Updated: Aug 4, 2021
Gift giving can be difficult. “Gifters” often default to what they would like to receive when considering what gifts to buy for others. I know I am guilty of this. My husband has a very specific taste; he is impossible to shop for. Typically, his favorite gifts have been things he buys himself with my credit card. This is hard for me as a sentimental type, because I would like to someday surprise him with a meaningful gift he (actually) loves. This year I thought of something radical -- why not ask men directly what they want. I surveyed several men as a small sample, and here is what they said they really wanted.
10 gifts fathers (actually) want.
1. TECHY: The first gift idea is for the man in your life that loves technology. This is a particularly hard man to shop for because he usually researches a product well before purchasing. They know exactly what they want down to the model. For this reason, it is particularly important to ask him directly. Maybe he has been wanting a Google watch, pixel buds, or fancy keyboard for those long work hours at home. Any of these is sure to satisfy but ask him first. Video games are also an option he will love, but you may not in the long run.
2. THE ATHLETE: Does your man like to work out? With gym closures, families have been obliged to assemble a mini gym at home. Maybe your hunk would like adjustable dumbbells, a complete workout plan such as Kinobody, new Asics sports shoes or hiking gear.
3. TOP SHELF MAN: Special Beverage of choice. Who can go wrong with alcohol or coffee?! Does your man have an appreciation for the finer things in life, such as top shelf whiskey or tequila? Buy him his favorite whiskey and ice sphere tray to go along with it. Or is he a beer man? Buy him some of his favorite brews and a fancy beer mug.
Maybe coffee is the way to go. Get him his fancy coffee beans to go along with his new espresso machine such as Nespresso, a gift that can be enjoyed together.
4. SPORTS FAN: This is a bummer year for sports given the pandemic and all. Why not cheer him up with his favorite team memorabilia? Jersey, sweatshirt, cap. Allow the man an emotional moment to mourn the season. Maybe go an extra step and let the guy watch a favorite recap game or highlights in peace and throw in some nachos and a beer. But be cautious, he may get emotional.
5. SENTIMENTAL MAN: Maybe your man is deep and sentimental. For this wonder of a man, a favorite book, homemade cards, photo albums, and personalized coffee mugs may do the trick. Sometimes our men also need to hear that they are doing a great job and are deeply loved. Finish the day with his favorite meal and he is sure to be eternally grateful.
6. PEACE AND QUIET MAN: I call this category the “peace and quiet man” because when asked what they want most, that is likely to be their reply. He may often talk about needing peace and quiet from the kids. For this occasion, give that to him. Offer him a day for him to engage in his favorite hobby. Maybe he likes to golf or go shooting. Maybe, he wants to play cards with his buddies, or go mountain biking. Whatever it is, give him the day to himself. Throw in a “personal favor” (wink wink) and you will make his day.
7. SHARP DRESSER: Your man likes to look good. He sometimes takes longer to get ready than you, and God forbid his shoes get dirty. He appreciates fine clothing, brand name shoes, glasses. Maybe a new pair of Ray-Ban’s will delight him. A favorite sneakers , or a new suit. But also give him the opportunity to wear his new clothes and accessories by taking him out, meaning “take out” at a favorite restaurant and eating somewhere scenic.
8. MUSIC LOVER: Unfortunately, concerts are on hold but the music goes on. His favorite band shirt and records may fit the bill but you have to get him a record player first. If he plays an instrument, maybe he can upgrade. Does he like to record music? If so, adding production or studio equipment will surely please him.
9. FOODIE: It’s all about the food for this man. Be sure to have a favorite breakfast and dinner. A gift basket with favorite snacks may be just what the doctor ordered. Or a catered three course dinner at the end of the night, reminiscent of his favorite restaurant spot. He is likely to enjoy cooking as well; some top of the line chef tools will make him giddy.
10. SCI-FI LOVER: This guy can't get enough of Star Wars, Marvel, DC comics, good reads and documentaries. There are tons of collector items to choose from. T-shirts may do. But mostly he would love it if you sat and watched his favorite movies with him, uninterrupted. Get ready for a movie theater experience, and potential marathon. Give him your undivided attention; he may quiz you.
Although it is fun to categorize dads, at the end of the day your special guy may fit several of these categories and may be satisfied with any of the choices. Let’s be honest, the kids take most of our attention these days; so just letting the guy know you are thinking about him this much may be the gift in itself.