Gift Giving 101

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dave is generally a pretty good gift giver but recently he bought me a dud. So, we have had this conversation about men buying gifts for their wives. I know not many husbands read this blog (maybe none, who knows) but feel free to pass the link onto your husbands if you wish.

The Don'ts

~Don't buy your wife anything utilitarian UNLESS she has specifically asked for it...for a holiday. As in, "I sure would love a new Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas, honey!" One of my friends husbands actually bought her JUMPER CABLES one year. Yes, you read that right...JUMPER CABLES! I am sure that was not a big hit. Recently, I accidentally dropped my external hard drive and lost everything on it. My beloved bought me a new one as one of my birthday presents. I did not really appreciate it because it was on my to do list. I was going to get one for myself. I just had not gotten to the store yet. To me it was like receiving an oil change. I was going to do it anyway. Women (in general) do not like utilitarian gifts. However, I think men love utilitarian gifts (like tools, flashlights etc). Correct me if I am wrong gentlemen.

~Don't buy us clothes. Unless you are gay (in which case you have fabulous taste but probably should not be married to us), men cannot really pick out clothes for us. A gift card to our favorite clothing store is MUCH more appreciated. One year, I told Dave that anything he bought me from a certain boutique would be great. We were very newly married (like 2 weeks). He bought me gray plaid-ish flannel clothes there. It was the only thing from the entire store I would never have worn. And it was expensive too. He tried. So, lesson learned. A gift card is GREAT!

~Don't try to change us. We do not want a membership to weight watchers or the gym (unless we specifically asked for it). Or as my friend suggested don't tell your wife you'll pay for her to have her spider veins in her legs fixed as a Christmas gift. Now, if your wife is asking for a boob job or some botox and you want to give that, I say go for it. Just make sure she wants the improvement more than you do;)

The Do's

~Do ask you wife's best friend for ideas. We usually tell our friends the things we would like.

~Do take notice of your wife's collections. If she collects limoges or majolica or James Avery charms for a bracelet, go with that! Most women collect something (ornaments, dishes, Staffordshire, pandora, etc).

~Do buy gift cards. I LOVE when Dave puts Barnes and Noble or Starbucks gift cards in my stocking. Now, I don't want a Target card in there (see don't #1) but gift cards for little treats are very appreciated.

~Do give us time to ourselves. I know most Moms would LOVE for you to take the kids away for a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday. And by few hours I mean 4 hours or more. We cannot really relax in 2 hours. We spend the first hour or more straightening up and throwing in a load of laundry so that we can relax.

~Speaking of relaxation... a gift certificate for a massage or pedicure/manicure is always appreciated. Other pampering gifts like scented soaps, lotions and bath salts (these are my favorite in lavender) are great gifts too.

~Do buy your wife a magazine subscription. There are magazines for everything now. Some of my recent favorites are Clean Eating and Living Without. But there are magazines for photography, photoshop, scrap-booking, crafts, interior design, floral arranging, antiques, exercise, fashion, parenting, renovations...you name it! Real Simple, People, Time and the New Yorker are great too.

~For stocking stuffers, be creative. Buy us a luxurious soap from a boutique or a special candle (Nest in Bamboo is nice). We do not like dental floss or batteries in our stocking. Go in your wife's purse and look at her favorite lip gloss. Buy her a new one and put it in her stocking. I guarantee she will be surprised. Dave did this one Christmas early in our marriage. I was so flattered that he thought to see what I liked. He went in my make-up drawer but he pulled out a lipstick that had been a free gift and I never wore. So, just make sure it is one she wears. This works with lotion, lip balms, powder, mascara...anything. Just be sure to write down the brand and color, so you get the right thing. I think your wife's favorite movie candy makes a good and inexpensive stocking stuffer (mine is Sno-caps in case anyone was wondering). Finally, Pier One has some adorable scarves/wraps that look like pashminas for under $10 right now. (I already bought one for me and Kate, honey.)

~Do take the time to look around and see what brings your wife joy. If she loves to cook, maybe a cooking class or a new cookbook would be a great gift. If she loves to read, maybe a kindle or Barnes and Noble gift card would be the best option. If scrap-booking is her thing, subscribe to one of the new scrap-booking magazines. If she is a gardener, buy her some garden supplies or a gift certificate for seeds/flowers. A silver photo frames with a favorite photo is a lovely gift too. If you really think about what your wife loves and really listen to her, you will find the perfect gift. And remember jewelry and gift cards are always welcome. Let me know if you have any questions gentlemen. Oh and what do y'all like in your stockings? Batteries and dental floss?

P.S. Just so you know~ I always buy myself some things that I love and give them to Dave to give me for Christmas. The kids get very upset if we do not have a few things to open. And well, I am kind of hard to buy for.

To review...


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While the gift suggestions are very real....some of this is tongue in cheek. I do not mean to offend anyone. And I realize not ALL women appreciate these kinds of gifts. But in talking to my girlfriends this is what we like.

Next, I will post some photos of our abode decked out for Christmas. I know you have seen snippets here and there..but I will put it all in one post.

34 comments:

  1. Thanks for visiting my blog and for the kind words:-)
    Our little Lily is adopted from Jianxi China and has changed our world forever.
    I'll be sure to keep stopping by your precious blog. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!

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  2. Good advice for challenged male shoppers! Once Kate is old enough she will be able to give her dad suggestions :)

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  3. Well done! Thankfully I'm married to a very thoughtful and creative gift giver, HOWEVER, I could really use some tips on what to buy HIM! Maybe Dave could write a post giving US some tips?? I can't afford and wouldn't know how to pick out the new lens he wants, but I don't want to wrap new underwear and call it a day. I need suggestions that come in between underwear and a new lens. :)

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  4. This INSTRUCTION MANUEL needs to be handed out to EVERY MALE starting DEC 1st!! LOL!!! JUMPER CABLES!!! THAT ONE CRACKED ME UP!!!!

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  5. You are so funny , and helpful , I totally agree with your advice , I actually got the boob job as a gift , still love them too ,just found out I am getting a toaster oven for Christmas , yuck , I don't want one and if i did it would have to be the cutest nicest one around , oh bummer , why would he get me a toaster oven, I actually wanted a new nail gun ,do they ever listen ?

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  6. More than a decade ago, I worked out a great system with my Dad. I take all my favorite catalogs and mark up the items and colors and sizes I like. Now I actually send him an email with direct links. Waaay more than I get so that he has plenty of options. And because I do this just before thanksgiving, I am always surprised on Christmas morning as I forget what I asked for. Oh and it means Dad doesn't have to go to the mall. So we're both happy in the end!

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  7. Wonder if I should forward your blog to my husband!

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  8. What a great list Kim! My hubby is a sweetheart but he always gets me practical things that I need when I really wish for something frivolous!

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  9. I guess I got very lucky...my husband (who I swear is not gay) buys me awesome clothes!!!! I'm pretty easy to buy for...This year I'm sure I will get some camera supplies : ) which will be much appreciated.

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  10. Love it! Richard says he did good this year. He's been pretty proud for a few weeks which is amazing because he never does anything before Christmas Eve!! We shall see...

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  11. I love your advice and your slipped in hints to your hubby! What's a girl without a blog to do? I'll have to fill you in on the fab party my girlfriends hosted for me....my 40th is coming up on the 26th. I'm also being "surprised" with a girls' only weekend to Florida. Worth Avenue here I come!

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  12. Great post! Cory just left to go shopping and I should have had him read this before going! I buy most of my own gifts too (this year I am giving myself a bathroom makeover) and he usually surprises me with a couple of things too. He tries really hard, but I am still making him read this post!

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  13. So funny and so true!! Hubs often buys me clothes -- I take them back every single year and ask him to please not buy me clothes, but he still does. Bought myself a few things from him this year - am guaranteed not to take back. I would like Botox!! :)

    Janet

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  14. Love this post, Kim. Lord knows I have enough males in my life that can use some shopping help! LOL. Honestly though, I can not fault my husband - he does a great job when it comes to gift giving and I am hoping my boys will learn from him and treat the women in their lives well when the time comes!
    *Love that KS bracelet!

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  15. So if I bought myself something at Kohl's, can I give Jodee the Kohl's Cash in her stocking??

    Chef Daddy

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  16. Oh Yes Chef Daddy...I am sure she will like Kohl's cash:)

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  17. lol....you make me smile;) The best gift of all is the sweet family the Lord has given to you...doesn't it just make your heart smile to know how He led you to your husband...then your boys...then your sweet princess. He is so good and faithful. Have a blessed Christmas Kim.

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  18. LOVE IT!!! The gospel according to Kim!!! Oh so true!!!

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  19. I am awful. each time Ben gives me a gift - right before I open the package I say "if i don't like it can I exchange it?" wow. what a you know what!!! I can't help it - he spends so much money - and if you don't love it, it's such a waste!!!! and he can't keep a secret either. he has to give you the gift the minute he buys it. he did realllly good this year though!!! a bracelet!!!! and i loved it!!!!

    Elisabeth actually works - she works at More Than You Can Imagine so it doesn't leave much time for school or baby sitting either. But if I think of someone, I'll let you know!! ok? she would have loved to do it last year.

    Joni

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  20. i have to tell you - your party dress was the cutest thing I have ever seen!!!! you looked so adorable in it too - wow. I loved the color on you. perfect!! I can relate to your street. we went through that a few years ago.

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  21. My husband actually bought me an external hd for my birthday last year and it brought me to tears... good tears! He knows how much my pictures of my kids and family mean to me and I thought it was the sweetest gift that he ever gave me. I know that sometimes they don't think... but they are wired differently than we are. Their intentions are good *usually* and I am thankful that he takes the time out of his day to think of me, whatever the gift :) Merry Christmas!!

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  22. Love this post :) I am so lucky - my husband is a GREAT gift-giver...but I do have a friend whose husband filled her stocking with nailpolishes - the entire stocking!!

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  23. I make a very specific list. VERY specific. Cute post!

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  24. Love this list. Actually read it out loud to my husband.

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  25. Such a cute post ! I love the KS braclet too!
    Merry Christmas!

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  26. Laughing!!! Especially since it will be my hubby's first x-mas buying for me as his wife. Usually my mom does my stocking, but this year because of her health, Evan is on his own - it should be a good one!

    Blessings for a wonderful Christmas, Ashley

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  27. I don't know... I'd probably like the jumper cables. I mean, as soon as I stopped laughing. Because jumper cables just shout out "I love you."

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  28. Boy did you hit the nail on the head! Nothing says I love you like a new carpet cleaner!!!

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  29. I loved this post! I copied it and sent it to all my girlfriends husbands! I am lucky to have a husband who is a amazing gift giver but I do have some friends who could end up with jumper cables!!
    Merry CHRISTmas to you and your family.

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  30. You made my morning!!! I loved your list and started laughing when you mentioned the Kitchen Aid and the utilitarian items. Sometimes I put utilitarian items on my list because I really and truly want them, and for the life of me, he refuses to buy them saying Christmas is not the time for them and he can get them for me anytime I want (although I've been waiting for my household tool kit for years and haven't seen it yet). LOL.

    Also, I can't wait to see your holiday decorating. You're so talented!!!! We have a new home and since so many of our boxes are still in storage, our holiday decor is really (truly) lacking.

    Take care.

    Mommy to Two Busy Boys

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  31. I do love the Kate Spade bracelet!! A definite yes!

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  32. I am definitely with you...NO jumper CABLES! YIKES! Love all of the suggestions...i may just have my boyfriend read this post...when it comes down to it...it is all about the thought...if they put thought into it...then it will be special. Taking time to figure out what would make you woman smile from inside out...things that she knows you took the time to think about, are the most special.
    BTW...the kate spade bracelet...that shows thought...lots and lots of kind thoughts!! love it!!!

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Thank you for your kindness.