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it Actually Isn't That Difficult!
Christmas Gift Ideas for Men
Member Name: dkm1981
Christmas Gift Ideas for Men
Advantages: There are lots of things to buy . . .
Disadvantages: . . . just don't buy the wrong one!
It is no secret that men are notoriously difficult to purchase gifts for. My husband is a case in point; if he wants something, he has a tendency to buy it there and then, leaving nothing left at gift time. But, there is still hope - I have bought a few things over the years that have gone down well.
===For The Rock Genius in the Making===
I won wife of the year award last year when I bought hubby an electronic drum kit. He is always, as men do, tapping away drum beats on things in a rather annoying fashion. The year before I bought a set of drum sticks from iwantoneofthose (iwoot.co.uk) which made drum sounds when you bang them down on something. At £20 they were pretty much a waste of money because they only worked sporadically. But this year was his 40th so I splashed out on the real thing. It looks and works like a drum kit (although purists will tell you it isn't the real thing), but it isn't as loud and you can plug your music in so that you can hear it through the headphones and play along. It is very good and hubby has played on it every day since his birthday in September and is actually getting quite good. It's not cheap though - you'll have to check with Santa that he has been a good enough boy - I paid about £250 for a Session Pro one on Amazon although you can pay slightly less for a budget version and a lot more for a Roland set for example. It was so worth it though to see the look on his face when he opened the giant box!
For much cheaper presents, they have quite a good range of stock filler or Secret Santa type presents in Debenhams at the moment, from desk top drum kits to inflatable air guitars at pretty reasonable prices.
===For The Gadget Man===
There are obviously all the standard gadgets like TVs, computermabobs and mobile phones, but I have found that the most popular gadets have been the cheaper ones. My husband seems to collect memory cards like some people collect stamps. I buy him one every year and yet he always asks for another. I bought him a card reader one year that he and I both loved. He because it apparently made his life so much easier and I because it only cost about a fiver.
Practical presents are always appreciated - things like camera cases and plug extension leads have oddly been the most popular. But if you want to get something a little more interesting, I'd recommend a Rubik's Cube. You can get them for about a tenner and hubby loves his. It offers an element of nostalgia along with a challenge that just annoys me, but that he loves!
===For The Thrill Seeker===
Experience days are an easy gift idea and there tends to be one suitable for all budgets and types. You can pick the Red Letter Days ones up from places like Debenhams and WHSmith and, in the attempt at making it more like a gift, they come in a little box so you have something to wrap. I have actually bought one of these in a past life for a race track day and to be honest looking back, it wasn't that good. It cost me about £200 and had a piece of paper in with booking instructions in. As it was I never got to see it being used because the man of my late teen's dreams had moved on to my best friend by then and he took her with him instead. But I digress. . .
I have since booked the actual man of my dreams two activity days and have done them both without the aid of a gift set. I booked him a flying lesson a couple of years ago and you can get these at almost all local airports. The lesson was an hour one and cost about £85. We were actually there for a lot longer because he had pre-flight instruction first. The lesson was great because I was allowed to fly as a passenger, he actually got to do all of the flying and, most importantly, it was a private lesson. Great value for money if it's his thing.
Slightly less expensive were the indoor skydiving lessons I got him. We went to the one near The Trafford Centre in Manchester and, if you can book at what is classed as 'off-peak' during the morning on weekdays, you can get it much cheaper. I think I paid about £30 for three two-minute dives, which is not bad really and he loved. The place is called Air-Kix and I believe they have other centres in the UK.
For the arm chair thrill seeker, you can try anything by Bear Grylls. He has a lot of books and a range of DVDs which are all very good and reasonably priced in places like The Works and on Amazon. You can have a look on iwantoneofthose for gimmicky type presents too along these themes. I got hubby an SAS guide to surviving in the wild as a stocking filler and it amused him for a while at least.
===For The Bookworm===
My husband is not a huge reader, however he does like the odd autobiography. Those by Chris Evans (It's Not What You Think and Memoirs of a Fruitcake - both available for just a few pounds in The Works or on Amazon), Stephen Fry (Moab is My Washpot and The Fry Chronicles, both of which are a little harder going, but worth the effort) and Derren Brown's Confessions of a Conjurer, have all been firm favourites. For football fans, Jeff Stelling's 'Jellyman's Throwing a Wobbly' was very cheap (only £1 in The Works) and was a funny little book apparently. More disappointing were Frankie Boyle's My S**t Life So Far and the one by the bloke who played The Stig in Top Gear. Making it into hubby's stocking this year will be the new one from David Mitchell and, thinking man's crumpet, Victoria Coren's 'For Richer, For Poorer: Confessions of a Player' - apparently I will be lining the pockets of their wedding fund this year!
Not bad for someone who doesn't read, but to be honest, many of these will be the audio version because he likes them so much more than the traditional books. Particularly with Stephen Fry and Derren Brown's musings (both of which he has in hard back and audio book formats), he finds them so much easier to follow and, of course, audio books pass time as well as music does on the beach and so on. It is generally slightly more expensive for audio book versions, but I am assured it is worth it. But the golden rule is that you should only choose an audio book if it is read by the author - otherwise it is 'an off-putting cop-out'!
Another thing to consider in the book world is travel guides. They are almost always available at the gift price range (£5 to £15) and they are ideal if you know that the recipient has a trip coming up.
===And If All Else Fails===
There are so many options for gift ideas that are available quite cheaply. The supermarkets, and in fact every other store too, always have a selection of body sprays and the like all boxed up and ready to be given. However, a little warning here, my husband assures me that no man wants these really, no matter how much they may fake a smile at yet another Lynx set. A much better option, he says, is a tray of the man's favourite beer or bottle of wine. Being that these are generally always on offer in the run up to Christmas, it does seem sound advice.
And so my husband should be pleased that I have taken all this into account this year and that there will be no daft presents from the family this Christmas and that he will probably be a member of AA by January.
Summary: It's worth it when you find that perfect gift!
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