My number one "go to" present is food. This seems to work for teenage boys to grown men. The trick is knowing what they like. I take notes so have a list in my present book.
Andy loves anything with dark chocolate or dried apricot . The addition of dried apricot works a treat. So things can easily be customised to someones tastes.
His fruit cake has a whole packet of dried apricots into the mix and if I am making something like rocky road then it goes in there too. Success! He thinks it's lovely as you can't buy such inventions and it is especially made for him.
My Dad likes Whiskey. So if I make him a fruit cake I use whiskey in it. Another success! And he loves tins. Literally, anything in a tin is better. So I am set as Sue gave me beautiful old tins and I have these lined up for cooking gifts for Dad.
At Christmas I make multiple small fruit cakes for the men. I give these as thank you gifts too.
Making fudge, toffee, truffles, spiced nuts, Nuts and Bolts and such things are all great gifts as long as you know what they like and also can eat.
Things look good made in a large slab. Like a tray of peanut brittle looks amazing on a baking tray. Wrapped with cellophane the addition of a little hammer makes it fun to break up!
If someone has dietary restrictions or allergies then making them something they can eat, just for them, is going to be a huge hit. A diabetic fruit cake, for instance, shows you really thought of how to give them a treat that they can actually eat! It is easy to find a recipe for anything, gluten free, egg free etc and that is a really personal gift with effort and consideration.
For a young boy making a giant chocolate freckle by filling a pizza pan with chocolate and covering that with hundreds and thousands is a pretty cool gift. As is a chocolate cake or tray of brownies! Teenagers seem to be ever starving and their favourite food is a great gift. Or an entertainment kit i.e. a movie and a big container of caramel popcorn or some other kind of snack to munch on.
A beautiful Birthday cake is a great gift. You don't have to be a good cake decorator, pile chocolates on top or something simple. A birthday cake makes someone feel special. No matter what age. I never cease to be surprised by how much people appreciate a cake!
Someone older who lives alone is easy to cater for. Many times a series of little meals they can use and freeze is a beautiful gift. Portions of soup, individual pies, and serves of casserole etc that they can heat and have an instant diner is a really thoughtful gift. Think neat title containers with labels all packed into a basket.
If you know someone's favourite recipe arriving with a chicken pie (insert favourite item here!) is going to make you pretty popular.
For a cook produce from your garden could be a great present. I include benches of herbs. Or make up some spice mixes, dried herbs, marinades, rubs, mixes in a jar etc.
I love to put together a hamper. Sometimes it is some baking, some jam, herbs etc. I give homemade jam to my Dad as he really likes it. He is big on his own pantry so items he might like go down well.
Interesting containers for hamper and food gifts are a help. I look for things like an old fishing basket, tool boxes, fishing tackle boxes and compartment organisers from the cheap stores. Also for the gardener a planter box, terracotta pot or watering can etc could work.
The carry all's that tradesmen use and tradesman buckets make great containers. They are useful afterwards.
My Nan spun her own wool and knitted vests and jumpers. You can tell if someone actually likes a gift like this if they actually wear it and the boys all did so they must have!
Rachel had made her husband the knitted hat shown in last Wednesdays post. She has knitted socks for him since.
This is a much better level of knitting them I am currently capable of! If you are a good knitter then you have lots of options!
My blue, grey and cream rug I am working on just now is for a young man who actually needs a blanket. So this is a male gift. Jane made her son a full sized blanket for a gift and it was stunning.
A treat of some kind is a lovely gift. A special birthday dinner, a fabulous packed lunch full of treats or a care package of cooking. If it is for someone who works in an office then a kit of lovely things for the weeks lunches and morning teas is really nice. For someone like Andy who drives a van for hours a day then he loves packed drinks and has a lunchbox wiht him. Anything that is special makes his day much nicer. My daughter gave him a kit of hand towels, spray bottle plus ice packs etc to use on the really hot days. This was a great gift!
Then there is the gift of some kind of effort and surprise. Recently Andy worked all weekend and while he was busy I cleaned out his van. He was so thrilled with this that I realised overhauling someones van, car, office or something else could be a gift if it's done as a surprise. A card added that says "Happy Birthday! We wanted to make your day special!" and you have a gift that is probably going to be really appreciated.
If you have a good man who works hard or someone that you love that has been amazing to you then a letter of appreciation is a beautiful gift. Many guys give their all and never really get thanked. They are just good guys. A letter thats tells them how much you appreciate all they do and what it means to you and the family will probably melt his heart and build him up.
On my current list of things to make is a leather cover for a book or computer. Men seem to love leather. These are easy and on my radar as I continually see very good quality leather going so cheaply in the form of really out of fashion leather jackets, skirts etc. They have enough leather that when cut up I think i could do covered diaries. And they look really stylish! So this is hopefully my next op shop purchase. 17 Gorgeous DIY leather projects.
Jen mentioned the issue of what to send when a gift has to be posted. The gardener is an easy one as you can post him packets of seeds, even collected from your own garden, plus labels. A bundle of seeds is a great gift. They are flat and light.
Mum suggested that I embroider mens hankies with a deer silllouette or antlers. I love this idea! So that is now on my list.
Now over to you all! What are your ideas, success stories and plans for gifts for men? Feel free to include recipes! Hopefully we can all add to our Christmas challenge so that we have plenty of presents for both men and women.
I am actually op shopping this afternoon and going to Aldi! Maybe I will find a leather jacket or skirt to cut up for my leather wrapped diaries? I am hoping so!
I hope your week is going well! xxx