Shhh! It's more than he expects and less than he deserves. I love my husband to bits and at Christmas I like to spoil him a little. I usually know what to buy him as he is a) quite good with a heavy hint and b) helpfully supplies a list and c) we have been together so long now I have a good idea that a season ticket to the football wouldn't go down that well.
Men can be difficult to buy for apart from socks, soap and aftershave. It's hard to think of something creative that they might like and haven't already got. If in doubt I always make my way to the book shop unless they really detest reading, there really is something for everyone and a book is a gift that lasts a lifetime.
The Antique Lover
If your husband likes to hit car boot sales at 5am on a Sunday morning and is an avid watcher of Antiques Roadshow how about The Pickers Bible by Joe Willard (Antique Trader) RRO £9.99) ? Although this book is mainly aimed at an American audience it gives some great advice on how to pick antiques like the pros.
It explains how to find, buy and sell antiques and if you are a dealer how to stay in business. If you are not interested in selling on, there is plenty of advice for collectors including where to look for antiques including some places you may never thought of. Joe tells us how to get to those sellers, and get the good stuff you want, before anyone else ever sees it or even knows about it.
If you are serious about it all and want to go pro, there is advice about how to set up a a network of dealers, other pickers, and other collectors who will help you achieve your goals. These are the people who can supply you with the goods, and who will buy them from you.. There are tips on how to negotiate, price goods for sale (even if you've never seen another and there's no price guide available), and trade up.
Perfect for all aspiring David Dickinson's.
Ok, I am cheating I have two choices for gardeners. Andrew is such a keen gardener it is hard not to come up with suggestions for green fingered men.
First up is Slugs, Pests and Diseases Readers Digest RRP £9.99 An odd choice? Well a disease and and pest free gardener is a happy gardener, and it also means more fruit and veg for those who look forward to the garden bounty. The book explains how to maintain a healthy, beautiful garden, with clear images to help you to recognise the symptoms of common infestations and problems such as leaf mould or vine weevils. There are instructions on how to quickly stop problems from getting out of hand.
It will definitely be a go-to book and makes a lovely stocking filler, and with coverage of more than 200 disorders, diseases and pests it is unlikely you will find such a comprehensive guide.
If the man in your life likes his drinks shaken not stirred this duo of books raises the bar. Edible Cocktails By Natalie Bovis Nelson Adams Media RRP £14.99 offers fresh local and homemade solutions to your favorite cocktails. Never has a trip to the farmers market or a rummage round the herb bed been so much fun. With easy to follow instructions he will be whipping up the perfect Lavender Gin Sour or Homemade Irish Cream in a flash. As well as cocktail instructions the book includes guides on how to make homemade syrups, purees and jams which are not only perfect for making your cocktails extra special but also make great gifts.
The final book is one for the summer, perfect for BBQ's and parties Slushed By Jessie Cross Adams Media RRP £12.99 is an entertaining guide to making over 150 frozen boozy treats. Who says ice pops are just for kids? From Frozen Kahlua Cheesecake, to Amaretto Ice Cream Sandwiches these desserts are definitely for adults. The recipes are easy to follow with names to set the taste-buds tingling whether you fancy Pistachio Rum Gelato or Cherry Bomb Ice Cream Caipirinha Pops with Candied Lime there is something for everyone. Your partner will love playing ice cream man with a difference.