Saturday, January 19, 2008
Buying Christmas Presents For Men - The Eternal Conundrum
Men are notoriously hard to buy presents for, no matter how creative you are in everyday life. It is all too easy to draw a blank when thinking about what your husband, brother, granddad or uncle might like for Christmas. Conventional masculine gifts proliferate from September onwards in many shops, promoting aftershave, novelty gifts and power tools as must have items. The card section is little better, assuming that your man likes rude jokes and is obsessed with cars - or possibly trains. Such marketing is meant to shape interest as well as satisfy it. Women find themselves bombarded with chocolate, underwear and perfume, but at least these are all fairly useful, whereas a novelty corkscrew is likely to be quickly relegated to a kitchen drawer, never to been seen again. Most people are aware of the subtlety of advertising and expectations, but it is surprising how invidious they can be; before you know it, you are walking out of a DIY store with a gift-wrapped electric screwdriver. After all, with Christmas looming you rationalise that you might not get another chance to buy something suitable. Some businesses realise that women - or other men - need help and are retailing more unusual items such as adventure days out or quality reproductions of intriguing old maps. However, these are for the specialist because not every man wishes to go bungee jumping, no matter what he might say to his friends, and only certain men go weak at the knees at the mention of cartography. But most men like clothes and they are always useful. An obsession with clothes is often quite unfairly attributed to women, but most modern men will admit to taking a keen interest in what they wear. After all, people judge us on our sartorial arrangements and first impressions are important - whether those first impressions are to impress a boss or a prospective girlfriend. Buying clothes or clothing accessories can let your man know that you have taken the trouble to observe what he likes and have discovered his correct size. It might also amuse him to imagine you flicking through rows of men s clothing. After all, he has probably been taken on enough female shopping trips to think that some kind of payback is in order. Mens clothing gifts also have the advantage of being as expensive or as cheap as you choose. For your uncle, a great slim-line tie in a reserved shade of blue might be fitting; for your husband, a trendy biker jacket might be the perfect - and unexpected - present. Instead of politely thanking you for a digital radio, which isn t made by the right company, he is faced with a great coat that he can wear for New Year s parties. But what If you do get it wrong? Well most shops offer exchanges or refunds if that daring gift idea is not quite the thing, thus eliminating any risk. Just remember to keep the receipt!