I know AoM has a great set of posts on gifts for men, but there is nothing on any of their lists that my husband would enjoy. (At least nothing I haven't already gotten him.) I like to buy or make meaningful or useful gifts, but he seems unimpressed.
So, here's the question: what general principles could I use to figure out what a man actually wants for Christmas?
I'm especially interested to hear from men who are masculine, but who aren't the outdoorsy "man's man" the AoM list seems perfect for.
Thanks for all the help you've been in the past! Thanks to you, women know how to help their husbands be better dads and how to tell you when they are and are not interested. I really appreciate you helping me understand men better.
Never quite sure how seriously to take your responses, Shane...
I think I'll have to steal this Shane... Now to just wait for the perfect opportunity to work into a conversation.
Tools, Guns, Knives, Bows (ie bow and arrows), watch, Straight Razor or Nice Electric Razor, ipad, silver or gold coins.
Let me know if you need my address, as you can see you do not need my size and likely the color will not matter. Let your husband know he can thank me later at the bar.
Well what are his hobbies? For example I'm a homebrewer and an amateur astronomer. So for me new brewing equipment or eyepieces for my telescope are welcome. I love functional gifts - maybe a pair of gloves that allows the use of touch screens? I always like new watches, sweaters, etc.
Does he read? Is he a history buff? How about good biographies? Maybe a good miniseries that he hasn't seen yet.
THAT is what I was saying. Ask, find out what his hobbies are and such.
Back when we were still dating my wife gave me a subscription to National Geographic. One of the best gifts I've gotten since I was a kid.
I would say that I fit your description. I personally like two things: books and clothes (I'm also young so I like video games and things that only my generation would understand, but I don't think that will apply to your husband). Like the other guys who posted, look to his hobbies if you want to get a good gift. For example, I said I like clothes. For me, good Christmas gifts would be clothes that round out my wardrobe (some slacks, dressy socks, pocket squares, etc). I'm also into politics so I asked for politically themed books. I would recommend trying to round out things he already has going. It's hard to find something completely new every year, so just try to round things out in accordance with his hobbies.
Thanks for the advice!
FYI, my husband is 26. We're Millenials, too.
Does it have to be a surprise? While my wife and I sometimes surprise each other, we usually talk about and select our gifts together. I don't know how much you value surprise in gift-giving, but I offer this as an alternative.
If sitting next to each other while he orders a briefcase for Christmas or you order a pair of earrings (we shop online a lot) is too much for you, perhaps you could at least ask him for a wish list (another thing that the internet has made much easier).
It's really very particular. I want books, but pretty much only the ones I picked out for myself. Clothes -- the ones I want. Tools -- the ones I need. Maybe that's just me.
I do often get surprised, mostly w/ clothes or outdoorsy kind of equipment, and am happy with it, though.
If it's my wife, I would say, an afternoon of uninterrupted her and me, which means wife handled babysitting arrangements and wasn't unhappy at the expense.
Men, in my experience, seem to want gifts to be more functional/practical. But that can be interpreted in any number of ways.
I posted a photo of a crystal Ethiopian opal, the other day. I enjoy jewelry. I enjoy shiny pebbles. And since 2 of my best friends are jewelers, this is akin to a "kit" for me. It's a way to get creative.
In fact, one of them gave me, for my birthday, a 225ct blue sapphire boulle, and a promise to teach me to facet.
Don't get me things. I am very particular about what I want and why. It is rare that a person can guess at something in a field I'm interested in, and actually get the "right" thing (and the wrong thing, while well intentioned, is a waste of someone's time and money - it will not get used).
So I'm happy to buy the *things* I want for myself.
What I really want, is time. Time to myself, time to work on my own projects, time to read a book without feeling guilty that I'm not getting something else on my list done.
If you can arrange that somehow (maybe a bag of tokens, each one representing a half hour that can be used at his discretion, guilt free), I suspect you'd have a very grateful man.
But to answer your specific question - "what general principles could you used to figure out what a man actually wants for Christmas" - is simple.
I don't want to be surprised, and I don't want you to waste your time. Just ask.