8 gift ideas for those hard-to-buy-for guys

The Christmas season has finally arrived and you know what that means… Christmas shopping! I have sort of a love-hate relationship with Christmas shopping. I love picking out something that I know the recipient will love, but I hate waiting weeks to give it to them! Does this happen to you?

Overall I really enjoy Christmas shopping, but we all have those people that are so difficult to buy for every year. I’ve found that boys high school through early twenties are especially challenging. Finding the perfect gift for my 20-year old brother has plagued me for years. He’s an athlete, not much for video games, not a techie, doesn’t like to read, and in general isn’t very materialistic. So what do I get him? I’ve Googled “gifts for a 20-year old boy” many times and usually all I get is suggestions of gift cards or something inappropriate. I want to get him something that he will genuinely be excited about and appreciate (so usually not another T-shirt or 20 bucks). Well over the years, between gifting for my brother, boyfriends, cousins, and friends, I’ve come up with some pretty good (inexpensive) ideas. I haven’t actually gifted all that is on this list, but I thought they were definitely good enough to share!

1. Dart Board: My parents got my brother a dart board last year and he has gotten a lot of use out of it. It’s the perfect bro-chill-time activity, but we can play as a family as well.

2. Grooming Set: Okay so maybe your 17-year old guy doesn’t need a grooming set yet, but he will definitely feel cool having one. Plus, you know it will come in handy at some point. Every guy needs things like clippers, a nail file, scissors, razors, etc.

3. Crockpot: This one is more geared toward college guys. This may sound like a weird gift and he may not appreciate it at first, but I was given a crockpot my sophomore year of college and I came to LOVE it. Guys have to eat in college, and cooking meals in the crockpot is a lot better than having ramen or fast food every night. Crockpots make hearty meals for college guys with big appetites. Plus, there are a lot of crockpot recipes that only need a few ingredients!

4. Poker Set: Like a dart board, a poker set is another great addition to guy’s night, whether they are betting with cookies or cash.

5. Funny/Helpful Book: My husband frequents the website The Art of Manliness, where he found these books: The Art of Manliness and The Art of Manliness: Manvotationals. These books are made up of short chapters on tips to how to be manly, such as how to change a tire, how to be a gentleman, and how to make beef jerky. It’s full of information that guys should and want to know.

6. Slippers and Sweatpants: Let’s be honest, everybody likes getting slippers and sweatpants. You can never have too many. Enough said.

7. 3-D Puzzles: This may seem nerdy, but 3-D puzzles are seriously sweet. All guys love to build things (um, helloooo… legos!) and the fact that it’s a puzzle makes it a challenge, and we know that guys love a challenge.

8. Tool Set: Your guy may still live at home with his dad, but every guy is going to need a tool set at some time or another. Guys often get a tool set as a wedding present, but what about before that? What about in college when his Jeep starts leaking fluid every other week? (This may or may not come from personal experience…)

I hope this helps inspire you in your hunt for the perfect gift for the young man in your life. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box!



  1. This year my brother turned 21 and TK and I got him a little (cheap) grill with some charcoal and lighter fluid for his birthday in July. He wasn’t living at home and was having a hard time cooking/making friends. He told us it was a really weird gift but that he loved it!

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