For many men, the mid-20s are a time of setting out to reach goals and further their independence. A 26-year-old man may still be a student, already be working or even have a family. When buying a gift for a man age 26, keep in mind that he needs useful gifts as well as fun and relaxing ones.
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A young man entering the workforce needs all the help he can get. Get him a stylish new briefcase or smartphone for keeping his calendar handy. Or, pay for him to visit a tailor and have a couple of suits custom-made. If he works with his hands, outfit him with a sturdy tool belt and new tools. If he's just starting out, pay a professional to create his resume and a cover letter, or get him a subscription to an industry-specific magazine to help prepare for interviews.
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Give a gift that keeps giving long after he receives it. Depending on his interests, sign him up for a class or lessons that will broaden his horizons and increase his marketability. Get him a foreign-language tutor, pay for dancing lessons or enrol him in a continuing-education course. If he's still a student, spring for a premium industry-specific software package so that he'll be fully outfitted for work when he graduates. You could also pay for him to take a volunteering trip to a developing country or an internship abroad.
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Food and Drink
Help expand his palate with a wine-, cheese- or beer-of-the-month club membership. You could also get him a home-brewing system or a wine chiller. For the harried student, a series of £6 gift cards to his favourite fast-food restaurant can be a godsend, while the family man may appreciate a dinner at a posh restaurant with his wife or a big dinner celebration with relatives. You could also give him a cooking coupon book; each coupon entitles him to one night of you cooking for him and his family.
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An avid golfer may appreciate a new set of clubs, while the gaming enthusiast could do with a console upgrade or a few additions to his game library. If he loves to read, get him a subscription to an online book rental service, or buy him an e-reader. If he likes to have friends over, a billiards, foosball or ping-pong table could be a big hit. You could also surprise him with tickets to a playoff game or other sporting event; send him and some friends off in style with a rented limousine.