man giving a gift

Every girl wishes that their partner hung on their every word and took note of every trinket that catches their fancy. As a bloke (I know, I make jewellery. But, I’ve checked and it’s true), I can assure you that it just doesn’t happen.

But, there are 3-4 times a year that he starts to take notice (and you can usually tell because he starts asking weird questions).

Birthdays, Christmas & Valentines Day are a nightmare for blokes (in a long term relationship we get to add anniversaries too). Suddenly, we realise we’ve been nodding along in conversations and avoiding going shopping with you for months.

Horror of horrors, we’re expected to get you the perfect present, and now realise we have no idea what you like.

Trust me. About now your partner is sick of staring at jewellery and chocolates and flowers, wondering if you would like any of the things he likes.

The honest answer is, probably not.

So I’ve put together 3 possible paths to receiving the perfect handmade gift.

The Circuitous Route

Almost every website now has “social sharing” on every product. It’s just a fancy way of saying that there’s an easy way to tell people about what you are looking at online.

Website owners like me love them because we dream of people all over the internet talking about the things we sell. At the end of the day though, they rarely get used.

How often have you seen a pair of shoes or a necklace being shared by your Facebook friends?

Never, I’d guess.

Let me bring you in on a little secret though, most blokes don’t notice the fact that you don’t share the dresses you like on Facebook. For the majority of the year, even if you did, they would just skim right over it. The week before one of those special days is different though, the hunter gather instinct kicks in and they realise that they need that perfect gift to secure their mate (that’s you by the way). Their senses become honed to an almost supernatural keenness in the hunt for the hint.

Ok, that’s maybe an exaggeration. But we do pay a bit more attention…

I promise.

When you find that special little something, look for a button on the page that looks something like this:

Share Button

Click the button and pick a website that your partner is on (Facebook & Twitter are the big ones amongst my friends) and *checks regularly*. After all if they don’t see it, it’s not much of a hint.

And here’s the trick.

Don’t tell *him!*

Add a message asking for opinions from your friends. Ask if people think it would go with a new outfit or a special occasion, or just ask “Would this suit me?”

That way he’ll think he’s spotted something you like on his own and he can get it for you as a “surprise”. It’ll even give him a direct link to the exact item you want.

How easy is that!

The Direct Route

Of course, sometimes we are a little too oblivious for a tactic like that. Try and consider it an endearing feature (otherwise us blokes are doomed to lonely miserable lives). If you do have a partner that just can’t take a hint, blame it on him being too loved up and love struck to notice anything but you.

For those special men who are too lost in your eyes to hang on your every word, there is only one solution. Those social sharing buttons have an “email a friend” option and the time has come to use it. Why not drop him a mail saying “I saw this and I love it, what do you think?”.

It’s not a subtle, but by now you probably now whether subtle will work.

The Middle Road

There are craft fairs held regularly in most towns and cities, and on the run up to those special gift days, they are usually quite easy to find.

Most of the year, you will have to drag him into the craft fair kicking and screaming.

But, when he’s on the prowl for a present, you should find he’ll grudgingly consent to come along. If you are particularly well organised, you may even have found your gift online and picked a fair where you know the designer is attending.

Take a wander round the fair, scope out some things you like and note them for a second pass. Don’t show too much interest yet, you don’t want him to pick something you are not sure if you like. Think about which one you want him to buy as you wander round. The key to this stage is not making it last too long, after all he’s unlikely to spot anything he wants for himself and us men only have short attention spans.

Once you have decided, go back to the stall and focus in on the item you like. Ask a few questions about how it’s made and what it’s made from.

Now it’s time to hammer home the hint.

Try it on, ask to see a mirror and make a fuss about how nice you look in it. Then, (and this is important), ask him his opinion and listen to it, involve him in the buying process as much as he’ll let you.

Now, take it off and put it back down on the table and tell the designer that you really love it, but you can’t spare the money this month. Ask for a business card, check whether they sell online and if they are local. That way, if the Direct Route proves necessary, at least you have a backup plan.

Try not to feel too sorry for them when you break their heart by not buying something they made that you obviously love. You have a plan, after all.

Make your way out of the fair as if you were heading home, then at the door change your mind and say you need to go and powder your nose before you leave.

It’s the joy of craft fairs, they are in big public buildings so you always know you can nip to the loo. Give him a good 5 to 10 minutes of peace and quiet to realise he has time to get you the perfect present, then head back and join him.

A Final Request

This roadmap to the perfect handmade gift is written to help you avoid disappointment this Valentines Day. Please use it responsibly.

We are simple creatures, us blokes. We like to think that we are sharp witted and more than capable of making decisions on our own. Please don’t spoil that illusion by letting us know we’ve been manoeuvred into getting you exactly what you want.

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