I say go with your intuition. Seems like you have a good foundation in the relationship. Ask whomever you buy it from if you can work out a return if he's unhappy, given this special occasion. If they say no, go to someone who will. If you know him well enough to do this, chances are he will be happy and touched. If you let him in on it, then it's no longer your gift to him necessarily, which seems like the point of it. I wouldn't worry about him not liking it. You know your husband. Trust that. If he doesn't like it, and he can return for either something else or cash back, then you can deal with the other options. Whose to say he won't be bowled over and love it? Stay with your plan. Of the ones you mentioned, I'd say either of the last two. I think it's awesome that you and his mom want to do this. Don't waste it in a card with directions and options. Trust your judgement. Greg PS. If it's a vintage fender he wants, get a vintage fender. Anything else will fall short.