14 December 2012

10 Penny-wise Gifts for Your Husband

Christmas, the season for giving, is a great time to exercise generosity. Gift-giving is an excellent way to express our generosity, and touch lives in a positive way. Contrary to what many people believe, you don't need a lot of money to give awesome gifts. You simply need to take what you know about the gift recipient and match that with your own skills and the materials you already have in your own home. Think creatively and recycle - the gift options are practically limitless.

In a previous post, "Taking My Spouse Off the Gift List", we described how to stimulate ideas for giving inexpensive gifts. We also promised to share some of our own gift ideas, so this is the first of two posts that fulfills that promise. This post will provide the wife's perspective and hopefully give other wives who read this ideas on how to turn low-cost or no-cost items into fun gifts for their husbands. The added bonus is that these gifts also serve to enrich the marriage by encouraging communication and sensual/sexual play.

For the DIY husband: find a hard wood plank (12 to 18 inches long) and draw the outline of a paddle on it (sometimes lumber yards and wood shops throw away scrap wood, so don't be afraid to ask). If your budget allows for it, use sheets of sandpaper as gift-wrapping - the gift-wrap is a practical part of the gift and will smooth the way to a splinter-free spanked bottom.

For the husband who enjoys words and surprises: fill 52 small envelopes with notelets that begin with "I love you because...". Wrap the 52 envelopes together with instructions on when to open each envelope. This is a gift that can be stretched out over a full year, if the recipient opens one envelope a week.

For the husband who takes command of the kitchen: write your (wife's) wedding vows in the bowl of a wooden spoon using a permanent, fine-tipped marker. Your husband will know what to do with the wooden spoon if you start stirring up trouble in the home. And even if you are good, the spoon can provide many fun spankings for years to come.

For the sensual husband: Cut 11 strips from scrap (colored) card. (Use paper if you have no card.) On each of ten card strips, write down one of your husband's favorite sensual experiences and an expiry date that falls within the next year. For example, if your husband enjoys you touching his feet, one card might include "oily foot massage" and "expires on 31 January 2013". Use the eleventh card to explain how to use the coupon booklet you have created. Staple the cards together with the instructions on top.

For the husband who finds it hard to talk about his desires: Decorate the cover of an inexpensive "composition book" (the lined exercise books that school students use for note-taking) with your own art, photographs, pictures from magazines, favourite verses of poetry, or any other items that represent beautiful experiences. Use the first page of this "desire journal" to explain how to use it i.e. stress that the husband's desires can be expressed by recording his dreams, describing his fantasies, or simply illustrating those fantasies with sketches. Explain that you (the wife) would love to read his desire journal if he ever wants to share it with you. This journal is a great way to open up discussions that some people are shy to start.
For the husband with a sweet tooth: Home-baked cookies (or candies) never fail to sweeten up the hubby. Decorate a recycled chocolate box with your favorite images, poems, or inspirational quotes, and use it as a presentation box for your goodies. If you are working with your husband to encourage portion control, individually wrap each cookie or candy, and attach a little love note to each tiny package.
For the husband who likes to read: Purchase an inexpensive blank-paged, pocket-sized booklet (small enough to fit into your husband's shirt pocket). Fill the booklet with expressions of gratitude - thank your husband for the little things that often go unrecognized. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and this little booklet will provide many years of encouragement for your husband - he can carry it with him to work or on business trips, or just open it when he needs to be reminded that his wife notices all he does for her and the family.
For the husband who is sexually adventurous: Make a home-made sensual  exploration kit. Include items like feathers, velvet cloth, satin cloth, a soft hairbrush, a comb, etc.
For the husband who enjoys gardening: Purchase a small packet of seeds (suitable for planting in your zone) - some seed packages cost less than a dollar. Include a hand-written written promise to be part of the seed planting exercise. Getting dirty together can be the start of a lot of clean-up fun.
For the husband who likes reminders: Create a WILL KNOT. All you need is a short length of rope or twine (natural fiber works best). Make a knot in the rope. Package the knotted rope in a decorated, recycled box with a note explaining what it is. The WILL KNOT is  your husband's reminder that you have chosen to be submissive to him, and are working hard at your commitment, even when things get a little off-track. The WILL KNOT is his reminder that you WILL NOT give up on your commitment.
Feel free to add your own inexpensive gifts ideas for husbands in the comments section below. Creative, home-styled gifting isn't only for the cash-strapped - it is a great way for all of us to exercise our creative natures and give the kind of gifts that make a difference.


  1. My husband has been joking about wanting a paddle, so your first suggestion might make a good Christmas gift this year. I am not sure where to find a paddle template. Any ideas?

    1. Thank for your comment and question, Sue. I tried to find paddle templates online, but had no luck. Perhaps that is something I will address in a later post. In the meantime, you may find this article on homemade implements useful: http://rncblog.blogspot.com/2007/10/home-made-implements.html.

  2. It may sound silly and old fashioned, but one year I sewed my husband a pair of slippers that he could change into when he got home from work. It took me a couple of hours to make them, and I was worried that he would laugh at my efforts, but he wore those slippers for years until they wore out.

    1. The slippers sound like a wonderful gift for your husband. And obviously he thought so, too. Thanks for sharing your home-made gift idea with us.

  3. A few Christmases ago I made him a shirt with fabric that I stumbled upon quite by accident -- it had his favorite football team all over it. I thought he would love it. Men's shirts are very difficult to sew. I had never done it before. I measured all his favorite dress shirts to be sure it would fit and he hardly ever wears it. I didn't put a front pocket on it, and that's why. I had tossed out all the scraps afterward, so I couldn't fix the problem.

    1. Your shirt sounds like a great gift: you matched what your husband likes (his football team) to something he can use, and then you invested effort to make it happen. That is a practical and thoughtful gift. Thanks for sharing it with us.

      Even though your husband doesn't wear it often, you actually got something valuable back from the gift. That gift taught you a little about something you didn't know was important to your husband: a pocket on a shirt. Men are funny that way: they want pockets. So yes, your gift was a wonderful opportunity for your husband to teach you a little about what matters to him. Those kinds of special opportunities go far beyond the market value on a gift, and it makes your gift well worth the effort you put into it. You didn't give him a shirt he doesn't like - you gave him an opportunity to share things that matter to him. That makes your shirt an awesome gift!

      (Our family likes to keep a "scrap box" of little pieces of left-over fabric instead of throwing the scraps away. Those little pieces of fabric are ideal for making little drawstring gift-bags or for covering a little gift box to make it look unique. Next time you sew something special for your husband, consider starting your own scrap box. Who knows that creative things could come from the scraps!)

    2. "You didn't give him a shirt he doesn't like - you gave him an opportunity to share things that matter to him"

      Sorry, I just had to point something out -- if that's true, why isn't it reciprocal? Why can't I share what matters to me? Why do I just get stuff I absolutely hate that makes me want to scream? That sterling silver knickknack that he spent over $50 on that only represents one more time consuming chore that I have to do, pretend I just love having one more "thing" to dust, one more "thing" to do? Why can't he give me something I REALLY want? Huh? WHY? Why do I have to do all the giving until I drop?

      Yeah, I know. I ought to be glad he goes out and works each day and I ought to have my butt whipped for being mad about all this. I'm sorry. I am just so mad right now. Just thinking about it all makes me angry and makes me cry because I am so angry. Please don't be mad at me for saying all this. I am so tired of all this "gave him an opportunity to share what is important to him." I never forget what's important to him, but he acts like I'm not even there or he forgets everything that's important to me.

      I know, I'm supposed to just be grateful he remembers and just shut up. That's why I'm anonymous, because I'm just hurting, that's all.

    3. “Why can't he give me something I REALLY want?” I realize your question was probably rhetorical, but I want to bounce a question back that you can chew on a little and answer for yourself: “Why does it seem as if your husband doesn’t know what you REALLY want?” And challenge yourself to go beyond the “he doesn’t listen or let me talk” as an answer.

      Yes, you could focus more on the appreciation element: like you, your husband seems to be working hard for your family. The best way to feel appreciation, is to give it. But it is hard to keep giving, when it feels like you are the only giver. That’s why “feelings” can be our worst enemy - they sometimes give us tunnel vision. No, I don’t think you should be getting your butt whipped because you are battling some deep, emotional issues. It is clear you are in marriage that is presenting plenty of challenges. Spanking you for issues of the heart would accomplish nothing other than to increase the resentment you are dealing with. A spanking may help you release some of the tension you are have built up, but it won’t heal what hurts most. For that, there really is only one remedy.

      You can read all the self-help books you want. You can psycho-analyze until you are blue in the face. The solution is simpler than that. The truth is that some people simply do not have the courage to embrace the solution: they will choose, over and over again, to stay on the path they are on, even if every sign points to self-destruction and the destruction of their marriage. The simple, VERY old fashioned remedy for the anger you are experiencing, the resentment that boils when you pull up old memories, and the pain you feel when you embrace your disappointment is this: forgiveness. Yes, I know. It’s not a popular remedy. Most folk who need to be forgiven DO NOT deserve it, and that is the reason we often choose to not forgive. But forgiveness is NOT about the other person who has wronged us - it is about us. Forgiveness releases us to heal. It’s as simple as that. You can choose to forgive your undeserving husband (not once, but every time he does something thoughtless) and take the misery out of your life. Or you can choose to give him what he does deserve: no forgiveness, and in turn you will be caged in by your own pain.

      I recognize you are hurting, my friend. If a bunch of soothing words could make that hurt go away, I would throw a book of words your way. But we both know that talking about our hurts, and being comforted by the words of others only goes a little way towards dulling the deep ache. No amount of talking is going to make it better. Healing will only follow on the heels of forgiveness.

  4. I do have a scrap box. I'm a quilter. That's how we keep warm without turning on the heat and running up the gas bill.

    It was annoying that he wouldn't wear the shirt because there are a thousand little things I like that he doesn't even notice even on the rare occasions I can mention them, and the fact that he complained so loudly about the forgotten pocket just about pushed me over the edge. I was angry! I had put much anxious attention into the shirt because I had never sewn a man's shirt before, and I had forgotten the pocket. I was so irritated by it, that when for our tenth anniversary he gave me a knickknack that required me to carefully take apart a dozen tiny picture frames and put pictures in them (which would have meant I would have had to take apart several scrapbooks to retrieve these pictures, then copy them, then put my scrapbooks back together -- yet one more chore for a Mom with six kids she homeschools, just what I needed) I told him it was nice, thanked him, and then when he wasn't around I packed up the "gift" and put it up somewhere. A few months ago when I was particularly frustrated with him, I took it out of the box and twisted it into an unrecognizeable shape -- I got rid of my pent-up rage and didn't get myself into any trouble. So I guess it was a gift -- it spared my rear end! :-)

    I know I sound bitter, and I guess I am. We've been married over ten years and have a big family, and our marriage which started out shaky has just become more and more strained over the years at least for me. I'm having a very tough time and holidays are always difficult because I have bitter memories from holidays of past years in which there were events that frightened me.

    1. By now you know I typically challenge our readers to step back and change their perspective on a matter, so that's how I will response to you. You are quilter! Every quilter I know likes detailed images, and working with their hands, and putting little things together to make something big and beautiful. You may be different, but probably not. Your husband saw these qualities in you (as a quilter), just like I did, and gave you the perfect gift for someone with these qualities: a complex picture frame goodie. Could you possibly step away from yourself for just long enough to see that? Your husband's gift wasn't some weapon meant to add misery to your life. He looked at who you appear to be, and he gave you a gift to match that image. If his gift missed the mark, I challenge you to ask yourself why? Why is the person you are on the inside not the same as the person you project to your husband?

      Dishonesty in all its forms, even those we feel are justifiable, is dangerous to a relationship. You lied to your husband when you told him his gift was nice. How could he know you didn't mean it? How will he ever learn who you really are if you don't reveal yourself to him?

      This Christmas does not have to be miserable for you. Choose to forgive your husband for his mistakes of the past, accept your fair share of the responsibility for some of those mistakes, and start being honest with the man you chose as your husband.