I’ll be the first to admit that I love nice things. I’d like to consider myself low maintenance, but I’m sure my fiancé would beg to differ LOL. I’ve got more makeup in my repertoire than a professional makeup artist, and I’ve probably got enough clothes to dress a small country [a small, female country, that is]. I like to look and feel good #noshame.
On the opposite end of the spectrum lies my fiancé. He is the most low maintenance, low key, doesn’t-need-anything kinda guy. The only time he spends money on clothes is when he stumbles upon a huge sale and gets a ton of stuff for really cheap. When he really needs something, he buys it. He doesn’t get excited about gifts that most guys would get excited about. Which, when it comes to gift giving, is fun for me, but also very challenging. Oh, and did I mention his birthday also falls in December?
I know my guy isn’t the only dude out there that’s difficult to shop for. And since I’m currently immersed in the throes of shopping for not only Christmas gifts, but birthday gifts as well, I thought I’d throw together a little gift list for the “no frills” guy in your life. Especially since all the bloggers out there seem to focus on gift guides for a guy who’s a little higher maintenance. Not all of us have a guy like that! I know for sure my fiancé would not be excited about cologne, loafers, or a custom paperweight for his desk. So here’s my holiday gift guyde [see what I did there?] for your manly man, low-key, low-maintenance dude.
You can’t go wrong with a duffel bag. My fiancé has been in dire need of one since I met him. The one he’s been lugging around no longer zips and is ripping apart at all the seams [he’s honestly probably had the thing for 15 years]. I’m truly surprised he’s never had anything fall out of it and get lost. It was extremely hard to find one that I knew he’d like, though. They just don’t make ’em like they used to. Most of the duffels I found were on the smaller side and had more of an overnight bag feel than a rectangular, weekender bag [they were also too feminine for my guy’s taste – he’s definitely manly and needs a bag that reflects that, silly as that sounds]. After purchasing several different ones and returning them, I stumbled upon a brand called Timbuk2. It’s masculine, durable, and similar to the style he’s had all this time. Perfect for the guy with the disintegrating duffel bag.
A food and beverage tour of your city! Whether it’s just the two of you or you go with a group, the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Especially when said guy is a total foodie [and was executive chef at a restaurant when I met him]. We actually went on a food tour in Seattle earlier this year, during a birthday [and engagement!] trip for me. It was so much fun and such a great way to experience the culture of the city. Even though we are both born and raised in Sacramento, we rarely make it to the downtown area. Doing a food tour will be a great way to hang in our hometown while experiencing some of the amazing cuisine our city has to offer. With a gift like this, your guy, and his stomach, will be thanking you for weeks to come.
Tickets, tickets, TICKETS! Tickets are a great stocking-stuffer due to their size. My fiancé is a huge sports fan and also loves lives music, so tickets to a pro game or a concert are a great way to spruce up a date night and see some action! Luckily you can get cheap[ish] tickets on Stubhub and Ticketmaster. Even if you have nosebleed seats, it’s still a really fun way to spend time together. Plus, you’ll score major girlfriend/wife points for doing something he loves to do.
A “choose your own adventure” day. Plan a date that revolves all around him. What does he love to do? Drink beer? Go to the gym? See movies? Does he have a passion for old cars? There are tons of things you can come up with, and it spices up the date a bit by giving him some options to choose from, without knowing exactly what ideas you have in mind. Breakfast in bed or brunch on the town? Movie night on the couch or dinner and a movie? The options are endless! Plus, your dude will love being spoiled, especially during the holiday season when he’s no doubt working his butt off at work.
Give him a gift that caters to his homebody, nerdy side. If he loves to read, get him a book by his favorite author. If he’s a movie buff, throw a couple DVDs and his favorite candy in his stocking. I got my fiancé a video game that he recently rented and loved. A simple gift, but something that’s mindless that they can relax, unwind and decompress with. There’s nothing better than taking your mind off of life stresses, especially during the holidays.
Slippers! I know this is the most cliché holiday gift, EVER, but you really can’t go wrong. If your man is anything like mine, he wears the F out of his slippers year round. And, much to my benefit, he recently stepped in dog poo in our yard [thanks Bella!], which gives me the perfect excuse to get him a new pair. I got his current pair at Target last year for around $10, and will probably do the same again. A low-maintenance guy really doesn’t need a pair of pricey Ugg slippers.
Treat him to a relaxing massage and/or spa day. Believe it or not, some men love to be pampered. A lot my dad’s friends get manis and pedis just because the massages are so good [and, truth be told, it feels really good to have your hands and feet really scrubbed and cleaned – even a man can’t deny that]. But if your guy isn’t into the more feminine spa treatments, he’ll definitely love a relaxing massage in the dead of winter. There’s nothing like a revitalizing and soothing massage to get him recharged for the upcoming year. And the bonus is that you can join him! Can you say couple’s massage?
Get him a flannel from Costco. Seriously. Every man loves a good, comfy flannel. And Costco has some really good ones. They are thick, cozy and great quality. Perfect for lounging around the house in with the slippers you got him [wink, wink], or for throwing over a t-shirt to head out to run errands. There’s nothing a low-key guy loves more than clothing versatility.
I hope this gift guide helps you a little as you set out for your holiday honey purchases. And while practical gifts are great, I’m really big on gifting time. Spending time with your loved ones is truly the best gift you can give anyone. Especially during the holidays.
Something that my family and I love to do this time of year is “adopt” a family. Through a program, you receive a list from parents who can’t afford to provide a Christmas for their kids, and so we purchase gifts from the list and give them to the parents to give their kids. On occasion, we will buy odds and ends for the parents, too. They’re doing what they can to make ends meet for their family – they deserve a Christmas, too! This is something wonderful and heartwarming you can do with your family and friends as well. There’s no better feeling than giving to those who are less fortunate than us.