I’m never at a loss for suggesting to my public what to get me for Christmas. I prefer NOT to be surprised by my clan for more often than not, the surprise is not a good one. LFG and I for years, have engaged in a fun little tradition of buying me antique toy soldiers for Christmas. We go to my buddy Neil’s shop on the Hill…I select three options for my gift…I go sit outside and wait till LFG chooses one of the three. They call me back inside after LFG’s choice has been made and boxed up so I won’t know the selection. And then Neil sends me the bill. Works great for all involved.
My pal over at Vogue on the Range emailed me and asked for insights on Christmas gifts for the budget minded. I’ve long since been smitten with Ms. Ranger…a stunning gal and at present, dutiful law school attendee. Here's her missive...
Couldn't help but notice what methinks is your trim, hoofpick belt-clad midsection on Scout Charlottesville today, and so I thought I would drop you a line. Could you please do a post of a gift guide for the sartorially inclined gentlemen friends (with perhaps a section on appropriate stocking stuffers and otherwise less tres cher gifting options for us currency-challenged law students)?"
And of course, I’m happy to oblige.
But first, let me tell you the story about the evening I asked her to marry me. I’m not making this up. If you don’t believe me, ask my sister AllieVonAintNevahSeenaBudget and her husband MisterDoctorBaby. Or axk my man D. … late of Southern Gent and presently at Politico. They was all sittin’ at the table when I done it.
Allie pulled together a little drinks/dinner meet up for us all back in the summer. I hadn’t even finished one drink so it wasn’t the hooch doing the bidding. It was all me. Being twice Ms. Ranger’s age, I didn’t prevaricate around the bush. I simply asked her to marry me for fifteen years. Thereafter, she’ll still be in her prime and I’ll deserve to be left to my own dotage and devices. Perhaps I’m delusional but I DO think I’ve got fifteen good years left yet after that, I’d be willing to set such a lovely gal like Ms. Ranger free. Skin elasticity issues horrify me and I be damned if I’d ask anyone to hang around and witness that immutable process.
Alas, with great poise, Ms. Ranger reminded me that she was commited to a lucky man and that was that. So what does one buy for such a lucky man when the budget is tight? I decided to pull together a gaggle of things that I’d like to have…all coming in at less than 150 bucks. Here goes…
Dressing theMan: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion—35 bucks: If your man reads, and if you think he’d appreciate a style reference, Alan Flusser’s Dressing the Man would be my suggestion. There are other good ones out there but Alan remains King.
Target BoxerShorts—Four Bucks: I wasn’t kidding y'all when I said I buy boxers at Target.
Central Watch GrosgrainWatch Straps-Five for 30 bucks: AllieVonChaChinger turned me on to this source.
Sid MashburnOyster Belt Buckle—75 bucks: I’ve changed my tune on Mashburn. More later in a post devoted to him.
Other Sid beltsfor 50 bucks: Mashburn’s banging eleven on the style/fuzzy meter.
Sid Sport Shirts for 145 bucks: I’m gonna pop for a couple of these my damn self. Instead of buying two-three of those cheap ass sweatshop made ones over at J. Crew, buy one of Sid's.
Rugby Canvas& Italian Leather Bag: On sale for 130 bucks: I’m a Battenkill/Hulme man but I checked this bag out at Rugby (Who by the way, is kicking J.Crew’s ass in the fuzzy department). I did not like this bag at 250 bucks. I pounced at 130.
Wiley Brothers Belts:The Hoof Pick—145 bucks: Are you gonna buy a bunch of little things or one BIG present? If 150 is your budget and you’re gonna opt for one thing. Pounce on the Hoof Pick. Yet again, another heads up from SistahAllie two Christmases ago for me. I’ll have this belt till well beyond skin elasticity issues. I admit openly and without shame that I hope to be wearing it when I proudly step to the counter at CVS to get my first prescription of Viagra filled. I’m hoping by then though, that they have a combination product that mitigates both ED and BPH. I suggest that they call it…Niagra.
Bill Hocker’s 79thNew York State Militia—153 bucks: I like 100 year old lead soldiers but Bill Hocker faithfully recreates them and I LOVE his interpretations. Hocker is always my alternative venue for an LFG gift to me.
Ok, that’s it for now. I’ve got a real job to focus on and a lifestyle to fake. Oh...I almost forgot another option. LFG will make you some hippie bracelets but you'll need to contact us soon if you want them before Christmas. They are one-of-a-damn-kind-artisnally inspired-curated and pickled. 400 bucks each. 350 for the ones that LFG's dog peed on.
Onward. Still fairly pliable. Over bracelet-ed this morning. At a buck-fifty or less.