Men are notoriously hard to buy gifts for, and givers can spend hours trying to come up with gift ideas. Except for newborns or the very poor, most men pretty much have everything they need. Even newborns have usually been showered with gifts before they even enter this world. Sure, you can buy decorative things like art or vases, but many men care little about such things, and the ones that do have very specific tastes.
There are gift cards of course but some people find them a little impersonal. Also in the end, the man in your life ends up having to choose something for himself.
So here’s an idea – why not give an experience gift? An experience gift can be tailored to your recipient because often friends, girlfriends and family members know more about a man’s hobbies and interests than their taste in objects or clothes. There are experience gifts available for men of all ages from 0-100.
Newborns, Babies or Toddlers
A great gift for a new baby boy is a photography session. Not only will his parents be delighted, but when the little man grows up, he will have beautiful professional photographs that he and his family will treasure. Most photographers will happily provide you with a gift certificate for a photo session and a set of prints. These kinds of gifts start at about $100 and can go up from there.
Little boys love riding in interesting vehicles, so look for city tours in fire-engines, double decker buses or by boat. Make sure the tour is only an hour or two and maybe even includes an ice-cream cone voucher as a bonus for good behavior. Most large cities have this kind of tour. If you don’t live in a large city, a ticket on a train or Greyhound to a nearby town is just as exciting for a little boy. Or you could ask a local taxi or limo driver to take you and your little prince on a tour of the countryside.
Tweens and Teens
Tweens and teens love hanging out with their friends. A few movie passes or bowling passes will earn you major cred and bring a smile to even the surliest of adolescents. Laser tag, go-carting and waterslides are also popular gift ideas for this age group. Of course, boys this age have insatiable appetites, so gift cards to the local pizza joint will be joyfully received (and redeemed!).
Whether your boyfriend is 14 or 40, nothing is more challenging than choosing a gift that matches the stage you have reached in your relationship. Jewelry is too serious, a bland book is too dull, every gift contains some secret code and every code is open for misinterpretation. It’s a minefield, but one that’s easily avoided by giving an experience. Sports tickets are always a big hit as are extreme experiences like hang gliding or bungee jumping. Whether you choose to give something you can share or something that your man can enjoy with his friends, the personal gesture will be appreciated.
With your husband at least there is no question about the stage you have reached in your relationship. But in all honesty, your man probably doesn’t want jewelry or a book either. Why not send him for a soothing massage or acupuncture? A more expensive option could be a fishing or golf weekend. There are also special events that might interest your husband – art exhibitions, home renovating expos or seasonal activities like guided hikes or heli-skiing. The point is you know what your husband likes to do; your most heartfelt gift is permission for him to take time from his busy life and go out and do it.
For the father of an adult, one of the most precious gifts is some time spent with his busy adult child. Two theatre tickets, concert tickets or just an invitation to a special restaurant will bring joy to your dad’s life and allow you both to remember how close you once were. Or you could make a day of it with a wine tour or a drive to an out-of-town golf course for eighteen holes and a nice meal. You and your dad will both treasure the time you spend together.
For Grandpa, why not go back to the beginning and give him a photo session with his grandkids? Many times grandfathers are the ones wielding the cameras in family photo sessions. A few hours in front of a professional photographer will insure not only that grandpa has pictures he can show off to his friends but that you and your children have pictures of Grandpa to show off too!
Men are hard to buy for because many of them just don’t like “stuff”. But men of all ages like getting out into the world and having experiences. A gift designed to help them do just that is a gift that is truly from the heart.