Finding Practical Men's Gifts for Practically Any Man
by Ashley Addison
for Gifts for Professionals
For the man who has anything, it’s a sure bet that much of what he has is stashed in closet corners and desk drawers and bears an uncanny likeness to gifts found in the express aisles of grocery stores or 24 hour drug stores. The challenge in finding the perfect gift for him is often that women don’t listen to what he wants. We think we know more about the best gifts he could ever get. The truth is, the best way to get a practical gift for a man is to do the obvious... ask him what type of gift he would like! Being practical means getting accurate information and there is no better way to get good information that to go to the source. Men loved to be asked what they want!
I have a friend whose husband used to hate Christmas. From pulling down the decorations to simply opening his gifts. He seemed somewhat detached and didn’t seem to like it. She put up five Christmas trees and dutifully he would pull each box from the attic and assist in setting it up... but he complained the entire time. About ten years ago, it elevated into an argument and, suddenly, there was a light bulb going off for my friend. Her husband was sort of pouting because, although he’d never ask, he wouldn’t have minded a Christmas tree sporting his favorite hobby... golfing. Then, to quote Dr. Suess and The Grinch that Stole Christmas “His heart grew ten sizes that day.” Since that time, his children have given him golf themed ornaments for his tree (set up in his study), a golf tree topper, golf tee skirt and even a few pieces of those villages that are golf theme. Although this may not seem like a practical gift in your eyes, this gift was what the recipient wanted and, in typical male fashion, would never really ask for on his own. Quite frankly, it has become one of the prettiest trees in their Christmas home and each year it is decorated and enjoyed by this golfer who has shown it off and has friends who have followed his lead and sport their own hunting Christmas trees, fishing trees, college themed trees, etc. The point of this is... simply asking, listening and using that “third ear” to do it will mean that the practical gift, although not always practical to you, becomes the perfect gift for men!
If you are searching for a gift for him and are wanting to offer the surprise factor, a few things must be considered. What kind of things does that man in your life purchase for himself? What kinds of gifts does he seem excited to get and, finally, has he stuck a note on your forehead asking for a certain gift? Come on, sometimes it means not over thinking it and truly looking at what a man likes, what a man’s hobbies are, what a man enjoys when given a simple opportunity to step outside of those roles of a husband, father, grandfather, or boss. Before all those other roles, men are simple men and we must take a little time to put a man under close scrutiny to discover exactly what gifts he will enjoy. Or simply ask...
One friend asks her husband to make her a list a month before Father’s Day to share with the kids and to assure he gets what he likes on that special day. The first year, her husband’s list was sort of short and lacked detail. Together they worked it out. Years later, he dutifully hands her a list with pictures of items attached and ad cut-outs to assure he gets exactly what he really wants. His lists even say such fun details as “Only in black - don’t want it in any other color. I mean it.” The list amuses all of us... especially at Christmas when it takes about three pages and looks like a kid’s school collage. And interestingly enough, the list is filled with practical items that women often dismiss for men such as a big box of paper, white socks, extra long golf tees, black underwear, new pillow, and more. Certainly most of these items are gifts women would discount for a man as “too boring.” But, let’s face it, most men don’t understand all the junk women think they need. Most men want stuff they can actually use and not just look at.
Even with a list hand-written by that under-appreciated man, women can still be dangerous. I have found that women often seem to get things that they wish their man liked and alter that list to suit themselves -- and men are usually very specific about the gifts they want and the “junk” they need in their lives. For example, Gifts for Professionals sells several amazingly popular briefcases for men made out of distressed leather. Distressed leather is a polite way of saying “It looks like it has already been used for several years.” While distressed leather is tremendously popular with men, women simply hate it. Women who purchase it under instructions from their husbands will often contact Gifts for Professionals representatives once it is received and say that they have received a case that looks “beat up.” The Gifts for Professionals representatives have been trained to try to educate, in advance, the customers before ordering and explaining that “distressed leather” is the leather industry’s way of saying “used looking and sort of beat up.” Most of the time, women are calling to ordering these briefcases because a husband or friend has specifically asked for the very masculine briefcase. Seldom does a woman actually find one of these cases and choose it. So, from the beginning, the woman is not sure about this choice. Why? Because we don’t like it. But men loved distressed leather and simply putting distressed leather into the Gifts for Professionals search will result in a number of items that we, as women, simply hate, but that masculine man you married will adore.
Another fun accessory men like are valets for the dresser. While a simple shoe box would work just as well for a man, he knows that his wife will never let him dump his pocket junk into a shoe box on the dresser... so. a dresser valet, in any simple style, gives your man the permission to simply dump his junk out of his pockets and onto the dresser without a lot of fuss or your innate desire to rearrange it for him.
To take that idea a little further, men seem to like anything to put on their dresser to keep it somewhat in order. While this may be simply their way of self-preservation to avoid a “you’re such a slob” conversation, desktop banks are also affordable and great gifts. So are money clips as more men steer away from wallets (but check what kind he likes). Electronics figure high into the practical gift lists as well as electronic accessories such as an extra cord for the phone (who hasn’t lost a cord or two), a dual charger for the car that allows the smart phone and tablet to get charged, or an extension for the charger.
Why not get a little adventurous in your shopping and consider one of the many professional gifts that Gifts for Professionals offers. If your husband is a fire fighter, check out the cool fire fighter gifts for men. Perhaps your husband is a banker or stockbroker. While some of these gifts may not be strictly practical, they are practically perfect for the man who takes pride in his profession and pride in the entire industry he represents. Gifts for Professionals has gifts that cover dozens of professions and our gifts are growing each week as we work to add those professions that are often overlooked.
Perhaps the best way to summarize finding practical gifts for him is to shadow the man... in thought or action... and simply affirm your man knows that you want to get him what he wants and you want his help in picking it out. Maybe the best surprise you can give your favorite man is to actually listen and make sure he gets what he wants, when he wants it, in the color he loves, and, let’s face it, without a lot of reasons why you don’t think he should like it!
Happy shopping for the happy man!