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Coming Up with a Christmas Gift for My Husband

(If he’s a blogger, check out this list of gift ideas for bloggers!)

Finding presents for your husband can be incredibly frustrating. Micah and I have stopped giving each other gifts altogether, which works for us, but what do you do when you really want to give your husband a gift and have no idea what to get him?

Giving a Subscription

Sometimes the most frustrating about shopping for someone you care about is being overwhelmed by all the choices and looking for the best one. Rather than settling for a single product, consider the alternative of giving a subscription. Right now, for example, GameFly is running a 10 day free trial with a coupon code. Instead of buying a couple games that are hot now, give him access to a year of different games.

Giving Your Husband Software or Hardware

Giving software can be a little tricky but also very rewarding. A useful program can provide hundreds of hours of enjoyment or productivity over several years. Make sure you buy a program that fits your husband’s computer. Be sure the program is for Windows or Mac and for the right operating system.

Some programs, like Adobe Photoshop’s newest creative suite are prohibitively expensive. But Photoshop Elements 8, the newest version of Elements, offers a scaled-down yet-powerful photo-editing software.

For the man who wants to build websites, consider Adobe Dreamweaver. I linked to the previous version (which is still good for Windows or XP) because some people are selling it for less than $200 (though from Amazon it costs more than the newer version). The newest version of Dreamweaver is nearly $400, so it only fits some budgets.

If your husband already has all the software he needs but likes gadgets to go with his computer, consider something fun like the LaCie Key USB Drive. It holds 8GB & fits easily on a keyring. Or you can find affordable high-capacity external hard drives (1.5 TB) for the man with a lot to back up or store. You can fit a large movie collection or rips of his favorite TV shows on here.

Give Your Husband Something to Impress His Guy Friends

According to Micah, there are few things hotter than a wife who can make your friends jealous by supporting things he does with his guy friends. Because not all wives are that supportive, therefore you’re cooler and better. When he was a little younger, he played in a band and I used to help out with setup/takedown at their shows.

When it comes to actual gifts, think about his hobbies–even ones you’re not thrilled about–and what you can do to support them. For instance if he likes to go biking with a few guy friends, consider getting him one of the accessories you’ve heard him talking about with his friends. Now, not only did you get him something that he likes, but it’s something he can show off to his buddies while telling them what an awesome wife you are. Double win.

For the Man Who Says He Wants to Read More

Not all men are big on gadgets, but if your husband likes them and you’ve got a big enough budget, there’s always the Kindle. It’s especially good for the guy who says that he wants to read more but can’t find the time. The Kindle’s big advantage is that it’s much more portable than an ordinary book–plus you look cool reading it.

Some book ideas:

  • Story Structure – Demystified by Larry Brooks (or 101 Tips for Novelists and Screenwriters). Story Structure ndash; Demystified is a great book for the man (or woman) who would like to write but needs help organizing his ideas.
  • The Art of Manliness by Brett McKay. A fun and articulate blog which turned into a fun and articulate book

Giving a Gift Card

Doesn’t sound very thoughtful or romantic, does it? I’m normally against gift cards because they don’t get used, but I’ve become a big fan of Amazon’s gift cards because everyone I know always uses them up. You can get pretty much anything on Amazon these days and electronic gift cards arrive immediately, so you can order them up to the last minute.

To make it more personal, add a note about what it’s for. For example if you got stuck on a category of gift your husband likes but couldn’t settle on something specific, then you can indicate that it’s for a new album or a Kindle download or a DVD or a video game.

Don’t Give Him a Serious Debt

I was browsing some old posts today, and I ran across a great one from several years ago Christmas, when Lazy Man slammed the idea of surprising your spouse with a car. I think most of us wouldn’t be very happy if our spouse/partner bought a gift which would send them into years of debt.

I remember when Frugal Chick wrote:

The AmEx bill included the television DF gifted me on my birthday. Yep, I paid for my own gift. If I wasn’t so irritated I probably would have cried with all these bills.

Um what? An expensive gift from your husband is one thing if you share finances, but a fiancé using your credit card to pay for your birthday present and you having to pay it off? Not cool. So for Christmas, be sure to buy only what you can afford.

Giving Something Intangible or Just Having Him Choose

The approach of Christmas always makes me start wondering what I would like to do for Micah this Christmas. For birthdays, the birthday person gets to buy one item they’re interested in. Micah got a sachel one year and a book another. Last Christmas, we didn’t exchange gifts. But there’s something to be said for taking time to do something for each other or give something.

I thought about things like coupon books for dates, marital favors, even a monthly movie night, but we do those sorts of things anyway. One person just has to propose it and we have to have the money. Perhaps it’s because we don’t have kids and our lives aren’t hectic enough (or they’re hectic, but we can shuffle it around) to prevent any of these things. Besides, Micah would probably feel weird about redeeming the coupons because that’s who he is…he wouldn’t want to pressure me into something by redeeming a coupon, he’d rather ask. Still, this can work well for some couples.

Of course, you can always ask point-blank what he wants. Consider asking what he hasn’t been letting himself buy.

Or consider buying him something you think he’s been holding off on because you’re not fond of it (the video game example above, or hobby supplies if you’re not a big fan of his hobby). Not only will he like the gift itself, he’ll appreciate that it’s an especially loving gesture on your part to put aside your own tastes to give him something that he’ll truly enjoy.


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Unique Gift Ideas- Stock Market Style
December 16, 2008 at 10:27 am

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

A.J. November 14, 2008 at 7:12 am

“marital favors.” lulz.

plonkee November 14, 2008 at 8:10 am

@A.J.
On this blog, anything goes ;)

@Mrs. Micah:
One of the things I like about Xmas presents is the idea of getting something completely decadent and luxurious. Is there anything Micah regularly uses/has that you could upgrade? If he was a girl, it would be things like overpriced bubble bath or something.

Otherwise, if you don’t do Xmas stockings already, one filled with stupid gag gifts and lots and lots and lots of unwrapping can be fun, for the right recipient. Like having a set of colouring pencils and wrapping each one individually.

Of course, these ideas are unhelpful because I think Micah is a reader, but maybe they’ll help someone else.

Lisa November 14, 2008 at 8:18 am

This year has been very financially tight for me and my SO. I was thinking about having some sort of chat with him about what to do about holiday gift-giving for one another. I was thinking about setting a mutually acceptable dollar limit, or something like that.

As for inexpensive gift ideas, one of my most treasured gifts is a picture of my dog Roxie in a nice frame. It’s a FUNNY, candid, tongue-lolling picture, and I love it. I think pictures of loved ones in a nice frame are always a good idea.

Tina November 14, 2008 at 9:05 am

My husband has recently become interested in wine. I’m buying him a very nice bottle from this online wine store I found (www.vinfolio.com) that deals in collectible wine as well as a neat wine reference guide I found (www.winevintagecard.com.)

I think he’s going to be thrilled.

That One Caveman November 14, 2008 at 10:14 am

Oh, I so know what I’m asking my wife for Christmas, now! ;) Inexpensive, but rewarding and certainly appreciated! :-D

Aryn November 14, 2008 at 12:38 pm

My husband and I don’t always get gifts for each other. This year we’re taking a vacation and will probably buy a piece of art there. We’re also considering a Wii, but then again we considered that last year, too. So think about something you both want that you could get for each other as a sort of joint gift from/to yourselves.

Frugalchick November 14, 2008 at 1:09 pm

Thanks for the mention, MrsMicah. Those were definitely one of our darker days.

As for a gift idea, I vote for the coupon book. I did it one Christmas for my then fiance, and I tell you, he guarded that book like a hawk. It was his most prized possession and made sure he used every single one before they expired. Some of his favorites were “Do not disturb, I’m watching football for the next 2 hours. Please serve some snacks” and “King of the Remote Control for the Night” as well as passes for household chores.

Gypsie November 14, 2008 at 7:06 pm

My DH (weve been married 3 years) asked a couple of months ago if i minded if he wore a different ring instead of his wedding ring, something with a design. He found a ring online with a design that he likes for around $30. I dont care what ring he wears as long as he wears a ring so this year i am going to get him an alternative wedding ring.

daddy t December 23, 2008 at 1:30 pm

Your gift ideas are all excellent. In addition give Micah a toy of some kind to satisfy his “inner child”.

Jay Smith October 12, 2010 at 6:47 pm

You’re right gift cards aren’t sexy but most men would prefer to chose something themselves than receive an unwanted gift. Whatever you decide to buy him, please don’t get him a sweater or other clothing, unless he’s asked for something specific.

If you buy him a sweater and he hates it, he’ll say thanks, but you’ll have to live with a grumpy grizzly bear all Christmas Day. How do I know because it’s happened to me more than once and yes I did spend the day acting like a bear with a sore head. You have been warned ;-)

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