The holiday season can be difficult. You have family staying at your place, meals to cook, children to appease. You need to find the decorations, untangle the decorations, put out the decorations, and constantly scream “DON’T TOUCH THE DECORATIONS!” Then there are the gifts. Ties for grandpa, Play-Doh for the kids, gift cards for the teenagers. Yawwwwwwn. Another year, another two-dozen hurried gift purchases that’ll be tossed on top of the pile.
But not this year. Not if I can help it.
If you have hockey people in your life, then you’re going to make this the best. holiday. season. EVER. If you’re like most people, you have no idea what hockey people want. And it’s not your fault — nobody’s ever told you what hockey people want. But I’m about to.
Below you’ll find a handful of the latest, greatest, coolest, interestingest,Â MOST HOCKEY-RELATED gifts you’ve ever seen. You will purchase them. And you will blow their minds.
$3 for a single roll of 1″ white, up to $75 for a case of clear tape
Why They’ll Love It: Because it’s inexpensive, thoughtful, and very necessary if your giftee plays frequently. You can buy a couple rolls and toss ’em in their stocking, or buy a case and wrap it up. Either way, it’ll show them that your heart is in the right place (namely, the locker room). Bonus points? Take a look at their sticks (or their shin pads when they’re playing) and buy them the same style they currently use. This is a perfect example of something that seems illogical to the non-hockey person, but makes a wonderful gift to a hockey player.
|Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet Book
Why They’ll Love It: From “Arena” to “Zamboni” and everything in between. This great teaching book touches on common hockey terminology, the rules, and some of the game’s greats, all while helping your little forechecker learn the alphabet. I would estimate that I’ve said “Time for bed! Hop in and we’ll read the Zamboni book!” approximately 10,000 times. It’s my bedtime trump card.
|The Making of Slap Shot: Behind the Scenes of the Greatest Hockey Movie Ever Made
Why They’ll Love It: Because it’s Slap Shot. Need I say more? This backstage pass to the greatest hockey movie of all time is a must-read for any hockey player. Did you know that Al Pacino wanted the part of player/coach Reg Dunlop? You would have if you read this book. Plop this gem in their stocking and watch their eyes light up. Then get ready for twelve straight hours of Hanson Brothers’ quotes. See our interview with the author here.
|Ben and Lucy Play Pond Hockey
Why They’ll Love It: Hockey kids will love it because of the festive, colorful illustrations and rhythmic text. Hockey parents will love it because it makes bedtime that much easier. Authored by Andrew Sherburne, producer of the Pond Hockey documentary, Ben and Lucy Play Pond Hockey is the perfect way to introduce the hockey child in your life to the rituals of the outdoor game. See our review here.
|Hockey Guys by Kaskey Kids
Why They’ll Love It: My son received a set of Hockey Guys for Christmas when he was two, and I can honestly say it has been his favorite toy ever since (he’s now four). Of the seemingly thousands of other gifts he’s received, the Guys are still his go-to toy when he gets home from school every day. We’re down to about 4 white/blue guys vs 5 yellow/red guys (because we bring them everywhere, and inevitably lose some), but we just supplement with Soccer Guys, Football Guys, or Baseball Guys, and the imaginary game continues. I cannot recommend these things enough!
Why They’ll Love It: By their own admission, PondRocket is “a designer and marketer of branded hockey apparel inspired by the passion and tradition of the game.” This passion and these traditions are evident in everything they do. From the “Lake Placid Tee” to the skate-lace-inspired hat lining to the company logo on the rear lower left of each shirt they sell (a nod to #99), PondRocket is everything that’s great about the game of hockey. And don’t forget, 25% of sales through the end of November goes to the USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program.
Outdoor Research Ninjaclava
Why They’ll Love It: This may seem like a strange product to include in a hockey buyer’s guide, but when they realize that this warm whole-head covering fits under their hockey helmet and keeps them warm, you’ll instantly be their favorite Santa. My son wears one of these every time he plays on the backyard rink, and I saw dozens of guys sporting them at the pond hockey tournament I played in last year. Your husband already has a hard time following instructions — best to help save his ears before it gets worse.
Why They’ll Love It: Because wearing this stuff tells everyone they meet that they love the game of hockey and they value its roots. Plus it shows tremendous judgment, as they’ll be supporting the best hockey purist blog around. Lastly, it’ll make you thinner, stronger, and independently wealthy. Most of this is true.
|A New Hockey Stick
Why They’ll Love It: Because the quickest way to a hockey player’s heart is through their lumber (even if most aren’t wood these days). Want to really dazzle them? Go to wherever they keep their game sticks, and bring a camera (or pen and paper). Make a note of the brand and model number. Check to see if they are righty or lefty. Lastly, make a note of their curve, or pattern, which is normally found near the top front of the stick. Then make some calls to your local hockey shops, or check online at a place like TotalHockey.net. If they wake up on Christmas morning and find that you’ve taken the time to buy them an extra stick (or two) in their exact pattern, you’ll have won the gift-giving lottery. It may be the thought that counts, but it’s the Coffey curve that’ll knock it out of the park.
|Sniper’s Choice Top Shelf Targets
Why They’ll Love It: Because Gretzky didn’t learn how to embarrass goalies by aiming for soda cans tied to the twine, so why should your kids? (OK, Gretzky learned to shoot against a sideways picnic table, but let’s not let facts get in the way here.) These polyethylene shooting targets attach with nylon webbing and spring back into position after little Johnny takes ’em out with a bomb from the top of the driveway. They fit any net, and can be used for street or ice hockey.
Why They’ll Love It: Because even the most dedicated rinkbuilder dislikes shovel time, and the 48″ wide SnowPusherLite will get them back inside in half the time of a conventional store-bought shovel. With a galvanized steel edge on one side and a rubber squeegee on the other, it’ll handle heavy snowfall and light dustings without switching tools. Are you reading this, honey? I’d even be back inside quick enough to make my OWN hot chocolate.
|QuickStickz Interactive Stickhandling Training System
Why They’ll Love It: Because it’s part Wii, part hockey practice, and it gives them an excuse to bring their hockey stick into their bedroom. The QuickStickz comes with a ball inlaid with sensors and a camera, connects to any compatible computer, and trains your hockey player to stickhandle with their head up, a vital skill for any hockey player. Plus the user can upload their scores and progressions to an online community, as well as download new drills as they are developed.
|Rick O Shay Virtual Goalie
Why They’ll Love It: Because this is the single coolest hockey accessory EVER. That’s all you need to know. (OK, ok. Need to know more? Visit the product page at the link above and watch the video. This thing is AWESOME.)
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