I’m terrible at figuring out gifts for men, so why I ever said I would post this is beyond me. I am really hoping all of you will leave brilliant comments of gift ideas for men. Because you all have brilliant ideas, right? Oh good, I knew I could count on you.
Most men love strategy games. I mentioned a few in my Gifts of Games post like Risk, Settlers of Catan and Manhattan. If you’re looking for a game you can play with your strategy game lovin’ guy, I really think you’ll both like Manhattan. I like it a lot, even more than Settlers of Catan, which I like quite a bit too. Another fun strategy game is what we affectionately call “the bean game”. It’s really called Bohnanza, but you “plant beans” and “trade beans” and it’s quite fun. It’s just cards and it’s not complicated (but it is strategic) and it’s inexpensive. I love uncomplicated games. I know we’re talking about what MEN like, but hey, if you’re wanting to get him a game you’ll like too, Manhattan and Bohnanza score high on my list.
Books are great if the man on your list is a reading kind of guy. My husband is usually reading three or four books at once. His latest favorite is 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller. Together, we’ve been reading Saving Your Marriage Before it Startsby Les and Leslie Parrott. Our marriage started 16 years ago, but we are still enjoying this book. We’ve heard great recommendations for UnCommon: Finding Your Path to Significance, by Tony Dungy.
Men usually don’t buy their own clothes, so this is what I usually resort to buying when I can’t think of anything else. Original, I know.
Hopefully you know the kind of music the man you’re purchasing for likes. If not, iTunes Gift Cards are great!
You’re only limited to your imagination on this one. You can give a “Pie of the Month” coupon book, a “Romantic Dinner” coupon book, a “Favorite Meals” coupon book, “Favorite Desserts” coupon book…whatever the man you’re giving the coupon book to would enjoy.
If you’re really lucky, he’ll want/need a tool that actually fits under the tree and costs less than your wedding ring. Unfortunately, he probably already has a hammer.
- Camping Gear, Sports Gear, Hunting Gear, Fishing Gear
Or whatever gear he’s into. And doesn’t already have.
And that, my friends, is about all my brain could come up with. What are your ideas for gifts for men? Anything. Anything at all. Bring on the ideas!
This year I am getting my husband a digital picture frame for his office. He took a new job and had to downsize from an office to a cubicle. There is no room for all the things he used to be able to display. I also got him some books on CD. He drived an hour and a half to work and back each day. If I could put moving closer to work under the tree I would! Unfortnatley I don’t think it would fit, nor could we afford it. I will be getting clothes for him also. Why do men wait until everything is so full of holes before they will replace it?!
Since my husband is a truck driver and of course is always on the road, I am getting him a little travel bag he can use in the truck stops. It looks like a small carry-on luggage so it’s not too girlie, but it holds all of his toiletries that he needs. It also has a hook on the back so it can hook right on to the back of the door at the truck stop. Sure beats carrying it all in a Walmart bag. :)
Patty Fromherz says
Hi Casey, My husband is a truck driver too, If I may ask how does he eat? I have been having alot of trouble feeding him in a healthy way, and he is very picky about his food too! he put on a lot of weight since driving truck and he is trying to loose it. His semi-truck cab is small and the fridge is very small and he has to cook with a microwave. he does not have enough space for me to pack homemade frozen dinners that are healthy and he gets tired of the same food very fast, but the exspensive food at the truckstop resturants seem to stick with him and than he feels satisfied but it is so unhealthy, hi in sodium and sugar and bad fat. with my food he feels like he is always starving. Do you have any ideas of what I can do.
He eats a lot of soups. I buy him the healthier types. He also eats a lot of canned tuna with crackers or on bread. I make sure he is well stocked with whole wheat bread and lean lunch meat. He heats his soups up in his lunchbox cooker. We are thinking of getting him a small crocl=pot for the truck. That was he can “throw and go” and his food will be ready for him when he is done driving for the day. He usually stops at the pilot truck stops so at least there isn’t a sit down restaurant. That helps with cutting down on eating out. He will use his pilot points for sub sandwiches every now and then. They fill him up and he gets lots of veggies that way. I have also thought about canning some homemade soups and stews for him. Then he can just heat and eat. Hope all this helps.
Sorry that should be “crock-pot” lol
Patty Fromherz says
Thank you Casy, It does give me some ideas. you have a good Christmas.
If you go to Crock-pot.com you can find a 20 ounce portable crockpot. It holds 20 ounces-a good size for my hubby to take to plug in and cook for his lunch or for my dd and I to share for lunch on co-op days. We bought ours on sale through amazon for $19.99 I think.
My husband likes all this stuff! But if you don’t have an ipod and you’re using itunes just for music on the computer or whatever, try http://www.gomusicnow.com you can get music for 9c a song, and total albums for like a buck or a little over, depending on its age/number of songs on it! I got my husband an electric toothbrush with lots of heads, flosses and gum cleaners, also a new testament on cd, with different actors doing the different peoples voices.
We’re doing little gifts this year because I want a new couch lol. I’m getting him warming shave cream- from beauti-control, a book on smoking meat, and a couple NY Giants t-shirts. I’m also getting him a warming neck wrap- it’s like those rice sacks you can make yourself, shaped to fit over the shoulders. I think anyone with minimal sewing skills could easily make one themselves.
I made a photo album book for my husband one year and he LOVED it. It was all about “Our family story”. I use picaboo.com
I tend to alternate among fun, practical, and sentimental, or some combination thereof. Our first Christmas together I put together a photo album of the first year of our relationship. He really wants a pool table, but it’s so far our of our budget, so last year I found a mini pool table as part of his gift. And knives or shotglasses are a good standby, because he collects those. One of my favorite sentimental gifts was actually for the first anniversary of our engagement: he proposed to me by giving me a Bible, so I bought him a pocket Bible that he could carry with him while he was working. He still uses it, though he complains that the print is too small!
Amber Rogers says
My husband loves any tools or gadgets. He enjoys cd’s for listening to in the car. while he travels for work. Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards so he can get coffee when he’s on the road, and good alpaca socks for hunting, bags of mints for covering coffee breath while on the road, he likes framed artwork for the house, and slippers and flannel jammie pants. Last year I gave him a gift certificate to a local ski place, and we took some of our boys for the day. It was very memorable. Maybe things like that for local events in your area? One year he got tickets to the Nutcracker ballet. Not very manly, but he took his girls and had a tremendous time showing them around the town for the evening. He loved it!
What about a calendar with 12 pictures of the fam…one for each month…to hang in his office?
You missed the obvious one, food! ;) Peppermint chocolate bark, cookies, etc. :)
I just ordered my husband an MP3 player thing. I can also go on the internet like a iTouch but it cost 200 bucks less :) He for whatever reason thinks the iTouch is awesome even tho we don’t have wireless internet. His main need was for something to play music/books/the bible. So I found this other little thing that I think he will enjoy. He can use the internet stuff when we are somewhere with wifi but he can listen to music and books and play games on it other times.
Warm socks are always a nice guy gift or nice dress socks. Hats or leather gloves. My husband has at least 10 hats and can usually only find 1 so he can always use more to lose :)
I usually make my husband a pair of boxer shorts out of some silly fabric (I think this year it’ll be pirates), and sometimes a t-shirt stenciled with whatever weird thing or quote he’s into this year. (It’s really easy to stencil on fabric if you use freezer paper. Tutorial here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=347296.0 )
I also usually get him some candy (we don’t ever really buy candy), and usually some sort of alcohol, since we usually don’t have money for that either. This year it’ll be a bottle of Irish Cream.
Another thing I’d suggest, especially if your husband spends a lot of time online, is to have him set up a Wist and add to it throughout the year. http://www.wists.com It’s just an online bookmark wishlist that’s really easy to use. The fact that my husband has one is a lifesaver around Christmas and birthdays!
My dad is always pleased with a gift card to Best Buy! He hoards them until he can get what he wants. :)
As for my husband, I can always find something fun at http://www.thinkgeek.com – they have tons of little gadgets and things.
What about an upgrade to something you already have like a new cellphone or tv program package. If money is an issue, choose something that is a promotion or can be downgraded when needed. If he has a favorite team, you can get things in that theme. You can also upgrade to better shoes, ties, or a nice leather belt depending on what your man wears/likes. If he’s into a sport/activity and wants you to join him, get yourself the necessary gear for joining him… as HIS present!
My husband and I always “give each other” a present. Meaning we use the money that we’d spend on presents to each other on something we both need or use. That way we know we can get something we know we need instead of trying to guess. One year it was a house (a big year!), last year was a weekend in Tampa, and this year will be a dishwasher. So romantic, I know!
When we were dating, I did give him a long sleeve button down shirt in his favorite sports team colors. He liked it because he could wear it to work, unlike his 15 team t-shirts.
We love movies and don’t have cable or anything, so movies is a big one on my hubby’s list. We have 5 kids and don’t get out much w/out them, so date nights are great! So movie money and gift cards to his favorite resturants are good.
He likes sentimental gifts too. One year I made him a traditional scrapbook of his life from birth to his present age. It was awesome. He also is very outdoorsy and I am SO not, so getting him a ski pass or golf pass or something he loves!
My hubby is also a kid at heart (what man isn’t though, right!) so I always get him a toy. Usually a Nerf gun or dart board or something along those lines. This year he wants the big Nerf sword. He is always jealous when I get one of my 4 boys a new Nerf gun… he always wants one! I have to admit, they are SO much fun!
i’m so glad i’m not the only one with a hubby like that. this year my hubs “big” gift is a set of light sabres for him & ds. i couldn’t believe how his eyes lit up when he saw it in walmart.
my husband loves when I get him t-shirts with funny or sarcastic sayings on them..like last year I got him one that said “No I won’t fix your computer for you” and another that said “There’s no place like “127.0.0.1” (home) People are always complimenting him on them and laughing…I got him new funny ones this year! He works with computers so they make sense to him! lol
My husband has the shirts that say “I have a BS degree.” and “There are 10 types of people in the world. Those that can read binary and those that can’t.”
My MIL got him a shirt with a picture of Dilbert that says something like “Stand back, citizen. I’m a professional.”
Pocket knives, wallets, and flashlights. It doesn’t matter if a guy has 35 of these items, they’re like shoes are to women. According to my husband, if it is shiny, has buttons or a man can potentially hurt himself with the item, he would like it. And, of course, wallets…I don’t know what category this would fit in, but the lovely thing is that you can get any of these for $20.00 or less. Unless your husbands are like my husband and have to buy a $30.00 Gerber Multi-use tool in lime green.
I laughed at your quote, “If you’re really lucky, he’ll want/need a tool that actually fits under the tree and costs less than your wedding ring.” My wedding ring is a simple titanium band; it was free with the purchase of my husband’s slightly more elaborate but still simple titanium band. So it would be hard to find anything that cost less than my wedding band!
Susan Alexander says
I’m getting my husband some chocolate covered strawberries from sherry’s berries and the “Halo Reach” game for the Xbox that he asked for.
Another idea I had that I nixed was to get us a fire safe. But still, it might work for someone else’s husband!
I love the fire safe idea! :) I had to laugh; that is my husband’s number one gift to give at wedding showers! :) I thought he was the only one! :)
This year my hubby is getting some books on CD, a book, candy/chocolates, the game Manhattan (Thanks, Laura!), a new gun case, and two sweaters.
Funny story: Two nights ago my hubby was picking out clothes for work the next day. He wanted to wear this one burgundy sweater, but he decided not to because it was getting really old and worn. He said that if I found this sweater in this exact style and this exact color, I could get for him for Christmas. (Ha, ha! Like I was going to find an exact replacement for his old sweater.) I was walking through Macy’s the next day, and I saw the EXACT sweater — on sale for 50% off! God is soooo totally awesome! I cannot wait to see my husband’s face on Christmas morning! :)
For years I was always bemoaning that the darling husband was too hard to buy for…and then suddenly I was hit by the realization that I simply wasn’t paying attention!! Why do we assume that the men in our lives were hard to buy for??? The times I would wander off to the mall and just buy a couple of nice shirts, a pair of shoes, or a new wallet blah blah were the times that I was just too lazy to think/brainstorm or really pay attention to him! (not that there is anything wrong at all with any of those items, rather they were my safety net of “easy” presents). My husband is an A+++ gift giver and he sure pays attention throughout the year to things I mention/covet :}
And it’s so easy to spend all our xmas budget on the kids or the parents etc. instead of really indulging our husbands. And I think that husbands are quick to sacrifice and say “oh shucks…don’t worry about me”….
It’s easy to say “oh, it’s not in the budget”….I put aside money every other week in an ING account that is designated for xmas–my gram taught me to do this when I was a little girl and I highly recommend it.
This year I’m getting him a toboggan! Last year we had a huge snow and for some odd reason he had the day off (our kids are off in college and we are in our 50s). We pulled out the old saucers from long ago and headed off to the BIG hill up the street. What a time we had! Just like the long ago courting days :}
Plan a DATE for the 2 of you. Start at breakfast, take a hike, do a scavenger hunt, treat him to a movie that HE likes. Take him on a romantic picnic. Buy tickets to the Observatory. A special date to a museum with a fancy lunch afterwards. Save up and buy him a ticket to go skydiving! Or race car driving. Tickets for just the TWO of you for a day at the amusement park. A special bottle of wine. A magazine subscription. A weekend away. Go late to a fancy restaurant and just have dessert. Make a collage of photos–your dating times, his childhood pictures, houses you’ve lived in. Plan a party just for HIM. Buy him new underwear but buy the REALLY good stuff from Brooks Brothers :} Make him a gourmet basket of fancy cheese and crackers. Go to vintage stores/used bookstores….find a great map of a place that he LOVED…frame it. Find a beautiful picture of something he longs to do–frame it–write “Someday” on it.
C’mon girls….you can do it!!
Video game and golf clubs!
This year he’s getting 3 movies that were $5 each. But the reason I’m cheaping out is because after Christmas he will be getting a new iPod Touch. It’s technically for work, but we will be paying for it out of pocket so it is counting as a Christmas and Valentine’s gift – maybe also anniversary.
In past years I’ve gotten him gifts from http://www.thinkgeek.com. My mom and his mom have also started getting him (and a few other family members) gifts from that site.
Last year my hubby and I had a Gift of the Magi Christmas. After many maintenance tricks to keep our $2.00 thrift store espresso machine operating, I decided to buy a new one for him for Christmas. Apparently great minds think alike, because that was what he got ME too! Well, we couldn’t justify keeping 2 of them, so we took back the one I bought for him (I spent more on his model than he did for me. He’s worth it.)The one we kept still cranks out lattes every morning, which he makes for me before he leaves for work. He’s hard to shop for because he never waits for Christmas to see if he’ll get it—he goes out and gets it for himself.
I picked up a few video games for my husband as well as some noise cancelling headphones while he plays. I got a toy too, marshmallow shooter. I bought my nephew one too so they can have a war. lol My husband loves Matisyahu music so I bought an older and the newest CDs. A couple funny t-shirts, a new watch and a leatherman’s tool. We don’t usually buy for each other all during the year so this is the only time we buy something. The kids picked out a WWII planes puzzle to work on with him. It should be a good year.
Holly in Virginia says
My hubby needs all sorts of things but never buys them for himself. And of course we both make do in a lot of ways. So I always have a running list of wants/needs for him in my brain. Last year I hoarded extra $ from our grocery budget, a few dollars here and there and paid for his gifts last year, though they were still small, some cologne he really wanted, home sewed boxers and pajama bottoms. I like to make him one or two gifts, plus a store bought gift or two.
I love the holidays because there are always special sales and coupons and things so that I can buy him things that we couldn’t afford any other way. This year I used a Kohls charge card (we pay the balance off every month) because they have ridiculous sales plus they often give special 15-30% total purchase discounts (including sale items!)I spent $100 but saved $200 on black Friday! And I got him something he really needs! Plus I got $20 “Kohls cash” which you can use after the current sale ends on any item in the store, so I went back and got a gift for our son, basically for free!
Charlotte Moore says
I am not much for CHRISTmas gifts because people have forgotten what the true meaning is. My thing is his birthday and our anniversary. His birthday is Dec. 22 and I bought him a very nice bicycle that is for street or road. Of course I have gone through the socks, ties, shirts….
We don’t spend much but I have some good ideas:
-He loves his sound proof headphones with built in radio, and he buys them for other guys.
-Sometimes I have cleaned the basement or something like that when he’s been away travelling.
-A weekend away. I can’t afford this, but my parents are giving us each cash and I told them to say it’s for a little getaway. And that they also need to watch our kids for us! I think a little getaway is what he wants more than anything.
-A nike+, if he’s a runner. It is SO cool – it records how far and fast you run and autimatically plots it on a graph on your computer.
-He said he wants new earbuds because they wear out pretty fast, new gloves, and a water bottle.
-If you know any tall skinny guys, you could really bless them by buying them tall size shirts. My husband lost a lot of weight and he’s frustrated that M & L sizes are usually short. He has to buy Long undershirts, so they cost an arm and a leg. He’s 6′, which isn’t extra tall, but the smaller sizes are just a bit short.
-My brother is a bachelor and I always make him a “Box o’ Frozen Food” – tons of healthy homemade stuff like soup, sweet bread, and marinated meat for his George Foreman Grill. He has plenty of money, buys extremely generous gifts for my family, and I have no idea of anything else I could possibly give him. He absolutely loves the homemade food!
-batteries, flashlights, very plain chapstick, gum, even light bulbs? My husband likes having a store of these things!
I try to think about love languages when giving to people. (giving gifts, acts of service, quality time, words of encouragement…and if you’re buying for your husband, physical touch!) Acts of service is mine so I end up giving almost exclusively homemade gifts,and I’m a tightwad so that’s perfect! But my husband’s is quality time so I’m glad we can work out a little getaway!
Thanks for this post & all the comments, because men truly are a little hard to shop for!
Holly in Virginia says
Considering love languages is such a good idea! Not just the one you use,
but the one that the person you are buying for uses. My husband is a talker,
I am a doer. I can get very busy doing and neglect his needs. I have been
making a special effort this holiday season to stop what I am doing and
talk to my husband, to share my love for him in the ways he needs most.
It has also helped prevent me from getting caught up and stressed out. Putting
the needs of my family before anything else, even making their presents,
is hard for me to do sometimes so it has been a great exercise for me.
Thanks for the tip…just ordered Manhattan as we are already big Settlers fans. Can’t wait to see what it is like.
We love games that we can play with our older kids and when we get together with other game playing families!
Love your site and the wealth of info here!
We’ve been married 26 years and for most of those years we didn’t have enough money left after buying all the other family presents to get eachother anything, so we usually just agreed to spend some time together alone after Christmas. We do the same for our anniversary. No gifts, just spend the day together doing something relaxing.