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It’s that time of year again: the time of gift-giving. One might think that this is a happy time, because what can go wrong with gifts? They’re the best part of the holidays! Think again. Unfortunately, when you receive a gift from a loved one, friend, or that cousin you never knew you had, you are expected, out of common courtesy, to reciprocate the gesture.

This is where the hard part comes in — deciding what I get my guy friend who isn’t my boyfriend, but is also close enough that I can’t just pretend that you forgot about Christmas this year.

The struggle is real ladies, but this guide to buying gifts for guy friends can help ease the upcoming burden.

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Look to inside jokes for inspiration

After discussing with some friends, looking back at my past guy friends, and present ones — only one — I have come to the conclusion that getting gifts for guys has become a daunting task for me and most of my girlfriends. The first step to conquering what has now become a quest is to really think about him and what makes him, well, him.

What does he do on a daily basis? What does he enjoy? His interests? And most of all, what makes him laugh? Because ladies, when you end up just as clueless for a present as when you started, you’ll resolve to find something that makes him laugh and call it a holiday. From my experience, limited as it may be, he will appreciate a good laugh over a $10 Adidas perfume bottle from the Walmart Christmas gift sale boxes.

Yes, I tried that once — no, twice — on two different occasions, and both times the gift was discarded. You’d think I would learn after the first time. Anyway, after learning from my repeated mistake, I eventually discovered the success of funny gifts. Simple, and guaranteed to get a laugh out of your guy friend.

It was my guy friend’s birthday three weeks ago, and I found myself in the same position you will probably be in come Christmas. We’re friends, and not getting him a birthday present would be noticeable. Many thoughts went in my mind, I was walking on thin ice because you don’t want to give the wrong impression with these things. It came to me when I went through his daily routine: chocolate milk. This guy drinks a two-litre carton of chocolate milk before and after every class, and God only knows how many he indulges in when he’s alone. So, I went to No Frills, Food Basics, and Walmart to buy every type of chocolate milk known to man, and even got him a milk crate to serve as a “giftbag”. Did he like it? Yes, yes, he did. Or at least that’s what he told me.

Encourage his active lifestyle

The fine art of athletics, exercise, and sports is something I have less than limited experience in. It is true that I may never dabble in exerted movements, but your buddy might.

You can’t buy him a sport or the skills to be good at them, but you can buy the sport wear and accessories to either encourage them to keep at it, or guilt trip them into hitting the gym.

Ball caps so they can wear them the wrong way, socks so that they’re worn over their pants, and those water bottles that squirt when you squeeze them so they can imagine they look cool when the water “accidently” splashes their face. The types of sportwear accessories are boundless, it really depends on what type of an athlete your BGF (best guy friend) is.

When in doubt, there’s always food

They say that best way to get to a guy’s heart is through his stomach, and what guy friend of yours has ever rejected food? This is a perfect gift if you’re on a budget and have most of the ingredients at home already.

Cookies, cakes, cupcakes, or more cookies; anything you think you can make will satisfy their constantly hungry stomach. A present made from your blood sweat and tears can also open doors to get you out of the friend zone. If you want your best guy friend to be your boyfriend, start learning some recipes because he might melt from all the passion and hard work you put in his baked goods.

In all honesty, your guy friend is still a friend. His gender is the only difference, what makes you guys friends is what you should be focusing on. Think about your friendship and unique bond and decide from there how you want to go about getting him that holiday gift. Good luck and happy holidays!