What to give to the guys on your list? Men can sometimes be vague when you ask them what they want, and you might get a sweet reply of "I have you, and that's enough" from your sweetheart. But you'll still need to wrap something fantastic to make him smile when he opens his gift from you, and you might want to shower him with multiple presents if you know he's giving you a collection of goodies. And there are likely other men on your list: your dad, your brother and your best guy friend.
Chris Easter, founder of The Man Registry, includes among the top gifts for men a variety of items featuring the top trend: personalizing. The man's name or initial appears on an enormous variety of "guy gifts" this year, including personalized barbecue toolsets, personalized pilsner glass collections and items with a dream lifestyle twist, such as the personalized surfboard-shaped bamboo cutting board. Also big in the personalized gift picks at The Man Registry is the customized wooden bar or grill sign to hang above the space he considers his domain.
Because beer is such a hot trend, top gift picks this year include beer recipe kits for the home brewing hobbyist. Add a fun FYI to his gift by printing out the White House-shared recipes of what may have been the first beers ever brewed at their location -- a honey porter and honey ale -- found at the website AskMen. An extra little factoid gift adds interest to his beer recipe or beer glass gift, and it gives him an FYI to share with company during your next get-together with friends or during the family holiday dinner.
Scotch and bourbon are also hot gift picks this year, especially small-batch distillery liquors from a well-known brand. A collection of those bottles in his bar would give him extra status by having them to serve to friends.
For your sports fan, there are always pro-style jerseys of his favorite player, especially if the player has just been traded to a new team and your guy's entire jersey and T-shirt collection is outdated. Load him up with NFL, NBA, NHL or FIFA gear such as team logo coasters, drink cozies and coolers for his sports-watching fandom. Speaking of sports watching, you might get him an upgrade in your cable television plan to the full sports package or NFL plan that expands his game-viewing access.
And then there are always tickets to a professional game, which he'll appreciate when he knows how hard these are to come by. You might buy them through the team's official ticket purchase site, or acquire those two great seats via a colleague or relative who owns season tickets. (Be wary of online auction sites, since a disreputable seller could be hawking fake tickets!)
Gadgets are always a hot category for men's gifts, from an upgraded heart monitor for your runner guy, to a GPS golf watch giving the golfer in your life the edge on the links. A gadget timing his grilling will help him pull those filet mignons (which you can give him with the grill timer!) off the fire at the perfect time. And home improvement-type guys love laser levels and other tools that help them get weekend projects done faster. In that category, a gift card to the home improvement store never fails, but these tech "toys" are often something guys wouldn't indulge in when they've gone to the store for fertilizer, furnace filters and light bulbs. Your gift adds some kick to their to-do list and maybe even inspires your guy to paint a few more rooms or hang those photo frames sooner rather than later.
"We'd fallen into a rut of giving each other purely practical gifts every year," Evangeline Descarte, who has been married for a long time. "So in the bag of new white T-shirts and new white socks that he gets every year as one of his gifts, I added some top designer dress socks in bright colors to really stand out. They were just a little something indulgent for him, and he was happier about those than he was about the new speaker I bought for his computer."