Finding the perfect gift for your husband is like uncovering a hidden treasure. It’s an adventure that’s one part scientist (observing and recording evidence), one part artist (creatively thinking outside the box), and one part lover (expressing your deep feelings for him.)
A gift for your husband may be given to mark a special occasion, celebrate a holiday, express your emotions of love and gratitude, or simply to add the excitement of a shared experience.
You don’t want to waste time and effort in your search. You do want to convey appreciation for the person your husband is, for his unique blend of personality and interests.
The cost of a gift is not the point. Gift giving is a concrete way to express what you feel toward your husband - that you care for him and want to make him feel special and happy.
The act of gift giving carries a myriad of psychological benefits for both giver and receiver. A great gift choice communicates that you’re paying close attention to his needs and wants, and the very best gifts are those that also include emotional significance.
If chosen well, gifts strengthen the close bonds you already share.
Why Are Men Harder To Buy For?
You might find that it’s much easier to choose something for your female friends. Women tend to share pretty openly with each other what they like and don’t like, and what they wish they had.
Fashion accessories, flowers, gift cards, and jewelry are simple to choose for friends, and typically welcomed with delight. What women value in a gift can be quite different from men.
Women appreciate the act of gift giving because of the emotional component connected to it.
Men? Not as much. Although it’s true there is some overlap between men’s and women’s preferences, your husband is more likely to lean toward the practical, functional, or the exciting when it comes to gifts.
Take heart. You’ll be happy to know that there are literally hundreds of exceptional gift ideas out there for men!
Finding a gift for your husband that he’ll especially enjoy might feel like a mystery to solve right now, but we’ll break down the process to make choosing simpler.
If you’re totally desperate and out of time, feel free to scroll down further for specific gift ideas.
But we’d encourage you to set aside a few minutes to acquire the skills and helpful perspectives on choosing perfect gifts for him.
Put these fresh methods into place, and it’s pretty much guaranteed your husband will be delighted with your choice.
Develop skills of a detective along with attentive listening.
In most cases, great gift-giving involves thinking creatively and off the beaten path. A tie, belt, or sweater may occasionally have its place, but there’s not a whole lot of thought involved in buying those.
Generic gifts can communicate that you didn’t know what to get, or that you’re not quite sure who he really is.
Make it a point to listen intentionally and take notes when your husband is talking about various topics.
Get in the practice of immediately jotting down a reminder when he mentions something he likes, something he needs, or when he notices an item or experience he might want to own or do in the future.
Does he ever perk up when he hears about a gift another man has received, or an item his friend bought? Make note of that too, so you don’t forget.
You can hide a private gift list in a journal or use a note app on your smartphone, or create a “secret” board on Pinterest to help you to record those ideas.
Two strategies work together to help you uncover the very best gift ideas. If you invest some time in uncovering these, you’ll never be without a plan for gifting.
Here’s where the detective work comes in...
Every man has passions and pursuits.
Clearly defining your husband’s passions and pursuits will help bring focus to gift choices. These are obvious, long-range examples of whatever it is that holds his attention.
Anyone who spends time with him recognizes the interest he has in these areas!
Passions can fall into broad categories such as sports, collections, cars, academics, science, or music. Although the details or outworking of a passion may change over the years, they’re frequently lifelong interests.
Naming and then dropping down into the particulars of his passions will improve your brainstorming process for both creative and practical gifts.
“Sports” covers everything from fitness to team sports. “Fitness” can be broken down into weightlifting, distance running, triathlons, yoga, etc. Team sports include baseball, football, basketball, hockey, lacrosse and more. There are individual sports like golf, too. Each type requires its own clothing and it's own gear.
And you haven’t even gotten started on specific professional or college teams he follows. Any fan of a particular team opens the door to a huge assortment of gifts to display their loyalty!
Some men love to read - books are their passion. Business books, history, politics, science...what’s your man drawn to?
Does he read physical books or digital versions?
Used or new?
Is he a collector of antique or vintage books? Break it down.
Maybe he’s a music lover. Music is a hugely broad topic!
Narrow it down to the type of music he likes (rock, jazz, hip-hop, classical, etc.) Is he only interested in listening to others play the music, or does he play instruments himself (or maybe would love to learn how)?
Would his preference be to attend concerts of musicians he enjoys?
A passion for his car or for his favorite truck opens yet another path for gift ideas. A man who loves his vehicle might appreciate a quality cleaning kit, or made to order floor mats or a personalized vanity license plate.
You can find books and magazines about specific models. Perhaps a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to drive a race car would be exactly what he wants!
Remember that these are his passions - so most likely he already knows a lot about these areas.
If you’re thinking about a gift that is outside your knowledge and comfort zone, such as electronics, photography or some other technical equipment, be sure to ask a professional for guidance, or someone with loads of experience.
It’s fine to do your own research when it comes to pricing, but don’t try to “wing it” when it comes to special features and levels of quality. You’ll regret the time invested and the money spent if you get him something that doesn’t suit him.
I’m sure you’re getting the idea. Take some time right now to list his areas of passion and then break down each area into components as specifically as possible.
If you’re finding it challenging, consider this - your husband is more obvious about his likes and needs than you might think!
Answering these questions will help you pinpoint his distinctives:
After this type of sleuthing, you’re likely to have a considerable amount of data to help identify your husband’s interests with better precision.
But there’s a second component to choosing gifts that can be equally as important as the data.
What defines who your husband is?
Don’t agonize over this point. There’s no need to overthink what defines him!
It’s simply those things about your husband that are unique to him and probably helped attract you to him in the first place.
When you contrast him with other husbands, what traits of his are clearly evident and set him apart?
Your man may be very budget conscious, or he could lean in a different direction - being very generous with money and belongings. He might be a neat freak who loves schedules, or the exact opposite, with a very casual and relaxed approach to life.
He could be a man who enjoys quiet activities and spending time escaping into the wilds of nature, or he may greatly prefer the excitement of crowds and the busyness of city life.
Take 10 minutes or more to write out a list of your husband’s distinct personality and character attributes. Reminding yourself of these traits will provide you with further direction for a gift.
If you can land on ways to combine his unique personality with the passions, wants, and interests that you uncovered during your earlier detective work, you’ve found a “can’t miss” combination.
For example, let’s say he’s very frugal but he loves books on a particular topic or by a certain author. It will surprise and delight him if you squeeze in the time and effort to locate a volume that’s in excellent condition at a used book store.
If he’s gregarious and enjoys time with his friends but rarely gets out with friends because of busy family life, setting up a “guys night out” might make his whole year!
Perhaps some of the qualities on the list below define your husband. You’ll certainly think of others. Don't be surprised if you think of ways to combine two or more of these attributes with the specific interests uncovered as you played “detective.”
You could end up with some very cool ideas.
Humorous, loves to laugh
Integrity; clearly defined convictions and strong preferences
Loyalty to both old and new friends
Prefers one-on-one time with people instead of group activities
Devotion to family, both nuclear and extended
Lovingkindness/compassion toward the less fortunate
A desire for peaceful surroundings
Thrilled about things that get his adrenaline going
Patience and persistence in learning new things
Determination to grow in skills
A strong inclination toward self-improvement
Adventurous at heart, enjoys exerting himself
Loves travel and new experiences
Enjoys games, group activities
Interest in politics or social causes
Spirituality, faith based living
Now that you’re armed with all this information...
You’ve succeeded in creating two helpful lists for your gift giving quest:
A list of passions, including what interests him, some of his practical needs, and a record of items or experiences that would bless him in the future.
Qualities and attributes that define him and his personality.
Keeping these in front of you makes it simpler for you to assess potential gifts, and to rule out those that don’t fit his profile. You’ll be able to look at specific ideas and quickly determine what is, and what isn’t, a present that will knock it out of the park for your husband.
Here are couple of bonus thoughts to remind yourself to stay on the right path:
Give the kind of gift your husband would really like to have but probably wouldn’t think of getting for himself.
Always ask yourself before purchasing: “Will he genuinely enjoy receiving this gift?” Keep it simple. Sometimes less is more. Huge time investments and elaborate surprises, generally speaking, might not mean as much to a man as they might to a woman.
Keeping your budget in mind
Apologies for taking some of the fun out of it, but you do need to have a realistic budget and be willing to stick with it. The last thing you want to do is to spoil the moment by bringing financial stress into the equation.
Your husband isn’t going to appreciate your thoughtfulness if he’s thinking “oh my gosh, we can’t afford this” when you present his gift to him.
There are many practical approaches to take no matter what financial circumstances you find yourself in. In very lean seasons, you and your husband could agree to forego spending altogether.
Make it fun! Compete to see who gets the most creative in finding no-cost gifts or experiences instead. We’ll suggest some of those ideas later in the article.
If you have time to spare before you need a gift, work at putting a little cash away on a regular basis that won’t necessarily be missed, but it will add up over time.
You might also look for simple ways to add income, or do without unnecessary luxuries in order to put some money aside. Is there some type of bartering you could do?
When it’s time to buy, no matter what the budget figure is, stay within your financial comfort zone and don’t overspend. Take the time to compare prices on the internet with pricing in stores.
Look for sales, coupons, websites that offer discounts for a first purchase. And don’t be afraid to ask if there’s any way to get a better price.
If your budget isn’t limited, you’re still better off recognizing that price does not always equal value. The old adage “It’s the thought that counts” is still very true, and practical is often better than extravagant, especially for men.
Now let’s take a look at all those specific special occasions.
We’re taking a deep dive now into the many frequent occasions that justify celebrating with a gift.
Consider our lists as simply a way to prime the pump.
Thoughts and ideas will surface for future occasions, so be sure to write them down. You’re likely going to end up with far more gift ideas than you need.
Birthday Gift Ideas for Husbands
There are loads of categories of gifts to celebrate your husband’s birth, his life, and what he means to you and your family.
Grab those lists you created earlier and get busy evaluating these eight areas, or let them inspire your own:
Food Gifts for Husbands: Since the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, check out a variety of food-related ideas.
Select meat and cheese food baskets with not a single chocolate or cracker in sight.
If he loves meat and grilling is one of his passions - arrange to have amazing steaks delivered to his front door. Try Omahasteaks.com or Kansascitysteaks.com, or grab a set of nonstick kabob grilling baskets.
Send him a Jerkygram at his office.
Buy him a Nutribullet - they’re sturdy and equally effective for whipping up healthy smoothies and decadent milkshakes.
Mancave Gifts for Husbands: Encourage his ideas for creating an area with his particular masculine flavor.
Here’s a one-stop source for all things steel, signs, and canvas.
Beer brewing kit or a whiskey distillery kit.
A candle with smoking appeal that actually smells good to women too.
Sports Gifts for Husbands: No better way to show your hubby love then through sports.
Cyclist? These Aftershokz headphones
Snowboarder or skier - The latest style of goggles
Golfer - A new putter, or a training aid, or an indoor putting green.
Rock climber or skier - a fresh pair of gloves
Dog Gifts for Husbands: He adores his dog...
But not the smell of him. He loves wine, supports animal rescue groups and believes in recycling? Believe it or not, there’s a perfect gift for that man.
Some guys will get a real kick out of being able to see and hear what their dog is up to, talk to him remotely, as well as providing him the occasional treat. If that’s your husband, look at the Furbo camera.
Not only his dog, but he loves his computer almost as much - this mousepad combines both of his affections.
Subscription for Husbands: A gift that keeps on giving
Subscription to a Shave Club like Harrys.com or a wine of the month club.
Gift Collections for Husbands: Many gift collections speak to the types of things men like. Do these inspire you?
Man Crates for husbands - all kinds of unique gifts for husbands, some are pretty crazy!
A gourmet grilling collection for the grill meister.
A gift basket with various kinds of whiskey or bourbon
Pens. This is the type of collection that’s best created over time. (Good pens are expensive.) If he already has a few, a display case with room to spare is a good way to keep them in order.
A bit short on cash for his birthday? No problem. He knows that, and will appreciate other ways of celebrating. The Harvard Business Review published the thoughts of a successful CEO who was deeply affected by the no-cost way his wife made his birthday special. He shares this story:
"No one threw me a lavish surprise party. I had a few small dinners with close friends and family. I opened two presents.
And yet as I emerge from this birthday, I can’t imagine feeling any more appreciated, respected, and loved. Because on this particular not-a-big-deal birthday, in addition to those two presents, I received some other gifts — gifts that cost nothing, and that I have come to realize are, actually, a very big deal.
The gifts I received that meant so much to me on my forty-third birthday? My wife Eleanor asked a small group of my friends to write me a note of appreciation, ‘a thought or intention or poem,’ she wrote to each friend, ‘that encourages him to accept himself just as he is.’
Just as he is. There is no more powerful way to acknowledge others than to be thankful for them just as they are."
Christmas Gift Ideas for Husbands
A season of traditions, rituals, family get-togethers, good food, and reflection on the past year. Any of the birthday suggestions above will work, but here are some others.
How about a MasterClass.com All Access Pass? This is a great gift for a guy who’d rather not accumulate a lot of stuff. He can learn all year long by taking classes from expert teachers in all kinds of different areas.
Classic movies on DVD like The Shining or Ghostbusters, Star Wars or Star Trek collections, Jaws or Rocky. Better yet, a prepaid year of Amazon Prime or Netflix to get his fill of movies online.
A planned weekend away. You arrange the babysitters or ask the grandparents to help, make the reservations, and plan the activities. Announce the trip by making him a special card or writing a letter.
An ornament that’s personalized, or commemorates a special time together, or one related to his favorite sports team.
A subscription to a favorite type of food - one package arriving each month. It’s like getting 12 gifts in one.
Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Husbands
Silly or mushy, sentimental or deeply emotional, this is a day for expressing the bonds of love you share, without reservation. Shared experiences that create pleasant memories are very romantic. Or maybe think in terms of a gift that works for both of you.
Buy the ingredients for a fabulous meal and prepare it together instead of going out. Wait till kids are in bed or arrange for sitters. Add wine and see where the evening ends up.
Leave Him Love Notes
Leave love notes every place he goes during a normal daily routine. In the bathroom (don’t forget lipstick on the mirror!) in the silverware drawer, on the coffeemaker, on the door as he is walking out, on the steering wheel. Get someone to put a (sealed) envelope on his desk too, with a treat.
He’s always too warm, while you freeze? Make sure you’re both comfy in bed with a BedJet climate control system.
Short on cash, time and babysitters? Pack a basket with a blanket, bread, cheese, and wine (it could be just a picnic in the living room after the kids are asleep.)
Romance is the natural result when you’re focused on each other! Valentine’s Day is a time for exchanging cards with meaningful notes - tap into emotions and ramp up the personal factor.
Anniversary Gift Ideas for Husbands
They’re all about milestones. Anniversaries remind us how quickly time is moving and they’re a perfect time for reminiscing, celebrating how far you’ve come, nostalgic gifts, remembering challenging seasons, creating more memories, and planning for the future. Here are just a few ideas.
5 Year Anniversary Gifts for Husbands - The traditional five-year anniversary gift is wood, symbolizing the strength and durability of the marriage. Modern version is silverware
Wooden-faced watches have become very popular
A wooden i-phone case is a conversation piece.
10 Year Anniversary Gifts for Husbands - The traditional ten-year anniversary gift is tin or aluminum. Pretty lowbrow though, right? You could think in terms of silver-tone
How about a ten year photo collage of memories? Choose a silver-tone frame.
Check out a silver-tone sundial complete with anniversary message and dates
An ornate and very colorful recycled sign made of aluminum using parts of license plates that spell your names.
20 Year Anniversary Gifts for Husbands - The traditional 20-year anniversary gift is china, but the modern one is platinum, symbolizing a marriage that’s enduring. It’s also pricey - even more than gold.
Maybe take a trip to celebrate instead!
25 Year Anniversary Gifts for Husbands - The traditional 25-year anniversary gift is silver.
Silver jewelry or a whiskey flask, engraved with a message and wedding date.
50 Year Anniversary Gifts for Husbands - If you made it this far, it’s time to let others buy the gifts.
Father's Day Gift Ideas for Husbands
It’s appropriate for you to express your respect for him as a Dad (and thank him for being a good one) but get the kids involved as much as possible! Build into your kids a better appreciation for all your husband is and does.
A T-shirt that declares his important roles
A book of his wisdom to pass along to the family
Splurge on a wood-fired pizza oven (you and the kids will benefit, too.)
Specific Gift Areas/Categories for Husbands
He’s a busy man who likes to multitask. A hands-free phone stand and docking station for his desk or a wireless charging tray.
A drone with a camera - hours and hours of entertainment
Killer headphones to give him some private time
A set of brand new binoculars.
Trekking poles for rough terrain.
Engraved/personalized Tactical knife or a Spyderco knife. If he already owns numerous knives, you could get him a sharpener.
Fisherman - a line welder system that does away with having to tie knots and aids in making lures.
This area is pretty much a no-brainer. You only need to know the name of his favorite teams, and go to one of numerous official or specialized sites for gear, T-shirts, sweatshirts, memorabilia, collectibles, and more. There are plenty of other fan websites as well.
NFLshop.com for official National Football League gear. If he loves football and you do not, check out these 17 gift ideas.
NHLshop.com for National Hockey League items, or websites like hockeybydesign.com for even more unique items
Store.nba.com provides all things official for the National Basketball Association. A personalized basketball might be just the solution for your guy.
MLBshop.com for Major League Baseball shopping. Baseball hats are a great gift and for every team there’s a variety of styles!
Family Related Gifts
Give your husband the gift of finding out more about his heritage. Sites like Ancestry.com, 23andme.com, myheritage.com, FamilyTreeDNA and others make it possible to learn more about family roots, and can even connect you with relatives you didn’t know you had, if they’ve also been tested.
A Family Fun Bucket List. A kit that features a variety of prompts for memorable family times.
Take a look at all the options Mancrates.com offers. Their motto is “unique gifts guys love.” A recent addition is the Puzzle Box with this description: “After months of prototyping, we’re proud to debut the Puzzle Box Gift Card: a gift card locked inside an escape room-like box of riddles and brain-teasers that’ll give his ol’ noggin a joggin’.”
A “front pocket wallet” has an unusual shape but may be safer than the back pocket variety.
A custom made mug like this one
Jimmy Fallon’s NYT bestselling book Your Baby’s First Word will be Dada
Candle that lets him know you tried
Personalized letter keychain
Personalized cufflink set
Personalized money clip
A fondue set
Old-fashioned popcorn maker that takes him back to years gone by.
Other gift ideas:
- Commission a painting from a photo of a favorite vacation spot - talk with an artist.
- A simple handwritten card listing one noteworthy memory for each year you’ve been together. If you need to jog your memory, go back through photos.
- Buy a negligee “for him.” (Obviously it’s for you, but he won’t mind.)
Gifts for Travelers
Travel backpack with locking zippers and straps that can’t be cut.
A sturdy compass with a protective case. Especially good for backpackers and mountain climbers - you want him to come back to you!
Letters of appreciation. These are always welcome. They can accompany a gift or they can be the gift. Beautiful LovePop cards are kinda pricey, but they are amazing.
Other great free gift ideas:
- Ask friends and family to email or text you words of encouragement or appreciation for your husband. You gather them today into one document and choose a handsome font. Print on classy paper and seal the envelope with wax.
- Gather friends for a potluck dinner to surprise him. Split up the food/drink/dessert assignments. Ask an outgoing friend to be the MC for the evening.
- You’ll need to plan ahead for this scheme and probably need the help of one or two others, but the results can be hilarious. Post numerous easy-to-read signs along the route he takes to work that read “Honk and wave when you see Bob.” Then attach a sign to the front of his car that reads “I’m Bob.” He’ll get many greetings along the way and won’t be able to figure out why so many people are happy to see him - until he finally looks at the front of his car. Make sure someone picks up the signs afterward!
Adding The Final Touches
Wondering if there’s anything else you can add to make the moment of gift giving even more special? Personal touches are what turn a mere gift delivery into a lasting memory. By personalizing, we’re not referring to monogrammed towels or engraved dates on jewelry, although those can be nice touches on the right gift.
A meaningful note included with a gift will convey your heartfelt gratitude. A handwritten message of any type is nearly a lost art these days. Your husband may enjoy it so much that he’ll tuck it away and keep it for years.
Another approach is to prepare a small “speech” to communicate your appreciation and love for your guy. This can be done privately or in front of others.
Even if he’s a little embarrassed by this, it can be a nice ego boost for your husband to be commended and applauded in front of his friends! It’s a chance to let others know why you’re crazy about him.
Hope your creative juices are flowing! Your husband is going to think he has the most thoughtful and creative wife in the world. And here’s the best reason to gift:
“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give”
- Eleanor Roosevelt -