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Topic: Christmas ideas for my boyfriend who's impossible to get things for?  (Read 2653 times)
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« on: November 25, 2012 01:30:00 PM »

So, I need help thinking of something to make for my boyfriend of (almost) six years (it'll be six by Christmas Tongue). I'm a very very broke college student and can't afford to spend much of anything on anyone this, which, sadly, includes him. Time's also an issue, since my term ends on December 21st and I'm guaranteed to work full time on the 23rd and 24th. Yay~

The big issue: He is virtually impossible to get gifts for. If he wants/needs absolutely anything, he'll just go ahead and buy it for himself or it will be too expensive for me to get him anyway. He also doesn't like impractical gifts (ie. I am never making him another stuffed anything) despite having an attraction to classic romance (for our anniversary last year, he gave me a very sweet framed letter describing his feelings for me and how he felt when we first met and started dating, etc.).

He also doesn't change his ways very easily. For instance, he only does laundry when he has to and just lets the dirty and clean clothes pile up on either side of his bed; I considered getting him some hampers for organization, but I know he'd never use them because his current method is easier for him. I know it kind of sounds like he's a slob, but his house is actually surprisingly clean, despite the aforementioned silliness.
He really cares about his own personal hygiene and appearance, too. I think the messiness comes from sharing a good-sized house with his brother while both of them work very physically-demanding jobs. Essentially, they're just to tired to care.

So, anyway, the easy-to-follow break-down:

Life situation:
- 23 years old
- Shares a house with his older brother
- There is a bar in his basement
- Fairly set in his ways (won't change basic routine easily/ever)
- Works landscaping full time (very physically demanding)
- Has a (currently work-in-progress) Skyline and a not-quite-beater car
- His mother can cook/bake anything, including amazing traditional German desserts (ie. I cannot compete, ever, and I've tried)
- In the (very slow-going) process of remodelling the house with his brother and the help of their dad (currently needs to finish his en suite)

- Classic romantic gestures
- Computer games (Starcraft II, Doom, and HON, mostly)
- First-person shooters (Call of Duty, currently Halo)
- Blue, black, navy, and grey
- Dressing well (suit/tie/cufflinks/etc.) when he gets the change
- Experimenting with different alcoholic drinks (he already has a few books/other resources for this)
- Various anime
- Occasionally the Yu-Gi-Oh card game (we play this with friends and go through kicks of interest)
- Chocolate, milk or dark
- Coffee and tea (he likes things with a hint of bitterness)
- Brain teasers/puzzles
- All sorts of music (Iron Maiden, Sonata Arctica, random indie/punk stuff he finds online, classical, etc.)
- Head phones (high quality, not popular mainstream brands)
- Rage comics

- Impractical gifts
- Reading (I've tried giving him books on topics he likes, but he's really just not a sit down and read kinda guy; he likes reading stuff online, though)
- Kitschy/childish-looking things

Things I've already made/given him in the past:
- A quilt in his favourite colours
- A pillow to match the quilt
- So many clothes
- Stencilled shirts
- A stuffed something-or-rather wolf monster thing
- A Starcraft comic
- Cuff links (they're his favourite wearable thing, but I've already gotten him two sets)
- Shot glasses
- High-ball glasses
- Martini shaker
- Beer-scented caffeinated soap (okay, it was mostly a gag gift)
- Rare Yu-Gi-Oh cards
- Movie night featuring his favourite movies, hot chocolate, his favourite snacks, and lots of cuddling
- A toque in his favourite colours
- A lot of brain teaser books and puzzles
- Booklet of 52 reasons I love him
- Amusing embroidered novelty dice with adult things written on them (ie. the most hilariously entertaining thing I made that year)
- Paintings for his bar
- A scarf to match his toque

What I can do:
- Sew stuffed animals and clothing (I'm studying fashion design and merchandising, so I'd be more than capable of making him a nice shirt or pants if I actually had the time to draft the pattern and execute it, which, sadly, I don't)
- Stencil things
- Sculpt (sort of)
- Draw/paint
- Write vaguely poetic sounding things on occasion
- Make bound books/journals (I made these for a bunch of people a couple Christmases ago)

Long story short, he is much better at coming up with gift ideas and I'm much easier to get things for, haha.

What I've thought of so far:
- I'm planning to make him some form of heating pad to help him relax after work.
- I think I'm also going to stencil a t-shirt or two for him, but I still have to figure out what to put on them. This may apply to painting a coffee mug, too/instead.
- I bought him an old, hard-to-find PS2 game he's been wanting, but I offered to my parents to give him since they're having more trouble than I am
- Since our anniversary is just over a week before Christmas, I'll be giving him a fancy new car air freshener since you can't get more practical than that. He'll also get chocolates or cookies to balance it out.

What I probably won't consider:
I've already exhausted bar accessories, as well as cuff links, brain teasers, and trinkets. He's also not as appreciative of food as I am (not to mention his crazy, magic, food-making mother), so I don't want to go that route at all. The walls of the bar/rec room area are now also completely covered). As much as I'd love to do something similar to the letter he gave me, I'm not nearly as thoughtful or romantic as he is, and I don't want it to seem like I just copied what he did last year.

Thanks for taking the time to read my wall of text. Any suggestions would be more than welcome. Smiley
« Last Edit: November 25, 2012 01:32:20 PM by Gracewolf » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2012 01:52:58 PM »

If he lives with his brother (i.e. you don't live together) how about some vouchers? Eminently practical and yet (at least in my eyes) quite romantic too.

I mean some cooking vouchers for use when he and his brother are too shattered after work to cook, he could ring up and you'll go over and cook for him, no strings attached. Much nicer than a takeaway I think.

It may not be practical for you, but I'm sure you could think of similar more suitable ideas if you wanted.

Look twice, buy once. Nooooo
Look twice, decide I can make one instead.
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2012 01:53:16 PM »

Tile coasters (do a Craftster search on what previous posters have done) with pics of you both, logos of games or bands he likes, etc.?  Photos and printed logos could be decoupaged or you could paint your own designs.  I haven't done this myself, so I'd caveat this with checking drying times on some of the materials.

Another idea: the pillow you spoke of--you could stuff it with rice or flax seeds, so it can be microwaved for warmth.  Folks on this board have made eye pillows of this sort.  You could also supplement the rice / flax with some lavender for some fragrance.

Sew a simple scarf for winter use?  Are you opposed to using a ready-made pattern instead of drafting your own?  Are there online patterns you can use?  

Your idea about the coffee mugs is good as well.

The above ideas would require researching ideas and possibly ordering stuff online before you get off work (except for maybe getting tiles from a hardware store or fabric), but the actually assembly and work could be done in relatively short order.

I also wanted to add that your OP is very detailed and helpful.  Providing your budget, time constraints, skill set, recipient interests, and what you've given before makes coming up with viable ideas so helpful for posters who respond.  Good luck!
« Last Edit: November 30, 2012 02:02:52 PM by BoxOfRocks » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2012 08:07:59 PM »

If you will be giving him any more shirts, I recommend sewing a heart with your names on it on the inside of the shirt. Its close to his heart and romantic but on the inside, he can keep the mushy stuff just for the 2 of you. This is great for sweatshirts and thick winter clothes.- romantic

Male snacks- nuts, beef jerky,crackers, chips, specialty coffees or energy drinks in a plain paint can from the hardware sore or black toolbox from dollar tree with a gas card...complete with an invitation to go where ever he wants to go- practical

Membership to state or national parks -a picnic?

As a mother, I can tell you if he likes you enough your burnt cooking on its very worst day taste better than his mothers best gourmet cooking- you shouldn't bother to compete. He will always love that woman but he is only hearing one out of every four words she says, what you do is ingrained. But, you should cook for him. Men are practical. Food, sleep, sex. Dinner and cooperation is pretty much all most want. - you really have already won even without German cuisine

« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2012 08:50:25 PM »

Thank you all for your excellent suggestions!

I've made myself a list of everything that I think he'll like and anything I don't wind up doing for our anniversary or Christmas will definitely be getting used for other occasions over the year. Conveniently, on top of this, my parents managed to find something for him, so I'll also be able to give him the game I picked up. Smiley

He won't be getting another toy tiger after all! (When we first started dating, I had no idea what to get him ever, so I just bought him tiger figurines for every occasions since he said they were his favourite animal; they aren't anymore, haha)
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2012 10:50:00 PM »

You could make him some flavored vodka for his bar. I have heard of skittle,candy cane,and other flavors of vodka given as gifts. All you need is vodka and the flavor that you are adding.

Also for his mug or tshirt I would think painting his xbox live name on them would be neat.
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