Gift Giving Tips for Men

While it is stressful to buy for a woman, I am sure I speak for women everywhere when I say that men certainly have it easier than we do! Here are my recommendations for that perfect gift she’s been waiting for.

o Some pointers:

o Don’t waste your time trying to “improve us”. Not only will that avoid heartaches and tears, but it will eliminate workout gear, sporting equipment, trampy clothes or cooking classes.

o Stores to shop at: Bloomindales, Ann Taylor, Sephora, Tiffany’s, Jasmine Sola, Williams-Sonoma, Victoria’s Secret, Kate Spade.

o Stores to avoid: Sharper Image, Brookstone, REI, Sports Authority, and any stores where you’d normally pick something for yourself

o In terms of clothing, less is not necessarily more. If it is tiny enough to fit in the palm of your hand, odds are we’ll end up returning it. Think classy, elegant, and timeless.

o In terms of accessories, less is never more. Think diamonds, sparkles and…hmm, did I mention diamonds?

o My top 6 ideas for the unlimited budget:

o A vacation – For the truly extravagant, take her on a long trip to a place she’s always wanted to go. Think Paris, Hawaii, Bali. The most romantic and unique destinations are preferred. You can do this in between 1st and 2nd year, or on spring break. ($3000 and up)

o Jewelry – A solid choice. If she’s putting pressure on you to pop the question, remember, the holidays can be a lovely backdrop (I speak from experience here) and offers the added bonus of an easy “anniversary” date to remember. If you’re hitched already, why not show her how much you care with (thoughtfully selected) jewels in her favorite gemstone (you should know what that is) or a new watch. ($1000 and up)

o Indulgent accessories – A very high-end handbag with wallet, a beautiful designer cashmere coat, a leather briefcase, or trendy (read: expensive) shoes. The trick here is to choose the perfect gift that you know she’d want but would NEVER splurge on herself. And no matter what happens, do NOT get the size wrong. ($500 and up)

o An exotic weekend getaway – This is great for a variety of reasons. First, a romantic weekend together in a quaint location will surely rekindle the flame of passion. Secondly, it allows AMPLE time to “talk”…something women put tremendous value on. Lastly, if you’re thinking that a weekend with you and your sweetheart and fifty section-mates counts as quality time, you’re sadly mistaken. ($500 and up)

o An all-inclusive spa day – If you want to score some serious points, don’t skimp on any of the details. A good rule of thumb is at least FOUR treatments (facial, manicure, pedicure, massage…) and the perfect “spa” lunch. If you’re feeling really generous splurge for her best friend/sister/mother to go along. ($500 and up)

o Furniture/Housewares – For those with unlimited space to go along with that unlimited budget, furniture is a wonderful gift. Make sure to choose a piece SHE will like (read: NOT the Sharper Image “Human Touch” chair). If she enjoys cooking, the KitchenAid 500-watt upright mixer is a fantastic gift that will last for years. ($400 and up)

o My top 6 ideas for the HBS budget:

o An “Evening of Love” – Start with champagne and cocktails (that you’ve thoughtfully prepared). Then take her to a candlelit dinner in Boston (I like “The Hungry I” on Charles Street and “Terramia” in the North End). Follow up with a show or performance (that you’ve thoughtfully chosen). Desserts or drinks afterwards are an optional, but lovely, touch. ($250-$350)

o DVDs – Romantic comedy movies only (“When Harry Met Sally” or “Sweet Home Alabama” are a good start). Of course, a collection of John Hughes’ 80’s movies is a must-have too (“Sixteen Candles”, “Breakfast Club”, “Pretty in Pink”). ($20-$40)

o Home D‚cor – Scented candles, picture frames, cooking utensils, or dried flowers/vases (my husband particularly enjoys this category). ($20-$40)

o Home “Spa” Goodies – Salt scrubs, scented lotions, bath oils/salts, linen sprays or sachets ($15-$30)

o Books – If Oprah likes it, odds are we will too (but we’ll be reluctant to admit it). Classics, romance, and travel are good places to start. Avoid any “self-help” books if you want to stay in our good graces…except maybe Dr. Phil’s books. ($15-$30)

o And finally, since we are trying desperately NOT to become our mothers, you might as well pop into Victoria’s Secret and shell out for a little negligee. ($30-$75)

Good luck, and happy shopping.