Being someone who very much appreciates a thoughtful and personal gift, one that I know the giver bought out of a sense of love and connection, I put a great deal of pressure on myself to find these types of gifts for others. Especially for those I most care about. I want to find something that doesn’t just say, “I had to get you a gift, so here’s something kind of nice,” but rather, “I’ve been thinking and brainstorming for months to come up with something that I thought would be special to you and here’s what I’ve discovered.” This is why, for many of my holiday gifts, I opt for homemade. Because it is as much about the thought, preparation, and time investment as it is about the thing given. But for my Hubby, I ruminate for ages trying to come up with unique ideas that will speak to him – things he will enjoy and not just end up as one more item gathering dust in a closet. This year I find myself a bit stumped. The trouble with Jonathan is that his most passionate interests are very specialized and VERY expensive. They are things I could not buy for him even if I could afford them because I don’t know enough about them to get the right thing. And yet they are the things he most wants. So half the time I feel like I ought to just give him the money to go buy his own gifts. But everything about that seems wrong to me. Contrary to the idea and purpose of thoughtful gift giving. So I brainstorm and search and ponder. This year’s searching has left me feeling… baffled. If you Google or Amazon search “gift ideas for men,” you get the most incredibly long list of complete crap. Most of it associated with smoking, drinking, golf, and dirty, fifth-grade humor. Is this how our society views men? As juvenile, lazy partiers? (You can see this sentiment echoed in many popular sitcoms, where the male is the buffoon, the comic relief, the dufus, always in need of the woman to fix his blunders. What a shame. But this is an entirely separate blog post for a later date.)
I don’t know about you all, but my man is worth far more than these types of kitschy, generalized assumptions about ignorant men. And I want him to know it when I hand him his gifts. So while trying to find other sources of inspiration, I decided to email the author of a blog that he follows and admires called The Art of Manliness – which reminds men that, even in today’s hyper-sensitive, feminist society, it is OK to be strong and manly and virtuous. I told him in my email that my husband was inspired by what he wrote to be a better man and that I, as well as many of his readers, might appreciate some manly suggestions for gifts this holiday season. He responded the same day with some thoughts and ideas as well as links to the gift lists he published for the last three years. It was very helpful and, I am happy to say, I think I have solved my quandary for my man’s presents this year. Since I appreciated his help so much, I decided to send his suggestions on to you. Hopefully you will find them as helpful as I did.
The Art of Manliness 2008 Holiday Gift Guide
The Art of Manliness 2009 Holiday Gift Guide
At least you put thought into it…lol
I love the Art of Manliness. What a great blog.
Oh, and I went to the 2010 list, and I love the idea of calling cards! Can we please bring back this tradition?
This was great! I have been wracking my brain for months about what to get Jeff. It’s so hard but worth it. I forgot about the art of manliness. I got my brother hooked on it. Love it!!!
I agree, Katie! It makes me want to order some now.
Thanks everyone! I completely agree. These are some great and unique ideas. I suppose you should thank Jonathan for discovering the site in the first place. Happy shopping!
AoM is a fantastic site and community. Great share.
Agreed! And you’re quite welcome.
Thank you for sharing this! I always struggle with men’s gifts, but now my husband and I are going to make a bunch of soap-on-ropes for the men on our list! (it helps that I know how to make soap!) :) I’ll check more into this blog later, too. :)
YAY! Glad as always to provide inspiration. I’d love to see pics of your finished result.
Yes! Ryan LOVES The Art of Manliness! Also, ManMadeDIY! Those are his two favourite websites. Our Misters have a lot in common :)
I haven’t heard of that other site, but I will definitely have to check it out, and tell my hubby to do the same. Thanks!
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Thanks on your marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you
are a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and may come back later on.
I want to encourage one to continue your great work, have a nice weekend!
The monetary value of the item is unimportant. My good pal once
offered me his recipe for one of my favourite meals, composing it out iin calligraphy on paper, along with
a proposal to prepare it beeside me. Combined monetary value near
zero, yet probably the most fantastic and thoughtful gifts that
i’ve ever been provided.
Very true. And what a lovely gift indeed!