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I need some serious present help please.

(32 Posts)
CharminglyOdd Tue 06-Nov-12 22:57:16

DP is a total nightmare to buy for. I am going to list everything but start by saying the biggest problem is money: he doesn't want for anything and if he likes something will buy himself top-of-the-range as a starting point so upgrading loved items doesn't work. My parents have maximum £40 to spend on his Christmas present and they want to get him something 'personal'. All previous presents have been gratefully received (for the sentiment) but not used.

- He wanted a subscription to National Geographic channel only (as a top-up from Freeview) but realised that wasn't possible. We won't get Sky etc. at the moment.
- He doesn't read anything other than technical magazines
- Likes some alcohol, especially beer, but not spirits
- Loves food but everyone buys him food/chocolate as he is so difficult to buy for I rely heavily on this
- Doesn't listen to music other than the radio, just listens to work-related podcasts
- Goes jogging regularly but has everything he needs day-to-day, including the apps to track his running etc. Everything was brand new last Christmas or sooner.
- He has just bought a house for us... all suggestions are house items, which is nice but ultimately I feel a bit selfish suggesting that to my parents when I will also benefit from them
- He has far too many clothes (filled two double wardrobes, about twenty pairs of shoes... he doesn't recognise most of his stuff). The only thing he needs - gloves - are already coming from me, as per his request
- I tried some of the flim-flammery from notonthehighstreet two Christmases ago and it was a total flop.
- His first language is not English
- He's very smart and loves technology
- We live in the North East so London-centric days out not possible
- He downloads a lot of movies and resents paying for them have given up on this one so people buying him boxsets etc., also doesn't work... I suggested David Attenborough (given the Nat Geog thing) and he said he was looking for something a bit more current and geo-political
- He has a great sense of humour but can find, for example, HIGNFY quite hard to follow in places due to language/culture
- He doesn't really care about his car and is not a major sports fan, although he loved the Olympics and will watch sport if it's on the TV
- He loves skiing (not something we do together) and being outdoors so we go on a lot of (easy) walks
- I work away from home a lot and he is very busy. The four major things we do together are: relax in front of the TV (work our way through TV series); go out walking; cook elaborate meals; visit friends/go out on relaxed evenings with friends

Those are the main points and I am totally stuck. I really need some help please or he's getting a cheese wire. I am not actually joking about that.

ptangyangkipperbang Tue 06-Nov-12 23:03:31

There's a DVD with highlights of London 2012 and a 'coffee table' book too.

amck5700 Tue 06-Nov-12 23:06:06

A massage/manicure?

iwasyoungonce Tue 06-Nov-12 23:06:06


amck5700 Tue 06-Nov-12 23:07:53

CharminglyOdd Tue 06-Nov-12 23:08:54

We saw the London2012 DVD and he didn't like the idea of it. He also asked specifically for no aftershave (he has two mini baskets of it that he never uses). I will look into the massage idea, thank you smile Not sure if he will go by himself but it's worth a punt!

SoldierKatnissEverdeen Tue 06-Nov-12 23:09:10

A subscription to which magazine, for all his gadget shopping?

Something to help him develop his English? Cds/classes, although this may be a sensitive topic as could come across wrong.

Gig tickets?
Festival tickets?
Red letter type day?
If he is into politics, does he like history at all? I find the two are quite often linked, that may open up a few ideas.

amck5700 Tue 06-Nov-12 23:10:32

A barometer - so he can check the weather before he goes running ;),mod=0&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#q=barometer&hl=en&tbm=shop&prmd=imvnsa&source=lnt&tbs=price:1,ppr_min:35,ppr_max:60&sa=X&psj=1&ei=Y5iZUKfbMeOa0QWZsICQCw&ved=0CCwQpwUoAg&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=4d5ab801019be70f&bpcl=37643589&biw=1024&bih=653

oreocrumbs Tue 06-Nov-12 23:11:25

Depending on where in th NE you are would a pass for the indoor ski place in Sunderland be any good?

HazeltheMcWitch Tue 06-Nov-12 23:11:56

A load of different (rare?) beers to try?
Nat Geo mag subscription?

pigleychez Tue 06-Nov-12 23:12:29

If he enjoys cooking how about something from The Spicery

Ive ordered a monthly subscription voucher for my father for Christmas.
6mths is about £40

amck5700 Tue 06-Nov-12 23:12:35

ooh or a proper hot towel shave - that's a real treat for a guy. A lot of turkish barbers do them and do a shoulder massage as well. Proper blokes environment and not a fancy pancy ladies place smile

upinthehills Tue 06-Nov-12 23:13:35

Sounds like he would like a subscription to Wired Magazine

oreocrumbs Tue 06-Nov-12 23:13:39

Or get a local walks guide. Waterstones etc have local books. You could get a really nice one that has walk/run routes and tells you about the history of the place. We have a few of those (also in the NE) and they are really interesting. It's amazing what you can learn about the places you go everyday.

BeaLola Tue 06-Nov-12 23:15:44

I think the cheese wire is looking like a good bet !

This is hard .......... you mention that you have just moved ........... is he rubbish at DIY /gardening by some chance & your parents fab at it & nearby ? If so perhaps they could redo garden, plant unusual tree etc - I'm clutching at straws.
If he is not British but you have a garden & he likes it could they buy him a shrub that would representhis own country ? or a small driftwood sculpture.

Annual membership to something like RHS or KEW Gardens.

You said he likes beer ............. perhaps a crate of 12 different speciality beers (lots of supermarkets have offers on them at mo) or the Good Beer Guide 2013 or look on & see if any voucher offrs you fancy that they could buy you (I used it to buy friends a meal at fab restaurant in London but only cost 50% of usual prce & they really enjoyed it).

GOOD LUCK & hope oher posters have better suggestions

cakeoholic Tue 06-Nov-12 23:26:28

How about a weekend away? If you are in the NE and like walking then perhaps you could do one of the munros? Some of my family do them a lot and my parents who are 53 and 62 and not exactly fit joined them for a few this year so should be suitable.

What kind of food does he like? How about a day/evening at a cook school?

CharminglyOdd Tue 06-Nov-12 23:28:36

Wow. Way more suggestions that I was expecting - thank you so much smile

Oreo I have seen that the ski slope does tubing so I'll suggest that for one of my weekends back home grin

upinthehills Thank you, I had never heard of Wired magazine. I will get a copy for his stocking (had been tearing my hair out about that too - he has several subscriptions to very technical magazines in his own language and I didn't know what to get him for the traditional magazine-in-stocking).

A barometer is a really ace idea, thank you smile I will put that one forward and also see if my parents can buy a beer or two to add on to it.

He has tried the local hot shave place before and found it to be a lot of faff. I'm not sure he'd read any walking books - he likes me to read, digest and impart, possibly as he finds translating tiring. On the other hand Oreo I'd love any recommendations you have for historical info plus walking books in the NE as they'd be right up my street... we tend to just pick walks at random and not get the full benefit. He likes it when I tell him about the Tudors etc. and I can explain historical events but he wouldn't look into it for himself.

3bunnies Wed 07-Nov-12 00:22:57

Have he tried watching any horrible histories - some of the language may be too much for him, but as it is aimed at children it is also fairly physical humour. Stephen Fry did do an adult version (all the same sketches but he narrates the same script as the rat), but doubt that will be on DVD. Can get the first 3 series for 15 pounds on amazon/play. Is a great introduction to mainly British/ European history.

mungojenny Wed 07-Nov-12 00:34:26

If he likes walking you can get a map from Ordnance Survey which is personalised with your house at the centre of the map and you can also personalise the cover. I think it is less than £20 and is a nice gift.

Allalonenow Wed 07-Nov-12 00:51:50

One of the Wainwright books of an area close to you that you might like to explore together.
A trip based around Hadrian's Wall, walk, afternoon tea, hotel, dinner.
Day out in Newcastle, posh lunch, gallery, cocktails.
Day at Beamish with dinner afterwards.
Trip along the coast, dinner or lunch in Alnwick, you buy the Craster kippers.
Membership of the "Friends" of one of the many galleries in the area.
As he is interested in food, a trip to the Big Market and Fenwicks and you will buy whatever he selects.
Seafood from loch Fyne.

confuugled Wed 07-Nov-12 00:58:12

netflix or similar subscription for films?

one of the voucher/bargain sites was doing a year's subscription to the national geographic travel magazine and a free NG holdall bag for about a tenner - it comes around quite regularly. Might be worth looking for it.

In fact - worth looking at some of the local ones for your area, see if there are any good deals on local things to do or places to eat...

how about something completely different - a photography day course or a day at a local falconry/birds of prey centre? I took ds to the local birds of prey centre and he was fascinated. An outdoors-y day, lots of walking around and looking but also sitting watching the displays and a chance to get up close to the birds, have a falcon fly to sit on your hand or stroke an eagle. And am eyeing up the photo course for myself - several of them seem to be in outdoor locations or at specialist wildlife places so not a boring sit in a room all day lecture - but practical hands on advice

home brew kit - beer of course! TEsco had them last year - boxes that had everything you needed and then could get top up kits for using afterwards. Should be able to get kits in plenty of other places though.

crazygracieuk Wed 07-Nov-12 07:33:23

On the subject of films/tv watching:
Cinema, theatre or panto tickets?
A framed poster of his favourite movie?
Subscription to Empire magazine?

crazygracieuk Wed 07-Nov-12 07:35:15

I saw an experience day which involves killing / surviving zombies.
There are a lot of food related experience days too.

PickleLittle Wed 07-Nov-12 08:10:20

A Fitbit? its a clever pedometer that can sync to an online program and tell you how far you have walked or run - how many calories you have used up - how many floors you have climbed that day etc...

Plus there is a daily "leaders board" on the website too.

My sister loves jogging and is always analysing her data then trying to best herself.

I have one linked to my fitness pal and it automatically sends over the amount of calories I have used that day :-)


oreocrumbs Wed 07-Nov-12 08:18:22

Local history books like these. You would be best off going to waterstones, and going to the local history section. There are a lot to choose from. Usually the best ones are written by a local person, and have only been published on a small scale so you won't find them on big web searches.

They often focus on one or two villages in great depth, telling you about each house, the families etc. Others are more about the area and village in general so you need to have a good browse and see which ones best suit your tastes.

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