Off-topic today, but anyhoo. Men: they can be very tricky to buy for. From ages 12 to 29 they’d probably just like money. Then from ages 30 upwards, 1) they don’t need anything 2) the kind of money you’d need to put in one of those gift-money-wallets in order to raise a smile, now has at least two zeros on the end and 3) the things they really want cost thousands (and choosing correctly is likely to require in-depth knowledge of an obscure specialist field).
If you’ve exhausted all the usual options for the man/men in your life, here are some ideas:
1. Wine Lover: A red wine aerator
It’s a cool-looking little device which you pour your wine through on its way into your glass – it makes the wine taste like you opened it and let it “breathe” for a while, like we’re supposed to
if any of us had that kind of patience. This one is £7.90 from Amazon as I write this, and it’s got good reviews. I’ve bought four of them for various people for Christmas (so will soon be able to report if the wine tastes better!).
Some other wine-related gift ideas I like are: Wine Label Removers Like these (use them to remove the labels of wines you like, so you can keep them for future reference, in a wine notebook maybe) or a Wine Tasting Notebook such as De Long’s Wine Tasting Notebook (which includes wine tasting terms, how to take a wine tasting note etc).
2. Anyone with an interest in anything: Magazine subscription
You can’t really go wrong with a magazine subscription. Pretty much everyone is interested in something: health and fitness, sport, films and tvs, gadgets and tech, gardening, cars and motorbikes…even psychology, stamps, woodworking, model boats. There’s a magazine for every single interest in the world. Sometimes you can get a really amazing deal. The photos above are from isubscribe but you can also look for deals at Great Magazines, Magazines Direct or Hearst Magazines.
3. Foodie: vouchers with a difference
Foodie vouchers are great because they’re a bit more thoughtful and also satisfying to give than high street shop or Amazon vouchers, but they allow the recipient free reign and they’re usually quite excited to receive the gift. People who love seafood or cheese, for example, tend to reaaaalllllllly love seafood or cheese. In the past I have used Fish for Thought and The Cheese Shed, and both went down an absolute storm. Fish for Thought is a small family business offering fresh fish and seafood from Cornwall. They claim that “you can’t get fresher fish unless you catch it yourself”, and it’s all local and sustainably sourced. I bought vouchers for my husband once, and the fish arrived brilliantly packaged in a cunning cool-box, and he said it was delicious. Also, when you send their gift vouchers they give you extra vouchers for free (from £5 to £20 depending on how much you spent). I used The Cheese Shed for my brother-in-law. They let me specify what day I wanted it to arrive, so it reached him bang on time on his birthday. You can choose one of their selections or create your own. He really loved it.
4. Commuter / office worker: Nespresso Citiz Travel Mug
I love the stylish, modern look of this travel mug. But actually the reason I bought it is because I read brilliant reviews. With a lot of these mugs, they either leak or don’t keep the drink hot or need hand washing or look ugly, or a combination of these problems. But not so with this one. I think it’s perfect for someone who leaves the house early in the morning (sometimes in a rush) or has long drive to work or sits at a desk all day. A nice hot drink when you haven’t had time to have one before leaving for work, or on a long boring drive or while sitting at your desk. It cost me £15 plus £3.95 postage from the Nespresso website.
5. Pet lover: custom portrait by Sandrine’s Gallery at Etsy
This lady does absolutely stunning pet portraits. I’ve bought two before – both for women actually, but it would make just as lovely a gift for a man who loves his pet. Here’s the photo I sent Sandrine for the first portrait:
And here’s the portrait she made out of it:
She’s a total magician, isn’t she?! Here’s the second portrait she did for me – this one was really clever because she successfully made the dog look a little younger than the photo I sent her (this was for someone whose dog had recently passed away and I thought it would be nice to remember her loved one in their prime):
Sandrine is such a talented artist, and she’s really lovely too. She shows you the portrait before she posts it, to check that you’re happy with it. Custom portraits are from about £37 depending on the size. The Etsy shop is Sandrine’s Gallery.
6. Cheese fan: Edinburgh Preserves Cheese Wedge
I saw this in John Lewis and thought it made such a nice looking gift: a cheese-wedge shaped box containing cheese and preserves. It’s £15 at John Lewis but I see that Waitrose do it for £12 (and it’s also in a mix and match 3 for 2 offer there at the mo).
7. Gadget man: Gadget Cleaning Kit
This looks like a handy little stocking filler – it contains a cleaning solution, cleaning cloth and brush for cleaning your crevices :) It’s £5 from Marks & Spencer but it’s also in their 3 for 2 Christmas offer. Better than a reindeer which poos out cheap chocolate!
Hope this helps with your Xmas shopping.