Holiday season is coming and although the men in your life don’t demand a Christmas gift, you will buy them one, because a Christmas gift means more than the object.
Beautifully wrapped and presented your carefully chosen item for husband (partner, boyfriend, brother, son, nephew, colleague, friend and so many more people) is an expression of your relationship and affection.
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How many men are on your Christmas gift shopping list? Is it hard to buy for them? Most of us (including men shopping for another man) find it hard to get the right Christmas gift. Traditional clothes, gadgets, alcohol and food may fit the bill, but original christmas gift ideas for him are rare.
Searching out the unusual takes time we struggle for when we are busy with all our other seasons preparations. We settle for what is available.
It’s disappointing when we want that perfect item that surprises and delights by being useful, relevant and different from the mundane choices. But, there are plenty of amazing brands in the UK–adopt a strategic approach to buying and you’ll have Christmas wrapped up and stress-free.
Buying Gifts for Men—the Strategic Approach
The longer you know a man, especially those close to you like a husband or brother, the harder it is to find any thing. What he needs – he’s got. What he wants – he buys for himself. Everyone knows a man just like the impossible man.
Then there are the younger single men (sons, nephews, boyfriends) who usually get practical Christmas gifts, but occasionally an unplanned surprise is welcome. Finally, there are men you buy for that you don’t know well like new friends and distant relatives.
Best Christmas Strategies
- Upgrade an item to a higher-quality replacement.
- Buy merchandice he uses that needs constant replenishment.
- Buy something he likes or needs when he can’t afford it.
- Buy more of what he already owns or collects.
- Look for something new and unusual.
- Invest in an experience to treat him.
- Buy for someone else (seriously).
These strategies help you source the ultimate gift ideas for men.
Best Strategy for Different Men
The strategies for the impossible man are upgrades, experiences or donations. Looking for a gift for a husband or a man you have known for a long time – try something new to surprise him.
If you are buying for the younger male then something he needs or wants but can’t afford is the way to go.
Replace and Upgrade
Replace and upgrade is an idea for men that works well for the spouse or father who has everything or for the guy who is getting by on a tight budget.
Make the Daily Grooming Memorable
From the first exciting few hairs on an upper lip to daily beard growth that puts a werewolf to shame, most men shave. It’s an expensive activity because manufacturers know that people need their grooming products.
Our beautiful hand-crafted luxury razors accept most double-edged blades (widely available and cheaper than cartridge blades) for the best-ever wet shaving experience. A choice of handle materials from the cream imitation ivory to polished and exotic woods.
They look and feel great and every day he picks up the razor he remembers the giver. Team the razor with an exclusive luxurious badger hair brush or go for the complete set of tools on a stand like the Zebrano Set.
Upgrade suggestions: handmade razor, badger brush, classic stand and tools.
Replenishment suggestions: soaps, aftershave gel, cologne – handmade and organic.
Slippers, Ties and Other Clothes
There are many jokes about always getting jumpers or socks on Christmas morning when you reach a certain age (or become a Dad ) If you opt for an upgrade, the prosaic commonplace present is welcome.
Not basic slippers, but a handcrafted pure woollen slippers or warm sheepskin slippers. Luxury slippers with optional monogramming is almost as welcome as a hug.
The UK was a major producer of footwear and there are still pockets where the craft continues. These are not just slippers – they are handmade from pure British wool and fleeces.
Hosiery come in endless variety and price points – mundane, sports, hiking, funny, quirky and practical. When giving, give top-of-the-range luxury socks made from cashmere, cotton or bamboo. Or subscribe to a monthly delivery.
Ties speak volumes about the wearer, sometimes unintentionally. Useful to the man who either needs to or likes to wear one. Upgrade to a handmade English silk tie for a classy tribute for the man at the top of his game or working his way up the career ladder.
The trick to making an otherwise mundane piece of clothing extra-special is to pull out all the stops to upgrade it to the funniest or the most fabulous version you can find.
This strategy works perfect for men you know well. Combine it with an upgrade strategy and you will come up with a memorable present.
Using your knowledge of the men you can compile a checklist of what they like to eat, drink, wear or do. Then buy them something that fits but has a little extra magic.
Something To Drink
Wine Lovers: Lot’s of people love wine, so buy a vintage wine or a carafe and add some accessories like a handcrafted wooden bottle stopper.
Specialized Brews: A selection of craft beer or ciders with quality accessories like a wooden bottle opener or an exclusive beer or cider glass.
Gin Lover: Big choice but consider a personalised gin glass. A selection of botanicals, mixers and a cocktail shaker for some exciting cocktail experiments or parties.
Classic Whiskey Man: If he hasn’t got one already, get an engraved hip flask, a stunning globe decanter or personalised whisky stones.
Teetotallers: Some men don’t drink alcohol for many reasons and for them there are botanicals, handcrafted soft drinks and tea.
Gourmet food satisfy’s the celebratory nature of Xmas. Think artisan, rather than supermarket shelves. A DIY hamper or a carefully selected package will suit most men.
Small-scale artisan UK based producers make everything from delicious cheese, cured meats, luxury chocolates to chillies (yes there are UK chilli farms) and spice mixes. Read reviews for the lowdown and info online.
Gifts for men who
Garden: The keen gardener is a joy to buy for as gloves, wellies and seeds are easy to source. A personalised dibber or custom plant labels are practical and useful to any man who likes to spend the day in his garden.
Walk the dog: The dog walker will enjoy new leads and collars to use with their hound, paired with a hip flask or thermos to keep him refreshed on the longer colder dog walk. A fun toy is a gun that fires tennis balls for the energetic dog that runs and runs.
Play golf: Golf tees and balls are the perfect replenishment, because they break and get lost regularly.
Desirable objects are those items a man needs or wants but is either unable (strict budget) or unwilling to buy for himself.
Some desirable objects come into the fun or frivolous category. Most people like smart tech gadgets and taking pictures. A camera mounted on a drone takes pictures you can’t get any other way – an aerial view of your garden.
The wireless technology now allows you to have a pocket-sized drone with a camera at a reasonable price. Although a bird’s-eye view of the top of a mature gentleman’s head might not please him it’s memorable.
He gets the fun of learning to fly and takes quick memorable stills and video. Plenty of info and reviews help to select the right model.
When it comes to useful items, the lineup is endless. Think about the guy who loves his caffeine. He may have a cafeteria, but does he have a machine? Pods are expensive although convenient, but you can get a machine that takes a portion of aromatic beans. It turns them into perfect coffee without fuss or drama.
Throw in some beans roasted here in the UK and you have a gift to delight the drinker every day for years not only at Xmas.
A sundial fits into any garden and provides a talking point. Instead of a sundial think about a birdbath or sculpture. It’s a big present and for the man who likes to spend time in his garden it is something that he can enjoy for years.
If you have time commission a handcrafted sundial with a special message for the unforgettable message.
More Means More
Buying more of what he already has is tricky, but if you get it right you will show him you love and care.
Is he a dapper gent dressing in a double-cuffed shirt with cufflinks? He has a set of cufflinks already, but cufflinks are to men what earrings are to women. You’ve always got room for another pair. Quirky, expensive, charming and personal – cufflinks are ideal. Incidentally, if you are looking for a classy cufflinks …
Collectors and Hobbyists
The collector and the hobbyist are always tricky for surprise, because they are the experts. You run the risk of buying them one of what they already have or an inferior (in their eyes) product.
These men often have a long series of “wants”, but that doesn’t help with surprising them. Before you can put their present in the bag and wrap it up, you need to think outside of the box.
You can buy or commission many handcrafted items personalised to their passion. A wooden pen perhaps, engraved with a message. Or a creative gift for his man cave or man corner.
This present could range from storage solutions to decorative objects. The precise gift depends on the nature of their passion for doing or collecting.
New and Unique
This strategy involves finding something that introduces an original thought or activity.
Discover Home Grown Wines, Whiskeys, Gins, Meads and Ciders
The UK is home to many distilleries, brewers, makers of Fruit and Country Wine based in England and Wales. Their products come packed as boxes or individual bottles to package yourself. Team your gift with one of our superb bottle stoppers or openers for an extra surprise.
Whiskey (the water of life) is not a uniquely Scottish product, there are two distilleries in Wales and another in Dartmoor whose first distillation is one of a kind.
If G&T is your man’s tipple of choice, then why not create your personal blended gin? Craft gins are trendy and micro-distilleries offer box sets, tours and the chance to handcraft your very own gin.
Fruit and country wines are now award winning rather than being the suspect offering of an uncle with demijohns and fermenting buckets. There are many excellent country winemakers, and these are superior wines with exciting flavours.
Surprise the men in your life with a home-grown version of their favourite drink. Or an opportunity to peep behind the scenes with a guided visit.
Stick making is a popular and ancient craft in the UK and the results are collectable and prized.
Walking sticks are the countryman’s friend and come in different shapes as a result of local woods and local trades like the shepherd’s crook. Popular with ramblers, Nordic walkers and foragers there is a stick for everyone.
A carving jack is an inexpensive introduction to wood carving without the need to invest in chisels and gouges and a workbench. Look for one that uses a pen knife as the whittling tool. Then he gets to carry a useful pen knife even if he chooses never to bless you with a handcrafted pot-stirrer.
Foodie Make Your Own Kits
An unusual idea for the male who likes cookery or loves his food. If you can think of an artisan food product you can probably get provisions for the man in your life to have a go at making his own –
- Sourdough Bread kits from the Sourdough Kitchen or the Wild Baker.
- Raw Chocolate from Elements for Life.
- Cheese with, who else, but the Cheese Making Shop.
- Trendy fermented foods with Freshly Fermented.
Or for the adventurous man – a Molecular Gastronomy Kit.
Magazine subscriptions or a year’s membership to a society, organisation or place make a great idea that delivers all year. A little detective work makes sure you don’t duplicate something they have already.
For the man who has everything or is impossible to buy for then consider investing in an experience rather than an object. Admittedly, it is like giving him a rain check because he can’t use it on the day, but they come in all shapes and sizes.
Think about something he has always said he’d like to do someday and then see if it is possible to make that happen. Silverstone track activity days with professional tutors is a big winner.
Not an opportunity for your husband or boyfriend to learn some useful skills like plumbing or bricklaying (though classes are available) but a pack you put together yourself. Your imagination (and your budget) is the only limit.
Some thoughts could include a minibreak–book a stay at a B&B with tickets to a local theatre or booked a tour of a local attraction. Or a bag of popcorn and cinema vouchers may be just the ticket for those seasons films.
Encounters with Animals
You don’t have to travel to meet exotic animals, he can have a shark diving encounter in a UK aquarium or invest in horse riding lessons or hawk flying.
You buy Animal outings ready packaged from an online supplier like Virgin Experience Days. Or, you can check your local wildlife locations and zoos to buy direct.
The scope of heart-thumping exhilarating experiences is endless–hot-air balloon rides, abseiling, bungee jumping, flying a plane, train or car.
Our lives and memories fill with momentary experiences and if he likes adventure andexcitement,t then there is a top-notch experience out there for him
For a change of pace in the action market what about gifting a new skill? Learning to play an instrument is excellent for the brain and most men either want to or have played an instrument.
A couple of taster sessions or music lessons for fun and the chosen instrument can be hired or borrowed.
A varied mix of workshops lets him learn anything from forging a knife, throwing a pot, tying a knot, painting some glass or beekeeping. Workshop prices vary depending on the cost of materials and how long they take.
Some combine a weekend break as part of the package. Choose a course or tutor with good reviews.
Finally, for the Impossible Man–Gift Someone Else
If none of the strategies for finding an ideal gift for a man are working, you’re frustrated and at your wit’s end–give to someone else. Go green planting some trees with the Woodland Trust (perhaps give him a wooden letter opener so he can open the thank-you letter with style).
Support a hospice or homeless shelter with a donation in his name. There are local and national charities that will really appreciate the donations on the 25th.