Every year I scour the gift lists published by men’s magazines and tech websites to figure out what to buy the most important man in my life for Christmas. But here’s the honest truth. My husband doesn’t need a personalized flask, pilsner set or dresser valet. He doesn’t wear cuff links and he’s got plenty of ties. He certainly doesn’t need a new phone, laptop or Bluetooth speaker. And I have absolutely no idea what he would do with a hoverboard, GoPro, 3D printing pen or virtual reality headset. Actually, I do. He would laugh. He would say, “What am I supposed to do with this?” And the worthless “cool gadget” would sit in his closet, until the 60-day return period passes, to forever take up space in our storage-less Florida ranch house.
Guys are so hard to buy for. They don’t need a lot. And when you ask them what they want, they mutter “uhhh” and their eyes glaze over. Then a kid screams from the other room and you rush off to figure out who’s broken something. But I stubbornly refuse to let white socks and boxers be my husband’s only gifts under the tree. So, after a bunch of misses (the suede jacket that caused the war of 2003), I’ve hit on a few presents that my husband has absolutely loved. And in the spirit of giving, I’m passing along my best ideas to you. Here are 4 Christmas gifts for your husband that don’t suck.
Tickets to that Thing He Loves
Sporting events. Concerts. Comedy Shows. Even performances like Stomp or Blue Man Group make for great gifts you can enjoy together. Where should you look? Locally, Sarasota has The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall with shows in 2017 featuring Jay Leno, Steve Martin and Martin Short, David Sedaris and Adam Trent, a magician billed as a cross between Justin Timberlake and David Copperfield. You could also check out McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre (which has a fantastic improv show every Saturday night) or the Asolo Repertory Theatre.
If you’re willing to make the drive to Tampa, there’s the Straz Center or Ruth Eckerd Hall. For the sports nuts, the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning will have games early in the new year. Another fun option is spring training tickets to see the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota, the Pittsburg Pirates in Bradenton, the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater or the New York Yankees in Tampa. Pro tip: secure a babysitter after you purchase tickets, even if the event is months away. You’ll sleep better at night.
Seasonal Craft Beer Club
I’ve given this gift from Amazing Clubs to both my dad and husband, and it really is the gift that keeps on giving. Every 3 months, your guy will get a box of 12 full-sized bottles of hard-to-find, award-winning microbrews from across the country. The variety in each box ranges from pale ales to IPAs to darker lagers. You can also opt to have him receive a box of beers every month or choose from 3, 6 and 12 month options. But for the casual beer drinker, 12 beers every 3 months is perfect. Plus, I’ve been renewing their subscriptions for years and we’ve never gotten a repeat brew.
Full Car Detailing
Think about all those Cheerios stuck to fruit snacks under the seats of his car. Or the boogers wiped on his door fabric. And don’t forget about all the sand, dirt and grass tracked into the car after trips to the beach, soccer field or pumpkin farms. Car washes are great, but they don’t repair the havoc that kids wreak on the inside. Go big this Christmas and get Dad a full car detail.
Car dealerships with service centers offer packages that include an exterior wash, wax and polish with an interior dust, vacuum and shampoo of upholstery, vinyl and leather cleaning and conditioning, trunk cleaning, tire dressing and more. Expect to pay $100 – $250 depending on the package.
Other local companies like Eager Beaver, Johnny’s Car Wash, Evie’s Car Wash and University Auto Spa also offer detailing services. You’ll be leaving his car with them for about three hours, so I recommend opting for the first appointment of the day. Or you can get a gift certificate for the service and let him schedule his own appointment. For the ultimate in convenience, you can chose a mobile car washing company like Absolute Perfection, who will do the detail at your house. Trust me, that new car smell is intoxicating for guys.
The Father of All iPad Cases
This Zoogue Case Genius Pro is a boss. It’s thin, so it doesn’t take up too much room in his bag. And the case extends beyond the length of the iPad, giving it edge protection in case the kiddos drop it on the floor. But the best part is the velcro stand that adjusts to any angle (see photos below). My husband’s previous iPad case only had one upright angle, but it wasn’t a comfortable reading height when he was in bed or on the couch. Now he can use the velcro to adjust and re-adjust to whatever angle he wants. This is also beneficial when the kids are FaceTiming with the grandparents. We can now put our iPad almost perpendicular so the camera can actually get our little toddler in the frame. There’s also a velcro strap that works to secure the case closed, act as a hand strap or a headrest mount in the car for the littles. And it’s made of genuine leather. It’s the last case he’ll ever need.