Don’t you think it’s a kind of delicate push-pull game when buying gifts for men? It’s even harder to find gifts for the impossible man. You want something that shows him you care without sacrificing function. You want it to be something he’ll use, and think of you from time to time while using it. Problem is, the impossible man is already on the top of his game. He has everything he needs. Or does he? Could he?
The impossible man isn’t really so impossible to shop for. For some reason, he just wants you to think that he is. The act of giving a gift is so wonderfully human: offering another individual an object as a token of your appreciation. With it comes all the intricacies of the human psyche, namely an inability (or even unwillingness) to really name what you want. Sometimes in the act of gift giving, we stumble upon little glitches like this in our loved ones’ minds.
The impossible man isn’t really so impossible to shop for. For some reason, he just wants you to think that he is.
So what to do, save for studying for a psychology degree over the course of years? The trick lies in a little extra thought. Where many guides to the best gifts for the impossible man rely on novelty or gimmicks to offer assistance, we know that difficulty should be no deterrent to devising actual, thoughtful gifts for even the most challenging case. The gifts we’ve rounded up here are heartfelt, but sure to delight. Just find your man on this list, and if you don’t see him, look for the one you know he’d love to be. That’s the point of the love underlying gift giving—it should make people glow, growing into the best versions of themselves.
Ten Gifts for The Impossible Man
For the Early Bird: Ember Mug²
Maybe your impossible man is incredibly conscientious. Maybe that’s why he has everything. Maybe he’s a morning bird, waking up at the doves’ first call to seize the day. Sure, he probably has a french press setup with world-class grinds to get his day going, even the Yeti mug for his trip to work. But whether he’s drinking his coffee at his work desk or bedside reading a book on the weekend, this elegant mug from Ember allows him to climate control every cup, choosing the precise temperature to keep it heated at. Available in two sizes and two colors, this minimalist mug offers a comfort he may have never thought to consider!
For the Brawny Man: Beardbrand Utility Balm
If you know a bearded manly man, then you may have noticed he has a slight weakness in caring for himself. Buying him a sumptuous, maybe more personal gift like beard balm allows him to indulge in a way he may not have thought to do for himself. Beard balm nourishes facial hair, leaving it groomed and smooth for his suavest self. Beardbrand is one of the most exciting brands in the beard-care market today, but if you’re looking for a full range of options, check out our guide to the absolute best in beard care. Do the work for him with this gift for the impossible man, and let him indulge.
For the Coordinator: Moleskine Classic Notebook, Size XXL by Moleskine
This one is inspired by my father, who’s my impossible man to buy gifts for. A civil engineer, he’s incredibly analytical and has everything in place for an optimized routine. What’s worse, he’s not the type of person who enjoys shopping for himself. But, over my long career of buying gifts for him, I have noticed the most success with notebooks. It’s an appreciation I think I learned from him for myself. For an organizational mind, there is nothing more sumptuous than the glide of pen on paper, making lists and ordering ideas. I consider myself a connoisseur of notebooks, and I can tell you from experience that this Moleskine notebook ranks amongst the most beautiful and useful items any person can own. With a soft leather cover and expansive ruled lines, this work of art even has a pocket in the back to hold stray documents where necessary.
For the Outdoorsman: Greenspace with the Helsinki Foundation
Perhaps the most unique and meaningful idea on this list, the Helsinki Foundation offers one of the best gifts for the impossible man. We all know that untouched, natural land is rapidly dwindling on our planet, posing a dangerous threat to the biodiversity that makes Earth so special. The Helsinki Foundation takes a radical new approach to conservation, combating this problem by crowdsourcing land ownership. Check out all the details in their thorough FAQ, but here’s the summary: For $15, he’ll get the exact coordinates of the pure Greenspace he owns. He can visit that land whenever he wants, but he obviously can’t build anything there. That would be counterintuitive. He’ll also play a role in guarding this land. Every owner has veto power for the entire allotment—that means if someone tries to take the land and use it for something else, his voice alone is sufficient to save it.
For the Lifelong Learner: Annual Membership to Masterclass
For those of us who’ve lived a life entirely steeped in internet access, it can be difficult to fully grasp just how radical it is to have so much information at our disposal. Never before has humanity been able to look up the answer to any conceivable question in seconds, all within reach of our fingertips. For the impossible man who takes advantage of this absurdly beautiful fact, consider an upgrade to his informational diet with focused learning from Masterclass. Their stylish service collects wisdom from an impeccable array of experts ranging from Wayne Gretsky on the Athlete’s Mind to Neil DeGrasse Tyson on Scientific Thinking and Communication. For $180, he’ll have a whole year to enjoy these conversational classes that feel both insightful and intimate.
For the Page Turner: Vineland by Thomas Pynchon
Everybody loves a bookworm, right? If you’re looking for the best gift for the impossible man who’s either an undercover or avid reader, he’ll always appreciate another addition to his collection of little escapes. This selection is a little pull from a list of authors I want to read—American postmodernist writer Thomas Pynchon has been hailed a mathematician of prose, delivering expressive syntax and radical themes that range from imperialism to urban myths. Vineland is one of the lesser known of Pynchon’s well-regarded works, a rather absurd story set in Reagan’s America. To customize this book, think even deeper into a writer you know your guy would love, and look into the deep cuts hidden in their body of work.
For the Bon Vivant: Coalition Straight Rye Whiskey
Sometimes the art of buying a gift for the impossible man really does lie in buying something conventional in an utterly unique way. Many impossible men might own their own robust whiskey collections, but Men’s Health points out that even the biggest Bon Vivant probably hasn’t encountered this rare gem. Coalition offers “a new bold entry into the traditional world of Rye Whiskey” straight from Kentucky Artisan Distillery in Crestwood, Kentucky. This is real Straight Rye Whiskey, 100% pure and aged for five years. “It has a dark, seductive amber color and a multi-dimensional bouquet rich in blackberry, plum, cherry notes, hints of coffee, and spices, primarily black pepper,” reads this spirit’s description. Cheers!
For the Brain Incorporated: Custom Slate Elements Coasters
Maybe it’s just me, but there’s nothing I find more sophisticated and adult than a set of coasters. I’ll even use coasters on a glass table if someone asks, just for the sheer erudition of the act. Everybody, especially the impossible man, already has them around. However, if you’re shopping for a science mind, spice up his home decor with a set of customizable slate coasters with your own choices from the periodic table. Create and commemorate inside jokes with elements whose properties somehow pertain to your relationship, paving a deeper meaning by virtue of your careful thought. In terms of aesthetic, these rugged stone coasters craft a comfortable atmosphere with their sturdy materials and sound—such a distinct noise when you’re putting a glass or mug on a stone surface. “Exceptional quality!” writes Timothy Murray in the store’s reviews. “Absolutely love these. Very well made.”
For Mr. Fix It: Cosmo 300 Headlamp
Additional gear always proves one of the best gifts for the impossible man. From the attic to the backyard, handymen have it all when it comes to home improvement. However, intuitive details like good light can often go overlooked. Encourage your well-loved electrician, plumber, or landscaper to prioritize their own safety with this versatile headlamp from Black Diamond’s impressive equipment offerings. This lamp runs off AAA batteries and featured a streamlined design for minimal weight and appearance. Available in multiple colors to suit an array of styles, it emits an impressive 300 lumens—quite bright for something of this size! Your impossible man will love the versatility this gear adds to his well-stocked collection.
For the Creative: Julian Art Drawing Board from Blick
Oftentimes, essentials go overlooked. No matter what kind of artistry your more creative impossible man partakes of, it’s quite possible he’s forgotten the importance of a sturdy foundation. Consider helping him out with the gift of this adjustable drawing board from Blick, an artist supply store still favored by many creators working across strongholds like New York City. The proud new owner can shift this expansive wooden drawing board across five simple settings. It even comes with a stylish strap for easy transportation and plein air painting!