Some people seem to be born with a gift-giving gene. They follow their intuition, finish their holiday shopping early, and ultimately deliver presents that invoke squeals of surprise and delight every time. But for the rest of us, buying gifts feels about as natural as wearing an ugly Christmas sweater. It’s awkward and sometimes humiliating, but in the name of holiday spirit, we do it anyway.
Truth is, shopping for someone else is almost never easy-especially when that someone else is a romantic partner. What gift will impress the person who you already try to impress every day with actions?
We’ve done the shopping for you this year. Keep reading to find a gift that promises to deliver long-lasting joy and invoke thoughts of love to the person you care about most.
Rockwell 6C Double Edge Safety Razor
With its formidable weight and iconic style, the modern safety razor is an elegant take on man’s most essential grooming item. And Rockwell’s 6C scores major points for comfort and customization: The blade can be configured six ways, which allows the user to tailor the exposure to accommodate different lengths of stubble and desired closeness.
Grafo Maps Custom Maps Poster
Starting at $109, framed; grafomap.com
Want to commemorate the city where you two met or the neighborhood you lived in when you first moved in together? Grafo Maps produces clean, stylized maps with wall-worthy appeal. After you select your location, choose from nine different print options, personalize it how you see fit, and proceed to checkout. The company will even deliver it gift-wrapped, so it'll arrive ready to go under the tree.
The Scent by Hugo Boss
Fragrance is often either underwhelming or too bold, but The Scent rides an intoxicating middle line with a blend that includes notes of ginger, maninka fruit, and leather. The result smells fresh and clean, but at the same time, strong and complex.
Pendleton Yakima Camp Blanket
$149 (twin size), pendelton.com
The twin-size blanket is made from a wool-cotton blend that’s sturdy enough to spread out in the grass for springtime picnics, but soft enough to wear around the house on long winter nights. That makes it the perfect companion for cold-weather Netflix binges. Plus, for an extra $10, Pendleton will embroider the blanket with a personalized message. Perhaps you can add that cutesy pet name you use when the two of you are alone.
Through integration with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant (coming soon, according to the company), Sonos Beam responds to voice commands to play crisp audio and control other smart devices throughout your home. But the real sell is "night mode," which regulates TV volume during evening viewing. So when your significant other decides to stay up late watching Game of Thrones while you’re in bed, you won’t be rattled from sleep by screeching dragons.
Fresh Great Escape Face Mask Set
The four masks in this gift set promise to hydrate, exfoliate, firm, and brighten skin. They essentially provide all the perks of a spa treatment but in a package you can use dozens of times, whenever you have five minutes to spare.
Filson Medium Canvas Duffle
Any frequent flyer will love the fact that this bag is sized to fit perfectly in the airplane’s overhead bin. But even better is the fact that it promises a lifetime of reliable service: The heavy twill and leather construction is durable enough to withstand years of abuse, while the simple, no-frills styling promises it'll never go out of style.
You’d be correct to call the Tivoo an alarm clock, but you’d be burying the fact that it relies on Bluetooth connectivity and a customizable LED screen to do so much more than just blast you awake in the morning.
You can use the app to draw digital images that show up on the screen, for instance, or program the device to display text messages and social-media alerts. But the feature that will score you the most points with your other half is the voice-memo alarm. Record a sweet message-which you can change as often as you’d like-and they'll hear it first thing in the morning.
Starting at $199, dna11.com
Using a mail-in cheek swab, the company DNA 11 creates modern artwork that looks abstract but actually contains a coded DNA imprint-be it of either human or pet origin. The company will even allow you to print two DNA samples on one canvas, so you can create an intimate (but totally wall-appropriate) illustration of you and your significant other at a microscopic level.
Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot with Arctic Grip
This year, Wolverine released its most iconic all-leather boot with a high-tech Vibram sole designed to prevent slipping on wet ice. You have to feel it to believe how well it works, but the upshot is that the guy wearing these to work is less likely to ruin his commute by taking a spill in the office parking lot.
For the couple that travels, a globe made from corkboard can be a sweet reminder of adventures both past and future. Try using one color of pins to mark where you’ve been, and another for the places you plan to one day visit.
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