Gift ideas for the ‘hard to gift’

Red Panda from Titan's WWF collection

Red Panda Titan watch, a perfect gift for the animal lover

Men…sigh. They really can be troublesome right?

Before you think of the many possible reasons for this statement, let me get straight to the point. The problem with men that I’m referring to is one several of you will identify with, but thankfully a small one. You know how some people can be really hard to buy gifts for? For me, men top that list. They definitely belong to that singular group of people who are the ‘hard to gift’. Let’s face it. All of us have at some point in time had trouble coming up with a really good gift for the men in our lives — father, brother, lover, husband or friend.

This is certainly true for my life. In my family, this group of hard to gift people is led by my father, father-in-law and husband. Creative and thoughtful as I am with my gifts, there have been occasions when I just haven’t been able to figure out the perfect gift for them and, the nice people they are, they’ve pretended that they really liked what I got for them!

So why are men so hard to gift? I have a simple explanation for this. Men just don’t use the numerous things women do and even among the things they use, the choice is pretty limited. Let’s take a few examples, shall we? For instance jewellery – for women the list includes finger rings, ear rings, bangles, bracelets, anklets, lockets, chains, and necklaces. And for men? Finger rings…yes, cuff links…yes, ear rings…rare (generally in just one ear), chains…maybe…and that’s the whole list!

How about clothes? Women have a repertoire of clothes to wear – blouses, skirts, dresses, pants, suits, jeans, t-shirts, salwar kurtas and sarees. Some of this can be accessorised with scarves, stoles and dupattas. Contrast this with the clothes men wear — shirts, pants, jeans, t-shirts, shorts… that’s it and that too in very few styles!

But there is hope. Here’s my recipe: Know the man’s likes & dislikes (essential), put in some thought and, give yourself ample time (very important!) to source out the gift. You will find that getting the perfect gift becomes a little easier.

Here are a couple of gift ideas that have worked for me. Try them out.

Books: I am of the firm opinion that books can be great gifts even for people who aren’t too fond of reading. For the book lover of course, there are options galore depending on his preference. But nothing can beat gifting an early/special edition that is hard to find.

Even for the not-so-much-into reading man, you can choose from coffee table books, books on specific topics like say cricket for the cricket lover or a book on gourmet cuisine for a person who likes to cook. Even comics can work well. I know someone who didn’t really read too much, but was thrilled to receive a big fat, hard-bound book. And what book was that? It was a compilation of his favourite comic strip…Calvin&Hobbes! The idea is to know the person’s interests and hobbies and choose a book that caters to that.

Watches: Here’s one thing that all men wear irrespective of who they are and the kind of work they do. Better still, it’s something that most men would be happy to have more of. A word of caution here: the kind of watch a person wears is to a large extent influenced by the kind of person he is and the lifestyle he leads. For example, the watch of someone who loves nature and is outdoors a lot would have to be robust, waterproof and have some kind of in-built navigation support. On the other hand, a man with simple preferences would be happy with man a classic and elegant watch, while a teenager who like something flashy. The good thing is that there is an amazing range of watches suiting different preferences and budgets. Try the Titan WWF collection for the animal lover…it’s sure to work.

I guess, you’re thinking that’s it, just 2 gift ideas! Well, I haven’t included things like shirts (common), pens (can be boring), ties (not everyone wears them) and shoes (great gift but really difficult to get the perfect fit without trying it on the feet in question).

I did warn you that men are hard to gift:-)