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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.


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