18 Romantic Gifts for Him
You love him, so the pressure is on! You want any present you bestow to be just right. Whether you’re searching for his big present for the year or one of a bunch of small tokens, you want to choose a holiday gift that tells him how much you feel and shows that you understand him. The gift should also be something that will be used with loving thoughts. So do a little character analysis: What is his romantic style? What are his interests? Is he quiet or loquacious? Does he enjoy romancing you, or is he less apt to be expressive about his emotions? Is he into clothing (evidence: he has a subscription to GQ), or is he happy to have you pick things out for him, because shopping is the last thing in the world that he wants to do? If you can read his character correctly, the greater the chances for the gift to be a success. You’ll know this by the fact that he uses it. Let’s say your fellow is already a romancer. Congratulations! You don’t need to cultivate that quality. However, if he is more reserved and you would like to bring out the cavalier in him, these romantic gifts might do the trick. Read on, for a curated selection of gifts that say “love”—hopefully in a language that speaks to him. And when that loving gift is returned to you, you will know in your heart why it is better to give than to receive.
Letters to the Love of My Life Read Me When Box
Writing love letters sounds like a romantic memory of the Victorian era. But you can bring that romantic dream alive again. You just have to put pen to paper. This fill in the blank set of notes guides a modern lover along the way. Each paper features prompts with blanks that you fill in with the appropriate sentiments. Example: “I love celebrating the special day we _______. I’ll never forget it, even the _______ parts.” Seal the envelopes and place in the keepsake box. Send the letters as needed for a dose of romance. The set comes with nine cards and matching envelopes.
To buy: $18, amazon.com.
Get It On Body Wash by Plant Bath & Shower Gel
There are times when that old, familiar bar of supermarket soap simply isn’t inspiring enough. When boredom strikes, let him break out this gorgeous-smelling shower gel (or bubble bath!) from Plant. With notes of sandalwood, cedar, and ginger, it’s the perfect squeeze. The formula, which comes in a 9.3-ounce plastic bottle, is also all-natural and contains no parabens, petroleum products, or silicones. And the gentle lather is suitable for sensitive skin. By the way, the body wash is made in New York State by handicapped adults at nonprofit workshops. So you can feel even more better all over.
To buy: $20, plus $3.95 shipping, amazon.com.
The Vice Collection Candy Gift Set
Booze and candy. Some folk consider booze to be a vice; and some folk (you know, a lot of those healthy eaters) think that candy is, too. Sugarfina’s “Vice Collection” combines the two sinful treats, so this may be the fast—but very delicious!—road to perdition. In the set, there are three varieties, which pair dark chocolate and fine-quality liquor. Included are: single malt Scotch cordials, Cuba Libre gummies, and maple bourbon caramels. He’ll get 3.25 ounces of each decadent flavor, all packed in Lucite compartments, and then nestled in a handsome reusable gift box.
To buy: $26, nordstrom.com.
A Little Box of Romance
This neat box of romantic coupons is a fun and right-to-the-point way to put in an order for a bit of romance. He can ask for, say, a “Home Cooked Meal,” a “Serenade,” a “Candlelit Bath,” an “Active Date,” or a “Starlight Picnic.” Then he checks the box on his coupon of choice for more specific details. For example, the Active Date has a choice of skydiving, bowling, bicycling, dancing, or hiking—plus, there’s a line left blank that he can fill in if he has some other idea in mind. Each of the 24 cards is printed on heavy cardstock.
To buy: $12 for a box set, flytrapone.etsy.com.
A World of I Love You Poster
If what his world needs now is love, sweet love, this poster will tell him how much he is loved over and over again. Tim and Aurelia Sanders have created a map of the world that phonetically shows you how to say “I love you” in 50 different languages from around the world, including Cherokee, Mongolian, Hindi, Scots, and Icelandic. A romantic choice for any man who loves languages, geography, or, well, love itself. The poster, which is made in the United States, is printed with archival ink and measures 18 inches high by 24 inches wide.
To buy: $25, uncommongoods.com.
All I Want Is Ewe T-shirt
“Every Christmas it’s the same: I always end up playing a shepherd,” says Shermy in the holiday TV classic A Charlie Brown Christmas. (Hey, everyone can’t be the director, Shermy. And there are no small parts, only small actors.) This pro-sheep tee will tell your favorite overlooked shepherd—or muttonchops wearer, weaver, cheese maker, or Aries—just how much he means to you. The shirt is made from cotton (not wool, shockingly), and it comes in three color choices: black, white, and heather grey. Available in sizes XS to XL. Ships from the United Kingdom.
To buy: $12, plus $7.65 shipping, geekdownapparel.etsy.com.
Staheekum Country Slippers
Winter mornings can test the human spirit. The darkness and the cold are forces to battle. Let him take on the challenge of the weather and the day ahead by outfitting him with these warm, cozy, tough slippers. Leather uppers with a cheery Buffalo plaid lining are warm and sturdy, and the rubbers soles allow for quick trips to the wood pile or the street to set the trash out. The shoes are available in whole sizes only, from 8 to 14. Narrow and medium-width half sizes should order the next size down; wide-width half sizes should order the next size up.
To buy: $30, nordstrom.com.
Tabasco Mini To Go Travel Hot Sauces
Is your guy, shall we say, a little on the fussy side when it comes to condiments? Does he freak out if the ketchup is not the right brand or the mustard is, sacrÃ© bleu, French? If the answer is oui, then this pack of three mini bottles of genuine McIlhenny Tabasco sauce—original red pepper, green jalapeÃ±o, and chipotle—might avoid a mealtime meltdown someday. They’re a cinch to pocket and carry into the stadium, the office, or—heck—even the local fast-food joint. Each bottle contains ⅛th of an ounce of sauce.
To buy: $10 for pack of three, amazon.com.
Cuddle Aromatherapy Candle
Candlelight and romance—they’re a classic combination. Add in a touch of aromatherapy to enhance the romantic mood that you’re seeking and you have a modern recipe for a special evening. Aroma Lab’s candles are handmade, organic, and crafted with natural soy wax and essential oils. You can choose from eight scents designed to create a positive mood: Lemongrass, Lavender, Cinnamon, Bergamot, Cedar Ylang-Ylang, Spearmint, and Verbena. The candle burns for over 50 hours with a wooden wick that crackles like a wood fire; the company recommends burning the candle for two hours at a time. Comes in a lidded metal tin.
To buy: $25, plus $7 shipping, aromalab.etsy.com.
My Life Story—So Far
You love him, but you might not know everything about him. This journal, with nine sections—including Early Years, Family Roots, Love & Marriage, Starting a Family, and Work & Career—has prompts that will allow him to fill in the memories, thoughts, and stories that make up his life story. And the things that he hopes to do, too. His life story will become a record that you and your children (and their children) will hold on to forever. It’s also a thoughtful choice for grandparents to fill out for the younger set. The 106-page do-it-yourself tome comes with adhesive photo corners, so he can include visual memories, too.
To buy: $30, uncommongoods.com.
Valley Cruise Press X UO Burger and Fries Pin Set
If you’re feeling those White Castle Blues in the night, longing for the one you love, it may be time to take it to the next level and make it official. Yes, propose that you share and wear these best-friends pins over your hearts. Because the two of you go together like a burger and fries. Or because you both can’t live without burgers and fries. Or maybe he’s the burger, and you’re the fries, or vice versa. Heck, have it your way! The fun duo is made of enamel and metal, with rubber clutch backings.
To buy: $20, urbanoutfitters.com.
Owen & Fred Another Great Idea Pen
Sleek good looks, a witty outlook, and all-American! Does the perfectly describe your guy or this pen from Owen & Fred? We’re betting on both. Elevate the ordinary moments by stuffing his stocking with an inspiring ballpoint pen—or two or three. Pair it with the company’s Stay Sharp pencils ($5 for a set of four) and one of the many notebooks offered (may we suggest this beautiful black leather version) to give his desk a more complete makeover. Pens available in blue, maroon, white, and black.
To buy: $7, owenandfred.com.
What I Love About You Book By Me
When you want to tell him just how much he means to you, but can’t find the words to say it out loud, let this fill-in-the-blank book guide you (and serve as a lasting reminder of all those nice things you had to say). Each page of the hardcover 112-page book has a prompt—like “I love your…” and “You’re my favorite…in the world.” The best part about having a starting point? It relieves your mental block, but then you can take the sentiment wherever you want it to go, be it thoughtful, racy, or somewhere in between.
To buy: $7, amazon.com.
Date Bucket List
Feel like you’ve exhausted all of the good choices on Netflix? Or maybe you’re simply starting to get a little bit of cabin fever? When you’re stuck in a date-night rut, look to this fun game for ideas that’ll get you off the couch and out of the house in no time. And they’re not all nighttime activities, either. The bucket, which is small enough to fit in your desk drawer, comes with 25 practical ideas, like getting up early to watch the sunrise and grabbing breakfast afterward or attend a lecture at a local museum or university.
To buy: $18, uncommongoods.com.
Date Night In: More Than 120 Recipes to Nourish Your Relationship
The couple who cooks together stays together. OK, that might not actually be a saying, but this cookbook, which promises more than 100 recipes to nourish your body and your relationship—will certainly spice things up. The recipes—from appetizers like crostini with ricotta to dinners like fennel-crusted lamb chops, and desserts like dulce de leche and nectarine creamsicles—may sound and feel fanciful enough for a date night out, but they are actually easy enough to pull together in your own kitchen. Also available in an e-book, so you can prop your tablet up and get cooking.
To buy: $17, amazon.com.
Love Potion Cocktail Kit
When you need a little help igniting that spark—or want to take things to new heights—indulge yourselves in this liquid aphrodisiac. This “love potion” features a variety of high-quality ingredients—star anise, paradise seed, rose hips, raw honey—that have been carefully selected for their supposed lust-inducing qualities. Plus, mixing up the beverage is a fun activity for a cold winter afternoon. The whole kit comes packaged in a pretty cloth bag that can be used to tote the potion to a party, too.
To buy: $42 for the kit and one recipe pack (or $50 for the kit and two recipe packs), sundrybrew.etsy.com.
Hey Handsome Shaving Kit Bag
For the guy who totes his shampoo, razor, and other grooming essentials in a plastic bag when he leaves home, a gift that takes his travel style up a notch—and compliments him on his good looks at the same time. Even if you tell him how handsome he is on a daily basis, let this dopp kit pass the message along even when he’s out of town. Accented with navy blue, the light brown nylon bag is just as attractive as he is. Plus, it’s roomy enough to hold everything he needs, even for a whole week away.
To buy: $68, ahalife.com.
Custom Beer Labels
After a long day, coming home with a six-pack of his favorite brew is a nice gesture. But these labels take the gift to another level, and make the brown bottles worthy of a special holiday or occasion. Simply upload three of his favorite photos (one from a few different stages of his life could be a fun idea!) and add text, if desired. Then, scrape off the original beer labels (a little bit of Goo Gone does wonders to remove any excess adhesive) and replace them with the new and improved personalized ones.
To buy: $12 for 15, pinholepress.com.