As a family man, myself and with Christmas only a few days away, if you haven’t been able to find the perfect gift for your husband, uncle, brother, grandfather, best friend or male co-worker, I’m going to lend you a quick hand.
I would love to make a list of last-minute Christmas ideas for the ladies, but in all honesty, I find shopping for women so much easier than buying for my male buddies and, after asking around, it would seem that the “fairer sex” usually seems to have a harder time finding the perfect gift for the men in their lives.
With that being said, if there is a woman in your life who’s making it really difficult to finish off the Christmas shopping, you might want to ask yourself (or the lady in question) some of the following questions:
1) How much do they like silver jewellery? Silver is a relatively inexpensive yet high-quality route to take if you’re thinking of going for jewellery, but bear in mind that buying jewellery is quite a personal thing to do and, if you really are going to go this route, it would be best if you had a good idea of what the lady really likes, already has or perhaps is even looking to collect. For example, if they have a Thomas Sabo-type bracelet, with individual charms that you can buy, getting a “starter kit” (a basic silver bracelet and a charm or two) or even just a few charms if they already have the bracelet is a great way to go! More on Thomas Sabo here.
To be fair, ordering from the online stores might take too long, but there are plenty of high-street stores that stock Tomas Sabo goods!
2) Is she into hand-crafted goodies? If so, you could try your hand at making something special for her, otherwise you can always find a host of amazing hand-made bits and bobs on madeit.com.au. There, you’ll be able to pick from anything from simple trinkets like keyrings, all the way through to bespoke, vintage-style handbags, purses and jewellery. Take a look here.
3) One more option is to look into red-letter type events or activities for you to send the lady to. For example, a 30-minute spa treatment, or massage therapy is always a great way to go. It’s not very personal though… obviously if you’re closer to the lady you might want to offer that kind of service yourself! In which case, an event later on in the year, such as tickets to a movie or gig they’d love to see would be a great place to start.
Ok, and now onto the guys.
Here we go!
If the guy in mind loves their car or bike, then getting them a really cool accessory related to their vehicle is a clever way to kick things off; keyrings, coasters, gloves, hats or helmets, jackets, t-shirts and even things to dangle form the rear-view mirror can go pretty far!
Whether you want to go eco-friendly and steer away from animal products, or you want to get something a little more old-fashioned, a man’s wallet is a very important aspect of our day-to-day lives, and having a good one is really helpful!
There are plenty of men out there who love to hang around with the fellas over a few beers, and having some fancy tools by our side is always greatly appreciated – I kid you not. Anything from a set of cool tongs, forks and basters, to a brand new Webber or something portable is a great way to go.
These days, pretty much everyone chews through way more data than their computers are designed to hold. As such, an amazingly useful gift is an external hard-drive or large-format USB drive. To make this gift a little more worthwhile, I would suggest looking for drives that can store more than 500GB, which works out to be about 150 blu-ray quality movies, or an inexplicable number of images, documents and programs.
There are so many options available on the market these days, so you might think to steer away from this option, but you’d be surprised at what you can actually get your hands on. Again, most of us, especially those who are more socially active, will chew through our phone batteries before 2pm, so it could be a great addition to our arsenals to have a phone case with build-in battery, or solar panel! Additionally, if the guy in your life is known to live a “rougher” life, then getting them something to protect their phone properly can be a thoughtful thing to get. A brickie, for example, is going to need more than just a screen protector!
Does the guy in your life love music? It’s always important for those of us who enjoy a good beat to match those beats to quality headwear that delivers on fantastic sound. This can be quite a personal thing to get, so it might be wise to ask first, but generally speaking, if you’re looking to spend under $30, then don’t go down this road. In most cases, headphones that cost under $30 just don’t deliver on the sound quality us audiophiles appreciate.
Does the man in question still like to write his notes by hand? If so, there are a huge range of amazing pens, notebooks, leather-bound journals, hand-made pads and papers available across the country. Needless to say, I’m not talking about buying the guy a ball-point pen and stack of sticky notes. No, I’m suggesting you look into getting a professional writing instrument such as a Cross, Parker, Lamy, Mont Blanc or Shaffeur, coupled with an engraved, embossed or otherwise personalised leather notebook or something similar. You’d be surprised how well that could go down… even just getting a feather quill and ink jar can be a really cool accessory for the office desk!
While this kind of stuff can always seem rather expensive, you’d be surprised at what you can get away with for under $20. A sleek new penknife or multi-tool is the perfect example, but things like personalised or re-usable water bottles; sweat bands; sports socks; breathable clothing; trainers; portable BBQs and other outdoor cooking equipment like gas stoves and pots, flints or other fire-lighting equipment; tents; lanterns and; re-charging solutions for phones and other tech are all idea that any man could come to love and appreciate for years to come.
Of course, this list is designed to be a one-size-fits-all, for those of you who are simply out of ideas for what to buy for that guy in your life – I’m not suggesting you buy your 80-year-old granddad an external hard-drive, for example, if you know that he can barely use a computer.
Additionally, if you’re buying something for a loved one, I’d look at personalising whatever it is you’re buying, just to give it that special touch… for example, buying a pocket knife for your son would a pretty sweet gift, but engraving his name on the wooden handle would be an inexpensive option to really spice up the gift. The same goes for any stationery, phone cases, camping equipment, and almost anything made from wood or leather.
I hope that helps – I know how hard it can be to buy gifts for guys, so I feel for the ladies and gents out there who just have no idea where to start or what to even think about buying.
As a last word before I sign off, please remember that while this is a very special time of year for our families and friends, it is also one of Australia’s busiest times of year for Scam artists and fraudsters.
As you come to buy anything online, I highly recommend you copy and paste the site’s URL (web address) into sites like ScamAdviser, which will help you to determine whether the site you’re purchasing from is real or fake.
Added to this, please be weary of fake delivery emails requesting that you pay to have parcels redelivered. Before clicking any links in emails that don’t really make sense, or that you weren’t expecting, I advise calling any company numbers listed in the email to get a better idea of what you’re paying for. You’ll be surprised at just how many people end up doing this, only to realise that the email they received was a complete fake; trying to get them to give up their credit card details for a much more expensive Christmas than they’d imagined.
So, please be careful out there, remembering that Australia is still, unfortunately, one of the world’s hottest spots for economic crimes like fraud and scams – be weary, be vigilant, but have as much fun as you can.
Times like this only come around once a year, so soak them up while you can!