The Procrastinator’s Gift Guide: Men’s Edition

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Tony Maples Photography


Did you forget to get someone close to you a gift for Christmas? Did you wait too long and now the thing you really wanted is no longer available? Did you procrastinate and flat-out drop the ball and get something pretty awful for your guy this Christmas? Rather than scrambling to fix it, take a look at these amazing Christmas gifts for your Texas man, based on what kind of guy he is, he’ll be glad you did.

1. Rustic Creative Types

Qualifications: This guy is possibly disorganized, musical, or creative, but with a Texas twang and hands rougher than most. Be careful they could be hiding under the skin of a businessman, farmer or some other more “normal” persona.

The great expanse of Texas provides creatives many outlets to explore their more inspired side, but often “normal life” gets in the way, and those interests fall to the wayside. Give your creative guy an outlet with an art – knife making or metal design class or experience.

Jack Sanders, founder of the Design Build Adventure in Austin, says these types of classes or getaways are perfect for wide range of people, “this is good for many types of people who have a hunch they might have a creative streak, but their guidance counselors may have told them to go into business instead.”

Sanders’ offers classes where visitors learn how to create using metal, often using scraps or leftovers. If metal isn’t your guy’s “thing”, there are many other classes as well for other creative types. This late in the game it is difficult to get something to wrap and put under the tree, but in this case, you don’t have to. An added benefit is both men and women can attend classes as well, so if you’re buying for a significant other, make it into a date and spend the time together. Win-Win.

2. The Rugged Outdoorsman

Qualifications: Pretty much if he lives in Texas, and he spends more time outside than inside, he would qualify.

Get the guy a knife. Not just any knife, a custom made knife. The great thing about Texas is there are a fairly large number of custom knife makers in the state and a handful of good ones in the Hill Country. You may be thinking to yourself, “How can I get a custom knife by Christmas?” You can’t, but you can get the ball rolling.

Austin knife maker Travis Weige says a custom knife is a perfect gift for an outdoorsman because there is nothing more perfect than getting him exactly what he wants, made specifically for him. Weige says a custom knife built to your man’s desired materials and specifications and custom molded specifically to his hand, is the best gift of all time, you can’t go wrong.

It does take time to make, but if you get him a gift card, wrap it in a new t-shirt, and take him to the studio for the fit of a lifetime, the wait will be worth it all. If you’re not sure a craftsman can make exactly what you want, Weige says, “we can build anything you want, if you have enough time and money.” Weige and others also offer knife making classes. You go, make the knife, and take it home. Most custom craftsmen, like Weige, do offer in-house knives which are ready to go, if you are hankering to get something tangible under the tree this year.

While getting a custom knife made is not an immediate handout, you will have a valid excuse for not having something under the tree on Christmas day, and you can’t go wrong with a rugged Texas-made custom knife for your outdoorsy dude.

3. The Adventurous Hunter

Qualifications: Has a gun that is more than a decoration or a dust collection device.

Don’t let your delicate side rob your hunting man the experience of doing a little societal good. Here in Texas, wild boar are the scourge of many a rancher, farmer, and landowner. The fact is there are so many of these rowdy and destructive creatures Texas has very few restrictions on when, how and where they can be hunted.

Hunting trips, especially exotic game, can be pricey, but boar hunting is both exciting and relatively inexpensive. If price is not a hindrance, a helicopter hunt is in order. Yes, they do find, hunt, and dispose of these vile creatures via aircraft as well. So, if your hunter has an adventurous vein, put him in the air with a gun, and go help a farmer or rancher.

Most hunting trips can be booked online which is perfect for the holiday gift procrastinator in all of us. With just a few keystrokes you can be your guy’s biggest hero and the hero of a local rancher or farmer. This gift kills (pun intended) two hogs with one stone, it is hunting and you are doing a valued service to Texans across our great state. Everyone wins with this gift. Not to mention wild boar sausage, ain’t so bad.

4. The Real Cowboy

Qualifications: He owns a horse that he likely loves more than he loves you. He also owns a pickup truck that is no show truck, it will be covered in dents and dirt and, frankly, he doesn’t care anyone thinks about it one bit. Oh, and he may love the truck more than you too.

There is nothing better for a Texas cowboy than getting him a tool that he can use for a variety of different jobs. Whether he’s on the backroads fixing fences or trekking across the country on horseback, a good rifle is always on the mind of a real Texas cowboy. There is one gun that says ”cowboy” more than most others, and that is the gun that helped tame the West and has been in production for over 150 years, a Henry Repeating Rifle. From the Civil War to the modern hunter, it’s hard to go wrong with a classic lever action rifle like this.

This company’s motto is “made in America, or not at all.” If that’s not enough, they make high-quality rifles for whatever your horsebacked hero may need it to do. Since its invention in 1860, other manufacturers have also taken on the historic lever action rifles, so if the Henry doesn’t suit your fancy, take a look at some other makers. Still not sure what to get, buy a gift card, and let your guy pick one out for himself.

 5. Everyone Else (Mostly)

Qualifications: He’s alive and he drinks beer.

Beer…nuff’ said. However, don’t make your situation worse with a hap-hazard dumpster dive at your local grocer. It may take some time and research, but there are some fantastic Texas-made craft beers in nearly every corner of the state, so hop on that smartphone during your lunch break and make some magic happen.

The good news is if time is a problem there are dozens of beer clubs who will ship a monthly selection of the finest craft beers right to your door. There are even some Texas craft beer clubs who only offer Texas craft beers and are based right here in Texas. They do all the work, you give a great gift that gives, and gives and gives. It will be a constant reminder of how awesome you are all year long.

Don’t let your mistake be a big let down to your special guy on Christmas day. Pull it together, return that terrible tie, and get him something awesome. Good luck and Merry Christmas.