Friday, August 07, 2009

DM's Gift Guide: Men

Everyone's got a dad, brother, boyfriend, boss, husband, uncle or friend that you have to get a gift for at some point, and in most cases, more than once a year. And unless they have a couple of easy-to-shop-for hobbies, like music or cooking, you run out of ideas pretty fast. Take Ed for example. He has two hobbies: fly fishing and elk hunting. Both of which require special, expensive, very specific and sometimes custom equipment. He pretty much has to get everything himself.

Then there are people like my Dad, who has a number of interests - he likes books, movies, eating out, cooking, drawing, photography, and jewelry-making. But he doesn't ever have a wish list because whenever he wants something he just goes out and gets it for himself.

In both cases you have to perceive a need or want before they do, and find the item to fill it. Sometimes it's not so hard - their socks have holes, or they stained their favorite tie. Awesome. But usually I have to sit and stare at the wall and think and think and think. This list is hardly the final word in gifts for men, but, like with the women's list, maybe it will spark your imagination.

1. Open X, $10 - One Father's Day I got this for my dad, Ed and Ed's dad. It was a great year. And we use this thing all the time as long as the last person to use it put it back in the toolbox so we can find it again. It's been great for plastic packaging as well as opening and breaking down boxes when moving. Every household needs one of these.
2. Food - I know this seems like almost a cop-out gift, but there's a lot of good food out there, and consumables are a great way to go for the guy that has everything. Does he have 14 flavors of popcorn? Didn't think so. Does he have the Mega Salsa Lovers Gift Basket? How about the 5-Way House of Almonds tin? And I can assure you his life will not be complete until he has tasted Blenheim Red Hot Ginger Ale. Ed would probably be thrilled with a tub of chocolate chip cookie dough and a root beer float kit. Just think of what he likes or might like, and go shopping!

3. Personalized golf balls - I was desperate enough one year to get these for Ed, and he actually liked them and used them, evidence of a gift well-chosen. This was before New York when he still had time to golf. They said, "Former property of Ed Hickman" and they're all gone now.

4. Hand-painted pottery - This is a nice go-to for any occasion. Take your kid(s) to a paint-your-own-pottery place and have them paint a personalized mug/ice cream bowl/picture frame. No man can resist something useful made just for him, or he should at least act like he can't. Another handmade gift the kids can make: hand decorated notepad.5. Entertainment - Sometimes DVD box sets are too expensive for someone to justify buying for themselves, but he would love Band of Brothers, Blue Planet, The Godfather, X-Files, Lord of the Rings or The Seinfeld Complete Series. Or get him a season of something on iTunes - Lost, Psych, Dancing with the Stars (I won't tell), whatever he likes.

6. Jeeves books + "Good Morning Sir" Alarm Clock, $69.99 - For the man who has (or needs) culture and a sense of humor. My sister-in-law gave my brother this alarm clock last Christmas and when we visited him in England we got to use it. I also happened to be reading The Inimitable Jeeves at the time and both deepened my cultural experience and my love for this impeccably sarcastic butler.
7. Something Gadgety - Men love toys! But I had fun, too, finding just a few examples. I give you:
The Moo Mixer


Geary said...

Note: Your mother commented, "Why wasn't the twirly fork on the WOMEN's list?

GR82BAMOM said...

I have really enjoyed these fun lists and must make a note of them. I have gotten my husband a few heirloom-quality gifts that he has really enjoyed. I got him for his birthday last month a beautiful stainless steal money clip that holds a couple of credit cards and his driver's license on the other side of the clip. I didn't get it engraved right away since I'm still looking around for a place that does laser engraving which is much nicer than the standard engraving.

Maren said...

Awesome list. Funny that those golf balls have never been returned.... One correction, though: I didn't buy the clock for Dave because it was out of stock (more popular than they expected, I guess) but I told him I knew it was meant for him. I think he has since acquired it for himself.

Shells said...

I got it for him for Christmas on your recommendation, and it is quite awesome.

Nells-Bells said...

haha! i seriously considered the moo mixer at one point for my dad. he is a chocolate milk fanatic. i really think it will be in his hands this christmas!!

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