Everyone is gifted, but some people never open their package
July 23, 2010 11:59 AM   Subscribe

I have the world's most amazing partner and I'd love to get him a gift that shows him exactly how much he means to me. However, I am the world's worst gift giver and the situation is made even more difficult because I'm here in the US and he's in Australia. Can you suggest gifts that might show him how wonderful he is and/or recommend Australian sources of potential gifts?

He is notoriously difficult to shop for, complicating the issue. I've thought of the typical stuff, flowers and the like, but he's not too fond of things like that. Some of his major interests include travel, the Victorian era, first edition books, steampunk-ish type things and Lego.

I also don't know of any really reputable Australian shops for having items delivered either, so recommendations on that front would be helpful as well.

I'd really like to be able to wow him, but I'm not sure if it can be done while we're on different continents. Can you help? Please? Thanks in advance!
posted by BrianJ to Shopping (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
iPad packed with things he'd love: books, films, music, slide shows of the two of you, videos you made for him...
posted by Dragonness at 12:09 PM on July 23, 2010

Best answer: If it was me, an old school Lego castle set. Or two, because you can't exactly have an invasion if there isn't a castle ready for the retaliatory attack.
posted by theichibun at 12:10 PM on July 23, 2010 [2 favorites]

Best answer: The Otherist is a great shop based in the NL that has so many great items, ranging from books to steampunk bugs. They have an online shop (obvs) and they ship to Australia. We brought home a really lovely antique scale, seen here.
posted by two lights above the sea at 12:17 PM on July 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Stop the guessing! Guessing is the sure method to achieve crappy gifts. The trick is to listen for those one-off things that he mentions.

"Yeah, I don't drink wine nearly enough, but I've liked Shiraz when I've tried it." -> Bottle of quality Shiraz is a perfect gift.
"Yknow, I'd really like to learn some proper culinary skills someday." -> Avocational cooking classes.

Listen for the offhanded remarks that people make. The stuff that they like or want, but unwilling to spend money on for themselves. The stuff that they'd never really dream of doing or buying on their own.

My wife mentioned offhand that she'd love to try skydiving at some point. 18 months later, guess what we're doing for her birthday? As an added benefit, I got to say that I threw my wife out of a plane for her birthday.

TL;DR: The best gifts are the ones people want and don't expect, not the ones that they might like.
posted by bfranklin at 12:28 PM on July 23, 2010

Response by poster: Dragonness - That's an absolutely brilliant idea, but he has an Apple hatred that might be a bit hard to overcome. LOL! I, on the other hand, would *kill* to get something like that. :)

theichibun - I love it! I hadn't even thought about that. Thanks!

two lights above the sea - We might have a winner here! This stuff is right up his alley. Thanks so much!

bfranklin - The comment about getting to throw your wife out of a plane cracked me up! :) He's really guarded about mentioning things like that because he knows I'm constantly on the lookout for a great gift, but you've gotten me thinking about some past conversations we've had and I might be able to pull a few ideas from there. Thank you!
posted by BrianJ at 1:28 PM on July 23, 2010

Could you possibly tell us which state he is in? I can probably think of gifts specific to NSW, Vic or Qld.
posted by KLF at 6:48 PM on July 24, 2010

Response by poster: Sure, KLF. He's in NSW.
posted by BrianJ at 11:41 AM on July 25, 2010

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