As Christmas time draws near, wives and sons, brothers and sisters do flips and twists trying to figure out what to get the man in their life.
Fear not. Uncle Patrick is here with avuncular advice on what to get that special husband/dad/uncle/nephew in your life. Here are some great last-minute wish list nuggets to share:
1. Vintage business card holder
This is actually a 1940s era cigarette case, but it does marvelous double-duty as a business card holder. Two slots inside: to give, and to receive. Gone are the days when you a) fumble awkwardly for which pocket you kept your card this time, and b) forgetting altogether where the cards went that you got at last week’s conference. I own this exact case, and it always elicits compliments and inquiries. High manly quotient, and the price is right.
2. Classic fedora
The fedora epitomizes the moral and cultural sense of my new media platform, incorporated right in my logo. The fedora represents valor, elegance, and manly style. Think Gary Cooper or any Frank Capra movie. Let’s bring back fedora values as we bring back the fedora!
3. Book of Catholic Poems
Editor (and esteemed Patrick Coffin Show guest) Joseph Pearce has edited this elegant volume of the poetic masters with which every Catholic gentleman should be familiar: Dante, Chaucer, Milton, Spencer, Herbert, Donne, Hopkins, Newman, Wilde, Thompson. And I’m just getting rolling. I’m not opposed to the Man Cave concept, as long as it doesn’t become a “magic chair” place of escape from family into the emptiness of professional sports viewership. Men, you need to be the hero in your life, not the observer from the stands of faux heroes.
4. Wooden Shoe Caddy With Accoutrements
When you meet someone for the first time, the eyes first meet that person’s eyes, and then down at his shoes. Right or wrong, it’s a fact. It’s rarely a conscious thing, but men are judged by their footwear. Fake leather shoes that are ratty, floppy, or scuffed (or, God forbid, flip flops with socks) send the message, “I really don’t care about my appearance!”
You can fix that, starting with this manly shoe caddy and high-end (and non-pricey) wax and brush set. You’re welcome.
5. Clubman Pinaud Cologne
We’re talking an old timey, vintage smell, redolent of a 1950s barbershop. Is that an original Norman Rockwell on the wall? Do I hear Gracie and Allen on the radio? Turn up the Perry Como!
6. Stainless Steel Whisky Hip Flask
Perfect for that Southern Baptist wedding party, camping trip with the guys, or long-lasting night sporting event. I own this bad boy, and it’s ideal for personalized engraving. Discrete; non-bulky; does the job, especially if filled with Laphroaig single malt.
7. Daily Roman Missal
Tired of everything valuable slap-dashed into an app on a glass screen device? Want the solidity of a well-crafted volume that contains spiritual depth? This Roman Missal has it all in one place: the daily Mass readings, traditional prayers, saint bios, illuminated manuscripts, and relevant references to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. And too much more for this list. One more bonus: having it provides one more incentive to get to Mass through the week.
8. Pipe Starter Kit
Men who enjoy an occasional pipe tell the same tale: people come up to them not to gripe and complain about “that awful smoke” but to express how much it reminds them of their grandfather or doting uncle. Pipe smoking is very much attuned to the philosophical mind, and to reading before a cracking fire. This set will get you pleasurably puffing without popping the purse strings.
Can Einstein, MacArthur, Tolkien, Lewis, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati—and Gandalf—all be wrong?
9. Eat Bacon, Don’t Jog book
Grant Peterson is the CEO of Rivendell Bikes and this book is a terrific all-round introduction to the keto lifestyle and overall fitness advice (aka, some fat is your friend, sugar kills, and exercise is the smaller part of health valor). Forget fancy workout gear or expensive outfits, $150 sneakers, and over-priced gym memberships. Get this book (the title should win some kind of award), get some kettlebells, and start doing burpees today, thou sluggard!
10. Burlwood Valet
What is it with men and the contents of their pockets? All those random receipts, coins, keys, watch, cufflinks, receipts, smart phone, extra ring, bracelet, and stamps. Where to keep them? This assorted flotsam and jetsam has no true home. Well, this beautiful valet is that home: Neat, elegant, and long lasting. Stop fishing around for the things you use each day. They’re in your new heirloom quality valet.
Plus a bonus, and based on a joke from This Is Spinal Tap.
11. Military Grade Knife
Cops and Marines and real men everywhere rely on the Gerber. Do you know what people are asking for when they ask if anyone has a knife? They’re looking for a man. This deceptively lightweight retractible will slide through price-tag cords of any thickness, heavy gauge string, tough-to-open packages, even, God forbid, car seats if it comes to that. I feel naked and unprepared for life whenever I forget mine in my valet bureau.
Happy last-minute shopping and a very Merry Christmas!
– Patrick “your personal Elf” Coffin