To: My Baby Brother

Tuesday, November 15, 2011



Between my baby brother Charlie and John's younger brother Mike, I'm always thinking about manly gifts for two very different kinds of dudes–Charlie is 6'4", loves skiing and music, and recently moved to Boston, while Mike is a college football player with the biggest heart and a bigger appetite. They aren't always easy to shop for, but here are some of my favorite gift ideas from years past, and the inspiration behind each of them!

It's hard to resist treats around the holidays, but wouldn't homemade versions of their favorite Girl Scout cookies be even sweeter? I also like bringing San Francisco sweets from See's Candies and Ghirardelli back East to share a taste of our adopted hometown with Mom and Dad.

Mike is a sushi fiend, so when we bought him a pair of personalized chopsticks and a carrying case last year for Christmas, we knew he'd love them. Make it a bowling ball for your dad who's in a league at the local lanes, or a piano keyboard for the older brother who loves writing and recording music; find something they use all the time, then make their morning with one of their very own!

There isn't a single good photo of a glass carboy, but that doesn't mean it isn't a great gift! John bought himself a beer brewing kit a few years ago and has made countless varieties of stouts, his favorite beer, since. It's the perfect project to share with a whole bunch of your buddies, and brings together the science nerd and the beer guzzler in your baby brother! Presents that are also projects are my favorite–they're the gift they keep on using!

Charlie is a music fiend; these (Christmas-themed!) vintage vinyl coasters pay homage to his favorite bands and protect the furniture in his new Boston pad. Another great gift for his new apartment? A portable gas grill, so he doesn't have to give up open air grilling now that he doesn't have regular access to my parents' backyard. Unlike your girlfriend or your little sister, the guys in your life might not stock their first apartment with all the domestic gear they need, so why not pick up some pot holders or wine glasses?

They don't have to be L.L. Bean's Bison Bean Boots, but some serious winter gear will get more mileage than the scarf-glove-hat combo (especially for the baby brother who just moved to Boston). If he's already got what he needs, replace his old ski goggles or other winter gear he gets lots of use out of.


Tell me, what's the greatest gift you've ever given your brother or best bud?


Gift Guide by Chelsea of Buckets & Bunches.

24 comments:

  1. My brother is a senior in high school (ahhhh!!), so I'm thinking of getting him something interesting, homey, and personal for his dorm next year. I can't believe he'll be in college less than a year from now, so I've got to make sure he has something special from me! :)

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  2. Love the descriptions, Lena. Yay!

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  3. What super suggestions! My brother is always one of the tougher gifts on my list but I feel inspired by your picks!! Will check out the links asap!!
    xo

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  4. Ooh these are great...love those coasters. Guys are always so ridiculous to shop for...this is a great lineup. The homemade "girl scout cookies" are also a really good one. And you can't go wrong with a fancy bottle of beer. :)

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  5. I'm having a hard time thinking of anything for my brother since he's been so mean to me =-( Kind of sad.

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  6. I love these ideas!! And is it wrong that I kind of want those vinyl coasters for myself? Plus some See's... I miss my west coast!

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  7. Great gift round-up! Can I just order the thin mints for myself?

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  8. ooo heading over to Buckets & Bunches soon! Thanks for the tip. I'm hoping my parents actually give my husband some winter boots this year for Christmas because I can't stand to watch him shovel snow in sneakers anymore:) Those LL Bean ones are a no brainer!

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  9. Men are so hard to shop for! Last year I got my brother in law a book on fashion because he was traveling all over the world and had to go to fancy balls. He loved it!

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  10. i love thoughtful gifts like these! it's so fun to put a lot of thought and love into gift giving! i love the coasters!

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  11. Jared has 2 brothers and theyre always 2 of the hardest people to buy for at Christmas, for me anyway since I have no brothers. I usually leave it up to Jared and I'll take on all the women in both families. Jared is a much more last minute shopper than me though, so I need some ideas so I can get it done quicker this year :)

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  12. i like the idea of a beer brewing kit. i think kevin might like that. Boys are so hard to shop for. I tend to just give my brother cash. is that wrong.....

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  13. Love this little series of yours!! Such cute graphics and ideas!

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  14. I would be happy to receive any of those and I'm a girl!

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  15. Those boots are rocking! I once got my brother tickets to ride in an old airplane, he loved it:)

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  16. I'm with Elle.. I want these too! ready for more Lena!! :)

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  17. Ooh, you had me at See's Candies! My brother and I give each other jazz. At least, we did before iPods. Hmm...

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  18. Great ideas! Shopping for boys is hard. Except for my Husband because he loves candles...silly boy ;)

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  19. Very neat ideas for all the guys in your life! I've gotten some neat things for my fiance over the years, including some interactive cufflinks. (He loves his gadgets.) xo style, she wrote

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  20. Those coasters are fabulous! Great find. xo.

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  21. You cannot go wrong with bean boots. I got mine last year and lived in them all winter. I hear they last for 20 years, so I'm anticipating lots of cozy happiness well into my forties (what!)

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  22. i love these ideas! and i second kayla...cant go wrong with bean boots. got my brother a pinhole camera kit once (he loves photography), and then promptly wished id kept it for myself. :) haah.

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  23. I usually go for anything sports related...tickets, memorabilia, etc.

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  24. I'm SO glad you picked something from L.L. Bean. I feel like an old lady browsing their catalog a lot of the times but they have really great quality stuff. And homemade thin mints, yum.

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