As a woman, buying gifts for men that they actually want is completely confusing. I’m sure men have the same problem buying gifts for women. It’s easy to say, “This is what I would want, therefore my mother-in-law would like it, too.” And usually that works. But with men…who knows?
Answer: other men.
So to write up this gift list, I went directly to the source. I tracked down three different men with different sets of interests and asked them what their five perfect gifts would be. There was a good bit of overlap, though, which is why I only have 13. Let’s do a breakdown of who I asked, though, just in case you’re curious about how similar they are to the men in your life. Feel free to skip this part and go directly to the list.
My husband is pretty nerdy. He’s into video games (particularly Nintendo), board games, science, and they love to read (basically anything). He watched his favorite sports teams and keeps up with football season, but he’s not into the “sports for the sake of sports” stuff.
My brother is into that–he’s a walking encyclopedia for sports-related trivia. He would attend any sports game for any team just for the sake of going. He loves technology–particularly Apple, PlayStation, and Xbox–and he’s always on top of the lastest gadgets. He also has very expensive taste.
My sister’s husband is a country boy through and through, though he can be a bit nerdy at times. He’s into outdoorsy stuff like fishing, but he’s also into technology and is currently obsessed with Breaking Bad (which is also one of Zach’s favorite shows).
Between the three of them, I got a pretty decent list of gift ideas. Here are things that, not only would they want, they wouldn’t mind receiving multiple years in a row. (Sit back, because this is a long one.)
Gifts for Men (That They Actually Want)
1. Game consoles
This is the one I absolutely expected. And I was right. It was the number one listed item. They all wanted either a PS4 (on sale for $419.99) or an XBox One (on sale now for $349.99). The Nintendo Switch is also insanely popular and has great bundles like Diablo III.
2. Gift cards
Gift cards sound like a super lame gift, but I always appreciate getting them (even though society has trained us to think it’s not OK to give them). It’s especially nice if it’s for something you know they like, but you don’t know enough specifics to buy the actual item. For instance, if you know someone wants/needs new clothes, but you don’t know their size or style, a gift card to their favorite store is a great idea. Then they can try on clothes and you don’t have to worry about dealing with all that returning and exchanging crap (which also lets them to wait to go shopping AFTER the post-holiday exchanging frenzy).
Or if you know someone who likes to cook and would love more kitchen gadgets, but you don’t know what they already own, gift card! (In the last five years, I have received three different sets of food processors from three different people. Two of them were the same set. Gift cards, y’all.)
Apparently, men appreciate this as well. Zach and my brother both said that they wouldn’t mind receiving gift cards (my brother finds it preferable to anything else. Especially with a fiance in grad school, money is a gift they both appreciate right now).
My brother and sister’s husband are into Dick’s Sporting Goods, Best Buy, and Cabela’s.
Zach would be more into Amazon and Apple gift cards.
3. Tickets to see a favorite sports team.
This is a bit expensive, but if you can swing the money, I’ve found that a lot of guys are really looking for experiences. So if you have a guy who likes sports, game tickets are a great idea. I know a lot of guys who are also into musicals and live music, so those are also good. Zach likes basically anything, so just a day to go see something would be awesome for him. (I don’t have a single idea where to find the best deals on game tickets since I’ve never bought any. But for football, I would start with Stub Hub, Ticket Master, and NFL.com. Good luck.)
4. A movie or TV series.
With the existence of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, I was a bit surprised when I heard this one. My brother has every streaming service known to humankind and he still says he’d like to have physical copies of his favorite shows and movies. (With Netflix constantly removing great shows from the line-up, I guess I can see why.)
Of course, you have to know which shows and movies they like and which ones they already own. Especially when it comes to shows with multiple seasons.
Most people I know are really into Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and The Walking Dead. Which are excellent shows, by the way. My brother is really into How I Met Your Mother (as am I) and Zach and I both enjoy Modern Family. Which gives you some starting points if you’re not up-to-date with pop culture.
5. Favorite clothing apparels
My brother particularly likes hoodies from Adidas and Nike. (He’s like a walking billboard.) Zach prefers sports paraphernalia to brands. He especially likes clothes that can be worn in all weather (so, t-shirts).
6. Board games
This won’t be true of all guys, but Zach and I are BOTH thrilled to receive new board games. We’ve also started getting J into them, so he doesn’t seem to mind this as a gift, either. He’s particularly fond of games like Ghost Stories, which is a game that he wouldn’t have bought for himself but it’s one of his favorites. If you want a light strategy game, you can try Ticket to Ride. If you want a fast, easy-to-carry game, there’s Coup. For groups with more than four or five people, games like Avalon and 7 Wonders are great. (Coup and Avalon make great party games.) If you prefer team-based games, you have all the great co-op titles like Pandemic and Legendary.
For more board game ideas, check some of our board game posts at Gray Cat Games:
- 5 Board Games for the Minecraft Addict
- Cheap Board Games
- Great 2 Player Games
- 6 Great Stocking Stuffer Games
- The 3 Best Superhero Games
- 12 Party Games for the Holidays
7. Video games
I think video games are relatively safe for a lot of guys (as long as he has a console 😛 ). You just need to figure out what sort of games they like and which ones they don’t already own. And if you search
Games that are popular this (2018) season are:
- Nintendo Switch:
- Playstation 4
- Xbox One
- Computer Games
8. A new TV
In fact, the one that was specifically requested was the VIZIO M422i-B1 42-Inch 1080p Smart LED TV. This is apparently a really good TV. (I have no idea. J is really into tech stuff and he’s apparently all about this TV right now. I got a “heads up” from my SIL warning me this would probably be on the list and then lo’ and behold…. 😛 )
9. Coats or jackets
It’s getting pretty cold in much of the country and men don’t like being cold. (Actually, no one likes being cold.) Guys like new coats and they recognize when they need one…but in my experience, they hate shopping for them. So take of it for him!
This one surprised me, because I always thought sweaters were a gift that women thought men should have, rather than one men actually wanted. J mentioned sweaters, so I asked everyone else who hadn’t and they all said, “Yeah, actually sweaters are nice.” Zach particularly likes the idea of a button-up sweater that he could wear in place of a jacket (Georgia can get chilly, but doesn’t usually require a heavy coat. At least not as far as we’re concerned).
You know, I had never heard of Kenneth Cole until a couple years ago, but I really love their products.
Here’s a list of men’s sweaters you can browse through.
11. Items for their facial hair
Guys have this tendency to grow hair on their faces. Some like it, some trim it, but for both parties taking care of the hair and the skin is important. For trimming and shaving, this Braun Series 5 550cc Shaver System gets great reviews!
Something like the Parker 96R Safety Razor Shave Set would be great, too, for detailing (or just for your more traditional kind of guy). It comes with a brush and a butterfly open safety razor, so it feels like an antique, which is really cool. 😛
12. Streaming media players
These things are AWESOME! I was really skeptical when I first heard about them, but then last year my parents got us Apple TV and it is so wonderful! I use it all the time. The Apple version is great for us because I have an iPhone and we both have iPads. So not only can we watch Netflix from the Apple TV, we can “mirror” our mobile devices so our screens can be viewed from the TV. If we’re sitting on opposite sides of the room and he has a YouTube video he wants me to see, all he has to do is send it to the TV. Neither of us has to get up (and I’m super lazy, so SCORE!).
A lot of people don’t like Apple, though, in which case, Google Chromecast is for you! The nice thing about Chromecast is that it works with Apple products, but it also works with Androids, Windows tablets, and Chromebooks.
Another one that is become very popular is Amazon Fire TV. (There is also the Amazon Fire Stick, if you want to give it a try but don’t want to pay as much.) The Roku 3 gets a lot of great reviews but, in all honesty, I don’t know anything about it. My suggestion is to read the reviews and figure out which one would work best for you.
OK, not all guys like or want slippers. Zach’s not so big on slippers; my dad and brother love them. This will depend on your guy. If you’re not sure if he likes slippers or not, this may be something you have to try out and then accept the fact that he may not like them. But even if he doesn’t, I’m sure the thought will be appreciated (you don’t want him to be cold and that will occur to him). Whether he does or doesn’t like them, now you know!
When I was growing up, my dad had this pair of basset hound slippers. Over the years, of course, he wore them down and now he has none (also I think one of the dogs chewed them up a bit). So Mom told me this year, he’d like a new pair of slippers. I went with these awesome grizzly bear slippers. The moment I looked at them I thought of Dad.
For the more sophisticated man, these corduroy house slippers are really nice! (I love corduroy!)
Lesson: Men are just as complicated and diverse as women. These gifts work well for most of the men in my life, but may not work for yours. So the question is…what kind of gifts will you get them? Let me know in the comments!