Your guy is not easy to shop for. Give him something he needs and something he'll love.
If your guy is like the rest of us, he is not easy to shop for. There's a weird guy habit of going out and buying something as soon as we need it. So the key to a great guy gift is finding something he didn't realize he needed but that will improve his life, or surprising him with something totally unnecessary that he'll absolutely love. In this gift guide we've provided you with 10 gifts that'll make him a better guy, as well as 10 gifts that'll blow his mind with their awesomeness. We've hit stuff across all budget ranges and have included items for all LoveStages so whether you've been dating a few months or married 15 years, we've got a gift for your guy.
Improve His Life With: Leather Bound Books. Nothing says classy like leather bound books (along with the rich smell of Mahogany). Nothing says lame like fake ones. Start his collection with The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes. From Franklin Books: $49.
Blow His Mind With: Indiana Jones The Complete Adventure Collection. All four movies are digitally mastered and ready to rock. Spielberg throws in a few fun extras and deleted scenes. (And you don't have to watch Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull if you don't want to.) From Amazon: $60.
Improve His Life With: A European Vacation. Who among us couldn't use a trip to the old country? The down economy (let's not use the "R" word) means travel packages are cheaper than usual, and the dollar is rebounding a little so you won't get raked over the coals during your 6-day stay in London and Paris. Virgin Vacations has packages that start around $1,000 per person.
Blow His Mind With: The Kentucky Derby. Every year in early May a bunch of horses sprint for two minutes in a place called Churchill Downs, Kentucky. And we love them for it. Be sure to bring a floppy hat, a healthy appetite for mint juleps and enough cash to make that trifecta worthwhile. Benchwarmer Sports has packages starting around $1,100 a head (double occupancy, flight not included).
Improve His Life With: Cologne. Every dude needs a little bit of the lady-killer from time to time. Why? I've never been sure. It could do with the enhanced female sense of smell. Issey Miyake makes some pretty nice-smelling Eau de Toilette Pour Homme (Which I think means toilet water for the home...) MyPerfumeSource has this for $69 for a 4.2 oz bottle.
Blow His Mind With: Cigars. Sure these little bundles of tobacco are not particularly good for you, but dudes love 'em. Whatever the reason it's a great way to celebrate any life victory from a wedding or new baby all the way down to good day at the horse track. Nat Sherman sells a nice little variety pack: $67 (Taxes for NY or CA buyers are going to add a little.)
Improve His Life With: A Learning Universal Remote. When you add the TV to the cable box to the stereo to the DVD player to the AppleTV your coffee table becomes a home for nothing but controllers. Many universal remotes require a great deal of programming and never really mimic the function of all the individual devices. That's why you need a learning remote to pick up all the moves of your component remotes. Marantz makes a top-of-the-line product: $200 range.
Blow His Mind With: Skydiving. Why dive into an afternoon of TV when you can dive out of a perfectly safe airplane? Skydiving is one of the greatest clothes-on, drugs-free thrills out there. Soaring Adventures of America will send you on a tandem jump: $169 (They've got hot-air balloons if your guy is less of an adrenaline junkie).
Improve His Life With: A Steak Dinner. Since crawling out of the caves, men have craved meat. Most of us will chow down on brontosaurus, bologna or bovine, day or night. Treat him to a nice steak dinner in a real steak house. Mortons has locations in most major cities. They have a surf and turf for two that runs $99 (before tax, tip and beverage). They'll also throw in and extra $100 for each $500 you put on a gift card.
Blow His Mind With: A Grill And Steaks. This one's a combo. Even bad cuts of meat taste much better when they come off of your own grill. Weber makes a nice propane grill (let's skip the gas vs. charcoal, debate OK?) with a side heater for $259 (get it at Home Depot). And throw in 6 8-oz fillets and 6 6-oz lobster tails from Omaha Steaks for another $179. If you're keeping score, that's 6 meals and a grill for $440 vs. Morton's $500.
Improve His Life With: A Leatherman. The greatest combination of small tools ever assembled. If he needs to cut it, screw it, open it, saw it or ply it, this contraption has his back. The zinc coating and titanium construction will keep this thing around for a long time, unless you bring it to the airport. You could probably build your own plane with it, though. REI sells these utensils: $120.
Blow His Mind With: Binoculars. I like to call them field glasses, and every guy could use a set. They turn cheap seats at sporting events into expensive ones. They make every outdoor activity a little more fun. Plus with this in hand he's won't be expected to know how to do stuff, unlike the with Leatherman. It's probably a bad idea to be seen using these while facing a neighbor's house. Binoculars.com sells the Zhumell 10x42: $129 (an incredible price).
Improve His Life With: Coupons. This is an oldie but goody. A few note card-sized pieces of paper can allow him to cash in on his favorite meal, a 30-minute massage or something more risque. The cost is free outside of materials. I recommend using macaroni and glitter.
Blow His Mind With: The Anti-Coupon. This is very similar to the coupon, except it's more like a get-out-of-jail free card. If he feels like blowing off an afternoon of errands and chores, he can redeem one of these tickets. A coupon that lets him win an argument for free might be a nice touch. You should think about putting an expiration date on these. The cost of this is free but it may cost you your sanity.
Improve His Life With: Brown Liquor. At a certain age, it's expected that any man who boozes drinks scotch ("I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Here it goes down into my belly...") And one of the grand-daddies of the scotch biz is Johnnie Walker. If it's a nice gift, go with Johnnie Walker Blue Label. Grand Wine Cellar has good prices: $200.
Blow His Mind With:The Kegerator. It is a refrigerator for a keg and it is awesome. Every guy who boozes has wanted one of these babies since he was in college (if not before). This fridge might be best kept in a parlor, garage or any other manly room you may have. You'll need to purchase a CO2 canister separately. Sorry, this gift runs a little more than the scotch. You can pick up the Keg O Rator at Walmart: $350.
Improve His Life With: Charity. Sometimes he just doesn't need any more stuff and you realize that other people could use more stuff and it's the circle of life or something. That's when giving to a charity in his name comes in handy. Be sure not to use the Human Fund, everyone's onto that trick. I'm reasonably sure that he can deduct from his taxes because of a charitable contribution in his name, so it's really a gift that keeps giving through April. Somehow, people have weird hangups with certain charities, so just give some money to whomever he agrees with. I'm a fan of Superman and spinal cords, so I'd go with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.
Blow His Mind With: Volunteering. Giving money is nice, but giving your time is slightly nicer (unless you're giving a lot of money). Volunteering to help kids is a life-changing experience and it's something you can do together. You can even see Role Models as inspiration. There are dozens of organizations that you can sign on with, but Big Brothers Big Sisters is a good place to start.
Improve His Life With: Surround Sound. There's a good chance that he'd feel a little weird if you bought him a TV. But a lot guys are a little clueless about sound systems and have a good chance of being suckered into an over-priced rig by a conniving sales guy. Hook him up with the Sony Bravia 5-1 Channel Micro Home Theater System. Sony makes good products across their lines and the five tiny speaker won't dominate the room. You can find this system at Best Buy: $700.
Blow His Mind With: Vu Qube Portable Satellite. My favorite gift in the guide, this 10 lb. box allows you to pick up satellite television in almost any continental US location. This is perfect for tailgating, camping and other remote outdoors-y events that could use a little bit of creature comfort. Best Buy sells these, too: $670.