| November 27, 2012

When it comes to the man in your life, finding that “special something” can be especially tricky. While men don’t always get it right when it comes to holiday shopping, gals too can easily miss the gift-giving mark. To avoid ending up with a less-than-enthused dude this holiday season, Farnoosh Torabi, host of Financially Fit on Yahoo! Finance, put together the top five gifts to skip this year, along with upgraded alternatives that are more likely to please:

  • PASSE TECHNOLOGY: Digital photo frames are a perfect example of a once-trendy ‘tech’ gift that flew off the shelves in years past but is now widely viewed as a waste of money by consumers that found them to be clunky and over-rated. Upgraded Alternative: This year’s hottest tech gifts are items that make life a little bit easier, such as the Belkin TV anywhere Gadget that hooks up to your phone and allows you to watch TV.

READ: Secret Santa Gifts Under $20

  • GIFTS THAT SEND A “MESSAGE”: Nothing FAILS to say “I love you,” more than a gift that passive-aggressively asks for something in return. For example, if that certain “home project” on your mind leads you to buy your mate a tool, your generous gift might be misconstrued as a back-handed request.  Upgraded Alternative: If your man asked for something specific, make sure to note details like the make, model and brand to ensure you pick up the right tool. Or pick something which can be used on fun excursions and won’t seem like a request for extra chores around the home.
  • GENERIC-LOOKING TIES: Ties are often considered sophisticated fashion statements, but if you think generic, run of the mill neckwear will ‘wow’ your man, think again. Upgraded Alternative: If, and ONLY if, your guy actually wears ties on a regular basis, you may still want to still consider getting him a tie, but one that speaks directly to his personality.  If the statement is unique and just for him, then there’ll be no complaints.

READ: Gift Guide for Foodies

  • TRINKETS THAT SERVE NO PURPOSE: Time to nix novelty trinkets from your list! Items like this hip and trendy retro attachment for your iPhone from MoshiMoshi are hot right now, but after the newness wears off, this will soon be dumpster material.  Upgraded Alternative: A quirky gizmo that actually serves a purpose is a better choice -- like a funky bottle opener or laptop case.  Look for unusual products for guys that are both fun and functional, like a Universal 5-in-One Laser Pen, a wearable wristband that charges cell phones, or a personalized flask.
  • SHAVING STUFF: Grooming Supplies for men are also popular, but think hard before gifting the same old products. Upgraded Alternative: Instead, why not pamper your guy with an actual shave? Old school barbers offer relaxing, spa-like shaving services that even the most ‘manly man’ can appreciate, and while they’re there, they can pick out the grooming products they like best.

READ: Holiday Gift Guide for Beauty Lovers