Thursday, December 6, 2012

dude gifts.

First up: This Awesome, Awesome print from Clint Walkingstick on etsy. I don't know what man wouldn't love it. 

Shopping for guys is hard. When I'm shopping for friends and family who happen to be female, it just seems like the list gets accomplished much more easily. This is partly because I think, well, what would I like as a gift? At the same time, I usually think, oh, she wouldn't like this, I'll just get it for myself instead. And by then I usually realize that it isn't really Christmas shopping anymore if I'm only picking out things that I intend to keep.

So I asked my husband to give me a few pointers on what works, and what totally doesn't, for man-gifting. His general suggestion is that if he liked it as a kid, he'll like it as an adult. Think baseball cards, sports equipment, game boys, candy, comic books, superhero undies. Oh, and also beer, as long as you know what he likes (if not, many shops will help you put together a 6-pack sampler or you can pick out a sampler from a smaller brewery, like Butternuts or Ommegang, or try the craft beer club).

My absolute favorite site for unique gifts for men with particular habits (woodworking, beer, and cycling, to name a few) is uncommon goods. I bought a ton of gifts from there last year, and intend to do the same thing again within the next few days. For my brother-in-law the middle school technology teacher and cyclist, hubs and I got this cool recycled bike tread belt and a neato wooden tie last year. And hubs' cousin, who always has tickets for some game or show or concert, received the ticket stub diary to keep it all straight. The site is well-organized, with gifts organized by recipient gender and interest. They're a little spendy for some things (while i'd love to spend $200 on an accent table shaped like the great state of nj, it's just not going to happen), but definitely have unique gifts you won't find anywhere else, especially if you've got beer drinkers/cocktail lovers on your list; this set of 12 wine cork candles is great for people with a few bottles lying around.

The beef jerky store has a physical location in downtown Las Vegas, but you can order online as well. And what man doesn't love beef jerky? A vegetarian, you say? Well, that's ok too. The website has all kinds of dried fruits, candies, and Asian/Pacific Island specialty foods. I personally love the hot pork jerky, especially on top of takeout pizza, but be warned: it's terrible for you and contains MSG. If that's a dealbreaker, mabye check out what else they've got.

Head lamps are a cool and unexpected gift, and they come in handy for camping, dog-walking, blackouts, attic- and basement-stair climbing, taking the garbage out when you might get mauled by bears, and more. Here's where you don't want to totally cheap out. You can buy a $5 head lamp at a flea market, but don't be surprised when it craps out. Seriously, I bought like 4 separate cheapie ones for the hubs before I figured this out. This one from is reasonably priced and made by a good company.  You ay want to get one for yourself too. I use mine for peeking into the depths of my closet, and it's a lot more convenient than holding a MagLite in my teeth.

Lots of men like tools, but we women don't always know what they need or what they've already got. That's ok, because even most local hardware stores can issue gift certificates (though I usually end up buying giftcards from Sears or Tractor Supply Co. since they carry almost everything). Mechanic's toolsets and tool storage centers usually go on sale around the holidays and can serve more than one purpose: they help keep your home organized and they also make it so that you can put a bow on a big present that he'll actually use (I hope).

Some men like tech gifts. I can't really help you with that, and I apologize. There are a slew of tablets, TVs, smartphones and Blu-Ray players out there, and I doubt you really need my help when you can just ask the 16-year-old kid at Best Buy. If you want to give a cool place to recharge your smart phone while also listening to music and lighting up the night, try something like this Eton radio, which has a flashlight and cell phone charger and can be powered by crank.

Last but not least, apparel: All men need clothes. Here's where you have to assess how well you know a guy (the hubby says that while clothing is fine for a husband or long-term boyfriend, possibly even your brother or father, it's weird from friend to friend, as are all gifts over $25. He says men just don't do that). If you bought him a sweater would he take it as an insult, as in he's not well-dressed enough? Clothing is also tricky because fit needs to be taken into consideration. If you buy too big or too small, you might send the wrong message and it may or may not be insulting. Trust me on this. My mother-in-law has been buying clothes too big for our entire family, and it has produced some...not nice feelings, especially from my husband (men are sensitive about that, you know). Apparently according to hubs, band t-shirts/hoodies are ok if you know he loves a particular band, but other than that, we ladies should stick to what he calls "the classics" and I call "accessories." Things like hats, gloves, scarves, and suspenders. Yes, really suspenders. When I didn't buy them for my husband last Christmas, he went out and bought them for himself. I had no idea he was serious, but apparently, men do enjoy suspenders.

And for the man who has everything, but nowhere to put it: these lovely reusable Car Talk bags

Anything else to add?

I'm linking up today to the Awesome Gifts for Guys link-up party @ Moxie Wife. Check out some of the other blogs there for even more ideas!

1 comment:

  1. Ah, I failed to add this to my own list, but a magazine subscription is great. It keeps coming all year, but it doesn't require the time commitment of a novel. My hubs LOVES Backpacker, for example.

    My husband loves playing with his headlamp (read: checking the mail at midnight just for kicks) so that was a good one ;-)