Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Shopping Help

Now that we’ve made it through Black Friday and Cyber Monday hopefully we can get back to some semblance of normal. Hopefully, you took advantage of the sales to get your wife a romantic Christmas gift. If not, I fully understand. Who wants to go out and wait in line in the middle of the night in order to get crushed by the crowd in whatever store?

Well, since you probably didn’t go out Christmas shopping, I thought I’d give you some pointers on how to buy a Christmas gift for your wife. There are some common blunders that us guys make, which we should always seek to avoid. I’ll try to steer you clear of the worst of them.

·        Don’t go shopping for “practical” gifts. To us guys, a new power tool may be the cat’s meow; but I’ll guarantee you that your wife won’t see the new vacuum cleaner that way. When you buy your wife practical gifts, especially practical gifts to use around the house, she sees it as if you see her as nothing but a slave. There are exceptions to this, when you know she wants something that is practical. But, even then, be sure to buy her something romantic as well.

·        It isn’t necessary to spend a lot of money on one gift to impress her. Women aren’t necessarily impressed by the cost of a gift (although a diamond necklace is pretty impressive to anyone) but by the thoughtfulness of the gift. It is often better to buy her several smaller gifts, which celebrate her femininity, than to buy one larger gift.

·        Take her tastes and interests into account. You are the world’s greatest scholar on your wife; as such, you should know what she likes, what her interests are, her favorite colors, and if she has a special “thing” (such as teddy bears, bunny rabbits, or a particular type of flower) that express her.

·        When buying clothes, be sure to check the sizes and colors in her closet. Find a few outfits that she wears regularly; check the tag to see what size they are, so you know what to buy. Also look at what colors of clothing she wears the most (what’s in her closet the most) to know what colors she would like to receive.

·        Start her a collection – In general, women like collectables. So, if you regularly have trouble coming up with gifts for your wife, start her a collection of something that fits her personality. Years ago, my dad started a collection of Hummel figurines for my mom. When my wife and I married, I started her a piano music box collection. For several years, every Christmas I’d find a piano music box and that would be one of her gifts. By the way, this shouldn’t be the principal gift, but an additional one.

·        Remember, for gifts to be romantic, they need to be things that celebrate her femininity. Great categories for this are: jewelry, decorations for the home, clothing, fancy lingerie, perfume, bath oil & bubble bath, or a visit to the spa. (this list is not all inclusive, just to give you an idea)

·        Another great category of gifts that women like are gifts that have something to do with relationship. Since they are relationally oriented, a gift that builds relationship, builds them. In other words, a book about gardening wouldn’t be considered romantic (although if your wife loves gardening, she might still appreciate it); but a book about 100 ways to kiss is incredibly romantic.

·        Don’t forget to use the female sales clerks in the stores; they will understand the woman’s perspective better than you. If you aren’t sure that something is romantic, ask them, they’ll be glad to give you their advice (and won’t even charge you).

·        One more great resource for coming up with ideas, especially about that “thing” which represents your wife or her style, is her friends. Most women love to be part of a conspiracy to bless their friends. Not only that, but even more so than the sales clerk, they know what your wife likes. Many women tell their best friends things about their hopes and desires, which they never express to their own husbands. Co-opt their help in finding exactly what will make your wife go “wow” on Christmas morning.

A couple of final points: Be sure to wrap it nice. Nothing can spoil a great gift faster than a poor wrapping job. Looking at the box and wondering what’s in it is part of the fun. Make sure that the wrapping stands out in the sea of gifts under your tree. Avoid gift bags for this same reason; it’s too easy to sneak a peek at what’s inside.

Also, don’t wait till the last minute to do your shopping. You want that gift (or those gifts) to be under the tree for enough time to really cause her to wonder. The anticipation will make the gift better when she finally opens it.

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