Dudely Christmas gifts under $30 - a simple christmas gift guide for the man in your life

christmas shopping for men - gift ideas under $30

A few days ago, I mentioned how much I love Christmas shopping for my family members and how I get it done in one day. That's true, but I will say that shopping for the men in our family is always the hardest. The real trouble with shopping for boyfriends, husbands, brothers, fathers, grandpas, and other dude people is that they're pretty practical. A lot of gifts by nature are not that practical. (See my last post about gifts under $10 for an example of how much women love trinket stuff.) Men aren't quite like that. 

So what do you get for the guy who doesn't want anything? For starters, chances are you don't have to get him anything. When my brother says he doesn't need or want anything, he really means it honestly and to the core of his being. So you could just listen to him and trust that he really meant it. But since you're being stubborn... Here are a few different routes you can take when choosing gifts for the men in your life.

Route #1: Ask yourself, "what does he need?"

You've got to think like a man to shop like a man. A lot of men are practical beings. They like stuff they can use. They like stuff they need. (Hey even underwear can make a great gift if you're shopping for the right guy.) Maybe he needs a new pair of jeans, or a few more ties for work. Maybe he needs some winter gloves, or a scraper for his car.

Wow, an ice scraper. That’s romantic.
— No one ever

Ok ok so you and I agree that's kind of a boring gift, but if he needs it, he might like it. Only you know your guy well enough to make that call. 


Usually when we suck at buying gifts, it's because we don't understand what someone enjoys. (Example: I get nervous every time I have to shop for my nephews because I'm not actually sure what an 8-year-old boy enjoys. I'm told that it usually involves Nerf, I think.) 

When it comes to shopping for your man, think about what he loves to do. My husband loves his guitar, music, soccer, teaching science, and traveling. Oh, and coffee. The man likes his coffee. Chances are, I can't afford a trip to Cuba right now (although it's on my list of future travel stops...) but I can afford to commemorate some of our favorite travel memories in frames for his classroom. I can't get him a new guitar, but I know he might need a tuner or some picks. I can't send him to a soccer game, but I could get him the latest gear with his favorite team on it. 

Route #3: Who says only men can do the romancing? take him on a date

Setting aside time together is always a good option for boyfriends and husbands. Some of my best memories with Josh are just chatting over dinner. Take him to a movie he's been dying to see, and buy the cancer-causing popcorn with the extra butter. Take him to the best spot in town for a beautiful steak dinner. I love steak as much as any man... that one might be a selfish suggestion. On his own, he's unlikely to spoil himself with such luxuries. When it's a gift, he loves it. 

Without further ado, a few gift ideas i'm loving

(P.s. check out my Pinterest board with gift ideas under $40 for a few more selections) 

holiday gift guide under $40 for men

1. Navy blue double wall traveler mug from Starbucks - $14.95

I know quite a few guys that really love their coffee. I love the matte look of this mug with the subtle Starbucks logo... in case he likes to embrace his inner basic white girl. 

2. Primary dot skinny tie in dark clover from the Tie Bar - $19

I LOVE THE TIE BAR. If you've never searched The Tie Bar, they have just about a billion colors of ties, bow ties, tie bars, and pocket squares. Sure, about 50% of the designs are garish, but it's a really great place for affordable skinny ties. Great for the guy who wears one to work every day. 

3. Gunmetal soy wax candle tin in tobacco and vanilla from Amazon - $28.45

My sister bought this for her boyfriend and every time I go to his house I can't get enough. It's a subtle, welcoming, and dudely scent. A fix for stinky bachelor pads of all types with a really great "gender neutral" scent. 

4. Scratch off world map from Urban Outfitters- $24

I realize this is only really good for the travel geek, but I love it so much. I wish I had purchased this when I was still a teacher. My husband and I like to travel together whenever possible. This would be a fun way to commemorate our trips together.

5. Men's daily beanie in gray from Neff - $11.87

My husband owns a few beanies, and he always comes back to this one. I used to think only girls had tricks for covering up greasy hair, but it turns out beanies are a great out for men too. 

6. Photo poster from Social Print Studio - $25

If you've never gotten prints from Social Print Studio, you should definitely think about it. They're famous for printing Instagram prints. This poster collage would be a great wall filler for an office, home, dorm, or other space. Also a great way to combine and celebrate dozens of memories.


Hopefully you've got a few ideas of how you can spoil the guys you love this year. If you need a few more ideas, check out my Pinterest board with gifts under $40