What to Buy for Guys (Or, Please Rule Out the Sewing Machine)

Blog / Produced by The High Calling

My husband Peter is the hardest person in the world to buy presents for!

He knows exactly what he wants and it’s usually technical in nature. This man, who lives for the monthly arrival of his Consumer Reports magazine, has thoroughly researched every technical item he’s ever wanted. He can tell you features, pricing and the “Best Buy” in any category, technology or otherwise. For example, this year he wants one of those all-in-one remote controls. I, on the other hand, don’t even know how to work the 12 that we already own. As a result, I never turn on the television. Seriously.

(Did you see the Modern Family episode when Claire had to ask her daughter – under the cover of darkness – to help her learn how to use their remote? That’s totally ME!)

Like his father before him, Peter LOVES gadgets. If it has “As Seen On TV” on the package, his saliva glands immediately activate! I, on the other hand, am a simpleton. I have an iPhone, but probably only use a minute amount of its total capacity. We have a camera with all sorts of features, but my favorite mode is “Auto” and I’m pretty sure I think I’ve only used our video camera once or twice.

Interpretation: I don’t get my husband’s infatuation with and desire for all things gadgety. How can I buy something I don’t understand?

But it’s not just technology that plays into the equation. I can’t ever seem to find “the perfect gift” for Peter. Oh, how I’d love to find the thing that might possibly have sentimental significance! Or even the one item he frequently mentions he’d like to have.

Not that I haven’t tried!

A couple of years ago, I was on the right track. Throughout the year, Peter said, “I wish I had” such and such, or “If I only had a” so and so. You know those times? Well, I paid attention and knew with certain clarity that Peter would be thrilled with my idea.

I researched it online and found the best deal on a simple sewing machine. I purchased it through my Swedish bank account so he wouldn’t find out what it was. Then, I shopped locally for all the accouterments. As I walked through the aisles of the fabric store, my own sense of excitement was building. I was so proud of myself!

I wrapped the sewing machine separate from all the corresponding items and placed them under the tree. He’d have to open the smaller presents first, you know, build momentum! I even bought things for his stocking that worked with the whole theme.

Here’s a short list of all the cool stuff I bought

• Sewing machine – duh!
• Fleece reindeer fabric because he was always talking about how challenging it is to find
pajama pants that are long enough
• Pattern for said pajama pants
• Extra fabric for the entire family and extra patterns (oh, even now, the thought of him
unwrapping all that fabric…makes me laugh)
• Sewing box with all the fixin’s
• Thread and bobbins and scissors
• Seam rippers and that wheely gadget for marking patterns … well, you get the idea

I couldn’t WAIT to see his face. He was going to be so excited to get something he really wanted!

Needless to say, Peter was NOT as ecstatic with my well-thought-out presents as I had hoped. (But I still cling to my original reason for the whole sewing machine fiasco. He’s said on more than one occasion, “If I only had a sewing machine…”)

To add insult to injury, this was the same Christmas that Peter gave me a beautiful pearl necklace that matched the earrings he gave me when we were engaged, and the bracelet I received that Valentine’s Day.

Lest you feel badly for Peter, don’t. I felt so bad by the end of the holiday, that he scored a giant flat screen TV just after the first of the year.

“Wah wah wah wah wah,” she said, in her best Charlie Brown teacher voice.

I wish you could hear Peter’s version of the story. Too bad he made me delete the video from that Christmas morning.

(Did you see that episode of Modern Family, where Claire thinks she knows exactly what to give Phil for their anniversary? The guy from Spandeau Ballet, singing their song? Only it wasn’t their song? Oh. My. Gosh! That’s ME!)

For the record, I still have no idea what I’m getting him this year, but I’m sure he’s afraid. Very afraid.

This post is a reprint of a post originally called "The Worst Christmas Gift Ever," by Cheryl Smith.

After hearing of David's and Cheryl's gift woes (and admitting a few of our own), TheHighCalling Team got together in our virtual office. There, amidst laughs and a lot of good Christmas cheer, we brainstormed about gift ideas. All of us liked the idea of "humanitarian" gifts, so we're including links to our favorite charitable gift places below.

But we also found that many of us love to share gifts we wrap and hand to our families and friends. Most of us admitted we like to receive gifts too! Check out our favorite gifts wished-for, received, given, and about-to-be-given. If you want to guess who suggested certain items in the gift-ideas box below, we bet you could figure it out!