Neckties and flannel pajamas have their place, but maybe you’re looking for something more creative for your spouse this year. What can you give your husband or wife that will communicate your love without breaking the bank? 

If you feel stuck in a rut, don’t worry! Remember it doesn’t require a huge wad of cash to make a big impression. It just takes a little thought. Here are some ideas to tickle your creative bone for that special somebody on your list. 


For the movie lover: You can choose a movie your husband loves and create gifts around it. For instance, you can have a James Bond theme for that debonair husband of yours. You might give him a beautiful wristwatch, a pen that also functions as a voice recorder, sunglasses, cufflinks, or a book about sports cars, along with one of his favorite James Bond movies. And don’t forget to include a note that he’ll be meeting a Bond girl (you) later on that night. 

For the man with the sweet tooth: Have you seen those giant candy bars? My husband James and I were in a candy store in New York City a few months ago. He got such a kick out of seeing a giant two-pound Snicker’s bar that was priced around $25. We didn’t buy it, but he does still talk about it. If you can’t find a two-pound candy bar in a specialty store, you can search for one online. Include a note that says something like “I’m sweet on you.” And why don’t you include a new toothbrush and maybe some hand weights to balance out the gift? 

For the tool guy: It’s no secret that most men love tools. But choosing the right tool as a gift is quite a challenge for most women because we don’t know what our husbands already have and what in the world they might be wishing for. Enter the tool tote. Forget about buying your husband a new tool – buy him something to put his tools in. For years, my husband put his pliers, screwdrivers, hammer, etc. in a big box and lugged that around the house when he was fixing something. Now he has a handy dandy multi-compartment tool carrier that he loves. 

For the music lover: Does your husband listen to CDs or download songs from iTunes? Get the latest music from one of your husband’s favorite artists. You could buy a wireless speaker and dock so he can enjoy his favorite music while barbequing or hanging out in the backyard. Or how about noise cancelling headphones so he can zone out periodically? These headphones are especially useful if he travels on business, but remember they’re not so great when you’re trying to get his attention! Maybe that’s part of the gift… 

For the man who needs to relax: Several years ago at a state fair, my husband bought one of those handheld massagers to thump your neck, shoulders, and back. I wondered at the time if that was a crazy purchase, but he has enjoyed it for years. If your husband deals with a lot of stress, a massager may be the perfect gift. There are also foot massagers that are wonderful. Or if you don’t have it in the budget to buy a massager, why don’t you give a coupon (or coupons) for a 30 minute massage at home? 


For the sentimental mom: Give her a personalized gift that will help her capture this time in your life with your kids. There are beautiful personalized photo ornaments you can order online or perhaps at your local print shop. You can have a myriad of gifts personalized from t-shirts, mugs, mouse pads to hats. Pick something that you could see her wearing or using often. Another thing you can do is schedule a photo shoot for your family with a photographer. Include one or two photos from several years ago and write a note about how you want to treasure and document each year with her.