What I’m Giving Dan For Christmas 2021

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While I find a lot of men challenging to buy gifts for, I actually think Dan is really easy! He is interested in a lot of things so will generally be happy with almost anything, but doesn’t expect much of anything. He is also terrifically poor at replacing worn items like socks and pants, so those are always good fillers. He’s easy to please, which makes my job simple!

It was fun to share what I gifted him for Christmas 2020, so I thought I’d do the same thing again this year!

Main Experience Gift: Dinner at French Laundry

Dan’s main gift won’t be a surprise at all…mostly because we figured out we were gifting each other the exact same experience on the exact same day! We had a good laugh over that one.

We’ve both been wanting to try out the famous restaurant The French Laundry ever since we moved to the Bay area over 5.5 years ago. But the restaurant is over 2 hours away from our home (and definitely not kid-friendly), so it’s definitely easier to do on a couples’ weekend away.

I figured it was finally time to make it happen, so I talked to Dan’s parents about watching the kids for a night while they’re here visiting early next year. They kindly agreed, so I chose one of the nights they’ll be in town. The reservation process is quite competitive – you need to be online the moment they are released on the first of the month during the month prior. So I hopped online at the correct time on December 1st…but then the site wasn’t working properly.

I got stressed and quickly asked Dan to pass me my laptop. He took one look at my face and said, “I think we might be doing the same thing.” He had already talked to his parents about watching our kids that exact same night! Somehow, his phone had worked fast enough to get through the system before it crashed and he managed to snag a reservation. We were glad we figured it out before we both purchased tickets, and we’re thrilled to finally be going! Definitely a great joint present that we’ll obviously both enjoy. πŸ˜‰

Garmin InReach Mini

Our family does quite a bit of hiking. It’s one of our absolute favorite activities and we love doing it all together, away from distractions and often reception.

Still, with little ones especially, we try to take as many precautions as is reasonable while hiking. Thus far, we’ve mostly stuck to trails that are on the beaten path, but even with that, we had one instance when we lost each other while on the trail. It made for a scary and stressful couple of hours and we really wished we had a way to communicate with each other when we were both in and out of service.

This tiny device allows two-way messaging anywhere you are, shares location and weather updates, and has emergency contact features. It will be perfect for when we’re hiking in the backcountry and need to have a better sense of location and directions (instead of just following a trail). It will honestly be such a relief to have it for our adventures and will be wonderful for the whole family.

Available on Garmin, Amazon, REI


Dan is very into space and stargazing and is always excited to go out to observe when we’re RVing. He also loves birds and finding wildlife all through National Parks. This pair of binoculars is much better quality than the ultra cheap ones we’ve had, but are still very reasonably priced and have fantastic reviews (I imagine 10k+ reviews with an average of 5 stars is pretty darn good).

Heated Mattress Pad

For years, Dan has used a hair dryer to warm up our bed in the cooler months. We both love toasty sheets and it’s so cozy to climb in when it’s cold out. This heated mattress pad will make sure the bed stays warm and will also be less of a fire hazard than the hair dryer. πŸ˜‰ (This one also looks nice, and we also really love our little and very safe space heater.)

Photo Book

Each year, I try to put together a photo book from another year of our marriage. I’m way behind, but I figure if I keep going, at least I’m not getting EVEN further behind! I truly love the ones I’ve made. They are treasures.

In the past, I’ve usually used Mixbook like we have for our holiday cards. The quality and customer service are both terrific!


Here’s what I’m putting in Dan’s stocking, and here’s a list of 25+ other fantastic men’s stocking stuffer ideas!

  • Deuce of Spades trowel – another hiking toy, but this one might be a bit less fun than the Garmin. Probably just as useful, though!! Every single review I’ve read says this is the best trowel out there for cleaning up while on the trail.
  • Leather Cord Organizers – I cannot stand when cords get all tangled up. These simple and handsome little cord wrappers are perfect for keeping everything neat.
  • Orange Blossom Elixir – I found this gorgeous orange blossom elixir in the Asian Art Museum gift shop a couple months ago and it looks beautiful and delicious. It will be perfect to make some mocktails together.
  • Mandarin Orange & probably some other snacks & treats
  • Socks – I almost always get him a new pair of his favorite socks but he just bought several more pairs a few months ago so I think he’s all set.

Do you have someone special to whom you’re gifting soon? I’d love to hear any fantastic ideas to add to my consideration for next year!!



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