Sunday, December 11, 2011

15 Wacky Gifts for Him

15 Wacky Gifts for Him, Tired of giving the same old kinds of gifts every year? Everyone knows a great present doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg—the right blend of clever, thoughtful, and funny can stretch a dollar farther than you might think. Mix it up with these unusual ideas that will leave him smiling all year long.

1. Drop dead gorgeous

Believe it or not, taxidermy is a dead-perfect gift right now. Don’t spend too much time wondering why. Taxidermy is totally a Thing this year. Everywhere you look in the hip parts of town, dead animals are lighting up the room, decorating the walls, even topping the Christmas tree. Some ladies even sport barrettes decorated with squirrels’ paws. If you can’t stand the idea of real dead animals, there are plenty of tongue-in-cheek substitutes, like this mounted deer head Lego kit.
2. Family matters

Sentimental value is one of the few things that actually can turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse. Ask around in your sweetheart’s family and see if someone is willing to part with a tool or toolbox that belonged to a beloved relative. This idea works best if the item is sentimental and practical all at the same time. He’ll thank you every time he stabs his enemies in the heart with grandpa’s buck knife or gives himself a close shave with great-uncle Al’s straight razor.
3. Presentation is everything

Remember when Winnie the Pooh ate the honey that he was going to give Eeyore for a birthday present? But he gave Eeyore the empty jar, anyway, called it a Useful Pot, and it was Eeyore’s favorite gift? The genius folks at the 826 Store have done a similar magic trick and you can, too. Buy him a Black Hole in a Can or a jar of Peg Leg Oil, and watch his eyes light up with wonder and delight.

Or you can do one better and make something yourself. If you make it yourself, you get the best of all possible worlds: handmade, inexpensive, memorable, and completely clever.
4. Everything old is new again

Nothing says one-of-a-kind-cool like an incredible vintage item It’s hard to go wrong with a vintage motorcycle jacket, but if your fellow is a little more uptown, try gorgeous silk ties, classic sterling cufflinks, or a serious antique watch. Those who have no patience for thrifting will be relieved to know that your local, hipster second-hand store should offer collections of treasures that have been thoughtfully curated for your shopping convenience.
5. Blast from the past

There’s an irresistible appeal to old magazines, especially magazines about subjects we love. Is your man into cars? Science? Cooking? No matter the hobby, there’s an amazing old magazine out there that would make a stellar gift. To make it even more interesting, try finding a magazine from the year he was born. Not sure where to start? eBay is your best friend for this one.
6. Bringing sexy back

We can thank Dita von Teese for today’s resurgence of tasteful, intelligent burlesque, and a renewed celebration of the art of the flirt. If you want to flirt your fellow up this holiday season, try finding him a cheeky old girlie calendar. Bonus points for finding one from an industry or brand related to his hobbies.

And if your man’s tastes run more to the masculine, try a vintage firefighters’ calendar. There’s nothing like 12 months of half-naked firemen to heat up his year.
7. It’s personal

What is your special man friend trying to accomplish lately? What values or activities make up his emotional foundation? If you can answer those questions, you’re halfway to an unforgettable present. The second step is to consider what item might symbolize the thing he’s trying to do or be, then give him a just-right version of it to keep on his desk. Whether it’s a statuette of the Egyptian god Thoth (god of writing, among other things) for an aspiring writer, a laughing Buddha for your stressed-out sweetheart, or even a replica of Indiana Jones’ fabled Golden Idol of Fertility for an adventuresome film buff—he’ll love having a physical reminder of his biggest dreams and deepest values.
8. Second life

Show him you’ve been paying attention and clear some clutter at the same time: Fix the broken thing that’s been sitting in the back of his closet for so long. You know the thing—everybody has one. It might be a perfectly worn-in pair of shoes that needs new soles, or a beloved bag that’s begging for a new strap. Or it might be that road bike that’s been crying for an overhaul since last summer when the gears started slipping and the tire went flat. Whatever it is, fix it. Then wrap it up and enjoy watching him have a second honeymoon with his favorite old thing.
9. Rock around the Christmas tree

There’s no school like the old school, and it doesn’t get any more old-school than a custom music mix. Pick a theme, and don’t be afraid to get personal Once you’ve perfected the mix, take the time to make a just-right CD cover with the track listings printed inside. It beats the pants off a gift card to 7-11.
10. Hark! The herald angels sing

With programs like GarageBand and Audacity at your fingertips, it’s easy to unleash your inner Gaga to create a present he’ll never forget. Show him what a rock star you are and record him his very own holiday song. Cover songs are moments, how great he looks in his PJs, or even just a loving celebration of his favorite things
11. Picture perfect

As Eudora Welty once said, “A good snapshot stops a moment from running away.” Nowadays most of us leave our precious moments locked in low-res limbo until we eventually lose them in a hard-drive crash. Be the exception to the rule and take high-resolution photos of your life together or things he loves, then print those babies out and put them in a book or in frames so he can admire them every day.
12. An idea whose time has (finally) come

Like good wine, marketing schwag is usually terrible the year it’s made. But give it a decade or two to mellow, and it transforms from garbage into gold. Hit the thrift stores, hipster vintage shops, and eBay auctions for schwag from his favorite industries. Try a Xerox PARC mouse pad for your favorite nerd, a Vespa windbreaker for the mod in your life, or an unopened pack of Apollo-Soyuz commemorative cigarettes for your beloved history buff. Isn’t the internet incredible?
13. Team player

Does your dude love sports? If “yes,” you are in luck! The world is full of hilarious, weird and wonderful sports paraphernalia that’s just waiting to become the world’s best holiday gift. Try giving him a Cornhuskers needlepoint pillow, or a mug from the Steelers’ 1975 Super Bowl victory over the Vikings. Or what about a black-velvet painting of Tom Brady? You could even go totally overboard and give him the entire lineup of his favorite team—in bobblehead dolls. Game on!
14. Freeze frame

Vinyl albums will always hold a special place in people’s hearts, and it’s not just because of that special, scratchy sound—it’s the album art that wins the day. Dust off his stash of precious vinyl and put it where it belongs: on display! Stores like IKEA and Urban Outfitters sell frames especially made for album covers, so it’s easy to slide that copy of the Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers into an archival frame and back into the spotlight it deserves.
15. Playing for keeps

Take his holiday to the next level with a bigger-than-life version of the ultimate party game: Giant Jenga. All you have to do is cut down a couple of 1"x4"s into 54 identical pieces, stack them on a sturdy table in your garage, basement, or driveway, and watch as everyone who walks by gets sucked into the mesmerizing, totally social activity of pulling one...more...piece out and stacking it on top of the teetering tower. You might include a couple of crash helmets with this present, just to be on the safe side.
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