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Guys can be hard to shop for, am I right? And husbands are even trickier. If your husband is anything like mine, he doesn’t like to spend a lot of money on himself. He often says he ‘doesn’t need anything’ or ‘don’t get me anything expensive’ when it comes to birthdays and Christmases. But what fun is that? Gift giving is one of my primary love languages, and I truly enjoy choosing something special to wrap and place under the tree for Chad.
Throughout the years it’s been challenging coming up with ideas though. Especially ones that don’t cost too much.
But I’ve found some goodies over the many Christmases we’ve spent as a couple, and I wanted to share some of those ideas with you.
Seriously, if you grew up in the 80s with me, you’ll know exactly how awesome it felt to get a specially made mix tape from the cute boy in home room. Poor kids these days just don’t know the sheer joy of mix tapes. But you can bring a smile to your husband’s face on Christmas morning when he unwraps an old school walkman with a cassette tape of all the songs you and he have shared together. The song from the the movie you saw on your first date? Your wedding song? The theme song from his senior year of baseball? Have fun with it and enjoy listening to it together and explaining the stories behind each song to your kids.
Letter Jacket/School Sweatshirt
It’s been more than 25 years since we graduated from high school. The intervening years were not kind to Chad’s favorite Overland Blazer athletic apparel. He wore out his old baseball and basketball tshirts and sweatshirts long ago. A few years ago I decided to see if I could find some replacements. Sure enough, I was able to go to Spiritshop.com and design some items that looked a lot like the old shirts he’d had. His face lit up as he unwrapped his new items. This is such a fun idea for anyone who loved high school or college, especially if they were involved in a sport or activity.
First Date Gift Basket
On our first date, Chad and I went to see Dances With Wolves, followed by dinner at the local Hot Dog Shoppe. Fancy, I know. But we were broke college students. After the movie he was making fun of other patrons who were crying at the film. Meanwhile, I was wiping a few tears from my own eyes…I never let him live it down and we laugh about it now and again. So if I were putting together a First Date gift, I would add a dvd of DWW, a gift certificate to The Hot Dog Shoppe, with maybe a tshirt or something as well, and a big, white hanky for all those tears.
Personalized Photo Item
My husband loves photos. Especially of his children. Through the years I have made several things for him with photos. One year, when our kids were young, I dressed them in cute outfits, took them to the backyard, snapped a bunch of photos, and matted them in a simple frame. However, I used a wide mat, so that each child could write their name or draw a picture on the mat as a sweet keepsake. It’s still hanging on our wall and Chad will tell you it’s one of his favorite gifts. We’ve all done tshirts and hats, all with the same idea of preserving the kids’ hand prints, handwriting, and drawings. You could find and reprint an old photo of he and his siblings, or best childhood friends, his first car, or any photo that would have a special meaning to him.
Concert/Event Tickets Basket
What were your favorite music bands when you were in high school or college? U2? Depeche Mode? Led Zeppelin? Backstreet Boys? If it’s the last one, we might not have been friends….
Last Christmas Chad surprised me with U2 concert tickets. I was so thrilled I almost cried because for some reason, I’d never seen them in concert and he knew how much I love their music. When he found out they were coming to Pittsburgh with their Joshua Tree tour, he got the tickets. And we had so much fun together at that show. A totally romantic gesture, for sure.
If you’re able to find tickets for a favorite band of your husband’s, you could certainly make a basket out of it by including a vinyl album, or cd, a band tshirt, poster, or even an autographed picture. He will love it!
You could also choose a sporting event like an NFL game, with a new team jersey. Whatever your husband would love more.
An Autographed Photo
Did you know how easy it actually is to get free autographed photos from celebrities? Most of the time, anyway. If your husband has a favorite athlete, author, or other celebrity, you can put together a really fun, personalized gift.
Here’s how you do it:
- Google a published address for said celebrity. Usually, a fan address will pop up quickly.
- Buy an 8 x 10 mailing envelope, and a 5 x 7 envelope.
- Write your mailing address on the larger envelope and include plenty of postage to cover the return. Fold and place in smaller envelope.
- Write a personal letter to celebrity, telling him why you’re requesting an autographed photo and asking kindly if he will sign it to your husband. Be sure to hand sign the letter.
- Mail the letter with enclosed return envelope to the celebrity address.
That’s it! I’ve done this multiple times over the years and only once failed to receive a reply. You do have to plan for this ahead of time, as it can take a few weeks sometimes to get an answer.
Once you receive the photo, frame it, wrap it, and watch the happiness unfold. It really is a fun gift to give.
Does your husband love to hike? Golf? See art house films?
Many good husbands and dads just don’t have a lot of time to spend on personal hobbies. Between work, spending time with the kids, coaching, church, and whatever else, personal hobbies often take a back seat. Give your husband the gift of selfish time. You can put together a basket with gift certificates to his favorite golf course, a new club, a box of golf balls. Or if he loves to camp, plan a weekend away for he and some buddies, or for the two of you with some new camping equipment that he’d never buy for himself. If he loves to cook, book a gourmet cooking class or give him a gift card to a new fusion restaurant in town. He will love it.
A Childhood Toy
We all have favorite toys we recall playing with as kids. And chances are, your husband fondly remembers a particular toy he loved as a kid. Maybe it was a stuffed bear, or Dukes of Hazard race track (just a random example) or a name brand baseball glove, vide game console, or Star Wars action set. Whatever it was, I’ll bet you can find it on Ebay. I’ve found that childhood toys are a great gift because of the memories they bring back. There’s nothing like some good, old fashioned nostalgia at Christmastime, and you can actually put gift wrap and a bow on it. I once spent months searching for a pre-war toy my dad remembered as his favorite. I finally found one I could afford and he loved unwrapping it on Christmas morning.
If there’s one thing most of our husbands want more of, it’s…romance. I’ll just leave it at that, but I think you ladies all understand exactly what I’m talking about. We’re all busy and when we’re tired, we tend to, um, let certain things fall off the calendar. Christmas is the perfect excuse to plan a getaway for some serious romantic rekindling. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, but it does need to feel special. Ask your parents or a friend to watch the kids for a night or two. Find a hotel in the city or a cabin in the country and book it. You can include other things in a box to unwrap as well, depending on whether you have him open it in private or not. Hint, hint. Ideas for a Romance Basket:
- tickets to a game/concert/event
- massage lotions
- restaurant gift card
- fancy duds (use your own imagination)
- etc (this is a G rated blog!)
That’s my list, and I’m sticking to it. Seriously, if you’re after that special gift, the thing he’ll really love, that item he didn’t even know he wanted, this list should help get the creative juices flowing.