Heads up: Valentine's Day is around the corner. Although it's most often associated with Cupid's arrows and sappily sweet card verses, it's also a day to celebrate love in all its forms. And while it can -- and should -- be expressed every day through random acts of kindness and affection, there's something to be said for giving something a little extra special to those you love on the day of, well, love.
But what do you get for all the men in your life? Skip the fuzzy bears and chocolates, and opt for something more thoughtful and original -- that they'll truly appreciate.
From boyfriends and husbands, to dads and granddads, we've got you covered with a range of unique gift ideas that are sure to please, and help make Valentine's Day shopping stress-free.
1. Manly pursuits
Men of all ages dig manly things whether it's a hobby, a tech toy or a stiff drink. Depending on his interests, think about adding to his collection: a new tool set, the Star Wars Battlefront Deluxe Edition Xbox game or a Roku Stick with remote from Amazon for faster streaming when binge-watching Netflix.
Alcohol is always a welcome gift, too. Cater to his inner Don Draper with a bottle of bourbon or single malt scotch with a set of silicon ice sphere molds. And if he fancies the grill, he'll appreciate upping his game with the techniques and recipes from American pit-masters he can find in Will Budiaman's Be the BBQ Pitmaster cookbook.
2. Get practical
It's really not about the grand romantic gestures with men. In fact, it's often the more practical things that show you care, kind of like when they clean the snow off your car. Great gifts that are practical, but thoughtful, include things like a Premier CAA membership, a car detailing service or a pair of quality cottage slippers from Ugg that will keep him comfy -- and stylish.
And whether they sport a beard or not, every man needs a shave. A luxe shaving cream or conditioning beard balm from the Men Essentials makes a nice treat (and him more kissable!) while this sweet "Hey Handsome" toiletry bag from Chapters-Indigo will help keep him organized.
3. Make it sweet or sassy
Whether you've been dating for two months or married for 12 years, it's important to keep things playful and flirty. A great (and cost-effective) gift is a DIY card with coupons or IOUs for anything from foot rubs or dinner of his choice to downright risqué activities. Search online for "valentines day coupon templates" or make your own from scratch.
4. Music Mania
I don't like music, said no man ever. Take a look at upcoming concert listings and surprise him with a pair of tickets to one of his favourite bands for a fun night out. Don't like his taste in music? A pair of these over-ear Sony Step-Up headphones from The Source will let him rock on to his heart's content at home while you enjoy the silence.
For the older generation that might not be so tech savvy, download a selection of classic songs from their favourite genres of yesteryear, pop them on an iPod and give them the gift of music all over again. Or get those digital pics off your phone and create a photo book of memories that can be cherished again and again.
5. Shop online to maximize your savings.
Many retailers offer additional savings on their online merchandise. Pair these savings with cash back offers from Ebates.ca and double up on the savings. You get a present for him, with cash back for you. Now that's the way to a woman's heart.
Sari Friedman is the Marketing Director of Ebates Canada and resident shopping expert. Ebates.ca is Canada's largest cash back shopping site. As a fashion enthusiast and new mom, Sari has an eye for finding and sharing amazing deals on the hottest trends and must-have styles.
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