Attention - guys in their early 30's

I know some of you are gonna want to strangle me for the misleading topic, but you all are the most imaginative bunch I can think of and I need some ideas for what to get for Christmas for my two middle sons – ages 30 and 32.

They live across the country (Seattle)-- I want to shop on-line and ship directly to them.

They’re into music (eclectic tastes) but I don’t know what they already have – they don’t read fiction (maybe Nanobyte would have an idea, hmmmm), they both still like video and computer games (again, I don’t know what they already have).

I’m tired of asking them every year, and then sending something that they’re expecting.

Any ideas that would make me look like a thoughtful, moderately with-it mom?

How much money do you want to spend?

What 30ish male wouldn’t appreciate a hooker?

dhanson – geez, now I’m gonna look like a cheapskate – about $100 to $150 each

Is a practical gift preferable, or are we talking pure fun? If practical, please let us know what they do, whether they own or rent, do they drive or commute, etc.

For fun:

Any sports? Golfers always need a lesson or maybe a club, but not the little doo-dads we’re constantly getting. Football fans need tickets, not a “World’s Biggest (team name) Fan” sweater.

You don’t know what music they own, but you do know what they like. You also know what winter concerts they have tickets to. None. If you can find out who’s playing in their area and score them a couple of good seats, you’re a seriously cool Mom.

Another possibility: If they’re not yet investors, consider getting them a few shares of stock in a company that interests them. Get the certificates (expensive and annoying, I know, but it’s part of the experience). Depending on the stock, you should be able to get from 2 to ten shares in your range. I legally can’t give you any names, but from their interests you should be able to glean some possibilities. Following the progress of the stocks in the paper may be just the thing to get them saving and investing.

All the good stuff is squarely in your stated range. Which, BTW, is not cheap. It’s perfect.

If you come to any conclusions, email my Mom. She goes nuts on this exact topic each year.

Livin’ on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine

Fast answer: girls in their mid 20s.

There’s some good fishing in the Northwest. You could set each of them up with a reasonable spinning outfit for around $100-$150. At least double that if you want them to do some real (i.e. fly) fishing.

Manhattan - great suggestions – particularly the stock certificates.

(Similar to the scratch lottery tickets I usually stick in the Christmas cards – but different enough, maybe?)

The concert ticket idea is a winner too.

Now how can I approach your mom with your ideas? "Hey, Mrs. Manhattan, I met your son on the internet and he told me … " ?

Appreciate your thoughts very much!

Sly and Dr. Fidelius – your ideas are appreciated too.

Now how do I get in touch with YOUR mothers?

How about a gift certificate to a music store or book store or … ?

My mother has done this for years (I’m way past my 30s, though) and then asks that I tell her what I bought.

Actually one of the most fun things was when I used her gift to buy a really nice birdfeeder, stand, and supply of seed. We’ve had hours of enjoyment from watching it, and she gets a kick out of seeing it when she visits – “That’s what I gave you.”

Are they college boys? I’ve been secretly pining away for some school sweatshirts and the like–now that my team is…

Number seven, baby!

Too bad they couldn’t beat a dead horse when I was there (I learned how on my own).

Many colleges and universities are savvy enough to pimp their wares online nowdays.

Sofa King – Go <whoever your team is>!

Nope, not college boys – working stiffs. A programmer and a tool & die maker. Not quite yuppies but not really blue collar either. Is there an acronym for that?

Makes 'em hard to buy clothes for – flannel is out but so is Tommy Hilfiger.

Have any of your moms ever managed to buy you clothes that you actually wear? I haven’t.

Sofa King – messed up – typed using the bracket things around your team and the words disappeared!

Didn’t want you to think I was saying Go (something rude).

Boys love toys.


Get them Leatherman Waves. They are pricey as toys go, but they are wonderful guy things!

If you don’t know what a Leatherman Wave is its like a swiss army knife on testosterone. Its got like twenty gadgets, two knife blades, a diamond coated file, scissor, a half dozen screwdrivers, can opener, wire stripper, folding pliers, a wood saw, a punch…Ah! The thing is a stainless steel orgasm!

Mine is just too beautiful to use. I just take it out and look at it once in a while, then clean and oil it and put it away.

The only problem is that, from a material possesion standpoint, lifes downhill from here. Until leggy nymphomaniac robot women come on the market theres nothing cooler to spend my money on.

Good luck,



manhattan’s got a good idea, but I’ll tell you what my Mom did. She gave up on trying to figure out what I might want ~15 years ago. This came after one year when she had called me at the office one day when I was trying to get a new hire settled in and she asked what I was up to. I replied, “Oh, just trying to find an adding machine at the moment.”

Guess what I got for Christmas.

Anyway, her solution was to get me subscriptions to Reader’s Digest, National Geographic and Scientific American. She renews’em every year. I probably would not have independently subscribed to any of these magazines, but I’ve been getting them for 15 years now and I consume them.

Just a thought, dear.

Some things we (my family in general) have bought for my 2 brothers in the past few years as Christmas/birthday gifts: VCR, sweaters/t-shirts (traditional solid colors), jeans, shoes, computer printer, scanner, a baking set, one of those big wooden CD racks. As long as you don’t get something trendy, you shouldn’t have a problem if you get clothes. Choose styles similar to those you see them wearing and avoid wild patterns/shocking colors unless you’re sure they like them.

How about a video cam for their PCs so that the family can video-conference once in a while?..or…

…a home expresso/capacinno maker?

…a case of liquer

…an expensive wine

…some premium steaks

…an LL Bean certificate

…a DVD player

Contestant #3

Personally, I’m hoping for a recliner this year.

I’ll show you a Lazy Boy…

Plunging like stones from a slingshot on Mars.

Oh my god…when did I become an old fart?

Cash never needs to be returned because it’s the wrong size or style.

I’m with C#3 on some of his suggestions:
LL Bean Gift Certificates
Omaha Steak Certificates

or, for the computer one- a gift card from Circuit City or somewhere like that? How about some team gear? NBA/NFL/NHL

Cash is always a big winner for me :slight_smile:

Some mornings it just doesn’t seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps.
Emo Philips (stolen from matt’s webpage)