Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Twelve Days of Christmas Gift Guide

I know, I know, we haven't even celebrated Thanksgiving yet, but there is a reason I'm busting out the C word early. Now that I'm an adult, I realize that the "magic" of Christmas - the sights, the smells, the traditions - don't just happen. Behind the magic is planning, creativity and effort on the part of someone. Now, to avoid becoming crazy right around the day itself and distracting from its true meaning, it helps to think through some gift ideas a wee bit beforehand. Let's focus today on the most important man in your life and the twelve days of Christmas.

The twelve days of Christmas occur from December 25 to January 6, the feast of Epiphany (even if you think you know about Epiphany, check out this article - beautiful). The idea of giving a gift on each of the twelve days has always had me smitten. Beyond the fact that we all love thoughtful gifts, this approach to Christmas gift giving strikes a chord for another reason. By really living up December 25 and the days that follow, it allows Advent to remain a time of spiritual preparation

Hence the idea of this post: a 12 days of Christmas gift how-to for that man in your life (you can thank me later, gentlemen). This how-to will be two parts - Part one: ideas for  small gifts for each of the days and tips on how to do this on a tight budget, and Part two: chic wrapping and presentation for next to nothing.

A book
iTunes gift card
An alcoholic beverage
A homemade book of coupons
A framed pic for his workplace
A coupon for an activity together
A gift certificate to a restaurant for a future date
A "love list" (a list of the things you love about him)
A toiletry bag filled with minis of his favorite toiletries
A cup for his morning beverage, with a love note tucked inside
Beer or wine or rocks glasses (depending on your man's style)
Something for personal comfort - slippers, a throw (because I monopolize this!)
A homemade treat
A kind deed for someone in his family

So that is actually fourteen gift ideas, but everybody is different, so maybe some will be more feasible than others. It may seem like a lot of time and money, so let's break it down. 

A book - check the local used book store.
iTunes gift card -I actually cash in my change jar as part of my pre-Christmas cleaning. I discovered last year that Coinstar machines (usually at your grocery store) will convert change to gift cards for NO FEE! There are many options, including iTunes, Amazon, Gap, Old Navy, Starbucks, Lowe's, Regal Cinema, the list goes on and on...
An alcoholic beverage - this one is easy.
A homemade book of coupons - a little bit of labor, but free. Here is a free printable.
A framed pic - thrift a frame and print a pic at the drugstore, all for about $1.25.
A coupon for an activity - sign up to receive emails from Groupon, Living Social and other such sites (I recently paid $15 for a day of indoor climbing for two, including all gear). You also might get $5 off your first purchase.
A restaurant gift certificate - again, go with Groupon and such, but also check out This site has discounted certificates to local restaurants, and occasionally runs promos for even further discounts. So far this year I have purchased two $25 gift certificates, one for $4 and one for $1.60.
A "love list"- list what you love most about him, gloriously free.
Toiletry bag - make trips to the gym or out of town easier. Amazon has some leather options for under $20, and I actually love this canvas one (only $6.76 - who needs rounded numbers!). These bottles ($7.20) have a nice masculine look. Another option is to buy minis of the products he already uses.
A cup for his morning beverage - a to-go mug or a tumbler, with a love note tucked inside. Both of these items are ubiquitous and inexpensive. The love note, on the other hand, is priceless.
Glasses (the drinking kind) - surprisingly inexpensive. We just bought a 12 pack of pint glasses at Wal-Mart for $9.99. Four packs are $5. Or, if your man likes specialty beers such as barley wines, check the local thrift store for brandy snifters (these are fairly expensive new, yet I always see them in thrift stores). 
Something for personal comfort - use your imagination (and budget) here, think slippers, cozy throws, and the like.
A homemade treat - inexpensive and self-explanatory.
A kind deed for someone in his family  - either free, or the most expensive item on this list, you be the judge!

Since the original publication of this post, Hallie over at Moxie Wife created a link up so other bloggers could share their man gift ideas. Head on over and check it out! Or, looking for some other Christmas on a budget ideas? Check this link up.

Don't forget my Part II if you need some budget wrapping inspiration to complete this project!


  1. GREAT idea, Mrs. Boctor, I am going to do it!

  2. Thanks, Sarah! You will have to give me all the details!

  3. Just found you via Ain't No Mom Jeans...and I LOVE this idea! I've seen these in the past but always thought they were too expensive...this seems so feasible. Thank you so much!

  4. I'm so glad! Thank you for taking the time to say so!

  5. Love this thank you so much for linking up to the bumper Christmas on a budget linky

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