Monday, May 2, 2011

Gifts for Men

There are few things that are as painful to shop for as gifts and cards for men. I love buying gifts for people almost as much as I love buying gifts for myself. Unless the people in question are men. And it isn't like I don't like men. Believe me, I have always been surrounded by truly amazing men who deserve truly fantastic gifts. It's just finding them that is problematic. Something's got to be wrong with the world where it's easier to find great men than great gifts for them, don't you think?

For women, one can buy so many different and wonderful gifts that the only problem is choosing. Jewelry, clothes, cosmetics, bath stuff, makeup, chocolates, flowers, scented candles, cuddly toys - the list can go on forever. For men we have shaving gear (and how many shaving gadgets does a guy need even if he is extremely hairy?), cologne (again, nobody needs 15 bottles of it), and that's pretty much it. People will suggest books, but if we are talking about a very well-read person (and I don't really hang out with any other kind), that's the trickiest gift of all. How do you know what this person has or hasn't read? Nobody I know ever gives me books because they know it's useless. 

If we look at cards, it's the same thing. There are all kinds of fun, romantic, beautiful and cheesy cards for women. All cards for men revolve around beer, toilets and some jokes that are in very bad taste. (I just saw a birthday card "for him" that said, "Even though you are old, there is still one thing in your pants that I find incredibly attractive: your wallet." Bleh.) 

I kind of feel sorry for men right now.


Anonymous said...

I've always appreciated gourmet food (charcuterie etc.) from williams sonoma type of online store.


Clarissa said...

Gourmet charcuterie sounds like a perfect gift for me. I had no idea such things existed online.

I never know that things exist until somebody tells me specifically. :-)

Anonymous said...

I've only shopped at or gotten stuff from williams sonoma but I'm sure there are other online stores with better quality stuff. I don't know of them so can't recommend any to you, unfortunately.


Anonymous said...

Some further suggestions: gloves, scarves, wine, gift cards to a swimming pool or gym that he frequents, gift cards for cinema or theatre, gift cards for a bookstore. And men I know wouldn't say no to chocolate either.

Clarissa said...

Gift cards feel kind of impersonal, though.

Wine is a great suggestion.

As for gloves and scarves, men I know are of the kind that doesn't understand why one would need a second scarf "when I already have a very good one, and I've only been wearing it for 7 years, so it's as good as new." :-)

Jonathan said...

Liquor is always appreciated. But I agree, I am very hard to shop for.

Tim said...

I think gift cards are the opposite of impersonal. You yourself said that you love shopping for yourself and so do others !

Alcohol is always a good idea and scarves and gloves make lovely gifts too.

Other than that, how about some man-jewelry or one of those dreaded man-bags ?

Oh, and if I were you I would avoid gifting towels and washcloths :)

Anonymous said...

I'm a woman, and to most of those ideas for women, I say, "Blech!" Scented candles, bath stuff, and cuddly toys end up in a drawer or a closet and never get used.

For men, I often can find something related to their hobbies.

Anonymous said...

Stuff they want but can't "justify" buying "yet." If I could afford it I'd buy my father, for instance, a wireless router and a computer with a wireless card in it, so he could have the computer anywhere in the house. (I could do this right now actually but can't afford a Mac, which is all he'd accept. But I know the ability to move the computer is something he wants, and I also know he doesn't realize how much he'd truly like it if he had it. I bought someone a TiVo once and it was a smash success since he had a thing about certain shows that didn't come on when he could see them. But these are all large items.

Spanish prof said...

Gift cards can be personal, as long as you don't buy them to Macys or shops like that. My husband is a free-lance artist, so a gift card to a fancy art shop is always a good gift for him. A (female) friend of ours is a high powered executive at a big corporation. We gave her a gift certificate to and she loved it. A (male) friend of ours is a graphic designer and every piece of furniture in his house seems to come from a 1950s furniture store. A gift certificate to the online store of the MOMA was a hit.

You just have to be creative with gift certificates, as with the rest of the gifts.

Birthday Gifts said...

It's the age-old dilemma of what to get men. There really are items out there, it's just one has to know where to look. I'll give a smattering of a bunch of different guy ideas here and some of them might jump out at you as being helpful. An old tin sign of a vintage car, leather wine coolers, novelty keyrings, a stunt kite, personalised gifts, men's gold jewellery, a model of his favourite car, desk sets, gizmos and gadgets, mind challenge puzzles, merchandise of his favourite sports team, a fishing vest, Ford merchandise, a geeky tshirt of the periodic table, etc etc. And that was only for starters...

Here's a tip - think of one of his favourite interests, and then think of what might be out there on that topic - cooler bags, stubby holders, keyrings, thermal mugs, slippers, etc.

As I said, options are endless. Have fun!