After spending a couple weeks searching for fun and unique Valentine’s Day gifts for guys (not only for this post but also for my husband) I decided to stop dancing around the subject and just go right to the source. Over an impromptu coffee “interview” this morning about gifts for guys in general and how much easier it is to shop for girls (clothes or jewelry will do the trick for me every time), Cory (who also runs a men’s website) imparted this bit of knowledge when it comes to shopping not only for him but theoretically for A LOT of men in general:
“All guys are different, but I’m not personally going to get excited about a shirt. That feels like you’re buying something more for you than for me to make me look presentable. (Editor’s Note: LOL). I like experiential things more than traditional gifts. I see something like a wine of the month club or cooking class as an ‘experience,’ cause I feel like it gives us an excuse to do something fun and learn something at the same time.”
Welp. I guess that suit I got him for Valentine’s Day last year isn’t going to top any “Best Of” list. Instead, here are a few go-to gift ideas straight from the husband’s mouth.
1. Monthly Food/Wine Subscriptions
A lot of Wine of the Month Clubs aren’t as great as you think they’re going to be after subscribing (I speak from a few failed experiences), but there are definitely some out there that are more promising than others. We just signed up for the New York Times wine club so I’ll let you know how that turns out, but in the past we’ve also subscribed to winemaker Kermit Lynch’s monthly deliveries, and each shipment was unique and tasty.
Price: Kermit Lynch wine club prices start at $39/month for two bottles. New York Times wine club prices start at $90 for 6.
If you’re not a fan of wine, there are also some great monthly food subscriptions. If your future husband is into cheese, Murray’s is one of the biggest and is also super tasty. For something different heritage bean producer Rancho Gordo also offers some great gift sets. They used to offer a bean club membership (another former Valentine’s Day gift from me to the hubs) but they’ve put that on hold for now. A gift box is just as great, though, and is the perfect starter set.
Price: Murray’s monthly subscriptions start at $275 for a 4-month subscription. Rancho Gordo gift sets start at $23.
2. Experiential Gifts
From cooking classes to tickets to see your husband’s favorite band, it’s hard to go wrong with a gift that your husband can experience. My husband is always talking about signing up for a cooking class, but I don’t think it will actually happen unless I gift it to him. Search Google for local culinary schools that offer recreational classes (like the New School of Cooking in Culver City) or sign-up for online expert tutorials like new startup Salted offers.
Price: Cooking school gift certificates can range from $50 to $250+ depending on the course. Online memberships at Salted are $9.99/month and you can cancel anytime.
iPhones and iPads are obviously awesome gifts for any occasion, but depending on your fiance’s interests (and if they already have one of those aforementioned Apple products) you can most likely find a tool or gadget that will be equally as fun and useful. Coffee machines are always exciting, and chances are there is one that will fit your budget. Even if you already have a cool one at home, you can double-up our fiance’s coffee input and get him one for his office desk as well. Over-the-top..yes. But considering how much office coffee typically sucks it will surely be a welcome gift.
4. A Pass to Relax
Whether it’s a month off of doing dishes or a free day all to himself if you have kids, don’t dismiss the idea of giving your husband or future husband a pass to do absolutely nothing on any day he chooses (well, mostly any day). If you go this route, I would get a really fun card and even pair it with his favorite homemade meal as part of the gift.
5. Rare Finds
Chances are your future husband has a favorite band or author, which can actually provide years of Valentine’s Day gift ideas (and birthday and anniversaries, too). Look for early printings of his favorite book or a rare recording of a b-side he loves. Ebay and Etsy are great resources for this…just be sure to start your search early to allow for bidding and shipping time.
Price: First editions of books like The Catcher in the Rye can cost more than $3,000, but you can find first editions of “early” printings for less. I found this early edition of Catcher in the Rye for $275 on Ebay.