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Ask The Good Enough Guy: What Do I Get My Man For Christmas?

Hi Will:

I love the holidays, but I have a problem that is just eating me up. Every year, my husband of 15 years tells me that it doesn’t matter what I get him, but then seems disappointed when I give him his gifts. I’ve bought coats he doesn’t wear, video games he doesn’t play and tools he never uses. Now, he will buy all of these things for himself, but the ones I buy just never seem right. What suggestions do you have for a good gift for a man? I want to do this right because he always gets me just what I want. Of course, I usually hand him the catalog with the page marked and the color circled, which makes it easy. But he’s such an enigma! HELP!

No Mrs. Claus

 

Hey NMC,

If you’re having trouble finding the right gift for a guy it’s because you’re plagued by a fundamental female flaw; if something about us seems difficult, it’s because you’re over thinking it (ladies, don’t hate). We are a simple bunch, and it just so happens, you’ve come to one of the simplest of all.

Here’s another Man Law you should know: MEN NEVER OUTGROW TOYS. They may get more expensive, more high-tech, and possibly more dangerous, but if we play with them for fun, they’re still toys. Last year, my wife got me an extendable, compound, miter saw. This thing tilts, swivels, extends, and rips through a two-by-four like a laser beam. Of course, it’s nothing to play with, but I’ve yet to cut a piece of wood on it without cracking a smile. So what are some good man toys? I asked a bunch of different guys and got some pretty good ideas.

*Video games: I suck at them, but my best friend LOVES them and he’s 42.

*A bigger television: If it’s bigger than the old one, it’s good. Smart TVs are big this year.

*Power tools/fishing equipment: There’s a trick for these. I’ll explain later.

*T-shirts, socks, and underwear: Please don’t make your guy ask for these!

*Guns: Yes, I have friends who hunt and others who just like guns. I don’t judge.

*Peace on earth: A guy told me this then laughed and said, “Really, I want a shotgun.”

So with all of these choices, how do you get it right? Easy. Follow these simple steps.

KNOW YOUR GUY: Does he like to dress well? Does he like working with his hands? Does he LOVE his car? What’s his favorite football team? On the weekend, is he in Sports Authority or Home Depot? Knowing these answers will help you get to the next step.

ASK HIS BUDDIES: They’ve seen him eyeing their fishing rods. He borrows their reciprocating saw. He plays Call of Duty: Black Ops at their house all night. They’re tired of seeing him in that same, tired, Raven’s jacket. Ask them; they’ll tell you.

TALK TO THE SALES PEOPLE: You know he wants a camera, but which one? That’s what these people are for. Find a good camera shop and a knowledgeable sales person and tell them everything you do know. But be careful: some of these folks get paid on commission and will sell you the store if you let them.

DON’T ORDER FROM AN INFOMERCIAL! He loves to fish so that handy pocket fisherman is perfect, right? Oh, and this tool is a drill, saw, sander, toothbrush, and coffee pot all in one! Not to be mean, but these things only look good to someone who doesn’t know any better. This amounts to you wanting a new purse, and instead of a Coach bag, he gets you that Fold-a-Purse that can hold everything from your filling cabinet and your closet at the same time, all in one beautiful burlap satchel.

IF ALL ELSE FAILS GIVE HIM A GIFT CARD: The guys I asked were back and forth on this one. Some said a gift card seemed like a cop out, others said it’s the best way to make sure they got what they wanted. I say, I’d rather have my wife swing and miss than to not bother swinging, but that’s just me.

And if you try all of these things even if you still don’t quite get it right, it will at least show that you love him and want to make him happy and on Christmas, the love is what really counts.

Merry Christmas to you and to everyone!

 William Jones is originally from the tiny town of Alton, Illinois, and now lives in the tinier town of Reisterstown, Maryland. He is a happy husband and a proud father of three, and writes as a hobby, in those few moments he finds between husbanding and daddy-ing. Follow him on Twitter @goodenoughguy1.

10 Comments

  1. Cindy @MomMaven

    December 17, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Will, thanks for trying but this doesn’t help me at all. Twenty years of marriage and hubby is still the hardest to buy for. He hates video games and guns. We can’t afford a new TV, though we desperately need one. He is extremely picky about his tools-I asked him what tools he would like and he said he didn’t know! I hate giving him gift cards and clothes but they are the only sure bets. They just aren’t fun or exciting, but then again the year I got him tickets to the Daytona 500 he didn’t seem very excited either but we had a fun weekend camping in our conversion band. He doesn’t have any guy friends he spends time with so I can’t ask them either. Ugh! Buying his gifts are difficult for the entire family-why are guys so difficult?!?

    Merry Christmas!

  2. Ella Rucker

    December 17, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Cindy, yowser! Sounds like you have problems. He does want tools? Well, if he has a tool box maybe go through it and see which of them is very worn and replace it. Or get him something with “more power” -a quote from the TV show Home Improvement. A power tool of any kind is usually a good bet. Can’t wait to see what Will has to say.

  3. machell

    December 17, 2011 at 10:14 am

    what about a gift basket of his favorite treats, cookies, nuts, a few manly movies? or give a dontations to a chairity in his name.
    New headsets for his ipod/ipad, DVD’s of some old classic movies/TV programs. My husband loves comedy so I got him the Carol Burnett Show DVD 🙂

    Most men love to give more than recieve. They really are simple.

  4. Auntie Lisa

    December 17, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Um… this may sound obvious, but why don’t you *ask* him what he wants for Christmas? Even give him some catalogs and tell him to put sticky notes on the items he’s interested in.

    Another suggestion: buy some sexy lingerie for yourself… then wrap it and give it to him. It’s really for him anyway… 😉

  5. m.e. johnson

    December 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Sounds like he’s just not into all that holiday foofarall like she is.Good thing she tells him what she wants or he’d probably buy her a rolling pin (and think he did very well). 🙂

    Hmmph. I’d give him a 12-pack of toilet paper or a framed map with directions to the washer/dryer. Oh well, a gift card in a box in a box in a box wrapped real fancy. He won’t mind a bit and I’ll bet he smiles.

  6. Will Jones

    December 17, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Cindy,

    I didn’t really get into this in the letter because I have limited space (the edited knows I tend to prattle on! LOL

    Your hubby is probably a bit co-dependant. A lot of men fall into this category, especially men that have been married for a while. If that’s the case, it’ll be hard for him to enjoy any gift if he feels the money could have been spent on more important things. And the bad part is, the more he likes a gift, the more guilt he’ll feel about getting it. (Did I say men were simple? Ok, maybe not always.)

    Husbands feel like we have to provide for our families, and putting ourselves last after our wife, our kids, our house, our bills, and what ever else comes up, gives us a feeling of satisfaction; we think that the more we sacrifice, the better we are providing. We get the things we HAVE to have, but everything else can wait.

    The clothes are ok because he HAS to have clothes. The gift cards are ok because he can buy things he needs to fix that leaky gutter (which will save money in the long run) or the parts to tune up the car (because those mechanics rip you off every time.) In his mind the tickets to the big race were “too expensive” and he probably felt guilty for using them, but he got to take you with him, so because you enjoyed yourself, it made it ok for him to enjoy himself too.

    This is a great man to have… except when you’re trying to shop for him. So you’ll have to get tricky! Take him to big box store with you and then tell him you’re going to the women’s department and you’ll meet up with him later. Once he’s out of your sight, stay out of his sight… and follow him. See what department he ends up in. Watch to see what he picks up. Make a list if you can. Turn it into a game. You’ll come up with something.

    And I bet he’s the guy people call when they need help, isn’t he? If so, does he have a battery jumper pack? It costs less then $100.00 and it worth its weight in gold! No more draggin out jumper cables or trying to get the car nose-to-nose with the car that needs a jump, and some come with an air pump and a AC converter (I love mine!). Does he drive a truck (I do, and this guy sounds like me!) If so, a “truck box” is great to store tools, tie-down straps, tarps, tow-chains etc. They run about $200.00 or so and come in different sizes for different trucks. OR… write back and tell me how he spends an average Saturday and I’ll tell you what he’ll probably LOVE!

    BUT… As I said, the greater the gift, the more he may feel like he doesn’t deserve it. Explain to him that he works so hard for the family and does so much for you all year that you feel like you really NEED to give him a gift. For this kind of guy, just hearing that you notice how hard he works for his family is as big a gift as you can get him, and it may take the sting out of accepting his present.

    See; I told you I prattle on! LOL. Hope this helps. Write back and let me know!

  7. irene

    December 18, 2011 at 1:44 am

    “the love is what really counts.”- Good enough guy

    Great…boy so I am gonnarun with this one & give my hubbie love and if it bombs away on Christmas day I am gonna know exactly who to write for advice. Merry Christmas good enough guy and family! 🙂

    No, seriously sometimes our love and undivided attention to our loved ones on the holidays especially is really all they want and need. People can buy material things but the things I most treasure are the times….well…this is a PG place so I will end this here.

  8. Will Jones

    December 18, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Irene- By far, the best part of my Christmas is watching my wife and children open their presents. My wife does pretty good with gifts for me, but none come close to the feelings I get watching the looks on their faces. It might sound a little corny, but I just love it.

  9. Cindy @MomMaven

    December 23, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Those are all great insights and Will, thanks for explaining my hubby to me in your response. I ended up getting him clothes and an annual subscription to GBTV.com since he misses Glenn’s show since he left FoxNews and went to the Internet…we’ll see how it goes on Sunday.

    Merry Christmas!

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