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Love Happy: How to buy a great gift for your guy

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of  topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...

Holiday buying tips for your honey

Welcome to Love Happy, where we help you successfully navigate the ups and downs of relationship life and share simple tips for keeping love fun, fresh and on track. With the holiday season in full swing, we’re sharing tips for buying for your guy.

Woman giving boyfriend a gift

Buying for boys

Men are notoriously hard to buy for. They either have everything or claim they don't want anything (which is no fun), so what's a girl to do? If your guy is as hard to shop for as mine, you need to get creative. I've developed a few strategies over the years that have made holiday shopping for your guy easier. With that in mind, I wanted to share my three-step shopping system that just might take the stress out of your next trip to the mall.

Consider his interests

What does he like to do? Is he into music, a specific sport, cooking or outdoorsy pursuits? Think about what his interests are and do a little digging (when he's not looking) to find out what he's missing or what could make his favorite activity even better. Chances are there's something he's talked about (which, granted you might have tuned out), so dig into the far reaches of your memory to see if you can come up with anything he's been mentioning a lot lately.

Do your research

The trick to buying something that's both useful to him and that he'll love is in the research. Just because he loves camping doesn't mean you can go to any outdoor supply store and buy the first tent you see -- just like any random pair of headphones isn't going to impress the music lover in your life. You have to roll up your sleeves and put some effort into figuring out what he will be the most excited about. Read reviews, visit message boards to get a sense of what other people interested in the same thing want most or like best, go to stores and talk to salespeople -- make sure that what you buy will be something he would actually want.

Create an experience

Once you've decided on the big item (the one you spent all that time researching), now it's time to get creative. Rather than just wrapping the box and putting a bow on it, create an experience around whatever it is you bought. We'll use camping as an example since that's my guy's number one love (after me, of course). If I buy him the camp stove he's been coveting (something I'm considering), I will also get him a few smaller, related items. Some can be practical (bug spray, sunscreen) while others can be more fun (a bag of marshmallows or a smores-making kit). Then I would package it all up in a backpack to complete the camping-inspired gift. Have fun with it!

Happy shopping!

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