Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Start Her a Collection

Buying little gifts for your wife can be a bit of a challenge. At times, it can be extremely hard to figure out what women like (or what anyone likes for that matter). Even if you know your wife well enough to know what sorts of things she likes, thinking of that and then finding something in that category can be a challenge.

Fortunately for us guys, almost all women like some sort of trinket, decorative items. That helps quite a bit in the “find her a gift” department. When all else fails, you can always buy some sort of cute decorative item and know that it will be appreciated.

I’d like to stack the deck in our favor though. I mean, if we’re going to buy gifts for our wives (which we should), isn’t it better to have some sort of a plan to make sure that it’s going to work.

Okay, so how do we stack the deck in our favor? Simple, start her a collection. That way, when you need to buy her a gift, you can always buy something that adds to that collection. Not only does the collection grow and become more special, but you’ve created an instant win for every time that you buy something to add to it.

Now, not all women are natural collectors. I’ve known some that seem like they’ve been collecting the same thing for 30 years or more; and then there are others who are grandmas and have never collected anything. That doesn’t mean that your wife won’t appreciate you starting her a collection; especially if you can find something to help her collect that she can really identify with.

That’s the real key; actually it’s the real key for just about anything with women. A woman needs to be able to make an emotional connection with things. She’ll buy a car, because she’s able to connect with it. Same thing with a sofa or lamp or even clothing. So, you’ve got to pick out something that she can identify with; some category of thing to collect, which touches her heart strings.

You can get a lot of hints about this from things that your wife likes to do and things that she already has. For example, when my wife and I got married, she had a piano. Now, I’ll have to say that although my wife plays the piano rather well, she never has done so very often in our 25 years of marriage. Nevertheless, that piano is part of her identity. She minored in music (piano) in college and has a fairly extensive collection of music for it. There are classical pieces (she loves classical music) that she learned over 30 years ago, and can still play from memory.

So, a number of years ago, I had needed a gift idea for her and happened into a Hallmark shop. Lo and behold, they had a number of piano music boxes there on a shelf. Bingo! That became the instant start of a collection. Through the years, I’ve bought my wife a number of piano music boxes, adding to the collection bit by bit. It’s still not very large, but she has several there on the shelf with her music.

My youngest daughter is a ballerina. For a few years, she danced in the local production of the Nutcracker performance at Christmastime. Instead of bringing her flowers to her first performance, we bought her a nutcracker (that was almost a no-brainer). She now has nine different nutcrackers sitting on a shelf above her desk.

We have a friend named Cathy, who happens to love cats. Lo and behold, another collection opportunity. There’s a company which makes fine glassware and also makes glass cat collectibles as part of their product line. She started a collection of glass cats, which has grown to over 300 thanks to her husband, her family and friends. She is actually known by the name “Cat” and when she went to visit that company’s factory a few years ago, was received there like visiting royalty.

Another lady we know has a teddy bear collection with a couple of hundred “members.” Her collection isn’t as fragile as the glass cats, so she has seated groups of teddy bears all over her house. My mother has a Hummel figuring collection that my dad built for her. Another lady we know collects precious moments figurines.

You see, once you find something that your wife can connect with, you’ve got it. From then on, it’s just a matter of building the collection, bit by bit. That doesn’t mean that you only by those collectibles for her (please don’t do that), but that you have something you can use as a surprise gift or an additional gift at Christmas time, birthdays and when you’re desperate for an idea.

So, build her a collection, it’ll help decorate the house and every time she sees it, she’ll be able to remember that you did it for her. 

I feel it's appropriate to mention that the picture for today's blog post was painted by Janet Kruskamp. To see this painting and other artwork by her, please click on the image.

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