Tag Archives: Christmas gift

Father’s Day, Anniversary Gifts for Men & What to AVOID Giving Your Husband

I recently wrote about gift ideas and what to never buy your wife, and was asked to also include some guidelines on gifts for men in time for father’s day. I’m happy to oblige, with the caveat that you must first know your spouse, their preferences and dislikes. Thoughful gifts that fit their personality are more appreciated than generic gifts. So, if a shirt and tie have become your mainstay father’s day, birthday or anniversary gift, give it some more thought.

My own husband has never liked receiving gifts. He finds it much easier to give than to receive. He’s also very tricky to buy for, since he usually heavily researches any purchase. However, we’ve both gotten better about this over the years, and I asked for his input on stuff guys generally like. So, here goes:

  • If your man has ever wanted to race a car, fly a helicopter or plane, go up in a hot air balloon, go parasailing, or take golf lessons, this would make a unique experiential gift. You don’t have to break the bank; we recently found a Groupon offer for $75 for one helicopter lesson.
  • Most guys like electronics. Is there a new gadget he has had his eye on? If he’s a book lover, maybe the Kindle or iPad would be appreciated. A few years ago, I gave my hubby an ipod that was engraved with “You rock my world.” He liked it better than all the watches and shirts I’ve given him over the years.
  • Does your husband have a hobby for which he needs accessories (i.e. bicycling, photography, motorcycling, fishing, boating, woodworking)?
  • The gift of time to do something he enjoys without guilt. Write out a certificate that says a free weekend with the guys, fishing trip to Canada or whatever honks his horn.
  • Search the antique shops for something that would make him smile–a picture of a car he drove in an earlier era, a magazine from the year he graduated from high school or his birth year.
  • Give tickets to a sporting or musical event or a play–maybe even season tickets.
  • Have portraits taken for him, or compile some of his favorite pictures or videos together.
  • Plan an evening or weekend away with you with nothing required on his part. This time together can help you reconnect and rekindle your romance. Speaking of romance, I recently learned about a board game called A Private Affair, which would make an interesting gift. It’s sold as “an erotic game of secrets, plans and promises for couples.” While I haven’t seen the game in person, I’m thinking most men would prefer that to a tie. ****When I told the game’s creator I would share this with you, he offered to give one away!! So, anyone who posts a comment to this post will be entered into a drawing to win the game.
  • Beer, cheese, wine or fruit of the month club–or other gourmet food he enjoys.
  • My dad and husband have always enjoyed tools, but this should be reserved for DIYers who enjoy that kind of thing.
  • Fly in a friend or relative with whom he would love to have a visit.
  • A limited edition book or rare album.
  • Read this great article on charitable gift ideas for dad.

I asked my hubby what gifts men receive that should be avoided. So BE WARNED:

  • Anything to do with personal grooming, such as a nose trimming kit. So, in case that was on your list, cross it off. 😉
  • Massage gift card–Many men might love this, but this is where you need to know your man. My guy hates them.
  • Dance lessons or anything you want to do, but you’re pretending is a gift to him.
  • Supplies for him to complete a project you want him to do. Again, it’s a gift for him, not you.
  • Do you really have to be the one to buy socks, underwear and belts for him?

P.S. I’m writing this addition after Father’s Day since I didn’t want to ruin  my husband’s surprise. I had a home video made for him to some of his favorite songs, with tons of pictures from our kids’ baby years, family vacations, holidays and fun moments together. He said it was the “best father’s day gift ever.” I collected all the images, and hired a family member who is great at that kind of thing. It’s something we will both treasure for many years.

I’d love to hear your ideas of great gifts or not-so-good ones. Guys, what is the FAVORITE gift you have received, and what do you wish you would not receive again? Do you like getting car wash cards, gift cards or other “generic” gifts, or does it seem too impersonal?

Comments are now closed for the drawing of A Private Affair. It will be awarded shortly.

Photo credit: PhotoXpress.com

The Free Christmas Gift Your Spouse will Treasure

“Whatever I treasure and enjoy—this home, our ranch, the sight of the sea—all would be without meaning if I didn’t have you. I live in a permanent Christmas because God gave me you.”– Ronald Reagan


I hear a lot of people talking about needing to scale back this Christmas. From the large crowds in the malls already, I’m not sure they will stick to their goals. What if there was a gift you knew your spouse would really treasure, and it would cost you nothing but your time and effort? The gift is a love letter. Wait! Before you get too scared, please at least hear me out.


The book, “My Dear President,” details hundreds of letters between Presidents and their wives, from George Washington to George Bush. It’s fascinating to not only read about their lives but about their feelings for one another so eloquently expressed. They don’t call Ronald Reagan “The Great Communicator” for nothing. Not only did he communicate well with a nation, he communicated his love with amazing detail in daily letters. The book “I love you, Ronnie,” details these letters, but you can read a quick glimpse here http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4201869/. No matter where he was, Reagan made time to write letters to his wife, whether they were in different countries or in the same room.


My point is that if the President of the United States can make time to write letters to his wife, so can you. I know you are used to emailing and text messaging and maybe aren’t used to expressing your feelings. So, here are a couple of suggestions. Don’t buy a greeting card and write a line at the bottom. Write a real letter with at least a couple of paragraphs and a beginning and closing. You get extra points for nice stationery and hand writing instead of typing. Tell your spouse not only what you appreciate about what he or she does, but also what you appreciate about who they are and what they mean to you. Express your gratitude and love. If you need further inspiration, read one of the books mentioned above. Or link to this IBJ article, which includes one of the greatest love letters I have ever read, from a Civil War Union officer to his wife while on the battlefield. Go to: www.ibj.com and search for Mike Redmond’s column title “The art of letter writing.”


Chances are that your spouse doesn’t remember many of the gifts from years past. But great letters become treasures for generations.


 While you’re at it, draft a letter to your children, your parents or those you want to know how much you care about them. Even hand-written notes to business associates stand out because they are so rare.


Share your letter-writing experience. Have you written or received a letter that has great value to you?