Are you the kind of guy who rushes down to the mall on December 24th to buy your wife a Christmas gift? Are you the kind of husband who sends his kids to do the Christmas shopping? Are you the one who walks into the store and says to the clerk “I’ll take one of those in your size. I’m sure the two of you are about the same size.”
If you are then you could be frustrated and not looking forward to the holidays.
John and Susan were newly married. Susan often encouraged John to include her in his hobbies. He loved to hunt. He loved to have the animals he hunted stuffed and displayed in the living room. Susan was very supportive of his hobby. For Susan’s birthday in October, John gave Susan a rifle. Susan did not smile. Christmas arrived. Susan was tired of washing dishes by hand and she was still remembering the birthday present she received from John. For Christmas, John received a dishwasher. Do I need to point out the moral of this story? Don’t give your spouse a present that you want or that you want her to have. Give her what she really wants!
Some women like surprises and others don’t.
One woman who had a great surprise still talks about it years later. Gayle and Mike were married for about eight years when this Christmas surprise happened. Each year they visited his mother and family in a neighboring city. Mike said to Gayle, I just don’t think our old clunker of a car is going to make it to Mom’s this year. I rented a car for us to take but I’m going to be at work when it has to be picked up. Can you drop by the car dealership that is renting us the car and bring it home. You can do any paperwork that is needed.
Gayle got her girlfriend to give her a ride to pick up the car. When she went in, the guys behind the counter knew why she was there. They told her they had made arrangements with her husband about the paperwork and all she had to do was to take the keys and the car. It was a small town and although Gayle thought it was a bit lax, she didn’t think too much about it. It was a nice car and they talked about the smooth ride and nice features as they drove to the neighboring city.
Christmas Eve came. The presents were all wrapped and under the tree by 10:00 p.m. There were quite a few long curved packages and several of the sisters were getting downhill skis. Gayle’s present was little and it rattled. The sisters all knew what it was and kept saying how lucky Gayle was. Gayle kept thinking, “but I wanted skis”.
Morning finally came and the presents were opened with much ooohing and aahing. Gayle opened up her present and everyone stopped what they were doing to watch. It was a small washed out Cheez Whiz jar with the lid on. Inside there was a little toy car. “Well, that explains the rattling” thought Gayle. But what did it mean?
The sisters begged her to open the lid and pull out the toy car. Underneath the car a key was taped. Gayle looked at it quizzically. Little sister finally yelled: “You got a car for Christmas and it’s the one in the driveway.” Gayle responded “No, Patti, that car is rented.” Mike just sat there with a silly grin on his face. Patti said “No, it’s not rented, it’s yours!” Gayle finally understood! What a great surprise. “No wonder why there was no paperwork!” she said. Gayle still remembers that Christmas with a tear in her eye.
But not everyone loves surprises.
Marla doesn’t like surprises so much. She’s been married forever to Bob. Back in the day when frost free fridges were an option she had a fridge that wasn’t. After 10 years of this fridge her husband surprised her one Christmas with a new fridge. She had said she wanted a nice green one to go with the newly painted kitchen.
He surprised her with a brown one.
She did arrange for it to be returned but with much confusion and hurt feelings. This old fridge is still in the basement full of soda, orange juice, and apples, its glass shelves replaced with plywood, and its gaskets replaced twice.
Marla says “My advice on surprises is, give the promise, not the final product. The surprise may be on you.”
Let me give you some tips. I’m a woman; I’ve talked to lots of women. I’ve even surveyed women. I’ve got a pretty good idea what you can do to get that great Christmas gift that will thrill your wife.
The first step is to sit down with her early in the season – maybe even in November – and ask her, “Honey, what would you like for Christmas? If you will give me some ideas that I can choose from it will help me find something special for the special women in my life.” Have a pen and paper with you. Write down her responses. Ask her for specifics including color. Make sure you know the color, the size, the material, the caret. Get all the details.
Don’t be surprised if you get a response like “nothing” or “let’s not do Christmas presents this year” or even “if you don’t know I’m not going to tell you.” Don’t be surprised and don’t let it daunt you. You still have opportunities to find out. If you have started early as I suggested – November is NOT too early – you can ask her friends, her sister, her mother, your teenage daughter or son. Perhaps they have heard her talk about some things that she is just longing for. Make a note – get the specifics and set off to the mall.
Here are a few gift ideas that women like:
1. Jewelry: Diamonds, Italian charm bracelets, her birthstone in a ring.
2. Spa Treatments: if you have the money to send her and a friend to a weekend spa, that would be fun.
3. Time away: why not take her to a neighboring city for a rock concert or other special event. Maybe to a beach for long walks just the two of you.
4. Tickets to that concert in your own city.
5. Nice lingerie
6. Sexy boots
7. A digital camera
8. A digital frame filled with her favorite pictures of the two of you and other special people in her life.
9. Something that has to do with her hobby – is she a quilter? A reader? A gamer? A gardener? A doll collector? A dog lover?
10. A Coupon Book (worth mega brownie points) for
a. Romantic Dinners cooked by you
b. Massage given by you
c. Romantic Getaway for just the two of you to housesit for a friend who also is “getting away.” You could even make it a house trade!
d. Picnic on the beach, in the mountains or at the park
e. Five Free household chores done without complaint by you
f. One room painted to her specifications by you.
When I was checking out the internet for gift ideas recently I came across an idea that is something I am sure many women would love. It’s a personalized love story that you can order on line. Now that truly is romantic and if anyone is talking to my husband, let him know please!
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