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If I’m being completely honest, I always struggled to find the perfect gift for my brother and my dad during the holidays. It’s not that I wasn’t close to them, it’s just that the only people that know what a man wants for Christmas are the men themselves. Through the years, however, I’ve started to get the hang of things. To spare you the stress of finding just the right gift, here is a list (broken down by age group) of possible presents for those special guys in your life. 

For a younger brother in high school, the perfect gifts are things that they could use to show off their interests to possible friends (and maybe those first dates) both in school and at home. Think of those room decoration trends, or the newly released merch of their favorite artist. You can never go wrong with movie or music posters, LED lights, and other knick knacks for their room.

Buying gifts for the friends and family that are in college is similar to younger siblings. Decorations for their dorm room or college apartment are a good idea. Try to find out their favorite artists and hobbies, and find decorations based on that. From experience, I find that a good old flag or tapestry does well. You can even put a twist on it, and make them a giant custom tapestry with a funny picture of them. An easy out for a college-aged family member or friend is some nice school merchandise. After all, those do tend to get expensive, and everyone loves a good game day fit. And as for Boulder, if they ski, ski accessories are the way to go. 

For the older men in your life, think of household goodies. I have never seen a happier dad than my own when he opened the nice woolen socks I got him. I can’t explain it, but a good quality pair of socks seems to hit the spot. Slippers can go a long way too. For those who drink, a high-quality wine, bourbon, beer, or whisky glass can be a good idea.

As for gifts that could work for any age group, some sort of experience is always a good gift. Maybe you buy a concert ticket, or book an activity for you to do together. Last Christmas I gifted my brother a “thrift haul.” Simply put, it was a trip the two of us would take to Goodwill, where he had $30 to spend. A fun material, as well as bonding, gift. Although on the pricier side, a subscription of sorts (maybe to a streaming platform, a wine company, or a music platform), would be a long-lasting gift. 

While purchased gifts are always exciting, as college students we know they can quickly add up. As we approach gift-giving season, remember that a handmade gift is perhaps the most thoughtful gift of all. And even more importantly, no matter the gift, those special men in your life will still love you no matter what. 

Yana Medvedeva

CU Boulder '25

I am a student at CU Boulder, but am originally from New Jersey. I love Op-eds, creative, and persuasive writing. I also love spending time outside, whether that be running, hiking, or just hanging out with some friends. In the winter, you'll definitely catch me on the slopes!
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