Christmas is an amazing time to spend with loved ones, but lets not lose sight of the fact that selecting the perfect gift can end up causing all kinds of problems – especially if you’re looking for something for a husband or partner that you have spent a great many yuletide seasons with already.
What do you do when you cannot fit any more socks into your house without selling up and moving to a larger property, novelty ties make the both of you want to weep openly, and you can’t bear the scent of any more aftershave?
You consult the ultimate Christmas.co.uk guide to Gift Ideas for Him, of course! Read on, dear festive enthusiast, and we’ll talk you through a handful of outside-the-box gift ideas and suggestions that will light up any face on Christmas morning.
While everybody loves something to unwrap on Christmas morning – it’s the childhood nostalgia of building up anticipation about just what that giant box under the tree contains, no matter how much he claims to have outgrown the excitement of the season – sometimes an experience day is the greatest thing that you could offer the man in your life.
If you head to a website such as Red Letter Days and Virgin Experience Days – or even browse the voucher shelves of many high street stores or supermarkets – you’ll be spoiled for choice to cater to any enthusiasm.
If your man feels the need for speed, and is bugging you to trade in the family Volvo for a Ferrari with a baby seat strapped to the roof, you could pick him up a day at a racetrack. These experiences offer the opportunity for anybody to embrace their inner Clarkson without the horror of actually being Jeremy Clarkson, driving a selection of supercars around a loop under the supervision of a professional instructor.
The options stretch far beyond catering to motorheads, though. If your paramour is an animal lover, they’ll love the chance to be a zookeeper for the day (they might even fall over into a pile of manure, which is funny in any circumstances). If they don’t have an aversion to heights, they could take to the skies with a flying lesson in a plane or helicopter. A ride in a hot air balloon is also something that you could experience together, and you’ll surely never forget. For a gift that creates memories – and photo opportunities – that last forever, an experience day could be the way forward.
Half-Season Tickets to Football Stadiums
A man’s relationship with his favoured football team is usually packed with more ups and downs than a lift repairman’s working day, but we’re willing to wager that he’s still glued to the TV or his smartphone every time his team are playing.
If you’re tired of being a football widow – and you’re curious to see if he really would call the referee all of those rude names to his face – it may be worth looking into whether the team in question offers a half-season ticket. These are similar to the traditional season ticket approach, offering entry to all home games in a stadium at the business end of the season when teams are battling for glory at the top of the table, fighting tooth and nail to avoid the heartbreak of relegation at the bottom, or are filing their nails and preening their hair somewhere in the middle.
Whatever the circumstances, these tickets make great gifts as they give your man to be in the thick of the action when it really matters. Plus, you know, it’ll mean you have a few blissful months off from hearing, “stop trying to walk it in, you doughnuts!” while you’re trying to settle the kids down for a nap.
This one may sound a little bit out there, but bear with us. If your gift recipient tends to pick up a magazine from his local newsagent once a month – or even if he doesn’t – a subscription delivered to the door could be a great gift that lasts the whole year around.
There’s a magazine that covers just about every possible niche interest these days, and all it will take is a browse through a site such as isubscribe (or even the shelves of your local WH Smith, who will also provide subscriptions) top find something suitable. Magazines make a great gift for commuters, or – and we’re be honest, this is more realistic – while on the loo. You’ll be fine, just make him sign an agreement that he won’t try to catch up on his reading while you’re in the bath.
Some people like to relax with a drink at the end of a long day, and personalising the experience makes it all just that bit more fun.
Does the man in your life enjoy a good bottle of wine, or a quality aged spirit such as whiskey? If so, he will probably the chance to use a decanter and pretend that he’s living in an episode of Mad Men. Decanters come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, from the sublime (you’ll be able to grab a classic design that oozes class from any department store) to the enjoyably ridiculous – globes, vintage gas pumps and even decapitated Stormtrooper heads for the Star Wars fan in your life are all options.
Of course, lets not forget the humble beer enthusiast in your life. Steins and pint glasses are also available (and can be personalised), or you can pick up a glass that can be popped in the freezer to ensure that he will always enjoy a cold and frosty beer.
Everybody loves a personalised gift, and Christmas affords the perfect chance to show how much somebody means to you by applying their personal brand to a gift.
Smoking may not be a habit that anybody wants to encourage, but a Zippo lighter is still a great application to any pocket – especially one that has been carefully selected to add your favourite man’s name, initials, vital statistics or anything else that may be applicable. A quality Zippo oozes class and sophistication, and nobody will be able to resist flicking the flames when it comes to lighting a festive cigar, getting the fireplace going, or simply watching the flames dance whilst cackling maniacally. Um, maybe keep an eye on the latter though. And check that your home fire insurance policy is valid.
The same flourishes can be applied to wallets, mugs, hip flasks, and just about anything else. Websites such as the aptly named Getting Personal will have all kinds of opportunities and ideas. The great thing is, just about anything can be personalised. For example…
Here’s the thing – men love stationery. Having an amazing fountain pen for signing hugely important letters and documents such as Auntie Linda’s birthday card or that PPI claim that’s been sitting on a desk for about six months now, adds a professional flourish. The pen is mightier than the sword, after all, and you probably shouldn’t buy him a sword. That’s a sure-fire way of spending Boxing Day in A&E while he mutters apologies and reluctantly accepts that he is not, in actual fact, a cast member of Game of Thrones.
If your man is a budding Ernest Hemingway meanwhile, a leather-bound notebook is a winner (you’ll score double points if you aim high and pick one up from a supplier such as Aspinal), and everybody loves the idea of being important enough to have their own letterhead stationery; From the Desk Of makes for a much more endearing heading on a sheet of paper than something from Poundland. No gentleman will ever be disappointed by an attractive leather man bag to strut down the street whilst holding fine and illustrious stationery, either.
We hope that this guide has helped throw a handful of suggestions your way – and that you’re not still thinking that maybe, just maybe, socks wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all. Please allow us to speak for all men when we say – they have enough of those.