How To buy Gifts for men

I have just decided what I want for Christmas but I have no idea yet what to get my wife, or anyone else for that matter yet.  So I have written a few posts about how I think about my Christmas gifts. I hope they offer a helpful template that helps you buy for the men in your life this year.

If anyone wants to write or direct me to a similar blog about how to buy for older people 60+ or for wives, then I would love to read that. Let me know Twitter: @winerides

 Christmas Gifts for young men

Christmas Gifts for siblings

Christmas Gifts for Men

Where I need help:

Christmas gifts for my wife?

Christmas gifts for my parents?

Christmas Gifts for Younger Men:

Buying for Your Partner: aprox Late teens, 20’s

 

Money saving tip:

 

At this point, men are probably going to be as impressed by sexual favors as anything you can spend money on. So genuinely consider how much bang you are getting for your buck?

 

Activities are good: they are particularly good if the chap in question is reasonably confident he is going to get some at the end of the night. A high protein e.g. stake based meal, washed down with wine and followed by chocolate brownies, ice cream and sex, is pretty much guaranteed to please most men. No it is not original, but I have never got up on the 25th of December and thought. “OMG, I hope I get just the most ‘original’ gift today.”

 

General Rule: There are very few points for originality.

 

Normally I’m worried that what I have bought for others won’t pass muster, and that I can at least fain interest in what has been bought for me.

 

Memorable gifts like this:

 

It was for my birthday not Christmas but: Hayley took me on the London Eye on fire work’s night. We then had dinner at my favorite restaurant. Not a new one she just heard about, or someone recommended: It was the one I like to eat at.  I don’t remember the details but this evening almost certainly culminated with chocolate brownies and ice cream.

 

Buying Stuff for Your (young) Partner:

 

If you need to buy a thing for him, then these are few things to think about: A young man is basically a Chimp with an erection that can talk, and they don’t own anything. If you can’t find a gift for your young man, perhaps he is defective? Get another one.

 

Helpful questions:

Does he own a watch?

Does he own shoes?

Does he own a wallet?

What does he spend his own money on? Buy that: Football, Music, Comedy, or Computer games.

Christmas Gifts: buying for Adult male siblings:

There is a really tricky subject to broach. It’s why I am so glad I have two brothers and an older sister who already has kids. THE BEST THING we EVER agreed to do was implement Secret Santa. For adult siblings it is magic. At a certain point, you have just bought all the shit you can reasonably buy for a budget of £20-£60.  Removing the obligation to buy each other stuff is one of the best gifts we ever got. It truly keeps on giving.

 

That isn’t a reflection, on my siblings or their partners, we all get on really well, but for 40 quid you can get a lot of pints in.

Christmas Gifts for Men in the middle 3rd of their life:

How to identify a man in the middle third of his life:

 

He still likes to drink, but tends to get hang overs, even though he claims he wasn’t even drunk last night.

 

Buying for Your Partner:

 

Men-Men as opposed to young-chimp-men are harder to replace. You may be wed to them, and you might have children that are fond of them. You have adorned their bodies with as many heavy metal such as a watch or rings as your social class will allow and his brother’s wife got him a an ice-cream maker last year. I can see how it could be a real struggle.

 

What you really need to do is get him to tell you what he wants:

 

 

Buying practical gifts for him:

 

These gifts are not about instigating pleasure; this is about cessation of pain irritation or discomfort. So it is very, very easy to get this wrong!

 

The chance of you getting this right, without speaking to your partner is basically zero. That doesn’t mean you should shy away from this. These can be great gifts.

 

This year I have asked for a tool-belt. However good luck suggesting a tool belt to your man as a gift, or “surprising” him with it on the day.

 

I also now really want a set of Makitauk drills. My wife Hayley is a very intelligent person so she has offered to buy me a drill for Christmas in the past. She was thoroughly rebuffed. It is important to understand that a drill is not a gift. It is an obligation/request for me to do more things around the house. A NEW DRILL is a gift, if I ask for one.

 

A new drill takes away the pain of trying to do things around the house with a poor quality drill. Owning two drills like a builder would mean I don’t have to change drill bits every other “f*ing screw”. As you can tell: I love doing DIY when I can see the results of my labor. But during DIY I am a vortex of frustration and anger, which is why I love beating it.

You Should Buy Cheap and pay twice:

Practical gifts come in two flavors: Enabling and Mastering. I can’t reiterate this enough: They are only gifts if they have been expressly asked for.

People don’t know how to do anything: As a result, before you spend a lot of money on equipment you need to discover if the task in question is your sort of thing.

Is this the kind of job that you like to do? If they are still at the stage, with this task: Enable them. Buy them a cheap tool, pieces of protective clothing, or bag that will let them have a go at whatever it is at low cost. Maybe don’t make it their main gift. Enabling gifts can be a bit “meh”. How much excitement they generate is exactly proportional to how excited they are to get going on the task.

Mastery Gifts: very dangerous, potential for sulks all round.

I cannot understand how anyone could be perceptive enough to know what Mastery gift someone wants unless they tell you. Also how do you know if a Mastery gift is good? It may sit unused, for most of year but be an absolute god send that brings feelings of gratitude to the surface every time they pick it up. Or maybe they will just sleep easier knowing it is there. On the other hand if you don’t ask first: you are almost certainly going to spend loads on a non-gift and test your partners acting abilities.

 

So why did I ask for a tool belt?

Hayley asked me what I wanted. We were watching TV at the time, and what a wanted most at that point was not to have to think about what I wanted for Christmas.

However she is an evil genius and set me to work wallpapering the spare room. In order to do this I popped down to B&Q and picked up a load of cheap tools to get the task done. I put the long scissors for cutting the paper in my pocket, to have them to hand. Every time I stepped off the chair I was using I almost impaled my abdomen with the scissors, also nearly sliced my hand open on a Stanley knife in my back pocket. At the point I remembered that I am often stabbing myself in the abdomen when I do stuff like this, I waist a lot of my life looking for tools I have put down and I remembered that tool-belts exist. Et voila, easy peasy: “if anyone asks; I want a tool belt”.

The observant above will have notice Hayley’s other evil genius strategy: In order to get a bloke to think about what they want, offer to buy them a Mastery Gift they don’t want.

Nothing focusses the mind on what you want for Christmas like the prospect of receiving an expensive and shit gift.

A few years ago:

 

H: “Do you want a drill for Christmas? “

 

Me: “No. What? Why would you even think that? “

 

H: “You keep using my dad’s: I thought you could use one?”

 

Me: “I understand where you are coming from, but that really isn’t a gift. That is just something we need for the house. How much were you thinking of spending anyway?”

 

H: “£90.”

 

Me: “Okay; not a drill.”

 

You see now I know Hayley’s intended budget and am really afraid I am getting a drill or something equally expensive and shit. Boom: I give it some thought and ask for what I want.

 

Warning: Only offer up genuinely helpful practical gift ideas like this. I am sort of joking: One of the reasons why I love my wife is that I never think she is trying to manipulate me. The Drill at the time was a thoughtful and considered idea. Either that or Hayley is so good I don’t know she is doing it to me.

 

If you don’t think something practical is on the cards, return to suggestions for gifts for younger men: and just spend more than you did the last time round.

 

Memorable practical gifts like this:

 

            Enabling: Halford’s Bike tool set

 

Mastery: Bike work stand (use it two or three times a year. Love it).

 

Just nice: Friends got me a work knife for my 30th with wooden Handle. I have cause to use it all the time, because I work outside a lot.     

Practical gifts don’t have to be boring:

My works stand made a perfectly viable Dalek toy, for me to open on Christmas day, and this Christmas My work belt, will enhance my Bat Man Impressions no end.

 

Review: Hozelock 4in1 Porta Shower

Hozelock 4in1  Review

Hozelock 4in1

 

In the lead up to Christmas I thought I might start doing a few more helpful product reviews, so that people can decide what to get their significant other as gift:

I know the feeling: For a few weeks now you have been lying awake at night thinking shall I buy the Hozelock 4in1 Porta Shower? It costs £26 and is made in Birmingham (UK).

On the one had it does look like it will be useful. On the other hand if you are going to use it as a shower, it will contain hot water, and if you are going to use it for pesticide then it is going to be full of hazardous material. Can you trust anyone from Birmingham to make a pressurized container that will hold either scolding or chemically burning liquid?

It is a tricky question. Despite that truly awful accent, I am pleased to assure you that these showers work well and in my experience Birmingham is actually peopled by entirely competent human beings.

Where I grew up was not a million miles away from Birmingham and I could have grown up with that accent, but at a fairly early age I realized that it would have catastrophic consequences for my life chances, so I made a conscious effort not to speak like a lobotomized clown.

I and 100’s of my customers have been using these for years. Even though they are plastic after 2 years of regular use they are still holding up well. In fact where I have found they do show ware, on the rubber hose it is easy to deal with by just shortening it.

Incidentally Birmingham is a great city. It has more miles of canals than Venice, one of the country’s top Universities that produces world class research, a fantastic and modern central library and I can genuinely see a case for moving the UK Parliament to our nations seconds city.

Ok, I am making some cheap jokes at Birmingham’s expense. That’s because the best performing blog I have ever written is this silly review of these walkie-Talkies. I am just a small business owner valiantly having an unnecessary go at the place were at least one or two people I still keep in touch with come from, in order to drive traffic to my website. What’s wrong with that? Come on Birmingham. How can you hold that against me? You’re better than that!