festive background with heart and gift, christmas and holiday concept

I may get pushback on this one, but men usually need guidance when it comes to shopping. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are right around the corner, and Santa will soon be making his list and checking it twice. For all the lists and gift guides that will be there, most will be geared towards fathers, children and the rest of the family. Call me crazy, but in my family, historically, the shopping pressure usually fell to the matriarch of the family. My dad was always just as surprised as we were when we opened gifts. Women are the ones reading blogs and scrolling Instagram, and they tend to have their fingers on the pulse of what is hot for the holidays. We are just really good shoppers.

This gift guide is for the girl in your life. My ultimate cheat sheet (and I did poll friends) for the men out there. No excuses this year, guys. I am even going to categorize it for you. Tear this page out, and you too can win Christmas. Get creative and do not forget that sometimes a handwritten card and a few things to open are all a girl needs.

Bonus points: Christmas stockings are also a great opportunity to shine!

BEAUTY (this one is easy)

1. Walk into an Ulta (Tiger Town) or Sephora in Birmingham. Find a nice sales rep and pull up a photo of your woman on your phone. The sales rep will hook you up with makeup kits. Any Chanel perfume would be a win. Do not get sticker shocked in there.

2. Dyson hair dryer. It is worth it.

3. Support your local masseuses and Shay Donna by purchasing gift cards, which slide great into the stockings. Also, consider pedicure gift cards.

FITNESS

1. I know Peloton’s commercial last year received negative reviews, but in all honesty, it is the best thing I have ever purchased and my husband loves it, too. Big ticket item, but I believe in investing in your health.

2. Fitness coach or class packages.

3. New tennis shoes.

4. Lululemon workout outfits.

CLOTHING/ACCESSORIES

We can go down the rabbit hole on this one ...

1. Gift cards to local boutiques.

2. Designer purses (check out Saks/Nordstrom Rack). Keeping your budget in mind, you may need to bring in a friend for a second opinion.

3. Sunglasses. 

4. A nice belt (bonus if anything is Gucci).

SHOES

Look in her closet and check her shoe size. 

I cannot tell you how many friends’ husbands text me every year asking what size shoe their wives wear. Boots are a safe bet here. Consider Sorel duck boots with fur; Steve Madden booties; Uggs. Fuzzy slides are the new house shoes.

WINE

Always wine. You can wrap individual bottles and pair them with a nice new set of wine glasses. A good bottle of champagne for Christmas morning is always a good idea.

THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS STOCKING

1. If your lady has been extra good this year, then this is the perfect spot for jewelry. If you want to go big, go to Ware’s. If your lady does not have diamond stud earrings (get screw-on backs), then start there.

2. This is also where we talk about how you can stuff the entire stocking at the local drugstore. Walk in and start on the far right. Fill up half the stocking with nail items. Essie and OPI nail polish, new files and polish removers. Fresh toothbrushes, a Wet Hair brush, scrunchies, candy and gum. 

3. Gift cards can go in the stocking.

Good luck, guys! And happy shopping!

Lacey Howell is a recovering English major from Auburn who now lives on Lake Martin, sells real estate, rides horses and loves good wine. Follow her at Instagram @Lacey Howell and on her Facebook page.