I grew up in a small family, two men, two women. My father, mother, brother and I. When it came to finding presents for them, my mother was always easy. Not my Dad or my brother. And it always had me pondering why are men hard to buy for?
That’s not to say it was every time. Sometimes inspiration struck. Sometimes there was something they actually mentioned they would like. (Result!) But it often felt a struggle to come up with something, anything that they might like. And we are a waste not family, so the idea of buying something that might simply be thrown away, well that was just wrong. So some thought had to go into it.
We were a family keen on handmade gifts. We all had various hobbies and craft making we enjoyed. My Mum was a great knitter and quilter. Dad made the most amazing art from wood. My brother’s was a dab hand at anything, whilst I loved paper crafting. It was never difficult to create something. The trick was in creating the right thing.
If the gifts weren’t handmade by ourselves, they were often made by someone else. We all loved unique and artisan works, from paintings to sculpture, pottery to fabric. So if we could not find our own inspiration, we looked for it from others.
I think that was one of the reasons I was drawn to Etsy when I started my shop way back almost ten years ago. It was because it showcases unique items, rather than mass produced. After all if people are special to you they deserve something unique and special. Don’t they?
All my life I have steered clear of department or large stores. The seeing multiple copies, albeit different sizes if clothing, of any one thing just simply puts me off. Always has. But I’ve always adored second hand. The chance to search for hidden treasure. That one of a kind item that someone, even myself, might like. I think I was on the path to Our Vintage Shop even then.
So going back to ‘are men hard to shop for’… ? In simple terms – yes. I have found that unlike my Mum and women friends they are definitely less prone to ‘stuff’. And they are definitely pickier. And I don’t think this is a bad thing. In fact I am trying to learn it. As a mindful but not-quite, but getting there minimalist I think in this day and age it is important to be more concise and thoughtful about what you need, and want.
In my family now, I often think of the term ‘the man who has everything’ as both my Dad and Brother essentially have all that they want or need already. (We have all reached a certain age.) So when I look for gifts, it may not surprise you that I actually search for this term. (Yes, it is possible to search this, and you may be surprised at the results.)
As I do love to shop, and also love that we can now shop online – as in the world is our oyster – it truly is fun to see what is out there for the men in my life. I do a search each autumn, heck all year due to birthdays, for unique and original gifts for them. And I am always enchanted with what other people’s imaginations and creativity offer me.
So the answer is Yes, men are hard to buy for. But, with a little thought, creativity or searching it is possible to find some truly unique and heart warming gifts for them.
You may have guessed that the difficulty of making or buying gifts for the men in my life has been well thought out. And you would not be wrong. In consequence, I make sure to stock Our Own Shop with as many interesting items as I can find for them. In fact we have dedicated a whole Section of the Shop. Here’s a taste…
(Simply click on an image to see more ideas.)