As we sat down for egg-nog french toast, I asked if he was disappointed. He did that thing where you make your voice so high and say “noo, no no” so many times that it’s obvious your answer is really yes. He is a Nigerian man, but the dude blushed. He fumbled with his words and finally said “to be honest, I’m so grateful for everything and you are the best! It just doesn’t really feel like Christmas if I don’t get toys.”
And there you have it, friends. The most important thing you can do when planning the best possible gift for your guy is to know him and keep him in mind instead of just getting what you want him to have. (just me?)
I’ve learned so much since then! We share a Google Drive doc with his Transformer wish list (i realize this is going over everyone’s head but mine…) because I would obviously have NO idea whatsoever where to start when it comes to his toy collection. This is super helpful! If any of you have a collector husband like I do- comic book, superhero, transformers and the like- Big Bad Toy Store is the place you need to go!
For the rest of you (the majority of you) Here are his favorite things I’ve gifted over the years:
Aqua Di Gio Cologne: I wear the perfume version of this and while he rotates cologne, this one is always my favorite.
Daniel Buchler Pajamas: My mom actually gave these to O for Christmas years ago and you’ve never-EVER-seen a guy so happy to change into pajamas. These are the softest, most luxurious feeling pajamas in the world and I’ve gifted him a new color or style every Christmas since.
Stance Socks O is a sock guy. He’s a borderline collector of socks and Stance are the best in the business. These Muhammad Ali socks are going in his stocking this year!
Garmin Fenix Fitness Watch: As a retired professional athlete, the guy has some energy to throw around. When I tell you he straight up broke to FitBits, I’m not being sarcastic. He literally broke them. He takes the absolute best care of everything he owns but they just couldn’t keep up with his activity. He tried a Polar watch and it was closer to what he was looking for, he couldn’t get the results he was needed to see each workout to really track his progress. Mr. Research man found this watch and put it right on his Christmas list knowing it was a big investment, but he’d wear it for years and years. It’s still one of his top 5 favorite thing he’s ever received and wears it every single day. (UPDATE: It’s on sale for $100 less than usual!!! So many of you bought it last year and rave about it as much as us!!)
Frye High Tops: These are different from O’s usual style but he was surprised how much he enjoys them and the rich leather really adds a cool touch to a casual high top. (UPDATE: the high tops are sold out, but here are the low tops)
Bowtie and Pocket Square: Everyone who knows this man knows he loves a good bow-tie moment. He needed them much more when he was dressing up for game-day all of football season and as an NFL analyst in doing the suit-and-tie thing every week, but I still like to get one every Christmas because he always gets the wear out of them. Mixing patterns is a favorite.
Tumi Deluxe Backpack: The quality of Tumi luggage is second to none and since it’s his favorite brand for suitcases, I had a hunch it’d be his favorite backpack too. Tumi thinks of absolutely everything and there isn’t a thing missing in this bag. When we travel, he carries both our laptops, two iPads, books and bibles in here on top of all his personal things with no problem whatsoever. UPDATE: This exact backpack sold out last year, but they re-released these in it’s place and they’re fantastic:
Bose Noise Canceling Headphones: O is a headphone snob. All I ever look for in a pair of headphones is whether they’re cute or not. Not this guy, friends. Once again, after research aplenty he found he’ll always be loyal to Bose (even if they’re not the coolest or slickest looking headphones on the market) because their quality is just unbeatable. We both have the wireless bluetooth version, but for environments where a guy needs noise canceling technology like airports, airplanes, work, cafes and so on, these are the best of the best. UPDATE: the man who never, ever loses everything lost these headphones after 4 years of daily use. I know what he’s getting this year…
AG Jeans: If your guy has an athletic build, you know pants can be tricky. I finally convinced him a couple years ago to swap out his loose wide pants for slim and straight versions and these are the pants that changed his mind. He says they feel like sweats and are the most comfortable jeans he owns, but I just love the color options and how great they fit.
Initially, in those newborn days with Oshiolema, I took the compliment as necessary fuel. If my life was a pie chart, breastfeeding, up with a crying baby instead of sleeping and chores were even; me-time, time in the Word were those little slivers that are too small to see or title. In photos, Oshiolema was clothed, sometimes smiling and alive. I’d tidy up the scene I was about to snap a photo in, moving a stack of diapers and stained burp cloth aside to make way for a fresh pretty swaddle blanket. I’d write a caption about being up all night with him but it not mattering anymore because he’s so perfect.
But here’s the thing.
It’s the last day of October! Was this the worlds fastest month in the history of time for anyone else? My goodness. I’ve looked back on this past month on my most used and most enjoyed things to curate my MVP’s of October.
As you’re reading this, I’ll be on a plane to California. The last time Oshiolema was in California, he was freshly two years old and I was 20 weeks pregnant with Keogena. This is our first trip as a “homeschool family” and it feels really official and sweet. Also, I’m not quite sure why those quotations felt necessary but I’m sticking with it. I guess it’s just funny because the boy is 3 and essentially school means bringing a notebook, our nature book and a book we’ve been reading about the Golden Gate Bridge. Alas, a homeschool family we are!