been very good sleepers. We claim our ability to function on roughly four hours of sleep night after night is a superpower, but we would gladly choose long peaceful nights of sleep if only we could. Enter Momentous Elite Sleep capsules, whose concoction of melatonin and magnesium I use to manage my pandemic-enhanced insomnia. They settle me down enough to get to turn off the Kindle at a reasonable hour, and keep me down throughout the night—with no morning-after grogginess. I am excited to share calming stories of deep sleep with her, rather than ones of our resilience in the face of exhaustion.
I also got her the Ruffwear Double Track so she could ditch her second leash on her daily dog walks with her two beloved quirky terrier mixes. Both gifts will hopefully lead to a calmer 2021.
TP Link Deco Wifi System ($270)
While this isn’t the sexiest present, I’m giving my brother a solid internet router because I selfishly want to communicate with him more easily. We work virtually together often, and his WFH situation is in a room far away from his WiFi source, which means I spend a lot of time staring at his frozen face while repeating his name in monotone during important conversations. I can’t take it anymore, so here we are.
While a $25 bottle of wine is a fine holiday gift, it will likely be consumed and forgotten before the New Year. An aesthetic, useful, and ergonomic insulated bottle for wine coupled with an equally handsome high-gloss wine tumbler is a gift that will keep on giving. I prefer boxed wine while camping and I look forward to enjoying happy hours using this pair with my sister-in-law for many summers ahead.
Cielle SPD Beanie ($45)
Swiftwick Aspire 4 Socks ($18)
Due to the nature of my job, I am usually better outfitted than my wife for the sports we do together. I’m pretty ashamed when I’m exceptionally comfortable in a top-end kit while she shivers in old Costco base layers and fleeces she’s owned since college. This year she’s expressed interest in cold-weather running so I put together this primo collection for her by focusing on my favorite materials for next-to-skin comfort. The Oiselle Flyout Top uses Polartec PowerWool, which is a fine merino wool synthetic blend that gives a nice little thermal bump with remarkable moisture management. The Flyout Running Tights feature Polartec Powerstretch Pro, which also mitigates sweat without inhibiting movement. The gloves and hat are suggestions from female friends who run year round in our town. The Swiftwick Aspires are currently my sock of choice for long runs.
In the past I’ve bristled about people focusing on the cuteness of well-made children’s adventure gear while overlooking the fact that it allows kids more comfort while playing outside. Three years into parenting, I’ve climbed off my high horse and embraced how damned cute kids gear can be. Case in point: this fleece bunting that will make my daughter Jojo look like a cheetah—tail, ears, and all. She is on a serious cat kick right now, so I plan to play with my feline-human hybrid as she crawls around our house this winter. The synthetic fleece will also add a solid moisture wicking thermal layer below her bibs and jacket for ski days this season.