In the name of journalistic research, we asked the men in our lives what they really want for Valentine’s Day (beyond the obvious – see yesterday’s post). I will be referencing this blog post for years to come. Brian, my brother Ken, my friend Derik (Dbone! He happens to have an album literally called “Man” that is awesome by the way – listen at happy hour to get PUMPED) weighed in. As well as Sara’s Mac, Mallory’s Chase, and even Jess’ Dad. Basically we have a wide age range. So ladies, here you go.
1. Concert Tickets: “Tickets to a concert of a band we both like.” – Brian
2. Something that tells them you really know them: “I feel like once you’re in a relationship for a couple of years, at least for me, what I love in a Valentine’s Day gift is a nod that you realllllyyyy know that person. You know what interests them in a book, their favorite color of wrapping paper, the types of clothes they like to wear, what they casually mention is sweet. I love getting a little surprise that reminds me, ‘ya this person gets me’.” – Chase (This is a book he LOVED and is perfect for anyone who loved the show Breaking Bad.)
3. An Engraved Zippo: “After my dad passed away I kept his and I cherish it.” – Derik
4. Picnic Backpack: My brother Ken wanted to make sure that we put this on here. And it’s not a basket, it’s a BACKpack, thus for “MEN”. *insert eye roll, but also very into the idea of Ken planning a picnic*
5. Record Player + records: It can really be personalized and it’s cute to give them their fav record. Then you can be romantic and listen to your record over a candlelit dinner. I a record player for Brian for Christmas and we love it. Mac is also a big, big fan of the record player (an anniversary gift from Sara).
6. Surprise Dinner: “It would be nice to be taken out to a surprise dinner (or cooked a special dinner) and not have to plan one. I feel like I do most of the research/booking.” – Brian (Ok Brian, I’ve been publicly shamed now, but I got you).
7. A note in their lunch, or in a pocket on the way out of the door: Technically no man said this, we added it because it’s likely something we’d like. Ha. We had to get one in there and these are so cute Sara did say though, that Mac is big on cards, and even gave her one on the anniversary of their apartment fire letting her know how lucky he felt getting through that together (cue the water works).
8. “Any sweet love from the kids. Cards, flowers, candy.” – Ken (These are super cute if you want a themed shaped note.)
9. Shudder: Sara is going to get Mac this for V-Day. It’s a horror movie subscription that’s pretty cheap. Mac is a big movie nerd and loves horror movies, which just happen to be perfect for cuddling up and watching in their soon to be moody tv room. Basically it’s Netflix for horror films only. She only hopes he’s not reading the blog today…
10. Disneyland Tickets: “Specifically for the new Star Wars area (FYI, you need to book reservations to the Cantina before you go and the ride is super hard to get on.)” – Brian
1. White V-Necks from Target: These are all Brian Henderson wears. Literally.
2. “A robe with some color or cashmere or both” – Derik, whose gettin’ fancy.
3. Levi’s Jacket: “The one with the sherpa.” – Brian “But in black denim…” – Mac (Who wears his all the time.)
4. “A Vintage Leather Jacket (members only, bomber, motorcycle)” – Derik (This one is an awesome nonvintage option.)
5. A Henley shirt: “It’s fitted, flattering and will never go out of style.” – Chase
6. Bombas Ankle Socks: This was a recommendation from Derik. They actually stay up all day and have an amazing “give back” element.
7. Quality slippers: “Mine are Tom Ford. Every man should have a special pair of slippers that he takes care of.” – Derik
8. A crisp white buttoned shirt: “Every man needs one of these too.” – Derik. This is Jess’ dad’s favorite (and the man knows his dress shirts). Get a cuff embroidered with his initials for an extra thoughtful touch.
1. Non-Spray Fragrance: “This one smells like tobacco, leather, vanilla. How manly is that?” – Brian
2. Spa Day: “Oh, and guys need a spa day too! A gift card for a massage or a facial or whatever.” – Brian
3. Replace all their socks and underwear with new pairs: I think this is GENIUS and when I proposed it to Brian he was like, “damn, that’s a good one.” Just surprise them with all fresh socks and underwear (assuming they need to be changed out – don’t be wasteful).
4. “Fun Socks from Happy Socks.” – Brian (Apparently guys are really into socks…)
5. “Aesop anything” – Brian (This kit is a great gift/starter pack)
6. Exfoliating Soap – Brian
7. “Vintage tie clips are rad.” – Brian
8. Nice Lotion: “Because guys won’t buy themselves lotion.” – Brian
1. Compression anything: “Anything that can reduce swelling or inflammation for long term longevity. Compression ice packs for back/shoulders/legs, compression socks, and foot support insoles.” – This is mostly from my brother Ken, but he makes a good point. He says, “These are things that women can benefit from in the long run because these will help men move better and keep their forms longer. Guys give girls lingerie, maybe girls should give guys the tools to help them look better, longer.”
2. Sara said she got this nail kit for Mac last Christmas and it’s his absolute favorite.
3. Hyper Ice Hypervolt: “It’s awsome for sore muscles.” – Ken
4. Power Drill: “Mine is from Milwaukee and I love it.” – Ken (You can’t deny a classic.)
5. A good pair of sunglasses: Mac’s on his second pair of these sunglasses because he wore the first pair out. He loves them because they are super classic, they have a slimmer frame than the original Wayfarer, and they just make him look and feel cool.
6. A Leatherman: “It’s like a swiss army knife but bigger.” – Ken
7. “I like my Gentleman Jon Delux Wet Shaving Kit” – Derik
Ok, that’s it for the gifts. But we also asked them to comment generally on Valentine’s Day, and we found it helpful.
“I feel like Valentines day is the holiday that gets the worst rap with guys because it’s the holiday that they’re most responsible for, but the least responsible about.”
Listen, the oldest known valentine was sent by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife back in 1415, while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. If he could manage that, guys nowadays can at least manage a card, right? But it shouldn’t be one sided – it’s a holiday all about romance and guys want to feel the love too.
“Generally Valentine’s Day makes us feel like idiots because most of us aren’t great at orchestrating romance. Mostly we just want… ahem.”
It’s a bit cliché but still seems to hold true – men don’t always know what we want, but we generally know what they want. So if you have a specific way you want to celebrate then there’s nothing wrong with giving some clear direction. Or offer to take the reigns and plan Valentines day this time. We haven’t properly celebrated in years beyond cards, but hell, why not? It’s actually on a Friday this year, and it’s another excuse to get dressed up and go to a nice dinner. It’s official, Brian, I’m planning it this year. No holiday should make you feel like an idiot. I got you.
HOT TIP: Plan a “day date”. It’s hard to get a sitter on Friday night (especially on V-day) so just postpone the celebration and plan a daytime date on Sunday. Recently Brian planned one of these – We left the kids for 4 hours, went downtown had a fancy lunch, bar hopped at the new cool hotels, and we felt like we were 25 years old again living in New York City. There was something very special about feeling that freedom during the day…
We hope everyone has an awesome February 14th, whether you’re celebrating this holiday of love or not. And if anyone has any other great ideas for gifts or activities throw them in those comments. xx
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