How many times have we asked Sassy’s other halves what they want for Christmas, only to be greeted by a grunt?! Or alternately, they mention something – only for them to buy it for themselves the very next day (boyfriend: I’m looking at you!)?!
Us Sassy Mamas know how infuriating the guy gifting process can be – so we’ve tried to lessen the load and make things a bit easier for you all with our Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide For Dads… straight from the guys’ mouths themselves! Hopefully, there are enough suggestions here to keep your shopping list stacked up for this year at least!
Cassius Taylor Smith is our resident arty Dad and the MD of Giant Communications, a property branding firm. Here are his top design picks for Dad gifting!
1) Omega Railmaster Watch, lot estimate $22,000-33,000 Christie’s Important Watches Auction, HKCEC, Wan Chai, 2978 9994
One of the cleanest bits of design from Omega (right of picture), no frills or bezels or chronographs, just a beautifully simple black watch face with nice triangular hour marks on a black and 4 chunky numerals, originally designed circa 1965. Also it’s not a huge face so matches slightly skinnier wrists… like mine!
2) Olebar Brown Bulldog Swimming Shorts £129 Orlebarbrown.co.uk
These are great for swimming, hanging out at the beach bar, on the boat or flopping at home. They’re a really comfortable shape, have pockets and are a classic length with a good range of colours.
3) Vitra Charles & Ray Eames Organic Lounge Chair, $15,999 (currently discounted to $13,999) Aluminium, Whole Building, 36 Cochrane Street, Central, 2546 5904
This chair is soooo comfortable. I’m amazed no one has been able to match it successfully since it was designed in 1940. A neatly upholstered, uncluttered design with arms just where you want them and no sore bums after sitting in the study absorbed in a book for a couple of hours (rather than working!).
4) Mr & Mrs Smith GoldSmith Membership, $30-600 MrAndMrsSmith.com
The GoldSmith team make travel and holidays fantastically simple, stress-free and in excellent boutique/design hotels around the world. I’ve used them over the last 5 years on work trips and holidays, for myself, Lucy (my wife) and now as a small family, and have only had one duff hotel in all that time which they scrubbed off their list after I gave them feedback. A good way to ensure your other half books nice holidays too!
5) Pantone iPhone Cover $150 Lane Crawford Home & Lifestyle, Level One, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 2118 3668
For any graphic designer with a particular fetish for one of the 9 Pantone spot colours available, and a habit of breaking unprotected iPhones. I would (did!) go for my corporate blue!
Note: I was going to put in a 1979 Porsche Targa S, which is one of the coolest cars in existence I think, but thought it might blow the budget for ‘gift’ ideas at around $250,000!
Andrew ‘Mumph’ Mountford is the owner of the trading company Asia Material Resources Limited, drinker of tea, eater of cheese, father of two kids and one dog.
1) Nirvana – Nevermind 2CD 20th Anniversary Edition, $110 HMV, 1/F, Style House, The Park Lane, Causeway Bay, 2504 3669
‘Dad’s music is funny… and old…’ Yes, children I did overhear that – abut at least my musical hero isn’t a Canadian of dubious gender who looks like Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry. Anyway… I was listening to The Pixies, Sonic Youth & Mudhoney quite happily before this group came along and made Grunge far more accessible, so buy me this and I’ll prove it!
2) Fitness First Gym Membership, rates vary (free 7-day trial) Full list of locations here
I use the gym at the condo a fair bit but as a father ages he risks becoming a physically embarrassing specimen for his children (‘It’s OK dad you can go now’ is the first sign this is happening) so a good gym membership might help.
3) La Capricieuse Absinthe, $740 AbsintheAsia.com
And if that fails – put the worries of the world behind you with this!
4) Bruno Magli Boots, from around $2,000 Bruno Magli, BE5, Basement, The Peninsula, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2723 2256
Boots! My favourite ‘Drinking Boots’ are very worn out – veterans of nights out I cannot speak of due to possible legal ramifications. New boots that offer the sort of ankle support a good night out demands are vitally important and crucial for a father’s wardrobe. I want these ones because Bruno Magli makes stupidly comfortable boots.
5) BLACKSOCKS Sockscription, USD $12-175 BLACKSOCKS.com
Children will be unlikely to afford Bruno Magli boots – so they can buy us socks instead, without which Christmas is incomplete. Note: Fathers need conservative socks!
6) Monster Earphones Dr Dre: Beats Tour In-Ear Headphones, $1280 HMV, 1/F, Style House, The Park Lane, Causeway Bay, 2504 3669
Children are loud and when they aren’t loud, they are worryingly quiet… To cope with loud noises and awkward silence, fathers need to listen to music. However, I only have my basic Apple headphones, which fall out of my ears every 5 minutes. Thus a good pair of headphones are vital. Being a father, I know I can’t embarrass the little darlings by having an un-cool brand. At the same time nothing gets on my nerves more than tangled head phone wires. So I want these…. Please note to upset your children mis-pronounce Dr.Dre’s name.
7) Il Colpo Gift Vouchers Full list of locations here
Dads do not get decent haircuts. A few years ago I used to have the most excellent haircuts with the Madchester flop being probably my best. But nowadays it’s mostly a HK$75 shearing job from a man named Ken who wears polyester trousers. I deserve a nice haircut off the Director of Styling or whatever fancy title they use in a salon. These people offer gift vouchers – please get me one so I can save my hair!
8) Football Shirt, £45 Stoke City FC (or find your man’s preferred team’s website!)
Once a Potter – always a Potter. (Sassy mamas: apparently this is a nickname for a certain breed of football fan?!) Stoke fans are diehard because they have to be – but I don’t have the latest home strip and that needs to be put right, especially in Hong Kong where glory-hunting nobbers who have never seen ‘their team’ play wear shirts for *insert various derogatory terms for other football clubs here*
9) Wrights Pies, various prices www.WrightsPies.co.uk
Getting hungry? Dads need pies because pies go well with cider… get someone from the UK to ship these over please! [Or in lieu of that, I suppose some from Great Food Hall’s Fresh Bakery (Pacific Place, Admiralty, 2918 9986) will do instead.]
10) Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Package, from $17,570 www.Packages.com.hk
Bringing up children, running a business, paying school fees, accommodating the vagaries of ‘The Wife’ – it’s all hard work and dad’s need a rest occasionally! This might help; don’t worry – I only need one ticket…!
Andrew Chambers is the MD of Tsunami Sport Clothing, a specialist customised sports and corporate event-wear supplier, and a dad of two.
1) Outset Magnetic BBQ Light, USD $10.09 Amazon.com
BBQ is a big part of our lifestyle. I need to eradicate my excuse of not being able to see the food as an excuse for burnt dinners!
2) Go Pro2 Camera, USD $149.90-299.99 See list of HK retailers here
This awesome camera is the way to go for great fun family footage, as well as messing about in the pool or outdoors.
3) Emile Henry Flame Top Pizza Stone, USD $50 Amazon.com
A great fun way to get the family involved in cooking. Everyone gets what they want and has the fun of getting their hands dirty.
4) Disney Magic Access, $460-2400 Disneyland, Lantau Island
Having Disneyland on the doorstep is great (especially now there’s a new area, Toy Story Land). It’s not so much of a mission when you can go mid-week with the kids and having the annual pass just makes it that little bit easier.
5) Waterman i-Sup Stand Up Paddleboard, from $9750 Kayak-And-Hike.com
A great new sport that I’m keen to get stuck into… Just need the board!
6) Grace Digital Internet Radio, from USD $33.99 Amazon.com
Saturday and Sunday morning are family chill-out times. Nothing better than some morning radio to laze about to!
7) Family Tent Try RC Outfitters, Protrek or LaFuma
My boys are at that age when camping is again feasible. With the great HK climate, it’s time to get back outdoors again and away from the big smoke on weekends.
8) Vans Shoes Telford Plaza, LCX (Ocean Terminal), New Town Plaza, Langham Place
I love my classic clothes and shoes and nothing is better than a pair of Vans. Mid life crisis maybe?! But they are truly a classic day-to-day shoe… and now there’s so many styles, there must be one to suit everyone!
9) Cannondale Road Bike Flying Ball Bicycle Company, Unit G58, G/F Lai Sun Commercial Centre, 680 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon, 2381 3661
Next year’s mission is a triathlon. Gotta get myself a bike if that is going to happen!
Jason Wincuinas is a freelance writer, editor and father of two, who crafts clarity from complexity on subjects from Chinese art to Satellite engineering. He helps CLSA communicate financial insight; when not stuck behind the keyboard, you can find him travelling and worrying about vampires on his fab blog here.
1) FAIRTASTE Cashew Brittle, $65 for 180g Fairtaste.org
It’s organic, made right here in Hong Kong, adheres to fair trade and sustainability principles and is healthier than chocolate. It’s one of my favourite snacks and runs out
fast, so more than one please.
2) Happy Socks i.t, Shop M1-2, M/F One Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay, 2972 2572 (See full list of stockists here)
I don’t know much about fashion but I know it shouldn’t be dull. I need some way to keep me happy when I’m stuck in a plain white shirt all day. Life is short and Dads cannot afford to get bored!
3) Page One gift vouchers Time Square, Harbour City, Festival Walk
Yes, all the new eReaders are great and publishing will eventually go 99% digital… but I still like the paper and process of picking out my next great read. Give me an excuse to spend a couple hours browsing; maybe I’ll pick out a cookbook and make a stunning meal with that Kagoshima beef you got me for Christmas! Thanks family, you’re the best!
4) Panasonic RP-HSC200 Sweat-proof Earphones, $328 10/F Sogo, 555 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay, 2833 9039 (See full list of retailers here)
Ever since I got my iPhone I’ve wanted/needed a good pair of headphones that won’t short-out when I run (in my fresh New Balance shoes) in this sub tropical-island heat. Finding a pair with a mic and remote for the phone is a challenge (this is Hong Kong; you gotta be on hand to close the deal at any time!). These are the answer. And they come in old-school iPod white.
5) Parrot AR.Drone, $2298 Apple Store
I don’t need it. I don’t know what I would do with it (spy on the kids maybe?) but man do I want one – as any self-respecting big kid should!
6) Wagyu Kagoshima Beef City’super, Basement 1, Times Square, Causeway Bay, 2506 2888 (see all other locations here)
Just look at the marbling and you’ll understand right away why any carnivorous Dad will give a droolingly happy thank-you kiss for this gift!
7) New Balance Trainers G/F, 57 Percival Street, Causeway Bay, 2838 6203, www.shopnewbalance.com.hk (see all other locations here)
Stable (for my aging knees and ankles), lightweight (because I’m increasingly not) and great to look at (at least my feet will be). I love the loud colours because they match my favourite shirts (and socks).
8) Oriental Essence 90-minute massage, $1450-1550 The Mandarin Spa, Mandarin Oriental, 5 Connaught Road, Central, 2825 4888
I might not look like a million bucks (or have a million for that matter) but I sure would like to feel like it. A quintessential Hong Kong indulgence. (Hey, this is a wish list right?!)
None of these tickling your fancy? Here are a few last-minute Sassy suggestions!
– Sideways Driving Club (LG/F, 1-2 Chancery Lane, Central, Hong Kong, 2523 0983, www.sideways-driving-club.com) Let your lad unleash his inner speed demon! Check out our full review here.
– TruffleShuffle.co.uk Cool retro tees and accessories – think Top Gun, Marvel Comics, The Goonies and Star Wars – for a funky stroll down memory lane.
– AQuarterOf.co.uk More nostalgia in the shape of old-fashioned sweets (flying saucers, popping candy, rhubarb and custards, pear drops… and much more) for all guys with a secret sweet tooth!
– Landmark Men (Central, www.landmarkmen.com) With the entire basement of luxe mall Landmark now devoted to men’s shopping, you’re sure to find something!
– Muji (see all locations here) Guys seem to lap up Muji’s minimalist Japanese designs, with cool stationery and quirky gift ideas galore.
– Wan Chai Computer Centre/Sham Shui Po Golden Centre If you want to make your man really happy, let them wander round here for the day. All the latest games, gadgets and tech under one roof, all cheaper than Fortress/Broadway/HMV, and with the joy of HK haggling thrown in for good measure!
– Play & Display (www.artvinyl.com) A must for music-lovers; turn your favourite albums into fine art thanks to these innovative frames, which handily flip open whenever you fancy a change of scenery… or the need to play the record itself!
– Jac5 (81 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan, 2545 6100, www.jac5.com) Men can never have enough underwear – and if you’ve already exhausted M&S and Giordano’s stock, funky new home-grown brand Jac5 has plenty of comfy and cool undies to choose from!
– Gentlemen’s Tonic (Shop B47-8, B/F Landmark Men, Central, 2525 2455) The most manly spa on the block, they even serve Bloody Marys with their treatments. Surely you could rope in your bloke for beautification with that incentive?!
– Global Concierge (9098 9015) What to get for the guy who has everything? Someone to help him sort out the everything he’s already got! Global Concierge’s tailor-made personal service can sort out with everything from boring daily chores to organising once-in-a-lifetime experiences – and with our special discount code ‘Sassy’, you can get 25% off membership rates!
– Spoilt (2882 4881), Red Packet (3168 0228, www.redpacket.hk) Sick of seeing the same old presents under the tree? Gift your guy an exciting experience instead! Featuring packages for adrenaline junkies to bon vivants, sports mad dads to budding filmmakers, these companies have got every personality covered!