How to Choose a Gift that Matches His Interests

Last updated November 24, 2023

Have you ever found yourself pacing the aisles, thinking, “What on Earth would he want?”, you’re not alone. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. This guide is your playbook for picking gifts that match his interests so well, he’ll wonder if you’ve been peeking at his wish list.

Table of Contents

Know His Interests: Digging Deeper

Gifts Know His Interests

So, you’re ready to go on your gift-hunting adventure, but you’ve hit a snag. You’re not 100% sure about his interests. Don’t worry, it’s less complicated than assembling a grill without the instruction manual. Here’s how to dig a little deeper to strike gift-giving gold.

Social Media Sleuthing

One of the easiest ways to figure out someone’s interests is to scroll through their social media accounts. Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or even X (aka Twitter) can offer clues into what they’re passionate about. Has he been sharing a lot of fishing photos lately? Or perhaps his Pinterest is filled with whiskey cocktail recipes? Bingo! You’ve found a good starting point.

Ask the Right People

If social media isn’t providing the insights you’re after, turn to those who know him best. Family and close friends can offer inside information you might not be privy to. Is he a secret gardening enthusiast, or has he been raving about a new sport he’s trying? These folks can offer you priceless clues.

Take Note of Past Gifts

Recall the gifts he’s received before. What has he used the most? What was met with genuine enthusiasm? Sometimes the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. If he loved that golf accessory you got him last Christmas, chances are he’ll appreciate something else from that same category.

Shared Activities

Sometimes the best way to know someone’s interests is to engage in activities together. Whether it’s a weekend fishing trip or a simple backyard BBQ, the things he enjoys doing during shared activities can provide clues for future gift ideas.

The Direct Approach

If subtlety isn’t your style or you’re short on time, there’s no harm in the direct approach, just ask him. Frame it as wanting to know more about his interests, so you can plan more activities together in the future. This way, you keep the surprise element intact for your actual gift.

His Wishlist or Saved Items

Many online retail sites allow users to create wishlists or save items for later. If you have access to this information, it can be an invaluable resource. Just make sure the list is current to avoid gifting something he already bought himself.

Listen and Observe

Lastly, never underestimate the power of good old-fashioned observation. Sometimes he’ll drop hints without even realizing it. Did he mention he needs a new fishing reel while watching a fishing show? Or maybe he paused at a store window to admire a set of golf clubs. These little cues can give you all the information you need to find the perfect gift.

Knowing his interests isn’t just the first step, it’s the cornerstone of thoughtful gift-giving. By taking the time to figure out what really gets him excited, you’ll make the entire shopping process more straightforward and infinitely more rewarding. So put on your detective hat and get to know what makes him tick. Your perfect gift is just around the corner.

Tailoring to Specific Hobbies: Pinpoint Precision

Tailor Gifts for Specific Hobbies

The key to truly impressing him with your gift is to tailor it to his specific hobby or interest. A fishing aficionado won’t be as thrilled with a generic sporting goods gift card as he would be with a high-end bait-casting reel. So, let’s break down how to tailor gifts to some of the most popular hobbies and interests for men, based on the most recent data.

Most Popular Interests for Men

  • Gaming – Video games are not just for kids. Many adults enjoy them as well. In fact, 72% of men ages 18-29 play video games (source).
  • Fitness & Exercise – A 2021 “Hims & Hers” survey found that a third of men exercise at least once a week (source).
  • Cars & Motorcycles – About 81% of motorcycle owners are male, according to data from 2018 (source).
  • Home Improvement/DIY – The DIY home improvement market was estimated to be worth $762.9 billion in 2020, with men making up a significant portion of this market (source).
  • Photography – A 2021 survey by Skylum indicated that 38.3% of hobbyist photographers are men (source).
  • Music & Instruments – According to Fender, men account for 50% of aspiring guitar players (source).
  • Outdoor Activities (Hiking, Camping, etc.) – In 2019, 59% of participants in outdoor activities were male (source).
  • Sports & Athletics – About 95.8% of of men were engaged in a sport in 2022 (source).
  • Cooking & Grilling – According to a 2019 report by Pew Research Center, approximately 20% of American men are the primary grocery shoppers and meal preparers in their household (source).

Understanding and tailoring your gifts to his specific hobbies will make all the difference. It’s like choosing the perfect lure for fishing; you’ve got to know what you’re trying to catch. So dive into the specifics and make your gift one that he’ll treasure for years to come.

Personalization: A Cherry on Top – Elevating Your Gifts

Gift Personalization

Adding a personal touch can elevate your gift from good to unforgettable. Personalization doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Here are some ways to sprinkle in a dash of “you” into the “thank you.”

Engraving and Monogramming

Many items like watches, whiskey glasses, or even fishing rods can be engraved with his initials or a special date. Monogramming luggage or golf towels is also a classy touch that can make these items distinctly his.

Customized Artwork

Personalized art pieces can resonate deeply. Whether it’s a hand-painted portrait of his favorite fishing spot or a customized illustration featuring quotes from his beloved sports team, art speaks volumes.

Personalized Books

If he’s a reader, some websites offer the option to insert his name into a novel, making him the star of his own story. For those family men out there, personalized children’s books can feature both dad and kiddo for bedtime story magic.

Curated Playlists

This can work great for digital gifts. Create a playlist of songs that remind you of him or tunes from a concert you attended together. A playlist can make for a sentimental companion to another gift.

Custom Labels

For those whiskey or wine enthusiasts, a custom label can make even a standard bottle feel special. You can include his name, a special date, or even an inside joke that only the two of you would understand.

Message in a Bottle

Or, in this case, a message in a tackle box, golf bag, or hiking backpack. Write a heartfelt note or a funny joke and sneak it into your gift. He’ll find it when he least expects it, and it’s sure to make him smile.

DIY Personalization

If you’re crafty, consider adding DIY elements to the gift. For instance, a hand-stitched leather wallet or even homemade BBQ sauce can give a gift extra sentimental value. If you’re a whiz at woodworking, a hand-crafted tool organizer would not only be useful but incredibly special because you made it.

Create a Bundle

Combine smaller, personalized items with a larger gift to create a themed bundle. If he loves golf, for instance, a new set of clubs could be paired with personalized golf balls and a monogrammed towel.

Subscription Services

Many subscription boxes offer some form of personalization. Whether it’s a monthly cocktail kit featuring his favorite spirits or a quarterly fishing gear box, subscriptions can often be tailored to individual interests and needs.

Adding a personalized element shows that you put thought and effort into making the gift uniquely his. It’s the cherry on top that takes your gift from simply great to truly exceptional. Personalization is the language of detail, and speaking it fluently can make your gift one he’ll remember for years to come.

Getting the Timing Right: Why Timing is Everything

Gift Timing

You’ve nailed down his interests and even found a way to add that personalized touch. But there’s one more element that often goes overlooked, and that’s timing. Like hitting a golf ball at the perfect moment for that hole-in-one or casting a fishing line just as the sun sets, timing can make or break your gift-giving experience.

Seasonal Activities

If he’s into seasonal sports or activities, the timing of your gift can make a huge difference. For example, gifting a high-quality snowboard right before winter gives him the chance to make immediate use of it. On the other hand, giving it at the start of summer means it’ll collect dust for months. According to research by Stanford University, gifts that can be utilized immediately tend to be more appreciated (source).

Personal Milestones

Gifts are often better received when they’re tied to significant life events. A bottle of fine whiskey (or tequila, vodka) or a luxurious shaving kit makes for a great gift for career milestones. Personalized tools could be an excellent housewarming gift. Aligning your gift with a meaningful life event increases its sentimental value and makes it more memorable.

Special Promotions or Releases

Let’s say he’s a tech enthusiast, and a new version of his favorite gadget is about to be released. Gifting him the latest model right when it comes out will make your gift timely and highly relevant. Some companies even offer pre-orders for upcoming products, making it easier to time your gift perfectly.

Holidays and Occasions

Certain gifts align well with specific holidays or occasions. For example, a set of top-of-the-line grilling tools would make an excellent Father’s Day gift, especially since it’s a time when many families get together for a BBQ. According to studies by Stanford University, gift recipients are more likely to appreciate practical gifts for holidays like Father’s Day (source).

Expiry and Seasonal Items

Some gifts come with an expiration date or are best enjoyed fresh. If you’re planning on gifting him a subscription to a gourmet food box or a set of craft beers, make sure he’ll be around to enjoy them before they go bad.

Event Tickets

Event tickets are an excellent gift but timing here is crucial. Make sure to consider his schedule and any prior commitments he may have. The last thing you want is to buy tickets to a game or concert he can’t attend.

“Just Because” Gifts

These are gifts given outside of any holiday or special occasion. A “just because” gift can be extraordinarily meaningful, precisely because it’s unexpected. It shows you’re thinking of him even when there’s no “reason” to give a gift, adding another layer to its sentimental value.

Getting the timing right can be as satisfying as sinking a putt or landing that big catch. It not only ensures that your gift is useful but also makes it emotionally resonant. Just like in sports, timing in gift-giving is everything. It’s the difference between a gift that’s nice and a gift that knocks it out of the park.


Choosing the perfect gift doesn’t have to feel like an impossible mission. Armed with this guide, you’ll be more prepared than ever to pick out gifts that he’ll not only love but actually use. So go ahead, make his day special. After all, it’s the thoughtfulness that counts, but a fantastic gift doesn’t hurt either!


What if he has too many interests?

Focus on the one he’s most passionate about currently, or combine a couple of interests into one creative gift.

Can a gift be too personalized?

Personalization adds a special touch, but make sure it doesn’t make the gift too niche to be useful.

Is it okay to ask him directly?

Sometimes, it’s better to keep it a surprise, but if you’re really stumped, there’s no harm in asking. After all, it’s better to get something he wants than to shoot in the dark.

More Men’s Gifts