What He Really Thinks of Your Holiday Gift
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"For Me?"1 of 11
By Michael Mullen
Get inside the mind of a man with our guide to what he's really thinking after he's untied the bow. Love it or hate it, here's the unfiltered truth on how he feels about your holiday gift.
All In2 of 11
The gift: A set of poker chips
What he's thinking: Jackpot! The necessity for Texas hold 'em all-nighters is programmed into every male's DNA. A gift like this lets him know that he has your permission to occasionally drink beer and smoke cigars with his smelly guy friends.
Smell Test3 of 11
The gift: Cologne
What he thinks: This is a classic "safe" gift: personal, but not too personal, reasonably priced, available in every major department store. This gift says to him, "I like you, but I'm keeping my options open."
Plugged In4 of 11
The gift: An iPad mini
What he's thinking: Just about all guys are tech geeks, and opening up that sleek box is the equivalent of finding a golden ticket in one of Willy Wonka's chocolate bars. No matter what, you've made an excellent choice. He can never have enough gadgets. Never.
Tool Time5 of 11
The gift: Power tools
What he's thinking: The word "power" says it all: You have just empowered him to assemble furniture, to build a deck, to forge an empire. For a guy who is handy—and that's certainly not all of us—the sounds of the drill and the saw are the music of infinite possibility.
Sock It to Me6 of 11
The gift: Socks
What he's thinking: Socks are a great filler gift, the ideal stocking stuffer, or for that third or fourth night of Hannukah, after he's already opened his big-ticket presents. He'll say, "I really need these," and he'll mean it.
Time's a Wasting7 of 11
The gift: A fancy watch
What he's thinking: It's beautiful and useful, but in a throwback, analog way—something a sea captain would need. It's also a durable, heirloom object, the kind of thing a father might pass to his son, so the message is that you plan to be around for a good long time.
Pick Me Up8 of 11
The gift: An espresso machine
What he's thinking: Unless he's already a man with sophisticated tastes, this gift could signal that you're trying to change him. Like, if he starts drinking better coffee, maybe he'll start springing for dates at restaurants that don't have drive-thrus.
That's the Spirit9 of 11
The gift: Single malt scotch
What he's thinking: Scotch isn't just booze, it's a journey into the primordial past when men in kilts with shaggy beards blew rams' horns and battled with rusty axes. Give a man one of these bottles and he'll receive it with the respect and honor it deserves.
Cuff 'Em10 of 11
The gift: Cuff links
What he's thinking: This gift lets him know that you see him as a grownup (or would like to). For a man, a glint of silver when he shoots his cuffs forward is the reward of no longer dressing like a 12-year-old. A word of caution: Just because somebody designed cuff links shaped like sports cars or tiny skulls doesn't mean they're for your man. He should look classy, not like he's on his way to a snooker tournament.
Knit Wit11 of 11
The gift: A homemade scarf
What he's thinking: By law, men are required to cherish anything made by the loving hands of a wife or girlfriend. That said, if you're not officially his wife or girlfriend, the sentimental gift can backfire. Instead, see cologne.