Thoughts, stories and ideas.

If you search the web for "husband gift ideas", you are sure to get a thousands lists full of watches, wallets and ties; and while these can be very nice gifts, they can start to feel a little... generic. (Not mention, the clutter factor. You can only give a man so many ties before his tie stand starts to look like a tentacle monster from the deep!)

I can't tell you how many times I've heard my dad say that he wishes no one would get him anything for the holidays and that's probably because the idea of giving the perfect gift in return seems daunting.

When you give something nice, it comes with an expectation (no matter how much we protest) to return the same quality of gift. Exchanging gifts should be exciting and joyful - not a stressful game to out-do one another's offerings.

That's why it's a great idea to give experiences instead of things. Not only will you avoid the tie monster, but a gift you can enjoy together will take some pressure off the exchange.

1. Foreshadowing a Journey

Of course, one of the best experiences for couples is to travel somewhere new! Whether it's a grand voyage abroad or a weekend stay at a nearby Airbnb or Bookabach or glamping trip, getting away from the day-to-day routine will keep your relationship fresh.

If you're still set on having a little something under the tree, get him a token to foreshadow the trip. One cute idea is to frame a picture of your destination with a note saying "see you soon"! Or you could give him a map with an "X" marking the spot.

One of the stunning filming locations for Game of Thrones in Ireland.

2. Let Him Geek Out

Most people have a least one show that they love - you know, that “it changed my life” show. Think about which show or movie he can’t stop talking about and plan a gift that celebrates his passions.

You can find a subtle way to incorporate his obsession into a gift, like this Game of Thrones Wine to share. Or go the extra mile and take him on a trip to one of the many filming locations in Belfast, the UK, Canada, Croatia, Iceland, Malta, Morocco, and Spain.

3. Fuel a Hobby

In a similar vein, if your husband has a favourite hobby you can always lean into that when planning a gift. Say your husband is an avid birder, you could get him a new pair of binoculars, but he would probably love it even more if you accompany him on a bird-spotting tour! Or if he loves old model planes, let him experience a real one in flight at Classic Flights.

Remember the key is to experience his hobby with him (at least this once) because it shows him that you care about his interests.

4. Tickets to a Show

If your husband has a favourite band, tickets to one of those show are a no-brainer. But you can also get him tickets to see his no. 1 stand-up comedian, illusionist or even to a comic convention.

For this gift, think about the best person to go with him. If you both love the band then go together, but if you’re not a huge fan, give a ticket to one of his friends who can enjoy it as much as your husband will.

5. Date-in-a-Box

Subscription boxes are the go-to gift for the holiday season because they just keep on giving. There are subscriptions for everything nowadays - tea, comic books, razors, you name it! But we recommend giving a subscription box you can make a date out of. New Zealand has some great wine subscription services to choose from (and even some cheese to go with it) that you can take on a picnic or cozy up on the couch with.

As your boxes arrive each month, it can be a reminder to spend some special time together... And isn't that what Christmas is really all about?

Find out more about Joyable and create an occasion page here.