Holiday Gift Guide: Your man
Guest blogger Jay Cridlin from Soundcheck is here to tell us about what to get the dude in our life. Take it away, Jay!
Men are primitive creatures. We like gadgets. We like denim. We like arguing about fantasy football and the ugliest baseball player of all time (we still say it’s Gary Gaetti, dammit!). And when it comes to gift-getting, we’re accustomed to our ladyfriends keeping things simple — money clips, cologne, gift cards, dress shirts and so on. But if you dare to venture outside Dillard’s this holiday season, here are three unique gifts that might make him smile.
Cheap: There’s no maybe about it: If your guy is between the ages of 25 and 50, he owned baseball cards. If he’s into sports, he’s still got ’em filed away in his childhood bedroom, even though he probably hasn’t bought a new pack in 10 years. But trust us, the enjoyment of sifting through a fresh pack for the latest hot rookie card is hardwired into his brain. For $20, pick up a handful of packs as stocking stuffers, and watch his face light up with nostalgia. We recommend the whimsical 2010 Topps Allen & Ginter, which retails for $6 a pack and features quirky subsets like “World’s Greatest Wordsmiths,” “Monsters of the Mesozoic” and even “DNA Hair Relics,” featuring snippets of fuzz from Charles Dickens, Abraham Lincoln and others. Buy yourself a pack, too, and maybe you can trade your Evan Longoria for his Edgar Allen Poe. Triple Play Sports Cards and Memorabilia, 2219 S Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa; (813) 831-0652, tripleplaytampa.com.
Mid-range: I’m a classy guy, with a capital C and dollar signs in place of each S. That’s why when I wear a tie, I tack on a tie clip to keep things in place. New ones are sleek, flashy and available at some department stores and menswear shops, but for something with a little more flair, try your nearest antique shop or vintage clothing store. I’ve always enjoyed the quirky selection at ARTpool in St. Petersburg — this handsome geese-based number comes with matching cufflinks and retails for $45. Nothing says class like a chest full of lake fowl. ARTpool Gallery, 919 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg; (727) 324-3878; artpoolrules.com.
Pricey: Of-the-month clubs are so hacky. But a mug club? That, we can dig — especially if it’s at Tampa Bay Brewing Company, proud producers of some of the best beer, burgers and pizza in Ybor City. The TBBC Mug Club is $55 for new members, and entitles cardholders to discounts on beer, food and merchandise, plus a T-shirt and your very own mug, which you can decorate and hang on the walls of the brewhouse. Unfortunately, the pub is out of mugs at the moment, but general manager Ryan Kelly said they’re expecting a new shipment soon, and new members will be notified when they arrive. Stop by to sign up your guy, and on your next casual date night, you’ll both reap the rewards. Tampa Bay Brewing Company, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Suite 123, Tampa; (813) 247-1422, tampabaybrewingcompany.com.
Photos: James Borchuk, Times