Sometimes the men in our lives are the hardest to shop for. When it comes to giving your boyfriend, husband or special guy in your life a fun gift, you may typically think to run to GameStop and grab the latest Call of Duty, or a bottle of his favorite bourbon, the annual new tie, or some new socks (because crazy socks never go out of style). But while those gifts work, they don’t always have the meaning you were hoping for, even as a last minute gift. 

A new project

Maybe the guy in your life isn’t thrilled about big projects like building a shed in the backyard or retiling a bathroom. But ultimately, studies show that men do appreciate feeling needed and often enjoy projects that they can oversee.

That said, this doesn’t mean your gift should be a card with your ever-growing “Honey-Do” list. Instead give him something he can work on and tinker with. It can be hands-on and reminiscent of his favorite childhood activity, like Legos, or something bigger, like a new gadget to build that he can use as part of his favorite hobby. If he likes photography, consider a Polaroid camera, film, and a list of photo idea starters to create a memorable album to look back on.

When considering gifting something that involves a project, be sure to look for something that will make him feel productive, but also something that makes him feel reflective. Some of the best gift projects are those that remind someone of their favorite memories. Which brings us to the next idea.

Something sentimental

Believe it or not, guys really do appreciate sentimental gifts. Whether you haven’t seen him in a while, or have just hit a milestone in your relationship, giving a gift that actually means something and isn’t simply a material item can make such a substantial impact.. If you’re artistic, create something unique for him.

If you know him better than anyone, find something that hits that nostalgia bone, like a lunchbox with his favorite cartoon as a kid. It can even be something as simple as a journal for him to write in, with some of your own entries on random pages to surprise him.

The key to a memorable, sentimental gift is that it is personal to him. Not something that was picked up on a whim while shopping, something you noticed and appreciate about him specifically. Think of it as both a compliment and a gift at the same time. And the right gift doesn’t have to be incredibly deep and personal, it can be quite small, as long as it shows that you care.  

Something he wouldn’t get for himself

Again, this may seem obvious, but it’s true – guys appreciate receiving something they wouldn’t get for themselves. It may be a pair of shoes they didn’t want to splurge on, or a tie they weren’t sure they could pull off. If he is a gadget guy, you could get something to add to his smart house or something to up his cooking game. And you don’t have to break the bank for these either.

Getting him something small like a new shirts for work or a simple statement watch can mean just as much as a big-ticket item. You could also give the gift of a fun experience, like tickets to a comedy show or concert.                   

More important than anything else, get him something that he will enjoy using and feels is specifically for him. 

If you are still on the hunt for the perfect last minute gift for him that is both personal and unique, think about getting him a package from Quilted. Quilted’s custom story projects, such as the “Legacy” package, are a great gift to help him finally start documenting his stories for generations to come in a way that isn’t another attempt at a journal or notebook.

Through Quilted, he will receive reminders to record his answers to thought-provoking and insightful questions from professional interviewers and questions that you can add yourself. And at the end of the project, you have a fantastic time capsule of memories to look back on. If he travels a lot for work, think about the “Memories of You” package, making your gift a chance to share your memories with him while he is away.

And if you are looking for something to bring the two of you closer together, consider the “Story of Us” package, a way for you both to share in documenting your unique story as a couple, allowing you to revisit the cherished memories you’ve made together for many years to come.

This holiday season, don’t settle for a gift that simply checks the boxes.” Make this year’s gift for your husband, boyfriend or partner something truly memorable, something that creates an entirely new experience and new conversation. Don’t wait for him to someday take the time to journal his life story, unsure of where to start. With Quilted, help him start to tell his story today, giving the gift of cherished memories that can be looked back upon together or with future generations.. Get him the gift of memories, with Quilted.