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8 Last-Minute Gift Ideas For The Special Men In Your Life

What men really want.

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'Tis the season of gift giving and I can hardly believe we are at the end of 2020. Although the holidays are meant to be filled with joy, they can be a major headache when it comes to finding the perfect gifts for the most important people in my life. While I typically struggle with gift giving, I've always found it especially difficult selecting a practical yet clever gift particularly for the men in my life that fully expresses my love and admiration.

While men are known to be pretty straightforward when it comes to their needs, I turned to a close male friend for advice on the best gift ideas for men this year. As it goes, it's the thought that counts, however it's the obsessive control freak in me wanting to make sure no man is left behind during the holiday season. This list guarantees the men you love so dearly will be on the receiving end of a thoughtful gift they'll cherish from now through 2021.

The Forest Green Alias Sweatsuit By Daily Paper

For the majority of 2020, fashion has evolved into comfort and practicality. A matching sweatsuit is perfect for every man, young and old. Daily Paper is a black-owned fashion and lifestyle brand fueled by the rich heritage of African culture wrapped in contemporary designs perfect for the strong men in our lives.

Forest Green Alias Sweatpants

Daily Paper

$121

Classic Sneakers By New Balance

Pro tip, sneakers are always a good idea! A clean active style perfectly paired with cool and casual looks for everyday wear I'm told is much appreciated. Budget-friendly, New Balance sneakers won't break the bank while a perfect fit for a cool classic look.

Backpack By Made Leather Co

Although we're not traveling or moving around town as much as we used to, you can't go wrong with gifting a quality backpack created with top notch materials and detailed designs. Stylish and sleek, a backpack of this nature has unlimited uses for the man on the go. Black-owned travel brand, Made Leather Co, offers a great selection of handcrafted leather goods for your holiday needs.

Puffer Coat By Cold Laundry

As we're heading into the winter season, a puffer coat is high on the list of essentials. Prepare your man to brace the cold in style with this coat by black-owned clothing brand, Cold Laundry. This particular coat is also unisex which is perfect for #couplegoals.

Natural Hair Care By Twist It Up

The hair care industry may not be as big for men as it is for women but there are tools that can make life a lot easier when it comes to taking care of Afro-centric hair for men. The Twist It Up Comb is a natural hair brand owned by famous millionaire shark Daymond John that's not only for the culture but has a heartfelt dedication to helping those in need by providing to the homeless using proceeds from every purchase. This company is dedicated to embracing the power within while standing together in unity wearing our natural hair proudly.

Shaving Kit By Bevel

A staple every man needs in their life, a shaving kit designed specifically for coarse and curly hair as well as sensitive skin is as thoughtful as it gets. Made to solve problems for men of color by men of color, Bevel is a top of the line grooming company with a product line made specifically with your man in mind. A holiday shaving kit is the perfect introduction to getting your man's skincare game right this holiday season.

Food Delivery By HelloFresh

They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, which is the perfect reason to buy him a subscription to a home delivery food service this holiday season. With the uncertainty we face with the on-going pandemic, this thoughtful gift helps keep him safe by making sure his food is delivered straight to his door.

Adding Books To The Collection

"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today." - Malcolm X

This year looks a lot different than what we're used to as we've been spending a lot more time indoors and finding creative ways to keep ourselves occupied. Books are a great alternative to Netflix while filling our minds with more information than we get from watching television. The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley, is a great read for men looking for inspiration from one of the greatest historical leaders and activists while going through the current challenges we're facing today.

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We all know what it is to love, be loved, or be in love – or at least we think we do. But what would you say if I were to tell you that so much of the love that you thought you’d been in was actually a little thing called limerence? No, it doesn’t sound as romantic – and it’s not – unless you’re into the whole Obsessed-type of love. But one might say at least one side of that dynamic might be…thrilling.

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A music lover since childhood, Amira grew up in an artistic household where passion for music was emphasized. “My dad has always been my huge inspiration for music because he’s a musician himself and is so passionate about the history of music.” Amira’s also dealt with deafness in one ear since she was a toddler, a condition which she says only makes her more “intentional” about the music she makes, to ensure that what she hears inside her head can translate the way she wants it to for audiences.

“The loss of hearing means a person can’t experience music in the conventional way,” she says. “I’ve always responded to bigger, bolder anthemic songs because I can feel them [the vibrations] in my body, and I want to be sure my music does this for deaf/HOH people and everyone.”

A Black woman wearing a black hijab and black and gold dress stands in between two men who are both wearing black pants and colorful jackets and necklaces

Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

In order to lift people’s spirits at the beginning of the pandemic, Amira began posting videos on TikTok of herself singing and using sign language so her music could reach her deaf fans as well. She was surprised by how quickly she was able to amass a large audience. It was through her videos that she caught the attention of a talent scout for MTV’s new music competition show for rising TikTok singers, Becoming a Popstar. After a three-month process, Amira was one of those picked to be a contestant on the show.

Becoming a Popstar, as Amira describes, is different from other music competition shows we’ve all come to know over the years. “Well, first of all, it’s all original music. There’s not a single cover,” she says. “We have to write these songs in like a day or two and then meet with our producers, meet with our directors. Every week, we are producing a full project for people to vote on and decide if they’d listen to it on the radio.”

To make sure her deaf/HOH audiences can feel her songs, she makes sure to “add more bass, guitar, and violin in unique patterns.” She also incorporates “higher pitch sounds with like chimes, bells, and piccolo,” because, she says, they’re easier to feel. “But it’s less about the kind of instrument and more about how I arrange the pattern of the song. Everything I do is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, to make my music a multi-sensory experience.”

She says that working alongside the judges–pop stars Joe Jonas and Becky G, and choreographer Sean Bankhead – has helped expand her artistry. “Joe was really more about the vocal quality and the timber and Becky was really about the passion of [the song] and being convinced this was something you believed in,” she says. “And what was really great about [our choreographer] Sean is that obviously he’s a choreographer to the stars – Lil Nas X, Normani – but he didn’t only focus on choreo, he focused on stage presence, he focused on the overall message of the song. And I think all those critiques week to week helped us hone in on what we wanted to be saying with our next song.”

As her star rises, it’s been both her Muslim faith and her friends, whom she calls “The Glasses Gang” (“because none of us can see!”), that continue to ground her. “The Muslim and the Muslima community have really gone hard [supporting me] and all these people have come together and I truly appreciate them,” Amira says. “I have just been flooded with DMs and emails and texts from [young muslim kids] people who have just been so inspired,” she says. “People who have said they have never seen anything like this, that I embody a lot of the style that they wanted to see and that the message hit them, which is really the most important thing to me.”

A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

Though she didn’t win the competition, this is only the beginning for Amira. Whether it’s on Becoming a Popstar or her videos online, Amira has made it clear she has no plans on going anywhere but up. “I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this opportunity because this is really, truly what I think I’m meant to do.”

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