…buying gifts for guys

What it is with men and the fact that it is so hard to get them gifts?

I am sure that once in your life — you came stumped on what to give your dad, your brother, your boyfriend or your husband. I mean, what do we get these guys?

GUIDE 1: We all know that the first rule in getting something for your favorite guys is to know their types: what are their hobbies and interests?

Obvious and usual (read: boring) choices would be a pair of socks, underwear, necktie, bowtie (if they’re more of a Chuck Bass kinda guy), cuff links, handkerchiefs, golf clubs or polo shirt. Obviously, if these are your usual go-to items then your men are most likely the executive, suit-wearing types who usually owns a money clip somewhere. Other usual gifts would be a set of power tools, suit case or cases of wine for the handy man or traveling lothario.

Unfortunately, my proletarian upbringing is not synonymous to any of the items mentioned above. Our gifts are usually simple and useful. Most of the men in my life (including the hubby) are also not office workers so giving them cuff links is like giving my divinely fabulous gay nephew boxing gloves. In exact: they have no use for them.

My father and brother are also not the executive types. They do not wear neckties and even my graphic artist brother eschews anything that is related to fashion. (“Gives me the hives,” he says.)

I’ve been working for close to fourteen years, so you can just imagine the number of socks, underwears, handkerchiefs and t-shirts that I have given both to my brother and my dad for their birthdays and christmas. And when I got married five years ago, the hubby almost suffered the same fate as the two, except that the guy I married was the King of Nerds and only wished for Mage Knights and Dust Tactics figures for special days.

This year, I was determined to break out of the mold and finally give something great to my favorite guys. Plus, I also wanted to break the cycle of giving my husband geeky stuff that literally cements our reputation as one of the geekiest couple ever.

So, I searched. And searched…and searched.

I started wandering the aisle leading to mall boutiques — something I bowed not to do during Christmas season when malls resemble Woodburry plagued by Walkers. I even went to Divisoria, a famous market located in Old Manila, known for its cheap knock offs, 300peso Louis Vuitton bags (spelled Luis Vuitton if you’re eyes are not quick enough) and the mecca of generous gift givers who want bang for their buck.

GUIDE 2: For instances like these, you think of what they will need and definitely use.

I ended up buying my father a cheap touch screen cellphone which will be useful during emergencies Of course, I have to factor in the time I have to spend with my dad for the one-on-one tutorial on how the use the stuff. My dad needed the phone. His brother suffered a stroke in early December with only the two of them present in our house. My poor dad had to shout for help from our neighbors as he tried to carry my uncle who was unconscious at that point. It’s not an iPhone and it’s nothing fancy, just something to use for emergencies and instances where he wanders off the aisle of the grocery.

GUIDE 3: You can always go back to your fail safe items when in doubt.

After three tours to various boutiques in three different malls, I ended up getting my brother a t-shirt from Mossimo. Hey, it works for a graphic artist like him!

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