With the Christmas season approaching quickly, I thought it might be helpful for you to have some gift giving tips that will keep the holiday cheer intact. Your number one priority is your spouse. There are some hard and fast rules that will insure that on Christmas night you are sleeping in your nice warm bed rather than under the Christmas tree with the dogs. Feel free to print out this list and refer to it often.
- You must give your wife a gift. Amazingly, some husbands are unaware of this. While they contribute to their wife’s well-being, finances, safety, and life-long security, some men feel that an actual gift is unnecessary. This is WRONG! Even a small gift with a lot of thought can go a long way with your spouse, but not giving a gift at all is a fatal mistake. You must give your wife a gift.
- The gift you get your wife must be thoughtful. Running to the box store the Saturday before Christmas and purchasing whatever is on sale is not thoughtful. She could do that herself. Therefore, start THINKING today about the gift you will give your wife. Preparation is not just a good idea, it is a necessity! Regardless of how much you choose to spend, or not spend, this gift must be thoughtful.
- If you have been a thoughtful husband all along, then you will know your wife’s “love language.” This will help you greatly in determining what gift would be the most thoughtful one for your spouse. A shiny bauble will work for some women, but will be completely inappropriate for others.*
- While you are thinking about your very thoughtful gift, do a mental review through some conversations you’ve had with your wife in the last 6 months. Most likely, she has told you what she would like to get. The problem is that you probably did not hear her when she said it and equate it to a gift-giving opportunity. Examples:
- Three months ago, your wife complained that there were several books that needed to be picked up from the bedroom floor, kitchen table, or sofa, but they are still sitting there three months later. Don’t wonder why any longer; just go buy your wife a nice bookshelf.
- Remember when she pointed out that new Asian restaurant in town that employed a great chef? Get a gift certificate, hire a babysitter, go to the florist to pick up a corsage for her, and take her on a date.
- Check your wife’s Facebook, or other social media, status. If she has posted 15 photos on Instagram of different decorating ideas for the living room, perhaps a trip to the local home furnishings store is in order.
- Do NOT, do NOT, do NOT give your wife any household appliance UNLESS she has asked specifically for it. One year, I got a vacuum cleaner for Christmas. No kidding. Household appliances, unless they are specific and she has asked you for it, are not gifts. They are a part of your household. Christmas is the wrong time to buy vacuum cleaners, irons, washer/dryer sets, etc. However, that great pasta maker that she has looked at half a dozen times could be perfect.
- If your wife has asked for something more than once and you fail to give it to her, you are an idiot who deserves to sleep under the tree with the dogs. When she asks, or playfully hints, at a specific perfume for three weeks, you had better get her at least a medium sized bottle of it along with the gift set that contains body gel and lotion in that fragrance. She would probably not have had to hint at it so much if you had paid attention last summer when she said she liked it. Be thoughtful and go get it.
- Your gift does not necessarily have to involve money. Women are smart. They know when the bank account is low (ok, well, except for me since I can’t balance a checkbook and my financial advisor knows I stink at this), mouths and tummies have to be fed, and mortgages have to be paid. So your wife may have suggested the idea of putting in a new flower bed last summer. Yet in the busy-ness, it just didn’t get done. So a great gift for your wife may be to mark off the place she wants the flower bed to be located, till the soil, purchase appropriate border material (often cheaper in the off season or clearance sales), and add the recommended fertilizers to prepare the soil for next spring (the local garden center can help with this). While you’re at the garden center, pick up a small gift card that your wife can use next spring to buy some seeds or flowers for the new bed. Such a gift will be remembered for months to come.
*Go here to learn more about Dr. Gary Chapman and the five love languages: http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/communication-and-conflict/learn-to-speak-your-spouses-love-language/understanding-the-five-love-languages