Better than socks

Let’s face it, when it comes to Christmas, men often end up with gifts that are – quite literally – pants. Imagine unwrapping your presents then having to express your delight over yet another selection of socks. 

Yes, there’s always vouchers but it’s all a bit low effort. The men in your life deserve gifts that are more than an afterthought. Here’s what we picked out.

Some dreams never grow old. Head to Kenny’s Music Shop down on the Green for an impressive selection of guitars, basses, keyboards and other instruments. Book a tuition package with a local teacher via for your own sanity.

How about a club membership? Perhaps a golf club or gym, or a monthly subscription box for a hobby or interest? Our pick would be a membership package for the Wine Society. The £40 joining fee comes with a £20 voucher towards their first purchase, plus access to a world of good wine, learning resources and events. Most of their 1500 bottles are between £6-10, or choose from their Christmas selections, with prices from £22 to £145. Find out more at

Growing your own is a great way to relax and unwind. Try Mains of Drum for a great selection of gardening tools, or buy some vouchers for a garden centre or seed supplier so they can plan ahead for the spring season. If the budget will stretch, most men would appreciate their own shed. Cordiners offer a great selection from their base in Torry.  

If the budget’s tighter, go for some decent gardening gloves and this multi-tool from Kikkerland, which combines functionality with great design. You can use it to prune, saw, transplant seedlings and even open bottles. Find it at for £22.49. 

Grandpas will love Richard Osman’s debut crime novel featuring a quartet of elderly sleuths. The Thursday Murder Club is surprisingly warm and endearing given the body count. Steven Spielberg has snapped up the film rights, but you can snap up a copy at a local independent bookshop. Try Yeadon’s who have branches in both Banchory and Elgin. 

If you’re looking for a gift that will never go out of style, head for Finnies on George Street. They have a superb selection of luxury wristwatches. The Tudor Black Bay Watch, for example, oozes self-confidence with its black dial and stainless steel case. It comes in at £2840, but their range starts at £90 and they have a great selection of other gifts including jewellery, desk items and glassware. Discover more at 

If the budget will stretch and you don’t mind not seeing your significant other until mid-March, then the PS5 or the kit to build his own gaming PC – assuming some degree of technical capability or the presence of a tech-savvy 11 year old – are the obvious choices. 

Keen cooks might appreciate a home-made hamper filled with goodies from one of the city’s oriental or European shops. If he prefers the prep already done, then one of’s boxes is ideal. Six By Nico will deliver a delicious menu based on one of the world’s great cities. With four courses for two people and a bottle of wine for £60, and versions for carnivores and vegetarians available, it’s seriously good food to enjoy together. 

How about a trip to Tayport Distillery? For £50 per person, you can enjoy your own sampling and blending session with The Distiller’s Kitchen Experience including a 20cl bottle to take home. You can buy vouchers now for when distillery tours reopen. If you can’t wait, check out their excellent range of spirits including eau de vie and liqueurs on the website. At just £12.50 their raspberry liqueur is perfect with prosecco and would make the idea start to Christmas Day. Discover the range at

If your chap is keener on whisky, then he’ll love a bottle of NC’Nean, which comes from one of the newest distilleries in Scotland. The second ever batch has just gone on sale and there are only 5040 bottles. It’s an organic whisky with overtones of lemon posset, peaches and rye bread and the most gorgeous bottle. Find it at the Aberdeen Whisky Shop on Union Street, the Inverurie Whisky Shop for around £50 or buy direct from Pair it with a decanter from Finnies for extra retro-style points. 

Got to be better than socks.

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