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.
Does he have a Nook?
No, I do; and he's adapting to playing with it occasionally. I told him I'll probably get him an e-reader for his birthday in the spring because even though we agree e-books are over-priced, with the 3-figure books he wants, the 15% savings over wood pulp will pay for itself in a couple volumes.
I'm still feeling out what e-reader will be best for him.
I was thinking the ability to have a few thousand books on hand, without the clutter, may be appealing.
He's slowly coming around. The honeymoon, on which I read 3 different books and was able to fit all of them, plus a phrase book and guidebook, in my purse through my e-reader, was eye-opening to him.
Did any of those books tell you honeymoons aren't to be used to read books?
No, and the flights are long, and I can't sleep on planes.
I'm not the most qualified person to give anti-clutter advice, but I found that my e-reader is particularly useful for keeping periodicals from piling up.
I kind of like having hundreds of books cluttering my house.. if books aren't totally obsolete by then, I'll be one of those old men whose house no one can navigate because it's filled with rickety book shelves and ceiling high piles of books.
But, having newspapers and magazines lying around gets to be too much. Now I get most of those digitally, and it's great. I can easily carry them around with me, and they don't wind up piled up.
And we're the opposite. Smiles. Periodicals have a dedicated, sufficient space, and we manage to toss the last issue when the new one arrives. We also share periodicals, and we don't share my e-reader. And my favorite periodicals aren't available for nook [I chose nook over kindle because a really obscure book I need daily is only available on nook]
Sounds like a guy. I think most of us don't take hints too well.
Shane nailed it: don't buy him anything that looks like what he wants but which isn't. Say you know he wants a screwdriver, and you buy him one. Did you buy the right screwdriver? Was it the kind of quality he was after? If not, your gift may even be a source of irritation since he might feel guilty about not using your screwdriver, or for buying the one he actually wants and needs himself afterwards. Well, if he is a real man, he will be above such irritation, but your gift will nonetheless not be of much actual value, only of sentimental value since you at least tries.
So get him to write down his wants and needs, or buy him a gift card. Or stick to areas where there is no chance of getting it wrong.
If you don't want to get him something material what about a gift pack for a weekend away somewhere?
Last year my (now ex) girlfriend bought me (well us) a weekend in niagara falls. Hotel suite, dinner vouchers, transport etc. So that was pretty cool.
Am neither especially outdoorsy nor a man's man.
That out of the way, the best gifts I've received in my life have been from my wife.
The first I can remember was a pair of gorgeous brass andirons, as we were about to move to a house with a fireplace and she knew how excited I was to have a place with one.
The last one that really got me was a chair I've been oogling for years if not decades but was expensive. She saved for it, went to an online place with a sale, free shipping, no tax etc and made it happen.
Just getting to know what one likes and then being bold is the basis for great gift giving.