Shopping hints for husbands

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This post is for the guys but,

Ladies: Click here to find out what your husband most wants to find under his tree.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – unless you are like me and really lousy at picking gifts. I thought I would offer some advice, based on experience, as to what you can get your wife to brighten her holidays. First, some things not to give:

1. A Bathroom scale
Jana won’t let me forget this one.  She had been saying she wanted one so I thought, “Aha.  A sure winner”.  It was not.  Even though it was digital (back then that was really cool) and even told her what percentage of body fat she had. I can’t imagine why any woman would not want to know her body fat percentage.  Strike 1!

W.O.W. – women are very body conscious and anything (work out DVDs, gym memberships, calorie counting cookbooks, etc) that we get them that suggests they are out of shape (hey, round is a shape) just adds to the insecurity they already feel.

2. A Vacuum cleaner
We needed a new one.  This one was self-propelled (again, that was a cool new feature back then) so I thought I was really going to bless her with this work saving device.  Strike 2!

W.O.W. – Most appliances, kitchen gadgets, etc. are off limits – no matter how much the guy yelling at you on TV assures you every woman wants one of these in her kitchen.  She might want it in her kitchen but usually she doesn’t want to first find it under the Christmas tree.

3. A Tiny box wrapped in 10 other outer boxes she has to unwrap first.
So how funny is it if you have a small gift wrapped in several layers of boxes and paper so she has to unwrap one, then another, then another.  Hilarious, right?  A real inciter of holiday cheer, right? Wrong!  Strike 3!

W.O.W. – If the inner gift is a huge bling diamond ring this might be acceptable but still not appreciated.  I have found most women do not get into humorous gifts, gag gifts – what woman would not want a signing fish to hang in the dining room?  They prefer sincerity.  It does not have to be expensive but it does need to be something meaningful that looks like you thought about her, what she likes and wants.

4. Finally, even if she says she does not want anything, get something.
Remember, women use the same words we do but often mean just the opposite of what those words mean to us (and to the writers of the English dictionary).  “Yes”, often means “no”.  “Go away” often means “Please stay”.  “Leave me alone” often means “don’t leave me alone but convince me you love me by staying here and pursuing me”. “Don’t get me anything” often means “get me something because you want to not because you feel you have to.”

W.O.W. – Don’t break the bank.  She may have said “get nothing” because she is already feeling concerned over your financial situation and blowing a wad on her does not say “I love you” it says “my husband is an irresponsible idiot”.  Getting something small, romantic and meaningful is the way to go.  Assure her that you bought it because you wanted to, no sense of obligation, that you just could not let this opportunity pass without showing your love for her.

What do I get her?

So, now that you have to take everything back that you already bought and paid to have wrapped by the folks at the store, what do you get her for Christmas?  Here are some winners I have discovered.

1. A Spa Day
I never go wrong with something that will pamper her – manicures, pedicures, massages.  These can be pricey but there are also some bargains out there.  Of course, if the budget is really tight (make sure it is not just that you are really tight) you can create some certificates where you offer her a massage, house cleaning, babysit while she goes shopping or just relaxes at Starbucks, wash dishes, etc.  A booklet of these “honey-do” type services is usually appreciated.

2. Flowers, jewelry, specialty foods.
I am amazed at how Jana will refer to a piece of jewelry as “the necklace I got her for our anniversary” or “the earrings I got her for Christmas”.  She remembers these things.  Not all women do but Jana also appreciates flowers, chocolate covered strawberries (for that matter pretty much anything that has “chocolate” in the name will be appreciated).  While these are probably not good Christmas gifts, adding them to the mix on top of another gift is a way of going the “extra mile” and is nice, thoughtful “icing on the cake”.

3. A card or letter also adds value to a gift.  But don’t just sign the card.  Write something that expresses your appreciation for her.  The more specific you can be here the better.  You have to tell her why you love her, why she is a wonderful wife, why you want to spend the rest of your life with her, why she is an awesome woman, why you would marry her all over again (only quicker).  You get the idea.

4. Bottom line: Listen to her.  If she is not already dropping hints, ask her what she would like.  I am a guy who likes to do the surprise thing – don’t ask what she wants rather get something random she would never expect and surprise her with it.   Strike 4!

Jana does not like surprises.  She enjoys the anticipation more.  Perhaps your wife does like to be surprised.  You need to know her and work with it.  Perfume, clothing (keep the receipts), lingerie (the type she likes, not the type you like), travel, a night out – all can be good gift ideas.  The main thing is communicate and think about her when you get the gift – not what you would want if you were her but what she wants in all her unique, not-you-ness.

Hope that helps make Christmas just a little merrier at your house.
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2 Corinthians 8:11-12
Give in proportion to what you have. If you are really eager to give, then it isn’t important how much you have to give. God wants you to give what you have, not what you haven’t.

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