It's commonly assumed that men can not buy their wives good gifts. Family jokes include the story of the time Dad bought Mom a lawnmower or an outboard motor. Or the blender that caused the largest family argument ever. Have you heard the one about the husband who offered to pay for his wife's liposuction?
Over time the incident is downplayed and becomes the stuff of legend.
Women are as guilty of this as men; I've heard many wives state that they picked out what they wanted, wrapped it up and told their husbands what they purchased. One Father's Day Iave my husband the standing jewelry box I'd always wanted.
We all laugh about it but secretly I believe there's a bit of hurt in that laugh. There's a sense of not being heard, of being overlooked or even ignored.
It does not have to be that way.
Here are some helpful tips in finding the perfect gift for your Significant Other:
1). Listen. Make a mental note of the theme of your wives' conversation. Does she talk about something new she discovered during the week? Is she excited about a new author she's reading, a store she typically likes, a new sport she'd like to pursue? If so, look those things up online and get ideas from various websites.
2) Look. Are her winter gloves getting worn? Replace them with an upgrade. Is she leaving subtle hints around the house such as magazines or store ads opened to something special?
Seriously, women are not all that subtle; If there's something she wants, you can believe she'll be talking about it more or will make a comment while you're watching a commercial on television. The trick is to WANT to find the gift she'll love.
3) Take the time to research the right gift. I'm not talking about how it is manufactured or how many models of it there are or where its company is on the NASDAQ market. I'm referring to checking around to see what is available in that category. If you know she'd like a massage, ask coworkers for suggestions for great spas in the area. Ask her girlfriends what they think she would like.
4). Love her enough to put some time into the gift. It does not have to be expensive. Often the perfect gift reflects how important she is to you.
One of my favorite gifts from my husband Don came when we were still dating.
We had been seeing each other for a few months and I needed to know if he was as invested in the relationship as I was. We were both poor college students so I knew money was nonexistent; still, I thread out a challenge to him.
"Why do not you ever send me a sweet and mushy card?"
I did not know if he heard me and I quickly forgot about my comment.
The next day at breakfast he handed me a handmade envelope. Inside the envelope was a card with a cartoon mouse saying, "You wanted a sweet and mushy card." Inside the card was a square of dry cornflakes glued on it with the words, "Just add milk."
It was not the greatest artwork and it was not the most expensive gift, but the fact that he listened, looked, and loved me enough to spend the time on that goofy card meant so much to me. After 31 years of marriage I still have it despite I'm sure the cornflakes are thoroughly disgusting by now.
Heed my warning here fellas. DO NOT offer to buy her a weight loss program program membership no matter how much she says she wants one! This will come back to haunt you. Do not purchase sexy lingerie if she's the flannel pajama type. Do your very best to purchase clothing in her size; unless she's the type to cut all the tags out of her clothes, look in the closet to discover her current size. When in doubt, purchase the next size down. When she protests about the size tell her that's how she looks to you.
Do not cop out with generic gift cards without she specifically says she wants them. If so, find a creative way to wrap the card rather than just handing it to her under the mistletoe. I've been known to take a box, fill it with pebbles, add the gift card and wrap extravagantly. My son Ryan and his grandpa have exchanged gifts entirely wrapped in duct tape. The fun is in the unwrapping.
Finally, remember that it's not the expense of the gift but the thought that goes into it that matters. Purchase something at the last minute at the local gas station and she will know it instantly. Make this a memorable Christmas for both of you by taking time to listen, look, research, and show your love by giving a memento that shows you are invested in her life.