Okay, guys...first off, let me say you're in a safe place here. Really. Now, having said that, let me tell you what you're doing wrong in the Christmas gift giving department.
First off, I know you've been programmed to believe that we, your wives, partners, mothers of your children, etc, need jewelry, fancy chocolates, purses. I know you can't turn on the radio or TV without being bombarded with commercials for Zales or Jarrod. And, on top of that, you hear the other guys in the office talking about the new pair of diamond earrings they bought their wives. You're feelin' the pressure. I get it. But, this feeling is your first mistake. We'll get to this later.
Secondly, you wait until the last possible moment to go shopping. I know right now, you're wondering why the heck your wife even sent you this to read. You're wondering why I'm even talking about buying Christmas presents when you have 40 days left of shopping. You're also wondering if I included Christmas Eve in that and, yes I sure did. You're sitting there thinking you have all the time in the world, and why would anyone even think about buying Christmas gift until at least mid-December. Well, wrong again fellas. Read on.
So, let's start addressing these, we'll call them 'areas of concern.'
I know whenever you've bought your wife jewelry, she's acted genuinely happy. Maybe she even shed a tear or two. And, she probably was happy. But, guess what? She probably would have been happier with the shiny new mixer, vacuum cleaner or even (gasp) a GPS device. Again, I understand that us wives are not supposed to want appliances or useful type things. We're supposed to want to be taken care of and given things to look pretty. But, that's just not reality. We would much rather have that mixer to whip up some delicious chocolate mint brownies or pumpkin whoopie pies or homemade pie crust than those earrings, which, let's face it we'll wear exactly four times (our birthday, anniversary, your boss' wedding and Christmas) throughout the year. It's just not practical. And, a new vacuum would definitely be more useful for getting us ready for our bookclub gals to come over. Sure, that fancy box of chocolates is nice, but knowing that our floor is free of any and all wayward Cheerios, leaving us to have a worry-free evening of discussing Christian Grey and indulging in some wine and brie makes that vacuum a winner in our book.
I know, you're probably shaking your head in disbelief at me and you cannot believe what I'm telling you. You think you are supposed to buy the jewelry and that it's an insult to get us a new teapot or set of pots and pans, right. Well, you've just been brainwashed all these years. See, guys, we are practical. We need practical, we want practical. Our feelings will not be hurt in the least and our pride will not take a hit to get a something we can actually use.
Now, I know there are some women out there who do want the jewelry and would recoil in horror if you gave them a new Cuisinart. But, chances are, if you're reading this, if your wife sent you this, she's not that woman. Just give her the Cusinart.
Now to address your second folly. Guys, why do you wait until that last moment? It just cannot be pleasant fighting all that traffic, fighting for a parking spot at the mall and fighting your way through Sears for the last cashmere sweater (oh, and you know how we tell you we have to exchange it because it's the wrong size... Have you seen us wear it later? Nope, because we were able to get a couple cable knit sweaters and a nice pair of microfiber gloves with what you spent on one fancy sweater).
I have a better idea for you. Shop earlier. No, I'm not just talking about starting in November. I'm talking about starting in January. I'm going to wait until you come back to consciousness. Are we good? Okay, now really, you can do it. You are going to be able to get gifts easier, quicker and for much less money. And, we love it when you save money. If you tell us that you bought that vacuum with a big ol' rebate, we will tear up. We will hug you. Most importantly we will brag about you on Facebook (you may even get a status update dedicated to you).
So, how to you go about this? Well, first of all, take notes. When your wife mentions something she'd really like or something that would make her life easier, remember that. It may seem silly to you but I guarantee if you present her with a new Crockpot because she mentioned in July how it would be nice to make homemade meals without turning the house into an inferno, you will be her hero. Or, if you get her that composter she' was ogling over in April, she will not forget. So, make mental notes or literally jot things down (your phones have excellent notepads just for that).
And, the great thing about having a running list is that you might just be able to score that perfect gift in, say, August at a screamin' deal. And, you might not even have to leave your house. You could stay on the couch, beer in hand, TV inappropriately high in volume continuing to watch whatever sport is in season. Yep, that's right.
You know those couponing blogs, websites and Facebook pages your wife follows. You can too. Subscribe to the feeds, get the emails and check the Facebook posts. You would be surprised at what kind of deals pop up all the time.
My husband missed out on a cake pop maker for three dollars last year, because he was too prideful to buy it after I'd mentioned seeing it on a blog. Don't let that happen to you. Just subscribe so she doesn't have to nag you.
Many of these sites are very specific and will spell out precisely what you need to do to score a great deal. Take advantage of these deals to buy early, save a bunch and look like a rockstar. Think about how surprised your wife will be when you report in October that you're done with your shopping. You might even get to gloat if she hasn't finished hers yet. You know you'd love to gloat.
And, here's a little extra something. Maybe you don't even need to buy her a gift. Really. Why not make buy her a gift card to her favorite restaurant. Better yet, make her a whole date night package personalized by you. Set up a baby sitter, make reservations for dinner and let her pick out the movie of her choice. A night to eat with both hands, finish a conversation and not have to wipe all the crumbs off the table afterward would, I guarantee, bring a smile to her face. And, it could be anything else she's into. Maybe she's always wanted to go white water rafting, or zip lining or maybe she really wants to hit the slopes. Go with what makes her happy and make it happen. A nice note or handwritten letter will really take it to that extra level.
Also, we know you're not crafty and that the idea of using a glue gun and sparkle paint makes you queasy but do you know who would love to get in on that? The kids. Don't forget about them. When we get gifts from the kiddos that we know you've helped orchestrate, and especially if it's something adorable and homemade, well, let's just say, we're putting down that book. So, take the kids to one of those pottery studios and let them paint something or take them into the craft store and have them pick out some beads to make into a funky keychain. They'll be happy, she'll be happy and you are once again the shining star in this scenario.
So, that's it. See guys, aren't you glad you read this? You still have time to listen, pay attention and get your honey what she really wants. And, if you can do it early and save a buck or two, well everyone wins, right? Good luck, go forth and Merry Christmas!!