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Gift Baskets For Men

It’s that time again-- time to begin the strenuous quest for birthday gifts for that special guy. Just relax and take a deep breath. With these tips and rules, you’ll be on your way to stress-free shopping in no time!

Dilemmas in Gender

It’s difficult to buy gifts for a member of the opposite sex because women and men are very different. Women’s extra X chromosome makes them naturally 120 percent more observant than men. I base this theory on research I did in my head in the past few minutes. But it does have some bearing. Women can remember every word of a conversation that took place six months ago (especially if it involved any woman not in the direct bloodline of her spouse). So why would such a detail-oriented person become frantic and flustered at the seemingly simple task of choosing a gift? The answer is simple- because the gift is for a man.

The problem is that men don’t give clues. Although he might inadvertently tell you something he wants, chances are he will go out and buy it for himself long before his birthday. Men are very practical, and a lot of the time things they want are actually things they need. You could solve the problem by cutting up his credit cards so he can’t purchase those items, but chances are he will be very confused and slightly angry. It’s a better idea to choose another gift following these tips and guidelines.

  • He’s a Sports Star:
  • Maybe he is a sports star, or maybe the closest he’s been to a game is the couch. Either way, many men fantasize or reminisce about being a star athlete. Whether he is throwing the pig skin or eating it from a bag (pork rinds), he is sure to love a sports gift. Sporting goods, like personalized baseball bats, monogrammed golf bags and sports-themed gift baskets are a great way to cater to his hobby and show him you care. You can also get tickets to see his favorite team play. He’ll feel special that you want to share his interests with him, especially if it’s not something you usually do.
  • He’s a Kid at Heart:
  • Whether he’s 18 or 65, he still has that little boy inside him. Embrace his Peter Pan lifestyle with tech toys and electronics. Gadgets and gizmos are a male favorite. You could choose an accessory for his computer, car, TV or a handheld gadget like a cell phone or electronic organizer. If you can’t decide on a tech gift, you could always give him a gift certificate for an electronics store. Although your womanly instinct will kick in and tell you “gift certificates are bad gifts because they are impersonal,” you are shopping for a man, and gift certificates are very practical, which men like.
  • He’s Handy:
  • Whether this is true or not, it is male instinct to want to fix things. Men love tools, especially cordless power tools like drills and screwdrivers. Just keep in mind that he will want to use these things right away, so make sure there are jobs he could do. And whatever you do, don’t buy him a chainsaw unless he has an immediate use for it. Otherwise be prepared to lose the trees in your front yard or some other valued possession. Men also love Swiss army knives or similar contraptions because it prepares them for everything from opening a beer bottle to slaughtering a deer.
  • He’s Dangerous:
  • Because of comic books and cartoons, many men have developed a superhero mentality that leads them to enjoy danger. This is why your boyfriend or husband really wants the chainsaw you’re not going to get him. It’s also why men enjoy barbequing more than cooking. He wants to be the master of the open flame. (“Step aside little lady; I’ll handle this!”) A barbeque gift would be perfect for spring and summer birthdays. Buy him sets of marinades, barbeque tools or a grill. He’ll be thrilled to try them out. You can also buy him an experience. It sounds odd, but many men would love to be given sky-diving, hang gliding or scuba-diving lessons. Although the actual events may only last a few hours, the memories will last a lifetime.
  • He’s Practical:
  • Men are practical creatures and they love practical gifts. He will appreciate anything he can use, wear or play with. It basically has to serve a purpose. Think about some of the “bad” gifts he’s given you: shower curtains, vacuum cleaners, toasters, etc. He instinctually gives practical items because those are the types of gifts he wants. While you may be offended by these gifts, he will love them. If he wears his clothes until they are mere fibers, buy him some new items for his wardrobe. Just make sure that you are buying clothing that he would like. It’s not hard to figure out what men like because they buy in bulk (practicality again), and probably have the same shirt in 5 colors. Go with clothing similar to what you see him wear often.
  • He’s Simple:
  • In comparison to women, his tastes and desires are relatively simple. I’m not saying that he’s a Neanderthal, grunting and clubbing animals with a big stick, but most men stick to their basic needs. Because of this food is always a good gift choice for a man. Give him a gift basket of his favorite foods and snacks. We all know that a man’s heart is directly connected to his stomach.
  • He’s Perfect:
  • Okay, maybe not, but you should make him feel good about himself on his birthday. Avoid gifts like self-help books, gym memberships, Rogaine kits and nose-hair trimmers. And even if he is a “What Not to Wear” candidate, don’t buy him clothing for a better version of himself- leave that to Stacey and Clinton. All of these gifts insinuate you think he needs improvement, which will offend him and make him feel insecure. These not-so-subtle hints can turn any birthday into a fiasco.
  • He’s Not Your Art Teacher:
  • Unless he is an actual art teacher, he might have trouble appreciating handmade gifts. For boyfriends a gift that took you an excessive amount of time to make, like a hand-knitted sweater, might make him uncomfortable. The thoughtfulness and time spent creating the gift might, in his mind, exceed the level of commitment. You don’t want to accidentally chase him away by giving him a gift. Of course there are men out there who do like these types of gifts. If your husband is a sentimentalist, handmade gifts are okay. But, as I’ve mentioned numerous times, men want gifts they can use, so make sure you create something functional rather than decorative.
  • He’s Not You:
  • Yes, this is obvious, but sometimes people give gifts they would like to receive. Don’t buy him tickets to the theater, opera or ballet if he doesn’t have a real interest in them. He may attend these events because you enjoy them, but make sure his birthday gift is something just for him. There’s a good chance he also doesn’t like “cutesy” gifts like teddy bears, heart-patterned pajamas and other syrupy tokens. Women are drawn in by the AWW! factor, but generally men don’t understand the purpose of these gifts. He might even be embarrassed. Men like to seem manly, to you and to each other. If one of his male friends noticed a big cuddly teddy bear in his bed, he might never live that down. Give him something he’ll brag about, not hide in the closet.

    Surprise him with a gift that is chosen to suit his tastes, hobbies and desires. With this guide, you should have no problem figuring out a number of good gift options. Good luck and happy shopping!

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