What a Guy Wants

I really enjoy gift-giving. The excitement you feel when you purchase what you know is going to be the perfect gift for someone. Not just that the person you are giving it to is going to love it, but that it connects to them on a personal level. I once made a gift basket for my boss stuffed with boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (in the blue box), Hebrew National Hot Dogs, Top Ramen, sliced American cheese, and a pair of martini glasses with several airplane-sized bottles of vodka and gin. In short, it was everything she needed to make her all-time favorite comfort foods. If I had attempted to give this gift to anyone else, they would have tried to commit me to the nearest psych ward, but for this particular person, who has become a close friend over the years, she still talks about it as one of the most epic gifts she’s ever been given. 

Despite my love of finding the perfect gift, even I get overwhelmed sometimes. There are occasions where I have a really difficult time figuring out what to get someone, and during Christmas, when I’m shopping for literally every person I’ve ever met, I start running out of ideas really fast. Especially when it comes to men. If I am forced to buy my dad yet another Raiders hat, or my Grandpa another “nice” polo shirt, I am going to lose it. So, this year, I am gifting you all with a guide for what to get a man for Christmas, straight from the mouths of our favorite Ringside men…

What a Guy Wants: A Gifting Guide by the Ringside Preachers

Jocko Willink Books

-There are several of these books to choose from including Extreme Ownership: How US Navy SEALs Lead and Win and The Dichotomy of Leadership. According to Rev. Ross Engel, if the person you are shopping for is really a man, he will have all Jocko’s books already, but they make the list just in case someone out there needs to play catch up.

Power Tools

-This is a great option, as most guys find themselves needing to be handy at one point or another. Power tools are on Tyler the Intern’s list this year, as he is starting to build up his own personal collection, rather than borrowing tools from other people. 

Pocket Knives, Cigars, and Pipes

-Nothing says “manly” like a pocketknife and tobacco products (especially together). But Rev. Paul Koch warns not to go cheap on these types of gifts. If you are going to go this route, be ready to shell out the cash for quality.


-A good book is always a great gift! From educational to entertaining, there is something for everyone. If you need a little extra guidance this year, try The Jagged Word Field Guide to Being a Man by our own Preacher men and a few more, still available on Amazon for delivery before Christmas!

Outdoor Enhancers

-Between mowing lawns and building decks, men tend to put a lot of effort into the yard, so try enhancing it a bit. Rev. Ross Engel has a nice cornhole set on his list, as well as a 127mm artillery shell from the 5-inch gun on a Navy destroyer, that he can use as an ash tray for those cigars you bought him from further up the list. While Mrs. Engel should be on the Ringside apology list until at least the new year for the headache she will experience even attempting that last one, unique and meaningful gifts are always the way to go. 

Evening Robe/Smoking Jacket

-Changing into comfortable clothes at the end of a long day doesn’t mean guys have to walk around the house in a raggedy old college sweatshirt. Instead, get him a nice evening robe or smoking jacket to lounge in, like the pre-Christmas gift that Rev. James Hopkins bought for himself. He can be both comfortable and sophisticated while watching Mad Men, smoking a pipe, or sipping on a scotch. Speaking of which…


-You can never go wrong with booze. A bottle of his favorite is sure to be appreciated, or take the opportunity to stock his bar with some of those abnormal spirits or liqueurs that he wouldn’t use very often so he won’t buy himself, like a chartreuse or Chambord. 

Ringside Gear

-And finally, let your man step into the ring with his own Ringside gear! He too can put on a hat or t-shirt and duke it out with his friends over the important topics of the day. Available now at The Jagged Word Shop

There you have it, the perfect gift for a guy does exist, and it is right here in this list. Enjoy the process of finding the ideal gift, but don’t stress out about it. At the end of the day, remember Christmas is still about God incarnate as a baby in a manger who turns the world on its head, not the gifts under the tree. 

This article is a brief examination of the “metaphorical and theological rugby match” that was this week’s episode of Ringside with the Preacher Men. Listen to Rev. Joel Hess, Rev. Paul Koch, Rev. Ross Engel, Tyler the Intern, and guest Rev. James Hopkins as they duke it out over whether James failed or won quarantine, the theological difference between the one and three year lectionaries, what a pastor should have in his bug out bag, what it means to “keep Christmas well”, and more on the full Ringside with the Preacher Men episode, “Keeping Christmas Well”

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