A Guy’s Guide to Gift Giving

By Contributing Writer Ray Hartjen

Let’s face it guys. We don’t have the best reputation as gift-givers. It’s not that we don’t care about gift giving, it’s that we make it appear as if we don’t care about gift giving. That impression is often born out of thoughtlessness, rooted deeply in laziness. Memorable gift giving doesn’t start the day before and end with a hurried dash to a corner drug store, hoping to get a card and a gift with just one stop. Now, I admit I’m no gift giving maven. You can ask my wife, Lori, although I wish you wouldn’t as my fragile ego can’t handle the response. But, I’m looking to change my checkered past as a gift giver. In my quest, I’ve learned some things, and in the spirit of us guys sticking together, I thought I’d share some tips with you.

One, great gifting requires one to abandon a fixation on “The Big Three” — birthday, anniversary and Holiday. Yes, they’re still super important, but great gifting goes beyond. If her favorite season of the year is winter, give her a gift on the winter solstice. Surprise the most important person in your life with a gift.

Secondly, whimsy is good, and usually relatively inexpensive. Does your better half write notes down on a variety of sticky notes and scrap paper? Then, get her a notebook or journal that absolutely screams out adjectives you don’t use, like cute and fun, and features a color you previously had no idea of, like magenta, mauve and periwinkle. 

Third, speaking of color, add some to her — and your — life with a gift. Accessories for clothing and accents for home decor are great. Try a lightweight scarf good for most any day of the year. Plus, when you get the band together, you can wrap it around your mic stand and pretend you’re Stephen Tyler of Aerosmith. Guilty. I’ve done that.

Finally, give something that reminds her of you every time she sees it. Positively. Reminds her positively of you. Show her you thought of her by writing a note to accompany your gift, telling her why you bought that particular gift and, of course, how important she is to your life. It doesn’t matter what your note is written on. Literally. You can take crayons and construction paper from the kids, and, if written from your heart, she’ll cherish it. And, it’s the gift that keeps on giving as every time she sees your gift, she’ll be reminded of the person behind it.

Now, get to work! Use the curated collection below to spark your creativity.



With two slouchy front pockets, a snug waist tie and cozy shawl collar, this super plush bathrobe is the ultimate relaxation essential. And THAT is something you can’t put a price on. 




A cookout made easy. Four burger recipes meet up with four side dishes to create an unforgettable gather-round-the-grill meal. A thought they can actually taste. 



Comfort and functionality in one – this commuter friendly backpack has the space (and the pockets) to hold everything one may need for a day on the go. 



Cocktails made easy. Simply add Bourbon or Rye to create this signature Blood Orange-Ginger Old Fashioned. A cocktail bar taste, in the comfort of their home. 



This speaker was designed to empower a revolutionary music experience, wherever life’s adventure takes them. 



Add a splash of color to a loved-one’s life with this lightweight bracelet. Made from used guitar strings, silver ball ends and your choice of colored hematite bead. A great choice for both men and women



This rustic leather notebook is the perfect writing companion for journal lovers, songwriters, or anyone with a taste for things with an antique or vintage feel. Made from recycled acid-free cotton paper, it’s one of the most sustainable notebooks on the market.



Both a scarf and shawl, the Tammy is a versatile addition to any accessory collection. Ethically made in India from 100% GOTs Certified Cotton. 

All photos are from the respective brands included in this post. Our Gifting Intelligence™ was used to select each product. To&From may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

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