Gifts for Men – Local Options for the Gift Giving Season

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Gifts for men. Let’s be honest, like ‘gifts for women’, the whole concept is a bit simplistic.

People are complex. Trying to pin down a stereotypical gift for these ‘guys’… it’s nearly impossible. Not to vent, but I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent looking for good gifts for my father. I’ve done it all and have played to every stereotype for a straight, white middle-aged man; ties, tools, mugs, homemade art, even a watch. Most misses.

Happy woman putting on a tuque on her partner who looks a bit bewildered at his gift. Christmas Tree in background. Gifts for Men Blog vLife
The frozen smile of a ‘Gift for Men’ miss. We’ve all been there.

And I don’t know about you, but out of all these misses, the ones that did hit, I didn’t expect to hit.

I once packed a brick within a series of Russian doll-like boxes, all heavily wrapped. He ripped those boxes open. And, like a young boy, he fell in love with his pet rock. I kid you not. This grown man was ecstatic over that brick. He still talks about it today, “Remember when you did the brick gag? Haha, that was awesome.” I roll my eyes every time. 

A Few Ideas

Regardless, as the holiday season fast approaches, the grind for a good gift is upon us once more. And, as I was crafting this new blog, I thought that perhaps playing into the hands of the eternally difficult gift-giving season may be made a little easier by my efforts. And that happy thought spurred me on.

After all, New York Magazine once suggested “Beard Oil” as a gift idea. Just beard oil. Come on. We can do better than that, right?

So, I’ll try and give the best Nova Scotia local gift ideas I can think of. To be honest, almost half of these will be a ‘miss’—’cause I don’t know the guy you’re buying for. But you do. And you never know, maybe you and I will get lucky and land on some holiday gifts he’ll love. Two heads are better than one after all. And there’s always the brick-in-many-boxes idea, if all else fails.

Ok, let’s do this!

Practical Gifts

If there’s one thing I know about some men, it’s that they love niche tools for even more niche situations. Who doesn’t love a good practical gift? After the brick, the second nicest gift my father ever got was his chainsaw.

I swear, he would swing it around the backyard like a knight with a new long sword. Trimming down poor foliage before it even had a chance to think about growing again. Storm come by? Out he would go with his handy chainsaw to save suburbia.

Now that I think of it, maybe a sword would be a cool gift…

Sheepskin gloves with wool lining… Toasty.

Black Rock Forge Tools and Knives 

Windsor Chairs

  • Windsor Chairs are 18th-century hand-made wooden chairs. Crafted and supplied all within Nova Scotia, each chair is designed with your help and takes into consideration any of your requests for design and colour.

Lismore Sheep Farm

  • You can never go wrong with a nice pair of mittens. Used for life and always keeping you warm, Lismore Sheep Farm uses their very own sheep wool and hand-made leather mittens for long-lasting use. They also produce slippers for when it’s time to come back indoors!

Doesn’t have to be Practical…

Gifts for men don’t even have to be things they will keep forever. For example, don’t buy mugs. Buy the liquid that goes into a mug. I kid you not, my father will use the same mug forever. So: 

Want to spend $5-$10? A nice bottle of local craft beer or cider might be highly appreciated. Here are a few examples:

Note: If you aren’t in these locations, Just Beer gives an exact list of all the local independent breweries in Nova Scotia

$10-$20? Good coffee or tea would work:

Want to go above and beyond and spend $40-$100? Buy the guy a whole dang bottle of Whisky!


If not a bottle of whisky, a good gag gift can lighten the mood for any receiver. Gifts for men don’t have to be material. Nothing better than being the designated Christmas clown. Here are a list of my favourite gag gift ideas:

  • Thrift very old explanation booklets; How to Use Microsoft 97, How to Change a Tire, or even children’s books 
  • Oversized footed pyjamas.
  • Paint. I’m no talented artist, but I have known ever since I was a kid a painting from my sibling led to either a great laugh, or a permanent hang on a wall. Sometimes, both. 
  • A friend once gave his father a $20 gift card. Nice enough, until he found out there was only $13 left. 
  • $50. In loonies. Wrapped. 

The list can go on. Get creative. Sometimes the best gifts are the ones you never expect—especially if they make you laugh! 


If not practical, gag, brewery, and coffee/tea, gifts, here are a few other tips you can employ when thinking about what to get for him this Holiday season. 

  • Sit down. Have him make a wish list. Anything can help. Might also be a fun activity—no matter how ridiculous the items he writes down are, anything helps.
  • Experience gifts. Take them out to dinner. Go throw an axe around. Take ’em somewhere. If they are anything like my dad, going out only happens with an invitation. Here are a few Halifax local experience gift ideas where you can take him: 

Still Stuck? 

Well, so am I. Buying gifts for men is always hard. And trust me, sometimes it doesn’t get easier. To help, Nova Scotia local Black Bow Gift Co. curated gift baskets and Cheerfetti Gift Co. curated and custom gift baskets both have a great selection of gift ideas for him. Many of which include local options.

Chin up! I encourage you to keep thinking and keep trying. After all, it’s the thought that counts… right?

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