But first we must cover lunch.
Today’s lunch included a Swiss cheese sandwich (it’s not constructed in the above picture because I snapped the photo this morning and the sandwich thin wasn’t thawed enough to separate 😉 ) paired with roasted Brussels sprouts and a banana.
Gotta love it when your meal smiles at you! 😀
It was a good one!
Now that we’re all good ‘n’ full, it’s time for present discussion!
Gifts for Guys
Who could be easier to shop for than your sister? Girls are easy to buy gifts for… guys, to put it simply, are not. Dads, boyfriends, husbands… they’re tricky people.
Having dated Ryan for more than six and a half years before we were married on October 30, we’ve spent our fair share of holidays and birthdays together. This means lots of presents…
Let’s do the math:
6 years = 6 Christmases + 6 Birthdays + 6 Anniversaries + 6 Valentine’s Days + Three Graduations (my undergrad + Ryan’s undergrad & graduate degrees) = 27 gift-giving occasions.
Fortunately we nipped Valentine’s Day and our anniversary in the bud and opted to instill a $15 limit for V-day coupled with a nice dinner, while our anniversary is spent at the location of our first date, coupled with a really nice card.
Even still, brainstorming creative, thoughtful gifts several times a year is difficult! Like Rachel, I always make it my mission to try to give “the best gift you never knew you always wanted.” It’s fun to give someone a gift they never asked for but completely fall in love with the moment they tear away the gift wrap.
Below I’ve detailed a list of gift ideas for guys in your life, based on the gifts I’ve given to Ryan that have yielded a high rate of “Wow, this is really great” and “You’re the best, prettiest, tannest, smartest, most amazing girl EVER” compliments. (Slight exaggeration on the second statement.)
You may notice that many of the items on this list are experiences, not materialistic gifts. Ryan is not someone who knows labels and doesn’t care much about fashion (basketball shorts are his go-to outfit), so clothes and expensive accessories are basically lost on him. This sounds great in theory, but can prove challenging when you’re fresh out of ideas and picking up a nice sweater sounds awfully appealing. 😉
- Tickets to see his favorite sports team play
This is one I’ve used a couple of times. Ryan loves sports and said he loved when I surprised him with good tickets to see the Tampa Bay Bucs, the Chicago Bulls and the Orlando Magic. The gift is even better if you treat them to ballpark food and beer and take a genuine interest in the game (or fake it ’til you make it 😉 ).
- Romantic weekend trip
Fortunately Orlando is located in Central Florida, which allows us to drive a couple of hours in any direction to hit cute, small towns. On Ryan’s birthday one year, I surprised him with a weekend away at an adorable bed and breakfast in St. Augustine (the oldest city in the U.S.). We had a great time exploring the town and doing touristy things while feeling like we were on a mini-vacation.
- Throwback DVDs
So many old movies are now available on DVD. I love filling Ryan’s Christmas stocking with movies I’ve heard him rave about that he enjoyed years ago… Like Hercules, Pumping Iron (surprisingly good) and Two Can Play that Game (awesome).
- Couples massage
I was a little nervous about giving him this one, but he really, really liked it. It helped that his masseuse was awesome and used a lot of pressure.
- Random joke gift
I always try to give Ryan something completely random that I know will make him smile. It’s something I typically know he’ll never actually use or wear, but it always gives us a good laugh.
- Tickets to see his favorite comedian
I’ve given Ryan tickets to see both Robin Williams and Ron White and we laughed our way through both performances and had a blast!
I know this may seem random, but one gift I’ve given Ryan every year for Christmas is a calendar. I open it up and decorate special days throughout the year and include pictures of us and Sadie to make him smile as each new month arrives. The one year I didn’t give this to him, he told me he was really disappointed, so I now know it’s something he looks forward to receiving and actually uses throughout the year.
Ryan has never bought himself a pair of boxers. When I realized that nearly all of his boxers were old, holey or had soccer balls on them, I started giving him quality boxers. Boxers are the perfect supplementary gift because guys seem to appreciate nice boxers and will use them regularly.
- Slim card case/wallet
In lieu of a wallet, Ryan carries this slim card case that I bought him several years ago. He is not a fan of a big, bulky wallet and doesn’t carry bazillions of coupons and gift cards with him everywhere he goes like I do, so he really enjoyed this thin wallet that is lightweight and isn’t cumbersome.
- Something electronic
Boys and their toys. Most every guy will be satisfied with some kind of techy gift, whether it be a new phone, MP3 player or a cheapy remote-control airplane. (Seriously, Ryan loved this… likely because it was great to use to mess with Sadie.) A quality electronic gift will almost always be a hit. It’s just figuring out what electronic thing they want that’s the hard part!
Now it’s time to share your knowledge…
What gift have you given a guy that received an awesome reaction?
Hopefully the comments section of this post can help us brainstorm some good gift ideas for the guys we love this holiday season!
Healthy Chocoholic says
Seriously good gift ideas! Thanks!!!!!!
Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life says
Anything that involves video games is always good, Men’s Health magazine subscription, beer mugs with a 6 pack of his favorite beer and he loved it, sports jerseys with his favorite player.
These are great ideas! Guys really are so hard to shop for. Luckily we draw names in my family so I just have to get one guy gift – my uncle. And the bf and I are going to exchange. Whew.
Bee Goes Bananas says
My fiance loves it when we just spend time together! Sometimes we do dinner, sometimes we go camping, sometimes hiking…
We aren’t big present-givers. I’m totally okay with that!
Gavi @ GaviGetsGoing! says
I am now in my 5th year of gift-giving with my boyfriend and, like you, I love giving experiential gifts! For his 24th birthday, I gave him surfing lessons; the year before, we took a vegetarian cooking class together. We don’t give Valentine’s day presents to each other–he cooks a homemade dinner instead–and we either go away or to a nice dinner for our anniversary.
I am in desperate need of some gift ideas for my stylish, fabulous brother! He’s in business school right now and just moved into a new apartment. Any great ideas??
I’m a wow factor girl….I love getting him something that he’s mentioned in passing or would never think to get for himself. Once I bought him a really awesome Guess watch, which looks more like a cuff – he gets compliments on it all the time because it’s so unique. My favorite part is when someone asks where he got it and he grins from ear to ear, winks at me, and says I bought it for him. *sigh* such a sweetie!
Corey @ the runners cookie says
I also prefer giving my boyfriend tickets to things rather than “stuff.”
But one awesome gift that he was totally not expecting (but loved) was the George Forman (counter top) Deep Fryer – he loves food, so getting him this “manly” kitchen toy to experiment with was perfect – think homemade chicken fingers, donuts, fried zucchini, fried shrimp, fried anything! and supposedly its slightly healthier than most fried food 🙂
My boyfriend really likes tea, so instead of just getting him random tea, I signed him up for a tea of the month club where he’d get a different kind delivered to his door each month. He really liked that and it was fun for him to anticipate a fun package with something new every month. There are also beer of the months, chocolate of the months, etc.
i almost got ryan a subscription to a “meat of the month” club one year!
Kimberly @ Healthy Strides says
I couldn’t agree with the boxers more. When I realized my husband (then boyfriend) still had some from high school, I started making it a Christmas tradition. He also really likes clothes (another thing he won’t buy on his own), and a pedicure(!!!) received rave reviews.
I also try to do things, like re-create meals from special dates or make his favorite cake.
i love the idea of recreating meals from special dates! so creative!
I got my husband a beer of the month club he loved it!
I got him a Wii last year, and for a wedding present I am getting him a “Purdue Husband” shirt (like your Viszla dad shirt). I’m so excited to go find a “Clemson Wife” shirt for myself. But shhh!!
I’m actually giving my boyfriend boxers this year! I don’t understand men sometimes – if my undies are old, I get new ones. Men are silly. I’m also giving him a really nice knife set. He loves cooking and I think is tired of using my cheapo Walmart set from college that is barely sharp anymore. And his birthday is not too far from Christmas, so I’m going to give him a gift card to get a full bod massage. I did this for him last year and he still talks about it to this day! It’s something he loves but would never buy for himself. Another thing I don’t understand? 😉
I love the special calendar gift! Thanks for the idea ; )
Last year for Christmas, I got my boyfriend some really comfy flannel pants. I have similar ones, and we always end up wearing them together…or I steal his and wear them 🙂
ESPN magazine subscription goes over well, especially since it gets you access to ESPN insider articles online. Also xbox live subscriptions. I’m a fan of giving yearly things that need to be renewed. Makes it easy from year to year 🙂
I always have the same problem trying to figure out what to get my boyfriend. I love the ideas you gave! I always try to do the experience thing like going to a sporting event or a concert. It gives us the chance to something fun together. I totally agree with you on the boxers thing! Why will guys never buy themselves boxers?? I don’t get it! Haha
Amanda (Eating Up) says
I got my high school boyfriend a baseball hat with the Italian flag on it. He loves the Italian soccer team and wears a hat all the time. He wore it the whole year we were together. It always made me smile when I saw him wearing it!
One year i got the boyfriend surround sound…that went over well (and thanks to best buy it didn’t make me want to cry when i bought it). Also, i seriously laughed out loud at meat of the month club. you should definitely do that, just because it is hilarious! i may have to steal that idea!
Another fun idea, which may be more of a present to the girl than the guy, is making a meal together if the significant other usually steers clear of the kitchen. the boyfriend likes to be in charge of the grill or dessert and it is a fun way to spend time together before enjoying a really good meal together!
Kerry Ann says
Every single time we ate sushi my husband would say “I wish I knew how to make this because it’s so darn expensive.” Last Christmas I got him sushi lessons. He loved the class and now we have it once a week instead of once a month.
When I dated my ex-boyfriend we were in a long distance relationship. We skyped almost every single day and his web cam was just so crappy. On his birthday I splurged and got him an HD Web Cam which was about $200. I had never seen him so excited. He told me, “Now I can see my girl clearly and it makes me feel like we are right in front of each other, not 600 miles away”. It was totally worth it.
What is it with the boxers? I just noticed how old my husband’s boxers are and the elastic is so stretched and old I don’t know how he keeps them up! Instead of pj’s on new year’s eve, which he doesn’t need a new pair of EVERY year, he’s getting boxers now!
Shanna, like Banana says
Group cooking classes have been an awesome gift!
I bet Ryan loves that you told the world about his boxers with holes…lmao
Clare @ Fitting It All In says
I too love giving the perfect gift! I gave my boyfriend a Reds jersey for his birthday because I knew he always had to tomorrow someone’s for games!
I also once gave my best friend a remote control beer cooler. Total perfect guy gift.
The only gift guys *truly* love are power tools! Any kind. Electric drills, electric hand saws. Just try it. Never saw my guy (or father) more delighted and interested! as if “you finally understand me!” 🙂
i love all the suggestions!!!
i love that you guys go back to the place you had your first date…and now i’m curious…what are some $15 V-Day gifts? (will we have to wait until feb. for a VDAY gift post? ;p)
faithful blog reader of 6 months…love it! 🙂
TOO funny about the “Vizsla Dad” t-shirt! I’m glad someone shares my sense of humor – I just purchased an “English Bulldog Dad” t-shirt for my husband from our dog for Christmas. The sad part is…he will most definitely wear it with pride!! haha
Sara Elizabeth says
I’ve actually done a couple of the things you suggested! I took Paul to a Seahawks game and I don’t think I’ve ever see him smile so big! I also surprised him with a weekend in New Orleans with another couple who is close to both of us. It was SO much fun!
My most creative gift that I’ve given Paul is actually an experience as well 🙂 Paul and I both went to FSU and he is a HUGE football fan. Well I happened to message his favorite player at the time (Graham Gano, who now plays for the Redskins!!) on FaceBook and asked if he would mind signing a football or jersey for my boyfriend’s birthday. He surprisingly messaged me back saying of course and gave me his number! After meeting with him to sign the football, he asked me if I would like the ENTIRE TEAM and the COACHES to sign the football as well. I was SHOCKED! So not only did Paul get a football signed by the entire team, I arranged to have it so Graham Gano gave Paul the football, and Paul finally was able to meet his hero 🙂 I earned about a million brownie points with that gift, and I haven’t been able to top it since. He told me it was BY FAR the greatest gift he’s ever received in his life.
Last year for my now-fiance-then-boyfriend’s bday present, I gave him a subscription to Netflix – it’s simply charged to my credit card each month (surprisingly inexpensive…check it out!! and great customer service, even when your dog eats 2 DVDs…). We’ve been enjoying the subscription together for 1.5 years now – he still says it was the best gift I’ve ever given him!
I love the idea of giving an “experience” instead of a gift. I feel like it creates better memories. One year I gave my husband (ahh feels weird writing that since we just got married) fencing lessons and once I created a treasure hunt with hints and small gifts.
Awesome gift idea for anyone: jar(s) of peanut butter & co’s Dark chocolate dreams. I bought some after you mentioned it the other day and holy moly that stuff is dangerously amazingly good! mmmm
Make a calendar out of favorite photos — I like to use Snapfish.com. You can also make all sorts of other gifts out of photos there such as mugs, notebooks, posters, etc. Never disappointed!
Shannon @ Philadelphia Phitness Pharmacy says
Good ideas! This year I got my boyfriend a signed jersey that I knew he would love. You can get some good deals if you shop around for the best price on signed items! It’s a nice alternative to tickets for the sports lover!
Rachel @ The Avid Appetite says
Great ideas! One year I got the mister a Kindle. Though he was skeptical about it at first, once he started playing with it, he was hooked!
Jamie @ Food in Real Life says
our husbands are so similar!
Joe doesn’t care about name brand fashions and gets kind of mad when I spend too much on clothing for him. He also has the WORST collection of ripped and holey boxers. (that was a great gift idea!) and don’t even get me started on his socks. He also carries a small card case in lieu of a wallet.
Here are a few of my ideas:
Liquor (joe likes scotch- blech)
Money clip – leather coach ones are nice
gloves and scarf/hat
sports team sweatshirt
books or a book gift card
coupons for sweet/naughty things (i’ve never done this,just thought of that now)
Allison M. says
I made brussels sprouts last night, too!! I roasted them from an Ina Garten recipe, but I burned some of them on accident. Its okay – because they taste great crunchy 🙂
Great gift ideas! I agree with gifts of an experience. Sounds like you two have had some wonderful gift-giving celebrations together!
Great ideas! I just bought the basic black Coach wallet for my boyfriend for Christmas and I’m going to put money in it so that he can buy a plane ticket to come with me in March when I travel (for work) to Las Vegas.
I have also given him concert tickets, funny t-shirts (which he loves!), and cozy things like slippers, flannel shirts or fuzzy blankets. Living in Wisconsin, those things are a must! haha.
Two years ago, I got my husband (then fiance) a beer-brewing kit because he loves to drink beer and mix things (lol!) it turned out to be a VERY consistent habit and source of joy for him. he even ended up using it to brew pumpkin flavored beer as favors at our fall-themed wedding!
Mary @ Bites and Bliss says
Ugh, buying gifts for guys..never easy! And they say we’re hard to buy for? lmho. I have no idea what to get my boyfriend this year..
Its been a while since I’ve been in a relationship but I do have two brothers. Favorite gifts for them include board games (he’s a collector), books, tickets to concerts or sports games, a night in a hotel room for him and his wife, an out of production CD that ispent weeks looking for and a gift certificate to get a shave at a high class barber shop. They both loved that one
Clothes 🙂 my guy likes dressing up so luckily I can find him nice things to wear and he’ll be happy. Last year I got him super nice cuff links for a dress shirt & he was thrilled!
and I keep a notepad on my phone that I write in ideas throughout the year.. mostly movies he’s watched where he’s told me they are “the funniest movie evvvvver”… 🙂
This year for Christmas he asked if we could get another kitten as our christmas gift…. so thats what we’re doing <3
(seriously, can I just brag and say I have an awesome fiance who asked me to get another kitten for Christmas? he's a gem.)
Oftentimes, it’s video games or clothes. And sometimes boxers too 😛
Hilary (Red Head, Yellow Dog) says
I made my boyfriend a book on blurb.com of pictures of us with our dog, toby. He’s kind of obsessed with the dog so he loved the book 🙂
I always get caught up on what to get my hubby each year. ALways socks, undershirts and underwear but those are just expected. I always like to get him something special as well.
My bf watches movies every single night before he goes to sleep, so for his birthday a couple years ago, I got him the Roku (which streams his Netflix right to the TV). He still uses it every single day, and has even convinced his sister to buy it for her BF because he likes it so much!!
(you do need to have a Netflix acount already, though.)
and i’ve never met a person who didnt enjoy a massage. 🙂
Paige @ Running Around Normal says
This is a really helpful post! I definitely agree about the sports tickets:)
Gina @ Skinnytaste says
A trip to Vegas!!
Kay Heritage says
Great gift ideas!! But I cannot believe that Ryan waited 6 1/2 years to marry such a beautiful lady!
Katy (The Singing Runner) says
Great ideas! While I don’t have a guy to shop for (single and ready to mingle…haha ;)), these are great tips!
I love St. Augustine! I go there often and it is a GREAT place to just unwind! 🙂
four or five years ago, i got the guy who was in my life a white castle giftcard(yes, i know…and yes, i KNOW, who knew they had giftcards?!?!). it made me cringe, but for that christmas, i was the *greatest girlfriend alive*. boys like burgers, even gnarly white castle ones. <3
These are great ideas! I love that you do the same thing on your anniversary each year – that’s a cool tradition.
One of my best friends is a photographer, so we had a photoshoot at my house and put together a “sexy” photo book on iTunes (apple ships a completed hardcover book). He loved it, and touched by all the work I put into it. This one might take some guts if you had to have a stranger photograph you though. ;-P
I’ve also done a nice leather briefcase for work, nice watch, and really good tickets for sporting events.
We do Christmas stockings for each other which is different and really fun. We set a limit of $100, but you could make it really low and just get creative!