Q&A: Your Christmas Dilemmas Solved
My husband always asks me what I want for Christmas, I
tell him to surprise me but he insists that I give him ideas
(he says he’s not good at surprises). Then he gets me
something that I asked for…no surprises. How can I get
him to surprise me, with something I would like?
Well, as a husband myself, I can tell you, nothing is more nerve-racking than trying to find the perfect gift for your spouse. Yep, I said perfect gift. Why? Because when it comes to a spouse gift, there are no exceptions. No “so-so” gift. No “ok” gift. Surprises screw up our math on that one. We surprise you with a blouse. You hate it. You wear it anyway. We think we did good. So we get you another one for your birthday. 4 gifts later we find out it wasn’t even close to what you wanted. EEK.
As guys, we don’t want to mess, up, period. We feel a lot better just getting you something you want. To make it more like a surprise, maybe you should drop hints all year. LOUD ones (we’re kinda dense). By the time the holidays roll around, he should have a list of at least 20 things he knows you want (if he’s paying attention). Which one will you get? That’s a surprise.
My husband always gets me practical gifts like pots and
pans, new towels, and gift certificates for the gas station.
These are great to have, but I’d also like to get something
romantic or sentimental from him. What should I do?
Like I always say, it’s simple. TALK TO HIM. Tell him that while you like the practical, it kinda takes away from the magic of the holidays. Tell him kindly that these are gifts he can give him Mom or his best friend. You’d like to get gifts than mean something to you. Simple as that.
If you love to cook or you run out of gas a lot, he’s thinking about you. He just needs a little tweaking.
If he’s just a practical kind of guy who buys practical things, maybe you can reach a compromise. For example – if you enjoy yoga, maybe he’ll get you a new yoga mat. If you love to read, maybe a sterling silver bookmark engraved with a message from him. Or even better — if he’s practical and handy, ask him to make you something, and how much it would mean to you if he did.
Each year I tell my husband what I want for Christmas, I
even post a little note on the fridge, or a picture of it.
And each year he goes and gets me something else. He says he
wants to surprise me. So how can I let him know what I want,
but make him think he’s getting me a surprise?
Well, you’ve got a rare one. So, don’t beat him up too much. Because if you change him, two Christmases from now you’ll complain that he never surprises you. Part of the joy of giving is picking something for someone on your own — for a guy, this is kinda like a game or a test to see how well he knows you. Are his surprise gifts bad, or are you just mad that you’re not getting what you want? Think about that. If you’re making too big a deal of your hints, he might feel like all the spontaneity is gone. So dial back on your hints a little — it gives him a better game to play. Another option is to compromise –one gift that you want, one surprise gift from him. That way, you’re both happy.
I’ve been dating this guy since late November. We will
be spending part of Christmas together and I really think I
should give him a gift. But I don’t want to make him
uncomfortable, especially if he doesn’t get me something.
How should I handle this?
OK. This one is easy. Since at best you would have been dating a month when Christmas comes along, you’re not on the hook for much more than a CD or similarly priced item under $25. Many would argue that a card is fine, with a little personal note. No novelty boxer shorts, personal stuff, or anything with hearts or the word “love” just yet. If you feel weird giving him an actual gift so soon, do something else — take him out for dinner, or cook him one yourself. Something special, without being to relationship-py. This way, even if he didn’t get you anything, he won’t feel like a jerk.