We all, to a greater or lesser extent, get gift anxiety every once in awhile. Most of us get it as Christmas moves into view on the horizon, with a lot of people to buy for and a few ideas floating around our heads.
But it can strike at any time, and for different reasons. Been dating someone for a few months, and it’s their birthday? You can’t just think “Oh, what did I get them last year, I’ll just do something similar?” Buying for an 18-year-old? Well, they’re a man this year, not a boy. So new rules apply. Even if they’ve been behaving like they’re 20 since they were 14, it’s different when it’s official.
Now, with your gal pals, this is where the subterfuge begins. You ask other friends. You artfully drop a few things into conversation and see how they react. You consult the gods of gift-buying, and you hope. With a man? They are simpler creatures. You just need to ask them. And if that doesn’t feel right to you, don’t worry. I already did.
Buying For A Younger Man (18-30): Matt, 22.
“At my age, although it’s unfortunate to say it, fitting in is a big deal. Or at least not standing out. Clothes are a tricky gift to get from someone else, believe it or not. Just like women, men have the issue of a large from one shop being a medium or XL elsewhere. Speaking for myself, and most of the guys I know, I like to get aftershave. Clothes are personal taste, but the best smelling fragrance is always nice to have.”
Buying For A Not As Young Man (31-50): Toby, 38
“I do feel a bit sorry for women trying to buy the right gift. The kind of feedback we give is so vague. ‘Oh, whatever you pick will be great’ before it’s bought. And then when we get it, we just say ‘Oh, that’s really nice, thanks’. We’re a nightmare. But you honestly can’t go wrong with gadgets. I update my phone whenever I want, but something like a new coffee machine or a Fitbit always goes down well.”
Buying For A Man Who’s Had Long Enough To Buy It All (51-up): Dave, 61
“Most of the things I really want, I’ve already either bought for myself or accumulated over time. Certainly I’ve got the things I need, and I’ve saved to get the best quality. So it’s pointless trying to think of an appliance or a gadget for me. Sorry! Of course, as I’ve got older I’ve become quite a hobbyist. I’ve already got golf clubs, so no luck there – but a new fishing rod would be nice. Or a wine club subscription. Reds before whites, preferably!”
Of course, different men like different things. Don’t go getting a wine subscription for a confirmed teetotaller! A lot of men like to think they’re Gordon Ramsay these days, so a cast-iron frying pan is also a good idea. Just don’t bother wrapping it. Nothing else is that small, but also that heavy!