Helloooooooooo! I am coming to you live (because it’s so uncouth to come to you dead) from an internet cafe. Why? Because my home internet is still completely hosed. Rather than share with you some choice words about my cable service provider, I thought I’d answer a question quickly. That way I’m not leaving you with a gaping void of non-posting. Now it will be a gaping void of a question. Yay!
Your amazing site has led me to many wonderful, affordable Christmas gifts, and for that you have my everlasting gratitude (and an upper-tier bookmark in my browser). However, I haven’t seen many suggestions for gifts for men…and my 25-year-old brother is the last person on my list. If, while scouring the Internet for deals, you come across the perfect affordable gift for a single engineer, please share!
P.S. Did I mention you are very pretty?
(You didn’t mention it, but I could tell you were thinking it. You’re very kind.)
On the one hand, I hate to do the sort of gender steretyping that holds that certain gifts are good for one gender or the other. On the other hand, most guys don’t want bubble bath, and most women are not intrigued by drill bits. So let’s just all assume two caveats, here, before I begin:
1) The best gift is the one you’ve picked out with great thought and care because you know and love the recipient. It’s a gift you know they want, and you put some effort into it.
2) Sometimes you have to buy a gift for someone you don’t know all that well, or whom you don’t like that much. Sometimes you need a few generalities to get you going. Providing you with a couple of generalities does not mean I’m sexist or stupid, it means I am going on the collective wisdom of years of gift-buying amongst myself and my peers and family, and pulling out a few things that may be useful. Maybe none of these will apply. I offer them to you with an entire shaker of salt. (And a bagel. Because I’m here where they sell them.)
Given those ground rules, here are some suggestions.
- Gadgets. Most guys I know love gadgets, and that goes double for engineers. Does he have a Leatherman? A weather station? An atomic clock that projects onto the ceiling and fixes you breakfast? The more cutting edge the better, although of course you have to have some idea of what he already owns. This category includes toys, by the way. Most guys I know would be thrilled with a remote control car or the like.
- Music. This one isn’t gender-specific, but most gadget-heads spend a lot of time plugged into their iPods. Do you know what kind of music he likes? Buy him some CDs. Don’t know? Buy him an iTunes giftcard.
- Games. Again, it’s just my experience, but most of the guys I know are thrilled to get the latest computer games. Does he have an Xbox or something similar? Look for that system. If he just has a PC, consider a Sims game.
- Mmmmm… beer. Otto once received a membership in the Beer of the Month Club from someone, and he found it amusing even though he’s not a huge drinker. Does your brother like beer?
- Mmmmm… everything else. Hey, guess what! There’s a [fill in the blank] Club for almost everything. Check out the above link and then look at the left-hand sidebar. Pizza of the month! Wine of the month! Chocolate of the month! These are gifts that keep on giving, and if you pick something the recipient likes, it’s kind of a neat one.
- Hobby gear. This is another gender-free suggestion. If you know someone has a hobby that requires “accessories,” that’s always a good bet when it comes to buying a gift. Does he golf? Paint? Play in a soccer league? If you know he has an interest, think of what you can buy that’s related to it.
- Go domestic. Young bachelors aren’t generally known for their showcase homes. Likewise, they’re not likely to get excited about sheets. But a nice item for his house or apartment which he’ll appreciate is a great idea. If he cooks, cookware (or better yet, a funky kitchen gadget) works. If you know he’s sleeping on old ratty sheets, sheets might be an okay gift.
- Magazines. A magazine subscription can be a nice gift if you buy something the recipient will really enjoy. I know plenty of
geeksguys who count the days by their Wired subscription. And you can buy subscriptions on eBay for cheap, or check out Best Deal Magazines.
- Gift certificates. When in doubt, you can’t really go wrong with a gift certificate (wasn’t I just talking about that in an earlier post?) in terms of fitting. Now, some people dislike the impersonalness of it, and some people think they’re great. I don’t know which (if either) category your brother falls into. Again, know your recipient. But if you’re completely stumped, there’s always that.
I hope that gives you a few ideas to start with, Trisha. I also hope my internet connection gets fixed sometime soon, so that I can get back to scouring the ‘net for deals for you….