Weekend question 11/28-29/09

weekend question.jpgGoing off topic this weekend.

Just in time for the Christmas season, I received the following gifting rules for men and thought they were funny, because at least as it goes for my husband, they were for the most part true! Can you think of any other gift giving rules for men - or women?

Gifts for Men

Buying gifts for men is not nearly as complicated as it is for women. Follow these rules and you should have no problems....

Rule #1: When in doubt, buy him a cordless drill. It does not matter if he already has one. I have a friend who owns 17, and he has yet to complain. As a man, you can never have too many cordless drills. No one knows why.

Rule #2: If you cannot afford a cordless drill, buy him anything with the word "ratchet" or "socket" on it. Men love saying those 2 words. "Hey George, can I borrow your ratchet?" "OK. By the way, are you through with my 3/8-inch socket yet?" Again, no one knows why.

reindeer rearview.jpg

Rule #3: If you are really, really broke, buy him anything for his car: a 99-cent ice scraper, a small bottle of de-icer or something to hang from his rear view mirror. Men love gifts for their cars. No one knows why.

Rule #4: Never buy men bathrobes. Once I was told that if God had wanted men to wear bathrobes, he wouldn't have invented Jockey shorts.

Rule #5: You can buy men new remote controls to replace the ones they have worn out. If you have a lot of money, buy your man a big-screen TV with the little picture in the corner. Watch him go wild as he flips, and flips, and flips.

label maker.jpg

Rule #6: Buy men label-makers. Almost as good as cordless drills. Within a couple of weeks there will be labels absolutely everywhere. "Socks. Shorts. Cups. saucers. Door. Lock. Sink." You get the idea. No one knows why.

Rule #7: Never buy a man anything that says "some assembly required" on the box. It will ruin his Special Day and he will always have parts left over.

Rule #8: Good places to shop for men include Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, and Sears Clearance Centers. It doesn't matter if he doesn't know what it is. ("From Lowes, eh? Must be something I need. Hey! Isn't this a starter for a '68 Ford Fairlane? Wow! Thanks.")

Rule #9: Men enjoy danger. That's why they never cook, although they will barbecue. Get him a monster barbecue with a 100# propane tank. Tell him the gas line leaks. "Oh the thrill! The challenge! Who wants a hamburger?"

19th century quilt.JPG

Rule #10: Tickets to a football/hockey/basketball game are a smart gift. However, he will not appreciate tickets to "A Retrospective of 19th Century Quilts." Everyone knows why.

Rule #11: Men love chainsaws. Never, ever, buy a man you love a chainsaw. If you don't know why, please refer to Rule #6 and what happens when he gets a label-maker.

Rule #12: It's hard to beat a really good wheelbarrow or an aluminum extension ladder. Never buy a real man a stepladder. It must be an extension ladder. No one knows why.

Rule #13: Rope. Men love rope. It takes us back to our cowboy origins, or at least the Boy Scouts. Nothing says love like 100' of 3/8" manila rope. No one knows why.


Gifts for women-
Unless she specifically asks for one, do not buy her a small household appliance.

Jewelry (within your budget) is always a good idea. If it's too expensive she'll want to return it.

Posted by: Janet at November 28, 2009 3:28 PM

Other than for children, I really don't like all the gift giving. I don't want anything, and I don't know what to give others. The emphasis on gifts ruins the holiday for me.

Is there anyone else who is tired of all the gifts? I am not a scrooge or even stingy. I bake and share. I buy people I love very nice stuff when I find something I know they will really like, but it is so stressful and miserable being expected to run out and shop. I just want to hang out with the kids and family.

Posted by: hippie at November 28, 2009 3:39 PM

My husband only fits one of those rules above. :D

And Janet, I hate receiving jewelry from my husband, because to me it serves no purpose and it's frivolous, when money could have been spent on something I can use...like a small household appliance. LOL!!

I always joke with him, "Oh, honey, you know I really, really want you to spend a ridiculous amount of money on that necklace I'll wear twice a year!" :D Am I out of the norm??

Posted by: Kel at November 28, 2009 3:40 PM

hippie, I agree with you there. I hate shopping for people, though I always enjoy giving someone something if they really need it.

I've thought about doing those WorldVision gifts where you buy chickens for a family, etc, in someone else's name. But I really don't know how people in our family would receive a "gift" they didn't actually "get."

Posted by: Kel at November 28, 2009 3:43 PM

Janet, I totally and completely disagree with the small household appliance rule. I know it's modified with "unless she asks for it" but seriously, I was doing backflips last year when I opened up my stand mixer. Pretty much everyone I know would be excited to see that particular box under the tree.

I like practical gifts.

Posted by: Lauren at November 28, 2009 3:49 PM

Another gift-buying for men rule: If you are buying a man a book, it should either be A) humorous, B) one he specifically asked for, or C) about something you know for a fact that he's interested in. Never buy him a book about something you think he'll be interested in, or something you think he might have mentioned being interested in once.

Posted by: Marauder at November 28, 2009 3:59 PM

hippie, I agree with you to some extent. I don't "shop for" people and I don't want people "shopping for" me. I buy things for people all throughout the year, as I find awesome things that make me remember the people I love - I go to some pretty cool places for work sometimes, and I get to do a lot of looking around antique stores etc. If I find something that I immediately know a friend will love, I buy it. I put it in a box in my closet, and as birthdays or holidays come, I give that. I love doing that - it's like saying, "I thought of you when I saw this," plus there's always a story behind it and it's just so nice.

Aside from that I am mostly a pragmatic gift-giver. High-quality socks, handmade hats/gloves, etc. I don't like going to the store looking for some item to buy to fulfill my giving requirement.

I hate when people ask me, "What do you want?" I want whatever you want to give me. I have everything I need. Mr. Alexandra's family are very big on "the wish list." Every birthday and holiday, I am supposed to make a wish list of things I want - complete with links to the actual item. I find the whole thing mortifying in its demanding nature. "Buy me this! I'll buy you that! We will not have to think about or know or understand each other at all!"

I do keep a wishlist on Amazon, so that people who ask my mom/Mr. Alexandra/etc what I want for Christmas can be directed to a list of books etc that I add to throughout the year, but I never am put in a position of saying, "I want this." I consider that a happy medium - it's things I legitimately want but will probably never get around to buying for myself, but it's not things I brainstorm specifically to request on a given holiday, from a given person.

Posted by: Alexandra at November 28, 2009 4:20 PM


I disagree as well. I LOVE to get small household appliances! I especially love the one's I would never buy for myself! One rule of thumb here, though...Guys...if you're going to buy a waffle-maker or a bread-maker, or something of the sort, go the extra mile & buy the ingredients needed to use it for a gift as well. Yes, we women love to play with toys on Christmas morning as well, and usually can't use these thing cuz all the grocery stores are closed on Christmas!

Hippie, I'm with ya'. My all-time pet-peeve on the holidays is when someone gives you a "list", or asks you for one. "Here. Go buy me this" is so annoying!

Posted by: Marie at November 28, 2009 4:24 PM

I'm broke, so everyone I know is getting short stories. :)

Posted by: Vannah at November 28, 2009 5:36 PM

Gift certificates for massage or facial, candles, lotion and/or take the kiddoes to MIL's for the weekend! :)

My husband and I have written Christmas letters to each other for years. They mean so much.

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at November 28, 2009 5:43 PM

I like audio books, CDs, and DVD's, close, and what ever some one wants to get for me. I'd by the film 22 weeks, but it would have to have video discriptive service. Its where during the non-speaking parts, a person comes on and tells what is happening. just google video discriptive services. RJ

Posted by: RJ Sandefur at November 28, 2009 5:56 PM

I could sure use another cordless drill to go with the others. ;)

Posted by: Andy at November 28, 2009 7:24 PM

A fifth ratchet set would come in handy so I could have one for people to borrow. That way I wouldn;t missing my set that I leave in the garage, one the set I leave in the house, or the one in the trunk of my car, or the one in my toolbox in back of my truck.

Posted by: truthseeker at November 28, 2009 7:51 PM

Even Hal would have to agree with the fact, we men can't do with out a brand new fishing pole and especially a baceboat! Anybody want to chatch any base, come on down to lake Okeechobee! RJ

Posted by: RJ Sandefur at November 28, 2009 9:12 PM

Kel: "And Janet, I hate receiving jewelry from my husband, because to me it serves no purpose and it's frivolous, when money could have been spent on something I can use...like a small household appliance. LOL!!"

I like the way you think. Are you, as a woman, annoyed by all those "men getting something shiny for women" commercials?

Posted by: bmmg39 at November 28, 2009 10:18 PM

Ok, I'm overruled on the small appliances. Women here seem to like them as Christmas gifts. I guess I can understand. I don't like cooking all that much so my small kitchen appliances (which I buy for myself) end up being used twice a year and spend the rest of the time in the basement. Lauren, I like my stand mixer too!

I know what you mean about those commercials. The funniest ones are where the guy wraps a luxury car with a big bow and parks it in the driveway as a Christmas surprise for his wife. Who does that?

Posted by: Janet at November 28, 2009 11:23 PM

You forgot flash lights. Metal ones, not plastic. I could use a dozen of those....

Posted by: James at November 28, 2009 11:46 PM

I'm not married, but I dated one guy seriously for 3 years in college. One year, for my birthday, he didn't do love tokens or jewelry, but instead got me a George Foreman grill (and a bouquet of daisies because, well, he's not a total idiot). That was 7 years ago and I don't know where are of those stupid necklaces and stuff are, but I use that grill all the time. It was the best gift ever.

P.S. My dog drug an old stuffed bear my bought me out of the garage a few months back. I named that bear and used to sleep with it every night back then and now it's of no consequence to me. But my grill cooks steak!

Posted by: Jacqueline at November 29, 2009 12:04 AM

"You forgot flash lights. Metal ones, not plastic. I could use a dozen of those...."

Posted by: James at November 28, 2009 11:46 PM

LOL. I mentioned flashlights on the other thread (See Sunday Quote column to the right.) I agree. You can never have enough! :)

Posted by: Janet at November 29, 2009 12:08 AM

With the festive season of Christmas closing in many of us take the calm organized approach in knowing exactly what your loved ones and friends wish for. The gifts are probably already wrapped, tagged and stored away, waiting for the 25th to hopefully bring a little joy and big smile to the recipient’s face. Others find this yearly ritual stressful and are probably too busy with their hectic life styles that for them the best way to cope is to do the mad dash for gifts on Christmas Eve. Whichever method of choice works best for you, there is still that decision in making your selection a fitting one for the lucky person in question. Once those gifts are purchased it’s just fingers crossed that duplicate items from other folk are not making their way under the tree. We all want to give and receive something special and different, not the run of the mill pair of socks that you mischievously rewrapped for your dad as an extra little prezzy.

Posted by: gifts at November 29, 2009 5:07 AM

Ditto on not caring for jewelry. In my mind it's often a frivolous purchase with boastful intent. And I know I'll see incredibly more amazing gemstones and precious metals in Heaven.

And, I, too, like practical purchases for the home. It took my husband a few years to believe I really wanted such things as a really nice crock pot. I just told one of my kids this year he could get me a pineapple corer.

Posted by: Jill Stanek Author Profile Page at November 29, 2009 6:14 AM

Thankfully, none of these man rules apply to my husband. He's a boy at heart and still gets a kick out of Star Trek and superheroes.

Hippie, I'm with you. Last year my husband and I vowed not to buy any gifts for each other and we stuck to it. It was the BEST Christmas of my life. The most meaningful, rich and blessed Christmas I've ever had. If someone had given me a present that day it would have ruined the whole thing. Instead, the entire season was about Jesus and it was awesome.

No gifts for me this year either. All I want is Jesus.

Posted by: Jen at November 29, 2009 9:09 AM

He is the best gift ever freely given!

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at November 29, 2009 9:12 AM

Please see The Manhattan Declaration. Read and sign and pass the link on if you agree.

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at November 29, 2009 9:49 AM

NO on the jewelry. As a pediatric nurse, I can't even wear it most of the time. Most rings cut through gloves and little ones like to pull on necklaces and earrings (and actually, I don't even have pierced ears ... or pierced anything else!)

Over the years the best presents I have gotten were: my stand mixer, a sewing machine, a vacuum cleaner, a blender... I think you get the idea.

This year I asked for a household stepladder (at 5 ft 4 it's hard for me to reach the high cupboards!), and a CD player. Steven is getting tickets to Wrestlemania (he already knows), as it is coming to town next year. My further gift will be going with him. I offered to let him take one of his friends who is really into wrestling and his face fell like a six year old and said, "But I really want to share this experience with you!" So, in March, I will be going to Wrestlemania with my husband. Chances are I'll find something to buy him there for his birthday in April.

For me, books are also always a good bet, along with college ruled 5 subject wire bound notebooks (I prefer the green covers) and packs of 3x5 index cards. No... seriously. Did you know they come in packs of five at Staples? Steven threatened to register us at Staples when we got married, but the lady behind the register just looked at him like he was nuts when he asked if they had a wedding registry. Oh... and black Sharpies. (Oh, and in our house, the one with the labeler, and the labeling fetish, is me!)

For the children we follow the same formula every year: Santa fills the stockings. From mommy and daddy they get something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. They usually make gifts for each other. We bake and make candy for gifts to family and friends. If it has been a particularly good year financially, we will get a family gift of something all the kids would use. We are looking at perhaps a Wii this year. Maybe. I'm not a big fan of video games and it would be our first gaming system.

Posted by: Elisabeth at November 29, 2009 10:11 AM

Hi, This is Elisabeth's husband(yes, the overgrown six-year old) I just wanted to let you all know she wasn't kidding about the index cards and spiral notebooks. I so have our anniversary easy.

Posted by: Steven at November 29, 2009 10:28 AM

I'm totally stealing your formula for the kids gifts, Elisabeth! It's perfect.

Posted by: Lauren at November 29, 2009 12:13 PM

You know what preachers like? New suits! Why?, because I am one! RJ

Posted by: RJ Sandefur at November 29, 2009 12:42 PM

Great ideas. What do you use the notebooks and index cards for, if you don't mind my asking?

Posted by: Janet at November 29, 2009 1:47 PM

Elisabeth uses the notebooks and index cards for everything. The notebooks can get a bit annoying. She prefers green so they all get mixed up. I still haven't figured out what the index cards are for, but I think we have 5 tons of them. JK. I love you honey

Posted by: Steven at November 29, 2009 2:22 PM

No jewelry, please. And DO NOT buy me pots and pans or small appliances -- I hate to cook. Amazon wish list books and chocolate would be at the top of my list, or tickets to a concert we would both enjoy together.

Posted by: Rosemary A. at November 29, 2009 8:45 PM

The best gift I ever got was a small box on my doorstep with Hershey's Hugs, a nice pen set, Orange creamsicle candies, skittles, a giftcard for coffee and a few other inexpensive items. The reason for its significance was that every single item in that box was a personal inside joke of sorts between my now husband and myself.

He would go on to surprise me one year with a tree for Christmas when we couldn't afford one, decorated and everything. With an angel tree topper that exactly matched the one that my parents had on their tree.

Another year, it was a handmade scarf and a nice set of gloves all of which went beautifully with my favorite jacket and I DESPERATELY needed them.

My favorite gifts from him have never been jewelry, or expensive at all for that matter. Every one of the gifts that have meant the most have been inexpensive but things that only someone who pays attention would notice and give.

I think a good gift to get from a friend or other family member is a kitchen appliance, but I'd rather my husband kept up his usual thoughtful but inexpensive gifts. I would find a food processor to be a bit of a let-down, no matter how useful I would find it (and I would).

Posted by: MaryRose at November 30, 2009 1:28 AM

Hint: Most men do not like to buy jewelry. It can be a difficult process and can be even more difficult to know what she would like.

Practical items are best, but sadly, most women do not want them (the women on this blog seem to be the exception).

I too hate the whole giving of gifts thing. It has become an obsession. I try to let my familiy know that I do not need anything and end up with tons of stuff I in fact do not need.

We put together lists but they are ignored. I'm tired of fighting it so now I bring several empty laundry baskets to the family get-together to make it easier to haul it all home. I kid you not. Last year we filled up 3 baskets and will bring at least 4 this year.

Posted by: Andrew at December 1, 2009 11:47 AM


I use the notebooks for just about everything... homeschool planning, budgeting, taking notes on books I am reading for advanced nursing certifications, sermon notes, website planning, I think best using paper and pen.

The cards are for small bits of data I either need to keep handy (a phone message, for example) or for flashcards for study purposes (me or the kids)... it's how I made it through nursing school with the third highest GPA in my class with six kids and a full time job. The second highest GPA was a woman with kids, but no job. The highest was a woman with no kids and no job. I don't feel badly about coming in third!

Posted by: Elisabeth at December 2, 2009 10:14 AM

Thanks for sharing. I'm impressed!

Posted by: Janet at December 3, 2009 1:48 AM