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The Holiday

Seven Thoughtful Gifts For My Boyfriend

The holidays can be really fun… and they can also be really stressful. As some of you may have heard, there’s a recession going on, and yeah, it’s really hit home even here on The Coveted. Since my own financial situation is really in a touch and go space right now, going all out for the holidays isn’t really in the cards. I was going to put together a gift guide for you, but the truth is, I probably wouldn’t be able to get much of the stuff myself, so I’m not going to expect you to go gaga over it.

There are lots of gifts out there that are really nice, and don’t cost very much, and the saying goes ‘It’s the thought that counts.’

The first thing is to not get down about the money thing, and there are more reasons not to drop a bunch of cash on a boyfriend, like if you are saving up for something in the future, or if you’re in a new relationship, (oh haven’t had that ‘talk’ yet) an extravagant gift can make things uncomfortable. There are lots of gifts out there that are really nice, and don’t cost very much, and the saying goes ‘It’s the thought that counts.’ Well, it’s really true. Also another thing to think about, is making the whole gift giving part really fun, that adds loads of value to the gift exchange… and last but not least, when it really comes down to it, when ever I ask my boyfriend what he wants for a birthday/anniversary/Christmas gift the first thing he always says is ‘Sexual favors.’ ahem… those are always free.

Aside from those favors which, thankfully, I’m not going to share, here are some other things I’ve gotten for my boyfriend that he’s really liked. My boyfriend is 25, finishing his master’s degree in industrial design… so he really likes design-y stuff, robots, irreverent films and literature, so giving him more thoughtful gifts really make him happy.

1. Polaroid Camera

I found a Polaroid Land Camera at the fleamarket for pretty cheap, and I really liked the form and retro design. Since it’s an SX-70, the film is really expensive, luckily, someone figured out how to hack a Polaroid camera to make it into a web cam. There are also hacks to make old SX-70s take Polaroid 600 film, so if your man is handy and enjoys hacking gadgets, this would be a great gift. Old polaroids are easy to find, you can get them on eBay, craigslist, or the fleamarket/thrift store/etc…

2. Retro Casio Watch

One of my favorite gifts that I steal a lot. Last year we got Rocky the white Casio. Which he got loads of compliments on. I also got him a Casio Calculator Watch at Target for $20. But you can also get it on Amazon for even cheaper (check in your country, as they have them on Amazon.de too).  On eBay, I’ve found really crazy Gold and Silver ones, they are more expensive, but they also come in ‘buy it now’ so you don’t have to deal with the auctions.

3. Vintage Books

Books are getting really expensive, or maybe that’s what it seems like over here in Germany… and it’s crazy because there are loads of great used books, for cheap. Especially if your man is into design, there are also lots of great books with interesting cover design. Particularly since reading Reference Library, I’ve grown to love the value of vintage printed matter. Used books can be found everywhere, used book stores, thrift stores, flea markets, I’ve even found some great ones on the street (sorry, I can’t help but to dig through old books every time I see a box of them on the sidewalk).

4. Retro Toys

Though I don’t want to encourage this behavior, If I come across a toy or something that might be a fond part of Rocky’s childhood, like I know he loves robots… and if there happens to be a vintage Optimus Prime at the flea market, I’ll pick it up.  This can be really tricky, as the original, pristine, in the box toys are collectors items and really expensive, and then there are the ones that are from five years ago, and are just junk. It does take a bit of training to be able to discern what is cool and what blows, like I may get a Transformer, but a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle? I’ll pass.

5. Design Stuff

Since Rocky loves all things design, getting little things that have design values, like the Eames House of Cards can be fun and inspirational. I know these are originally meant for kids, but I see more adults who love Charles and Rae Eames with these cards. I know I like to sort through all the cards, looking at all the fun pictures, though I can’t actually build anything, I know Rocky likes having these around.

6. Vintage Clothes

Since I wear so many vintage clothes, I’d say I have a keen eye for vintage. Here are some of my favorite menswear sellers on eBay: Cotton Love, Retro Vertigo, Thrifty Beatnik. Though quite honestly, I would probably look for stuff in real life because it’s easier for me to tell if something would fit Rocky than online, unless I sneakily get out his clothes and measure them all. Now, If you’ll excuse me…

7. Baked Goods

These are of little cost, but really special because they made with love. I’ve always thought of it as a little test to see if a man is a keeper or not by how much he appreciates my cookies. Rocky loves my cookies, so he can stay around. A batch of home made cookies, wouldn’t be the main gift, but it’s certainly a nice stocking stuffer to add to the feeling of having a nice holiday together. Plus, I really like baking, and Rocky really loves banana muffins.

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24 comments for “Seven Thoughtful Gifts For My Boyfriend”

  1. oh, kafka ~ nice choice!!

    Posted by violetville | December 9, 2008, 8:42 am
  2. I love a guy named Rocky!

    Posted by K-Line | December 9, 2008, 8:47 am
  3. Awesome list. Here are some thoughtful gifts I’ve gotten my boyfriend that were creative, too:

    1) A Super Nintendo with a bunch of vintage SNES games (we play it all the time)

    2) A skateboard, for when he was learning how to skate with the children at his work.

    3) A REAL samurai sword - this one me Best Girlfriend of the Century award.

    4) BlackSpot shoes - if you don’t know about Black Spot products you have to check them out! They are pretty much the coolest thing ever.

    5) Graphic novels from the following series (which are the best comic series, in my humble opinion): Y the Last Man, Fables, Sandman, Ex Machina, 1985, 100 Bullets, and Miracleman.

    6) A gorgeous 12-string acoustic Seagull guitar. My boyfriend is a musician and when I can save up the money I try to get him the musical instrument he’s been eyeing.

    7) He loved this song that was on a compilation, but the name of the band and song wasn’t listed. So, I listened to the lyrics, googled them, found out who the band was, and bought their CD with that song on it. He was absolutely blown away.

    Jeans! My boyfriend is super tall and super skinny and finding jeans that fit him is like searching for the Holy Grail. It frustrates him, so to take the pressure off, I track down good jeans for him and give them to him for his birthday or Christmas. They are practical, but something that he really likes too.

    Posted by Grace | December 9, 2008, 9:16 am
  4. It’s funny how guys love the retro Casio watches. Great gifts by the way.

    Posted by Miss Glitzy | December 9, 2008, 9:33 am
  5. ❤ violetville… ooh yeah, not like i’ve actually read kafka (ahhahah) but yeah, there’s loads of them in germany all in these modernist book jackets… it’s cool just to see the books.

    ❤ k-line… you do! aww… i’ve never met a rocky i didn’t love.

    ❤ grace, oh my god, you are awesome! your boy is really lucky to have you!! becuase i would in no way play supernintendo but i would sing the supermario brothers songs.

    ❤ miss glitzy… i know, some boys like timex, but rocky likes casio. and to tell the truth, so do i.

    Posted by jennine | December 9, 2008, 9:51 am
  6. These are gorgeous gifts. Last year I surprised my (now ex) boyfriend with lots of little goodies and bits and pieces. Nothing was massively expensive, but he loved every part and he loved having a massive pile of presents to open!

    And he rocks that Casios, too. Nerd cool!

    Posted by Amy May | December 9, 2008, 11:02 am
  7. Those songs are so addicting! All I need to do is think the phrase “Super Mario Brothers 3″ and one of the songs pops in my head.

    Posted by Grace | December 9, 2008, 12:29 pm
  8. A Polaroid cam as a web cam.. genius!
    Your boyfriend is so lucky to have a girlfriend that is so thoughtful.

    Posted by alixrose | December 9, 2008, 12:30 pm
  9. Dear Jennine,
    I forgot my username for the IFB site. Could you please help me and tell me what to do?
    Thank you so much!
    Fair shopping fairy

    Posted by Fair shopping fairy | December 9, 2008, 12:58 pm
  10. Dear Jennine,
    thanks so much for answering so quickly (via Email).
    Have a nice evening
    Fair shopping fairy

    Posted by Fair shopping fairy | December 9, 2008, 1:18 pm
  11. herzig und wirklich sehr einfallsreich..

    Posted by allegra | December 9, 2008, 1:20 pm
  12. last xmas i got my ex-bf a framed Yo La Tengo concert poster. From out first show together. What did I get? A gift certificate.

    Posted by Kezia | December 9, 2008, 2:16 pm
  13. oh wait. as usual, i’m practicing revisionist history. the ex actually got me a really pretty dress that I love. the gc was for my bday.

    Posted by Kezia | December 9, 2008, 2:27 pm
  14. Nice! Looks like your boyfriend likes kinda the same stuff as my hubby. We even picked some of the same items/categories on our holiday guides! Polaroid SX-70, Design-y Books, Vintage clothes…
    See more here:
    I ended up getting him a vintage european army hat… he needed a hat desperately after cutting his jewfro recently…

    Posted by Market Publique | December 9, 2008, 3:21 pm
  15. jennine! these are fantabulous! i’m thinking i might borrow some of these ideas to buy something interesting for my boss…who happens to be a guy who has everything already. cheers!

    Posted by daisybabie | December 9, 2008, 4:04 pm
  16. now that you’ve done your boyfriend can you help me with mine!

    Posted by bryna | December 9, 2008, 9:23 pm
  17. I read the geek tech post and I think I’ll stick to baking cookies!

    Posted by Imelda Matt | December 10, 2008, 2:59 am
  18. ❤ amy may…oh i love lots of little presents, i don’t know what the psycology behind that is, but it’s so much fun!
    ❤ alixrose… i’m hoping someone wuld figure out how to make the old polaroids into digicams…that would be awesome.
    ❤ allegra… danke ❤
    ❤ kezia…oh, well your birthday and xmas are close together…
    ❤ mp… oh no! well you never know how much jewfros keep you warm until they are gone. ;)
    ❤ daisybabe… ah, people who have everything! those are the worst..
    ❤ bryna… oh these are gifts that have already got the seal of approval from rocky, his gifts, well, i’m not publishing them yettt…
    ❤ imelda… haha, well there’s nothing better than baking cookies. especially after you’ve just settled into a new space!

    Posted by jennine | December 10, 2008, 3:40 am
  19. I love polaroid camera’s, im thinking of getting a diana camera, i just love the grainy, vintage effect they give, fantastic gifts.

    Posted by Chic Looks | December 10, 2008, 4:35 am
  20. I guess boyfriend gifts are on the mind because we were writing about them yesterday too! But we wrote about gifts you can make, like scarves, coupon books, CDs, etc. (The coupon books can be particularly… erm, “creative”!). :)

    Posted by TotallyHer, TotallyReal | December 11, 2008, 8:39 am
  21. J, you’re such a cool girlfriend although I didn’t expect nothing less of you!

    Posted by Songy | December 11, 2008, 10:52 pm
  22. [...] week Jennine wrote about thoughtful, creative gifts for the holidays. I usually make things for close friends and family. But I’ve been downsizing my [...]

    Posted by Last-Minute Gifts that Pamper and Relax | THE COVETED | December 15, 2008, 5:28 am
  23. My vote goes to the Casio watch suggestion. Incidentally, countspin.com plays falling-price deals exclusively for Casio watches on Mondays. If you wait a few minutes, you can catch an awesome price.


    Posted by Monica | January 18, 2009, 3:29 am
  24. Thank you for your kind words; you on my RSS so I’ll check in on your fab little blog here.
    All the best
    Thrifty x

    Posted by Thrifty | March 15, 2009, 8:24 am

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