Man’s Digest: Gift-Giving

"You got me WHATTT?"

Besides endless Sex and the City reruns, the time it takes us to get all dolled up and ‘that time of the month’, I’d say the biggest struggle a man faces in a relationship is picking the perfect cadeaux for any given celebration. There are, of course, some men who are genius at this art, and to them, I say kudos. To you other boys who dread the thought of jolly old Saint Nicholas or the day your girlfriend begins to countdown to her birthday, and even that mark on the calendar indicating your anniversary, this postaroo is for you.

Here are 7 Gift Ideas that will have any woman smiling no matter the occasion: 

1. Concert Tickets
Even if your girlfriend isn’t music-obsessed like some of our nutshells, every woman has a favourite band or singer, and it’s worth a shot to check out tour dates and upcoming events. Plus, it’ll give you both something to look forward to in the future, and she’ll love the thought you put into it all. Plain and simple, this is a great gift.

2. A Day/Weekend Trip
In the end there’s nothing we want more than to spend time with you, and a romantic weekend away is the perfect excuse. A place like Le Nordik or Chateau Montebello are especially beautiful this time of year, and no material item will compare to those memories. If you don’t have the time or budget to allow for this kind of thing, even a hotel near home will give you that touch of extravagance and escape.

3. A Card & Dinner Plans
This is not your ordinary “Merry Christmas. Love you.” card. For this to give her just the right amount of butterflies, you’ve got to work for it. Put some thought into it, make a draft and think over the things you’d like to tell her. Most girls I know keep all of their greeting cards, and this one will be at the top of the pile. Include a little IOU to her favorite restaurant on a certain date, and then make sure you own up to it!

Cat's words get me every time.

4. Vintage Keepsakes
This one is dependent on your girlfriend’s hobbies and interests. If she loves fashion, dig around an antique store or eBay for vintage Vogue covers, they will make for great wall art, and she’ll remember the effort you put into finding them for years to come. If she loves music, find some antique records or an old record player; either of these will be a pleasant surprise, and she’ll have them forever. Other ideas are: a vintage sewing machine (for design/DIY lovers), an old polaroid or film camera or the first edition of her favorite novel.

5.  Perfume
If you’re afraid to buy the wrong one, make note of the bottles she already owns and bring the list to the department store. An employee will surely steer you in the right direction based on the notes she already loves, and she’ll think of you every time she spritzes it on. Read about each of our favorite perfumes here. 

6. A piece of jewelry (certain conditions apply)
This can be tricky. And there are a few circumstances to consider: 1) She eyes something while you two are shopping and you return later to pick it up – this will have her grinning for hours. 2) You invite her best friend on a little shopping trip to help you pick something out. She’ll actually love that you got her bestie involved and that you care enough to make sure it is bff-approved. 3) You got it alone. You either blow her away with your eye for bling… or you fail. You’ll only know you failed until a few months later when she hasn’t worn it since the night it was unwrapped.

The bracelet: perfect!

*Some sparkle advice:
– Take notice of whether she’s a gold or silver kind of girl. Stick to what she loves.
– A chain-link bracelet (like this or this) or a charm with a simple chain (like this or this) are usually safe bets.
– Sometimes the smallest stores have the best finds, and you’ll be giving her something she’s never seen before. Try antique or artsy jewelry stores.

7. Photo Albums/Frames
If you’ve just returned from a memorable trip, or you’re celebrating a milestone in your relationship, a photo book from iPhoto, Shutterfly or Picaboo is an amazing keepsake. These books are fully customizable if you have an idea in mind, or you can select from any theme and simply drag and drop your favorite moments. Read more about photo books here.  An enlarged and framed photo is also a great gift if a photo book seems like too much.



1. A ring
Boys, we dream of the cut, clarity and carat of that other life-changing ring, but we do not want to feel dread, excitement or shock when we’re handed a velvet box that contains a ring that is only meant to adorn our index finger. Just steer clear of that whole experience. It’s what’s best for you both.

2. Lingerie
Some girls may love this gift. But in my humble opinion, it seems like a bit of a selfish offering. If you’ve got a card and dinner to pair with your premeditated desert, then this will pass for Valentine’s Day.

3.  Household Equipment
This one’s for all those mom’s out there. I personally don’t have this problem yet but I know from first-hand experience that sons seems to think there mom’s are in need of these types of things. Yes, that broom is polka dotted and this soap smells very nice, but mom does not want to be reminded of her kitchen floors on Christmas morning. Lastly, any store with the words “Tire” or “Hardware” are not shopping hotspots for the women in your lives.

4. Excuses
“I have no money” or “I’m so busy these days, I didn’t have time” or “I left my gift at home”…all these things can very well be true, but they’re also inexcusable. There are plenty of great gift ideas that do not involve money, time, effort or a calendar. If you remember an event the day of, make it a point to come up with something (planning a weekend away takes just a few minutes online and you can decide on the date together). If you are short on money, try to make her something…developing a picture costs about 5 cents and an IOU for dinner can be contingent on your next paycheck. If you’re a busy guy, watch one less hockey game and I’m sure you’ll miraculously have some time on your hands.

In the end, us girls are all different and I’m sure you know your lady much better than I do, (unless you happen to be dating a nut!) but usually the simplest thought is the greatest gift of all and is unlike any large expense or extravagant purchase. Simply put, if you tailor any of the items on this list to your girl, I’d say you’ll pass with flying colors. Happy Shopping!

We also love sparklers...just sayin'.


4 thoughts on “Man’s Digest: Gift-Giving

  1. Pingback: Man’s Digest: What NOT to do on Valentine’s Day | in a

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