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.
RETUNED GUITAR STRING JEWELRY
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.
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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Without further ado, our annual “50 gifts $50 and under” gift guide is here. We hope you like it!