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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday Tip - Gift Giving to Men

It's that time of the year again - the time when you realize you have 10 to 20 to 30 people to purchase meaningful, useful, and in budget presents.  Is there a harder task?  It seems that every year I'm scrambling to find something that will make the recipient happy and know that I love them, but also not break the bank.  This year I started early.  WAY early.  July to be exact.  And except for my husband, I'm done with every single person on my list.  And my husband is pretty easy because he's completely selfless and would be just as happy if I gave him a picture and said "I love you".  I wish everyone was so easy!

But it wasn't easy. Especially not for the men in our families.  I always struggle to find good gifts for men.  For some reason I feel like the options are more limited.  I mean, women love to get clothes, but do men really love to receive a new shirt?  And there's always jewelry for girls, but what's the male equivilant?  Tools? And who can afford to get new power tools for all the men in their life?  

So here are some tips I've found along the way that might help any of you that are still struggling with finding the elusive perfect gift for a man.  Remember - not everyone falls in these little categories, so you might not be able to use all this advice for everyone.  
  1. Think Function, Not Sentiment - Men tend to think of gift giving in terms of an exchange of goods.  For women, the meaning behind the present is usually just as important as the actual gift - this isn't the case for men.  A man is probably going to appreciate an item that he can hold on to and use.  
  2. Listen to What He Wants - If he's been saying for the past 3 months that he would like a certain book, or new tennis shoes, or a day of golfing - it's ok to get him that exact thing.  You don't have to go out of your way to surprise him with something "he's always wanted, but didn't know it."  He'll be just as happy to receive the thing that he knew he wanted.  The key is to pay attention and buy the item he wants, not the item that you think he should want.  
  3. Think of His Interests - If he's really into sports, get him tickets to an event you know he would like to attend.  If he's into history, get him a book on a topic you know he likes.  It he likes sailing, get him a boat.  Ha ha - just kidding.  Maybe you can get him something to do with sailing - like a book, or lessons, or a life jacket.  
  4. Avoid Generic Token Gifts - This actually applies to both men and women.  You never want to give a gift that says "I took little effort in getting you this gift."  If it's a gift you could give anybody, then it's not for a special someone.
  5. Make It Something Fun - While some men enjoy practical gifts (I'm related to a lot of them), most men want a gift that's fun.  The key is finding something that the man will use, but that will be fun to use.  
I hope this was helpful for someone.  I'm still learning a lot about gift giving, but this few guidelines really helped me this year.  

Enjoy the pleasure of blessing others this season!

1 comment:

Allison Vasquez said...

Totally true that men love something fun. My husband's favorite gift last year was a keychain that he could download pictures to. He loved the idea of being able to carry around 40 pictures on his wife (me) and daughter to show off without having to bulk up his wallet.

I also love your rule about no generic gifts. Every year, my brother and his wife(and I can say this because there's no way you know my brother) give us Starbucks giftcards and other junk from Starbucks. I hate Starbucks. I couldn't drink it while I was pregnant or nursing, so it was not only a generic gift, it was completely thoughtless. Please don't do that to anyone this year!

This year, our family has decided to give gifts to the little kids and sponsor a family in need with the rest of our usual Christmas money. I love this idea and I think it will be a lot of fun to choose gifts for another family imagining their excitement for gifts they didn't expect to receive.

Sorry for the long post. Maybe I should have just blogged on my own page. You just really struck a cord with me, I guess!