12 Gift Ideas for Women

December 2, 2009 | 27 comments

Or, A few of my favorite things

Every now and then I’ll be using some product I own and think, “I love this so much! Everyone needs to know how great this product is!” I thought it might help out my male readers if I threw all of this stuff together in one post to give them some gift ideas, so here we go:

NOTE: These really are just products I like — I was not contacted by any of these companies to endorse these products.

1. The Chop Wizard
Many a time while cooking dinner I have found myself writing odes to my Chop Wizard in my head. This is one of the rare products that is actually just as awesome as it looks in the infomercial (though, granted, I am actually just as inept at chopping things as the woman flailing around with a knife in the black-and-white “before Chop Wizard” vignette). It makes chopping stuff like onions and garlic a snap, and is great for making baby finger food.

Approximate cost: $25
She’ll like it if: she cooks regularly.
She might not like it if: she’s an expert-level chef, in which case she can probably chop stuff just as easily without it.

2. Hoover Steam Vac
This won’t quality for “most romantic gift ever, ” but I love my Steam Vac so much that I would be remiss to not mention it here. I posted a picture of the dirt it got out of our carpet in #2 here. Thanks to this vacuum, my once-white carpet no longer looks like we have a family hobby of hosting mud wrestling matches while drinking Kool-Aid. (By the way, I just noticed that it’s available for free shipping on Amazon — nice!)

Approximate cost: $150
She’ll like it if: she’s OK with practical gifts and has a carpeted house.
She might not like it if: she doesn’t have a carpeted house or is the type of gal who wouldn’t appreciate a vacuum as a gift. (Hint: if your wife/girlfriend enjoys elaborate, ultra-romantic Valentine’s Day celebrations, you’ll probably want to avoid this one.)

3. Hanging Pot Rack
I mentioned in #5 here how much more I love my kitchen after my husband installed a hanging pot rack. No more noisy pot and pan avalanches every time I go to cook! Also, I will add that the instillation was a big part of the gift. Things like that always take forever to get done, and to have my husband just put it up while I was out one day was a really special treat.

Approximate cost: $40 – $150 (ours was around $45)
She’ll like it if: she cooks regularly and has ever complained about disorganized pot cabinets.
She might not like it if: she doesn’t cook regularly or doesn’t have many pots and pans. Also, if she is into decorating, you may want to feel out the subject to make sure she’d like the way it looks.

4. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20
We went in with my dad to get this camera for my mom last Christmas, and we’ve all been very happy with it. I have a Canon Rebel, which I also love, but this one is even better for casual daily photo type stuff. It takes pictures quickly (which is critical for getting good shots of busy toddlers) and the colors are vivid. It also has tons of other cool features like a setting that takes a picture when the camera detects a smile.

Approximate cost: $250
She’ll like it if: she takes pictures regularly and doesn’t currently have a camera she loves.
She might not like it if: she’s really into photography — this is more a camera for a photo-loving amateur.

5. My Favorite Cookbook
Just last night my husband and I were eating steaming bowls of okra-rice soup made from a recipe in my 12 Months of Monastery Soups cookbook, raving about how much we love that book. Not only have I yet to make a recipe from it that isn’t fantastic, but as we eat we can just imagine the monks in Br. D’Avila-Latourrette’s monastery eating the exact same thing that night. The recipes are easy, seasonal, cheap, healthy and delicious. Comfort food at its finest!

Approximate cost: $17
She’ll like it if: she likes cooking, especially if she enjoys seasonal eating with fresh ingredients.
She might not like it if: …I don’t know. I can’t imagine someone not liking this cookbook.

6. CHI Flat Iron
I bought this back in my days of “spending way too much money on frivolous beauty stuff, ” and I have to say that I’m glad I did. I never cease to be amazed at how good my hair looks after using the flat iron — and it only takes about three minutes! It’s a great little treat that a lot of women would find too pricey to buy for themselves, but makes a great gift.

Approximate cost: $175 (though Amazon currently has it on sale for $70)
She’ll like it if: she enjoys dressing up when she goes out to dinners or events.
She might not like it if: she has naturally board-straight hair, a very short haircut, or is an expert at doing her hair (in which case she probably already has one).

7. A Deluxe Showerhead
I have to admit that this one wasn’t my idea (I don’t have one), but a friend of mine raved that this was one of the best gifts she’s received in a long time. Like me, she’s a busy mom who has little time for relaxing, so to have a luxury showerhead really gets her days off to a nice start.

Approximate cost: $40
She’ll like it if: she’s so busy that the simple act of taking a shower is a special treat, or if she generally like spa-treatments type stuff.
She might not like it if: she already has something like it, or doesn’t see showers as a special treat.

8. Luxury Sheets
Along the same lines as the above, ultra-cozy sheets are sure to be a big hit with most women. Some posh bath towels would also make a great, much-appreciated gift.

Approximate cost: varies widely, though bargains are easy to find online
She’ll like it if: she enjoys luxury stuff but rarely indulges herself.
She might not like it if: she’s into luxury products, in which case it’s likely that she already has something she likes.

9. The Rosary is a Place CD
I can’t tell you how much I love this recording of the rosary with Fr. Benedict Groeschel and singer Simonetta. Fr. Groeschel offers a thought-provoking introduction for each mystery, and the violin music in the background is deeply stirring. It never fails to bring me peace whenever I listen to it.

Approximate cost: $9
She’ll like it if: she’s Catholic or open to Catholic practices, especially if she’s been feeling stressed out lately. (Even if she doesn’t normally pray the rosary, I think she’d like it.)
She might not like it if: she’s not open to Catholic beliefs (though I wouldn’t say you have to be a practicing Catholic to enjoy it).

10. Catholic Day Planner by Faith Calendars
Speaking of cool Catholic gifts, I count my purchase of my “All in God’s Time” Catholic day planner as a minor turning point in my life (it’s listed as the “professional” one on this page). I used it almost every single day of this year and loved having all the feast days and holy days of obligation noted for me. It’s truly one of my favorite items. (Though I haven’t tried this one, I’ve heard good things about the Family Centered Press’ day planner as well.)

Approximate cost: $18
She’ll like it if: she’s Catholic and busy enough to keep a calendar.
She might not like it if: she’s not Catholic or doesn’t keep a calendar.

11. Small Wine Refrigerator
I know, I know, this probably seems crazy to some people, but we really love our little wine refrigerator. Not only is it surprisingly nice to be able to drink wine at just the right temperature, but it gives us a place to store bottles as well.

Approximate cost: $150 – $350
She’ll like it if: she likes wine.
She might not like it if: she doesn’t like wine

12. Bose Sound Dock
One of the biggest things that came of my recent computer fast was that I re-discovered just how much music can change the tone of my entire day. Ever since then, I’ve been getting a lot of use out of the Bose Sound Dock my parents gave me for Christmas a couple years ago. It looks nice in the middle of the living room, and I love being able to turn on a favorite playlist at the touch of a button. Great, great gift.

Approximate cost: $250
She’ll like it if: she owns an iPod or other portable MP3 player.
She might not like it if: she doesn’t own a portable MP3 player or isn’t at home very much.

A final note: I know from personal experience how easy it is to get caught up in the shopping frenzy (ahem, #4 here), but it’s worth taking a step back to remember that that really isn’t what the season is all about. Especially if times are tough financially, I guarantee that the women in your life would appreciate a gift that has high love-to-expense ratio just as much as anything on this list, e.g. organizing an at-home date night for you and your wife where you do the cooking (even if it’s just a frozen lasagna from the store). In fact, the “gifts” that I hear my girlfriends rave about the most are the ones where their husband’s simply did something kind for them and spent no money at all!

I hope this is a help in your shopping endeavors. Female readers, feel free to tell us about your favorite products as well!


  1. Kris

    Thanks Jen for helping me with a gift for my mother in law who is hard to buy for and is a vegatarian. I bought that cookbook for her along with another by the same author.

    Now ask your male readers for ideas for the man who is hard to buy for!

  2. Christine

    I agree with the BOSE sound dock. Just got one myself…LOVE IT!!!

  3. Margaret Mary

    I agree about the Bose docking station. I can crank it up loud enough to hear all over the house with no distortion. It's a fantastic product!

  4. Karen Renee

    Forgive my vanity, but I just have to put my plug in for the Chi. I have a hard time paying more than three dollars for anything, and up until I bought a car, my Chi was probably the most expensive thing I owned, purchased only because a friend swore it had improved her quality of life immeasurably. It was the best $100 I have ever spent, as it's lasted me almost four years now and survived multiple droppings in the toilet, traveling smashed in a suitcase, being left on for days on end, and other sundry abuses. It's a gift that keeps on giving.

  5. Melody Byrne

    Two items I could not live without:

    My McCulloch heavy duty steam cleaner ($90 at Amazon). It gets the worst stuck on crud in my kitchen and bathroom and does it without chemicals.

    My Bissell SpotBot (varies by model). Having it always ready if the puppy has an accident or the kids spill something on the carpet is a great sanity saver. Plus, the stain lifting function means you don't have to get on your hands and knees to deal with carpet stains. It's also great for car upholstery.

  6. bearing

    Just a hint here.

    She also might not like the hanging pot rack if she's really short.

    For instance, if she's four foot eleven.

    If a six-foot-tall husband buys a hanging pot rack for a four-foot-eleven wife, there will be trouble.

    Not that I would know anything about that.

  7. Anonymous

    I totally agree with #8 (luxury sheets)! I bought some 530 thread count sheets for the same price as the 230 thread count "house" brand at a department store. The luxury sheets are amazingly smooth – something I didn't believe before I bought them.


  8. Matthew

    This list reminded me a lot of my mom's wishlists. Cooking and cleaning products galore. Modern feminism is dead in my house and my mom aims to keep it that way! LOL

  9. Martina

    You know, I was set to buy the Chi about a year ago and I was told by the ladies at Sally's that there is an exact duplicate for half the price…so more like in the $50 and below range – I even saw one for $35 and it was/is AWESOME! Who has scads of time to waste flattening hair? I'm done in a handful of minutes. LOVE IT!!

    Thanks for the calendar book idea. I have the Catholic part down and I do like to keep track of things…now I just have to work on how much busier I need to be to honestly qualify to use it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. elizabethe

    If you get her the soup cookbook (which I have and love), get her an immersion blender to go with (about $20). it's a must have for pureeing soup right in the pot. i couldn't function without mine. I use it to make smoothies too, and it takes up less room than a blender.

  11. Wayne

    As a husband, I would suggest to other guys out there to get concert or theater tickets for Christmas. Generally the tickets can range in price from 20-100+ per ticket and makes for a great mandatory date night later in the year. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I would especially recommend musical theater, the symphony or even the ballet or opera if you are willing to try something completely different.

    I would say that she would like it if she loves music, is a busy Mom or wife with little time to enjoy date nights (or even plan them), or if she is a sucker for unique experiences

    She probably wouldn't like it if she doesn't like to get dressed up or if, on the day of your date, you talk about how boring the show is. haha!

  12. 'Becca

    Click my name for some of my gift ideas, including a FREE CARD GAME you can download and print–give it as a gift to someone who won't mind that you got it free, or bring it to holiday gatherings so you can turn your host's tables into suburban sprawl when things get slow.

    I think you're unnecessarily limiting the usefulness of your tips with your headline–plenty of men chop things, take photos, cook soup, shower, sleep, and listen to music, too! And some men even clean the carpet! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. caite

    I agree about the Bose…and the sheets, but I totally agree about the showerhead. I just had to buy a new one and before I installed it, I removed the flow restrictor. Oh, I know the Eco-Police are going to come and get me, but that high pressure hot water on my tired bones is worth it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. Michael

    Although I'm a man, I can concur with the 12 months of monastery soups, but I would also agree with Elizabethe to get an immersion wand. I gave my now-wife the cookbook as our first Valentine's Day present when we were dating back in 2002 (she loved and still loves soups), and it has become a staple of our dinner plans. However, an immersion wand (a Christmas present last year) has made many of the soups much easier to make.

    I also endorse some of Br. Victor-Antoine D'Avila LaTourette's other cookbooks, a la Kris. My first introduction to him was "This Good Food" which has since been reprinted with a different title. It has complete menu (appetizer/soup, entree, dessert) sections arranged by seasons.

    His cooking is 99% vegetarian, but while they're indespensible for Fridays, you never miss the meat whenever you make one of his recipes.

  15. Anonymous

    I would be beyond offended if a man bought me a hair straightening iron, or any beauty product really. Not only is he implying that he doesn't like my curly hair, he's implying that I should spend 20 minutes every morning scorching it with heat. Terrible gift idea unless she specifically asked for it.

  16. Anonymous

    I did a little research on the Chi. Buying on the internet voids the warrenty. Also Costco has it on sale right now for $60.00.

    I love it, and I'm not waiting 'till christmas to use it!


  17. TRS

    Great ideas!!
    Nice sheets and a luxury showerhead would fit the bill with me.

    Is the Catholic day planner good for men – or is it 'mom-centric'? I just got myself a day planner – but I think Mr. Burns might like it if it's basic Catholic and not Mom-centric.

  18. Catholic Bibliophagist

    With the exception of the Monastery Soup book (which I own), I can't say that any of these made my eyes widen with excitement. Now if you had suggested the complete works of Anthony Trollope as published by the Trollope Socioety . . .

  19. Jennifer @ Conversion Diary

    Thanks for all the great feedback and suggestions!

    TRS – No, the day planner isn't mom-centric at all (the one by Faith Calendars, anyway). It would be perfect for any Catholic, man or woman!

  20. TRS

    Thanks for the clarification Jennifer!

    To one of the anonymous… I think most people who use straightening iron are those who wear their hair straight in the first place. It would be quite an effort to straighten truly curly hair. But for those looking for the sleek straight look, a straightening iron makes it smooth and practically crisp.
    My hair goes both ways – and when I use a straightener – it just looks more polished.
    I think a Chi is something someone would mention specifically – or at least a man would know if his lady makes an effort toward smooth hair. and for that lady it would be a real treat!!

  21. Stephanie

    She might not like it if: …I don't know. I can't imagine someone not liking this cookbook.

    Umm…maybe if she doesn't like soup? *sheepish grin*

    I REALLY wish I did!! There's just something about warm salty liquidy stuff that gets my gag reflex going, I dunno…

  22. lisie

    These are helpful, but I think it would be even better to do a sequel on gift ideas for men. In my opinion, men are MUCH harder to buy for than women (but maybe that's because I'm a woman :-))

  23. TRS

    I just got the Catholic Day Planner in the mail (that was fast!)
    I'm a little disappointed in it's appearance and heft. Not that I'm blaming you – just thought I'd put it out there for others who are interested.

    THE CONTENT IS GREAT! … I just thought it would look as professional and sturdy as the other secular ones I have had.

  24. Faysal Ahamed

    Yah, your idea is good but I think maximum of these gift are for those types of girls who loves household activities.
    “Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20” could be the best gift for all the girls from your list.
    I think maximum of the girls will love to get a teddy bear and chocolate. Girls also may like cosmetic items as gift.

  25. Delmonte Dennis

    I can definitely vouch for this list. Today is Valentines day and I bought my wife the Bose sound dock and she absolutely LOVES it! Your list gets two thumbs up from me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    p.s. Too bad I don’t have more thumbs lol

Connect With Me On Social Media or Explore My Site



The "THIS IS JEN" podcast is on Facebook & all podcast apps


- Subscribeย on iTunes or Google Play (audio)

- Get weekly bonus episodes on Patreon

- Sign up for my email list to be the first
to know about new tour dates