In our toxically masculine, gender-obsessed world that pigeon holes us all into a couple categories, it can be easy to make some assumptions about which items make the best gifts for certain people.
But a recent Reddit thread turned that all on its head.
Redditors--mostly guys, but some well-versed partners of dudes--discussed what they truly want to receive when the holidays roll around.
Some of the suggestions may surprise you.
magic_neems asked, "What do men actually like to receive as gifts?"
The Gift of Ideal Portion Sizes
"My husband asked for 'sweatpants I can wear to the store,' house shoes (rubber on the Bottom in case he needs to go outside) and cereal bowls that are 'bigger than soup bowls' lol" -- haleymcgirl
"The cereal bowl thing has me dying. My husband eats cereal out of a mixing bowl." -- AnArmAndaPlague
Exactly What He Wanted
"I'm a single dad so I buy Christmas gifts for myself from my kids because obviously they want to get me stuff for Christmas but they don't have any money."
"This year they got me an Xbox series X, a subscription to keto Krate, a new electric roasting pan, and immersion blender, and and air compressor. 😂😂"
How Things Change
"As a kid the thought of getting socks as a gift would disgust me, but as an adult, a new pack of socks brings a smile to my face."
"Same goes for underwear, but different strokes for different folks there."
Just Solid Overall Advice
"The best gift is something a person wants, but cannot quite justify spending their own money on." -- blyat56
"Good general gift advice that. Also not too expensive, so they don't feel bad if you missed the mark." -- obscureferences
"Or something they wouldn't have thought to get. I'm getting my brother a set of throwing knives." -- The_First_Viking
The Gift of Actual Utility
"Appliances. Every time I use my waterflosser, air fryee, coffee bean grinder, etcn, I think of the giver and remeber them fondly" -- phroexx
"This. I'd rather receive something useful than something "for decoration" cause I live in a small place due to exorbitant rent." -- nguyenning198
Temporary, but Deeply Appreciated
"For me, pretty much just food. Maybe an item of clothing you really, truly, deeply believe I'd look really good in. Everything else I'd kind of prefer to buy myself because I know what I'm looking for."
"Pastries are my biggest weakness."
Know Your Audience
"Stuff related to our interests, just like anyone else. My dad got me a nice set of grilling tools this year, and I cant wait to try them out, as grilling is a huge hobby of mine."
"If he had given the same set of tools to my brother, however, he would have probably regifted them. Different strokes for different folks. Learn what your man likes, and give him that."
Always On the Mind
"You know what I really want? A nice comfortable desk chair. Because if it is comfortable to sit in, I will think of you each time I sit in it."
"And if it is quality and lasts a long time, I'll be thinking of your gift for quite a long time!"
A Good Strategy
"Best thing to do: identify a shoddy item I use. It could be a stapler, it could be scissors, it could be a socket wrench set that I just can't find that 10mm."
"Buy him a quality replacement."
Everyone Wants to Smell Good
"Candles. I may be a guy, but my place still needs to smell nice and give off a pleasant ambiance. I could be stuck smelling candles at Walmart for hours." -- Kesenai_
"My boyfriend and his best friend also love candles! But their guy friends never get them as gifts , so I always end up buying them cookie and vanilla scented candles that they love lol" -- FiniteCommunist
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Men often get the feedback that they are impossible to buy for.
This might be because men are socialized to not reveal the things that make them the most vulnerable--so people have trouble getting to the bottom of what they like.
However, if the right people listen, they can figure it out.
They can also figure it out if they ask.
Here were some of those answers.
I don't celebrate birthdays much, but my girlfriend got me a few pints of berries. She listened when I told her that berries are my favorite food, and brought them to me on my birthday. I nearly cried, because I felt seen and understood. I don't like cake, I don't like praise or attention, and I don't really want any gifts, but goddamn, I do love some good blackberries.
We Remember Experiences
My best birthday present I ever received was more an experience (not sex (well that too)). At the time she didn't have a lot of money
I came home from work and she was wearing a pretty sun dress and holding a cold cider for me (we didn't live together btw).
We went through to the family room where she sat me down with some chips and told me some of the reasons she loved me, and the ways I make her life better.
Then we had a delicious dinner, watched a movie she knew I'd like (Die Hard, how can you go wrong?) and then the aforementioned sex.
Just being told she loves me and having someone compliment who I am as a person was enough to make it the best gift. The rest was icing on cake.
Oh yeah, and an Ice Cream Freddo Cake, the greatest of all the birthday cakes.
Gifts From Thoughts
Actual physical gifts? Just anything we might have mentioned that we liked and thought was cool. The more in passing we mention it, the more attention it shows us we have been paid, which is really what gifts are about after the age of about 10.
Removing An Anxious Event
I am very particular about the stuff I like, and I clothes shopping for myself and don't care for fashion, so my gifts are as follows:
birthday: t shirt and jeans
Anniversary: shirts and pants
If this relationship goes well, I never ever have to go clothes shopping again, and that may be the best gift of all for me.
Some Physical Help
If I had a girlfriend the only thing I would really want is a neck massage, I have a really stiff neck and nobody I know would bother helping out plus a chiropractor or a massage therapist is too expensive for me especially since I'm still really young
Being The Girlfriend
If this is a woman looking for some ideas for a boyfriend, something I've been doing for a while is to keep a running list in my phone of things that he mentions in passing that he would like and then when an occasion hits, I have a huge list of things and can pick what to get him from that. It works really well and he appreciates me remembering things we talked about ages ago.
We Go Together
Invite me to hike a mountain, ride an helicopter or camp somewhere. Buy me some materials and let's try to built something stupid together. Just surprise me, as long as it's a gift for both of us
Not Throwing Away Her Shot
After 4 years of hearing of Hamilton and 2 years of listening to the album, for my birthday in 2019 she got us tickets for Hamilton in Chicago. The best gift, hands down, anyone has ever gotten me. Never had to ask, she just knew. I cried. I cried when she got them, I cried during the show, and I still cry just thinking about how much I wanted to experience something, and she worked so many extra shifts to make it happen.
The year prior she also just gave me a lazy Saturday bbq of chill music, not too much attention, as I don't like being the center of attention, so that lazy Saturday bbq with her family (who I absolutely love and who loves me like a member of the family, her parents signed the card they gave me with "Love, mom and dad".) She and her family are just so loving towards me and I can't believe just how wonderful they all are towards me and how she just knows how to make me feel so special. So yeah, just, something as simple as a lazy Saturday bbq or as grand as Hamilton tickets, just something that says "I know you well, I know what you love what you need. Big or small"
Not Stuff, Anything But Stuff
My wife is really great at coming up with gifts, so she has much better ideas than I do about what I want for my birthday.
If I had to choose though, just a nice day filled with stuff I like. Good beer, good dinner, lazy time, sexy time, maybe a nice hike or something. Except for the improbably good gifts my wife somehow comes up with every time, I generally hate getting gifts because it's awkward having to feign how much I like the gift. I'm a grown man, I just buy stuff I want, and usually if I don't buy it I don't want it.
Teaching Yourself A New Skill
This may seem to be very extra or ridiculous or excessive to some people but for my fiance's birthday this year I am learning his first language, I already know seven others which he found cool but slightly disappointing that none of them were his first.
I know his siblings also have a harder time learning what is my first and his family's second language so I thought it would be something he would appreciate. I am still getting him a physical gift but it will be smaller, (I'm thinking a new set of kitchen knives). The key to gift-giving is giving something with meaning behind it, not just money.
The holidays are meant to be a beautiful, celebratory time. But for some, the holidays are a grim reminder of the loved ones who are no longer with us or who they may be estranged from.
Billie Lourd, Carrie Fisher's daughter, offered some poignant advice this season for anyone who may be grieving over the holidays.
Lourd has learned a great deal about grief and has openly discussed the grieving process on social media and in interviews.
Lourd's mother was Carrie Fisher, and her grandmother was Debbie Reynolds. Both icons passed away in December 2016. Carrie Fisher suffered from a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles and passed away from complications on December 27, 2016. The very next day, Debbie Reynolds passed away after suffering from a stroke. The women were 60 and 84.
Losing her mother and grandmother so suddenly after Christmas took a major toll on Lourd. Since then, she's learned to look at holidays and birthdays as a way to celebrate the loved ones we've lost, and to do things on those celebratory days to keep them close, like play songs they loved or cook one of their favorite dishes.
Lourd also always takes the opportunity to reach out to her fans, as well as fans of Fisher and Reynolds who now follow her by association, over the holidays to remind them they are not alone in their grief, and they shouldn't be afraid to wear it on their sleeves.
On Christmas Day, 2019, Lourd posted on Instagram:
"Happy holidays! (But also sad/emotional/weird/stressful holidays!) Sending my love to everyone who has lost someone they loved and is missing them a little extra today."
"I see you. It's okay if everything ain't all merry and bright. It can be a mix of all of it. And it's all okay."
"Feel all the feelings - the good and the not so good. Eat something delish they used to love. Put on one of their favorite songs. Tell a story about them."
"Cry about them. Call one of their friends you haven't talked to in a while. Be kind and patient with yourself. Don't grieve in silence. You're not alone."
This is a beautiful, recurring tribute that Lourd offers to her loved ones that her fans enjoy, identify with and take solace in.
Fans and friends were commenting with their thanks for Lourd's kind words, wishing her a Merry Christmas and sharing their certainty that Fisher and Reynolds are proud of her.
@praisethelourd / Instagram
@praisethelourd / Instagram
@praisethelourd / Instagram
@praisethelourd / Instagram
@praisethelourd / Instagram
@praisethelourd / Instagram
The holidays certainly can be a difficult time when we remember the loved ones who are not in our lives anymore.
But as Billie Lourd reminds us, there are ways of taking that grief and turning it into something that's a little bit beautiful.
The book It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand is available here.
One of the best parts of the holidays is seeing the joy on people's faces when they open the gift you gave them.
It feels especially good when they appreciate a gift that you thought out and put effort in. Some spend months, if not the whole year, studying and paying attention to their loved ones to ensure that they'll get them the perfect present for the holidays
The only down side of getting someone the perfect gift is having to wait for them to open it. Redditor u/mbowsy gave people the chance to blab about the gift they're most excited to give when they asked, "What awesome holiday gift did you get someone that you can't tell them about yet but want to brag about?"
20. They're going to flush this gift down the toilet, in the best way
"The gift is less awesome than the delivery. My housemate hates a dirty toilet bowl, but we're both loath to maintain it, and I saw an ad for the FluidMaster Flush'n'Sparkle that allegedly works better than the tank tabs.
I am just looking forward to being able to say 'Merry Christmas, there's a present from me in the toilet'."
19. I love the mystery that comes with this gift
"I wrapped a couple pieces of legos with instructions and a special note for everyday I'm gone this holiday break. My boyfriend gets to opens them and in the end he'll have a lego space station (he's a NASA/SpaceX geek). He is texting me once a day guessing what it is."
18. What a beautiful way to remember a loved one
"My uncle died a few years ago (multiple tumors he survived over the years) This year while visiting my aunt she gave me his old paint and everything he used, so I could use them (she doesn't paint). I made an acrylic painting for my aunt to gift her as a small remembrance of my uncle, who loved to paint, before he couldn't anymore"
17. My family received one of these, it's lovely
"My favorite old manager had a dog that got him through some really rough times. When the dog passed it was really rough for him and he still tears up talking about her. I got him one of the stuffed look a-likes that is created my hand using pictures that I provided. I'm so excited to give him a piece of her to live with forever."
16. I think he'll be thrilledGiphy
"A long time ago my friend made up a melody on the piano and I wrote it into an actual song with sheet music. He'll either be thrilled or super offended, but I'm proud of it either way."
15. Charity is the best part of the holidays
"A switch lite for a first nations family I've never met.
I caught word that this 14 year old boy had his birthday was in November and he hasn't gotten a present in 2 years... well this Christmas hes getting a switch lite and 4 games."
14. This best friend won't be disappointed
"My best friend has been going through some personal things. She has tried to see Def Leopard as long as I can remember and never has managed it. I bought us tickets to go see them ( we attend a lot of concerts together). She was really upset when their tickets went on sale that she wouldn't be able to go."
13. I guess this gift receiver really loves them
"Custom Van shoes with my face on the front of them.
She's gonna freak."
12. A gift to make more gifts
"Last year for Christmas I wanted a sewing machine so I could learn how to quilt. My mom and two brothers got me a beautiful sewing machine together. This year they are all getting quilts done on the same machine they bought me."
11. Gift cards for tattoo parlors are one of my favorite gifts to get
"I got my BFF a gift certificate to get a tattoo! She's expressed wanting one fairly often in the past but has never actually gotten around to getting one, so I'm excited to give her the opportunity to finally get a tattoo!"
10. The most thoughtful stockings ever
"My fiancé's grandma makes these really labor intensive stockings whenever someone enters the family (birth/marriage), and she just finished mine after a year of working on it. No one in the nearly 40 years that she has been making these has ever made her one, so she's the only one in the family who doesn't have one. She has no clue that while she's been making mine, I've been making one for her for Christmas this year!"
9. Combining naughty cats and puzzles is perfect
"My nan loves doing jigsaw puzzles and my nan's cat loves ruining said puzzles by pulling them off the table and generally being a nuisance. I took a picture of her cat laying on a puzzle she was doing a little while ago and had a puzzle made of that picture!"
8. This beautiful surprise brought tears to my eyes
"I have a baby grand piano being delivered on the 23rd for my wife. She has wanted one since we have been married (7 years) and I have said 'someday' for a while. She has been taking lessons again (since childhood) for 1.5 years and is getting good.
I 'hid' funds for a couple months to pay for it and had to take a day off work to go look at one 100 miles away.
Also, she is picking up her Mom and brother from the airport the day of delivery so it'll be in our living room as a surprise when she gets back. She's going to a party tonight so I'm going to wrap some decoy presents and place them under the tree.
She's 7 months pregnant with our first child so I wanted to blow it out this year."
7. I think their grandpa will adore this
"My grandpa has dementia. Prior to that time, he was really into geneaology (it's something his own father was into as well). I got him a family tree sculpture that has small photo frames, and I've gone through old family photos and had the best ones professionally printed, and I've put them into this sculpture. It goes as far back as to the first photos that his father took with their first camera. So not only are there photos of the whole family, but you get to see how technology has improved over time too. He may not remember what he said five minutes ago, but he loves to talk about the past and I really hope he loves this gift."
6. A best gift for the biggest fan of "The Office"Giphy
"My brother loves the office but is upset that its leaving hulu. So I got the complete series for him and got it signed by Steve Carrell"
5. Their love was written in the stars
"I bought my parents a star chart of the night they were married. They were 17 and told they could never make it and over 35 years later they still love each other so much and I wanted to commemorate that day for them"
4. I'm so excited for this lucky mom
"My moms coming from the west coast to visit me in Vermont for the first time. What she doesn't know is that I'm meeting her at the airport and we're going to Ireland, which is her bucket list destination."
3. This will be no ordinary book
"My dad is obsessed with Stephen King, and every year I buy him a book but this year he basically has all of them. So I sat down and wrote him a horror novel myself (I'm a writer) but he has no idea and I sent it off and got it printed with a hard cover and everything. I'm so excited"
2. Technology is amazing
"My father was in WWII Bomber Command, flying in a Lancaster. He was a rear gunner.
We have a photo of our father with his squadron on the tarmac (I assume at Fiskerton) under one of those mighty machines. The photo is terrible: dark, hardly able to make out any of the figures, let alone our father. Its value was in the nose art, which you can see - not clearly but you can make it out.
I took the photo to a restorer who has absolutely make this come alive. You can see all those young faces, gestures, uniforms, for the first time.
I've had copies printed and framed and giving one each to my brother and sister (Dad unfortunately passed in 2014). I think my siblings are going to be pretty amazed to see his squadron for the first time."
1. This is an incredibly generous and life changing gift
"Lately, I have been planning to pay for my neighbor's son's college tuition. To put in words, they aren't financially well. The boy had been studying on scholarships and loans. The boy is a good kid but missed his scholarship due to some health issues, so he had to drop this year. I would be breaking this to him this Christmas. Can't wait to see his face. :)"
What gift are you most excited to give this year?
There are people in great need this holiday season, and all year long. The food banks are overrun with recipients who could really use humanity's help. It is especially tough during the holiday season to go without. People are missing the basics, nobody should be hungry in this world of wealth.
Redditor u/Latvian_Pete wanted everyone to know what is most needed to make the holidays bountiful for all by asking.... Redditors who work at food banks, what is best to donate, what do you always need?
Ready & Go....Giphy
Just volunteered last week! One item they needed more of was things ready to eat right out of the package because they send those to the schools for lunch assistance programs. I mean you could hand a kid a box of dry macaroni, but they'd have no way to cook it there. BellerophonSkydiving
In order of preference....
In order of preference;
- Cash, since the buying power of the foodbank is greater than what you can give. Sometimes by a factor of 2-3.
- Hygiene Items. Depending on what your regional food bank is, many of the regional ones only have food, so any type of hygiene items (especially feminine products) is a huge help.
- Paper and cleaning products (soap, laundry detergent). These are not often considered necessary items, but not having to pay for them frees up a lot of money for someone who is having a hard time.
- Your time. Most foodbanks have dedicated volunteers who are familiar with the processes and the people going to the food bank. If you are going to go once, do what you are told and otherwise keep out of the way. Becoming a regular volunteer is better. laztheinfamous
I volunteer to food banks that also donate essential things.
That we always need : Pads and tampons. We always lack those. And Diapers. Both for babies, and for older people. Also cleaning products. If they have a home, they need things to clean it, if only to feel better in it.
When it comes to food what we often lack is things that can be eaten cold or don't need preparation. Too many people live in their cars or in the street. They don't have access to pans, stove, microwaves, anything you'd find in a kitchen really.
We could also do with more things for single people. Family-size is great for families. But for people who are alone, it means that once open it will either go to waste or more likely have someone eat something that had gone bad.
We do still need the usual food, family-size things etc etc. But we ran out of what I have listed more often than other stuff. Marawal
Cash. They can get items for cheaper than consumers.
I worked in a combo food shelf/home goods shelf and underwear, socks, and hygiene items like deodorant were very popular. Also, pet food! tomtenisse1
Not exactly what OP was asking but I was a frequent volunteer at food banks. They would always tell us that whatever we donate, remember to donate during the spring and summer.
Hunger still continues beyond the holiday season. Truegold43
Fur Babies in Need.
I could've used donated pet food a time or two. I've used food banks and gone to churches when they give out food. Saved my butt a few times.
I don't know about anyone else, but I've gotten donated people food for my animals. Just about any kind of plain meat, canned, fresh, or frozen, will feed a pet in a pinch. One place always gave out these big cans of cooked pork and beef. My people family was not fond of those meats, but my pets loved them.
I'd rinse the meat cuz it was salty af and dole it out. Wasn't the best choice (dogs and cats need more than just muscle meat) but hey, they didn't starve.
I'd ask and see if a food bank would take it. Or give them cash and maybe ask if they'd consider buying pet supplies. FelisHorriblis
People have already given sufficient responses on what to give, but I just need to ask everybody to please check the dates on the stuff you're giving us. Last week I found spaghetti sauce that expired on January 7th, 2010. It's just a nuisance to give us stuff we can't use. TheProfessorOfPi
I've run a food pantry for 5 years.
- Cash is king. Depending on the state your food pantry is located, they can get staple items relatively cheaply. When ordering for our pantry, we can get staple items incredibly cheap or even for free.
- Feminine hygiene products. Tampons, pads. Anything needed like that is incredibly important.
- Other cooking supplies. Butter. Olive oil. Flour. Folks that use pantries cook but don't always have these items. They're important, basic cooking tools. PezDOY
Closest Shopping Abilities.
I am the co-director of a volunteer-run food & hygiene pantry. We can't accept cash/checks ourselves and the organization that handles monetary donations for us has a lot of hoops they like to put us through to use funds. That being said, if someone wants to do some sort of monetary donation, we always say Walmart Gift Cards. It's the closest major store and has everything we need.
For actual items, we generally accept anything non-perishable, unopened, and within expiration (or at least not too expired since we have a guide that tells us how long different food items are still good for past the printed date). sweetxsunflower
I'm not a food bank worker but have been a recipient.Giphy
I'm not a food bank worker but have been a recipient. The problem I would have was that I would receive dry pasta but no sauce. Or Mac n cheese but would not have the milk or butter at home to make it. I would suggest that if Mac n cheese is donated, the kind with the squeeze cheese would be better. People don't always have the items needed to make a full meal with some of the items that are donated. Another thing we rarely received was canned fruit. Since perishables were rarely donated, canned fruit was a great treat to receive. JAMM_412