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Going Long: The (Busy) Gentleman’s Guide to Gifting

  • Jason Wire

As you’ve recently learned, winning the holidays is not easy. It requires things like good penmanship, moderation and, obviously, a mistletoe state of mind.

But for those of you inclined to go for the haymaker, we’d like to present the holy grail of competitive gift-giving—something we here at Kempt HQ like to call “Going Long.” (Trademark pending.)

Think of Going Long as the ultimate showcase of confidence and thoughtfulness—an Oprah Winfrey-an approach to appeasing the masses. You find one tremendously bold, unquestionably useful yet wholly unexpected piece of property, and you buy one for everyone. That’s it. No gift diversity here.

Done right, your generous persona goes viral, ensuring you invitations, favors and godchildren for years to come. Possibly even a LinkedIn referral. Done wrong, and... well, let’s just say your refrigerator door might be a bit bare next winter.

Thus, we humbly present our suggestions for those of you willing to Go Long this holiday season—in decreasing order of safety (and thusly, increasing order of ambition):

Bathrobes This is an easy one—anyone denying the simple pleasure of a preposterously cozy robe is simply a masochist. Terry cloth is pretty much the rule here—consider grabbing one from the St. Regis during your Aspen trip—but don’t be afraid to stray from plain and white. Especially if you happen to know a few prizefighters.

Champagne Sabers Yeah. A champagne saber. Believe it or not, this is probably the most one-size-pleases-all gift on the market: it’s entirely impractical yet childishly fun, and you run virtually no risk of giving someone something they already have too many of. Plus it guarantees you’ll be spending the rest of your day making a gregarious mess in the kitchen—a surefire sign of a Holiday Win. For those of you rolling extra deep, consider a personalized one.

Hammocks This takes the same approach as the robe, but turns it up a notch because it’s furniture. Unless all of your recipients own two palm trees spaced 10 to 12 feet apart, go with a one-style-fits-everywhere like the Kammok. In the event that they live in the city (or the desert), you’ll need to resort to zero-gravity chairs.

Hunks of Dried Meat Jamón legs, giant prosciuttos, soppressata—they’re known crowd-pleasers, and it gets extra points for the extended shelf life. If your giftees are vegetarian... well, perhaps a vegan turducken wrapped in a hemp-paper bow will encourage them to reevaluate their life choices.

Bearskin Rugs Show us a human who doesn’t enjoy basking horizontally on an impossibly plush animal carcass, and we’ll show you an animal rights advocate. And then we’ll show you a suitable faux-fur alternative. But in all seriousness, there isn’t a soul who won’t name their next kid’s middle name after you in exchange for a quality bearskin. If you’re particularly ambitious, go with the animal-skin hammock.

Mugs with Your Face on Them Here it is: the ultimate gift of calculated hubris. A gift that says, “Hey, every day, when you wake up, you want to look me in the face. (And maybe drink some coffee or something.)” Getting it done couldn’t be easier—there are plenty of personalization sites out there. For bonus points, customize them according to right- or left-handedness, so you and the recipient are always eye to eye.