Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Presents for Men

 A little departure from all the spring cleaning as today is my Dad's birthday - Happy Birthday!
Men are notoriously difficult to buy presents for they don't like smellies or nick knacks, their interests tend to be specialist and their hobbies expensive.  Perhaps the way forward is a home made gift especially for them.  Here are my tips for the different types of men you may have in your life

The foodie - How about a hamper of homemade jams, or a trio of homemade liquors.  This will require some preparation and forethought but I think the key in transforming a gift like this is presentation.  Check out Creature Comforts blog for lots of free printable labels and wrapping ideas.  Also these adorable jam labels are really special.  Keep an eye out in charity shops for wicker baskets to really set your hamper off.

The outdoor type - Check out Martha Stewart's map coasters - find the maps in charity shops.

The Gardener - Take a log and drill holes of varying sizes straight into the log.  Use chunky garden twine or rope so the log can be hung up, and you have a bug house.

The Arty Type - Buy inexpensive post cards of a favourite place or just nice images and find frames to do up in charity shops.  I did this for my husband one year.  I found lovely sepia images of Cambridge, his favourite city and where we met.  I met a local artist recently who has produced some stunning and very contemporary images of Ely Cathedral - they would make a lovely gift.
Trendy type - Sew or knit a gadget cover for their i-pod, laptop, kindle, smart phone etc etc.
Executive type - Use a template (such as these) to make a personalised desk calender.

Grandpa/Great Grandpa's - very very tricky to buy for.  I have found treats tend to go down well - my Grandpa loves walnuts, so a nice bag of wild walnuts goes down very well (lots of trees around here).  My Grandad loved crystallised ginger so I buy a big bag in a health food shop and re- package it and make it look more attractive.  Do bear in mind Grandparents sometimes have false teeth, sensitive tummies, restricted diets and live on their own.  Don't give them gifts that need eating quickly.  If you are unsure a photograph of you or their great grandchildren for their boasting book will always be well received.  


  1. I have a great man gift, which my granddad gets for Christmas every year;

    Take 400 g marzipan
    colour about half with a drop or two of red food colour
    mix in a teaspoon or two of cognac or liquor of your choice. Use icing sugar to keep the marzipan from getting too wet.
    Mix in finely chopped dark chocolate and walnuts.
    Shape into an inch-thick sausage - it should be about 15cm long.

    Take the remaining white marzipan and roll out to about three millimeters thick, it should be 4-5 cm wider than the sausage.
    Cut the edge straight on the longer side, cover the sausage, and cut off any excess. Wrap the edges nicely, or cut off straight if you find it too difficult.

    Sprinkle with icing sugar to keep it from sticking, and wrap in alu-foil.

    I've made this for my granddad for more than ten years now, he say's it wouldn't be proper Christmas without it! Great for a marzipan lover!

    Let the kids (any age!) have fun with the leftovers of marzipan and food colour. Make shapes, funny animals, or whatever you like! Just remember to cover your table with a wax tablecloth that you don't mind gets a bit of food colour here and there.

    1. Hi Grethe, this is a great tip I'm going to do this for my Grandpa this Christmas as he loves marzipan. Thank you for sharing this tip. proving yet again you don't have to spend a lot of money to give a gift that is appreciated.

  2. Love these ideas! Iv been toying with this idea for christmas, putting together homemade hampers for everyone. Will definately be giving the marzipan recipe a go too, sounds delicious. Esther x x