Giving gifts to girls! With Mother’s Day around the corner, I tend to start handing out advice to the men in my life about what to give for the holiday. Whether it’s a challenge of what to give after celebrating 20 of the holiday together or finding out what the best idea is for the first time Mother’s Day celebration after a new baby.
I’m sure this same dilemma happens at each holiday though, how do we know what to get the special people in our life? and when? and what works and what doesn’t for specific occasions? How do we avoid bad feelings over a gift that may have been well thought out, but didn’t go off as planned.
1. Nudge her towards a gift wish list. I personally use www.mywishlist.com – it’s a website that adds a button to your internet browser. If she can shop for it online, now she can easily add it to a wishlist at the touch of a button. Amazon.com has an amazing wishlist as well, and I use this, I’ve heard you can also add a button for universal shopping as well. A note of caveat, do not constantly buy just from the wish list. This is a cop out – while yes, you’re buying her something she wants – not flexing your muscle on creativity may lead her to believe that your bestowed baubles all tend to be thoughtless and last minute.
2. Never a vacuum. Never. That goes for blenders, food processors, dusters, mops, or cleaning and cooking devices at any time. If it’s going to make her feel like a housewife in the mid 1950s, you can generally forget it. Now, of course, being the fickle females we are, sometimes these gifts are much appreciated. However, it’s more on the very blatant “I want the Black & Decker 3 speed Hand Blender with the multiple set of blade and extra smoothie attachment” — if you get this, then by all means man, run to your nearest Bed, Bath & Beyond and claim it!
3. Watch for Clues. Easy enough to start: what are her “favorites” – authors, cooks, wines, hobbies, colors. Start there, if gift ideas don’t abound – think what she collects, what activities she takes part in, what she even complains about having to do. Think about the items she looks at window shopping as she’s dragging you through the umpteenth shoe store and adoring and cooing over certain ones. Take note. This is the easiest and most missed activity. It’s even doing the shopping for you!
4. When a little is enough. Sometimes a little note and words are perfectly okay. To show someone that you care, it’s not always about spending money and making a big splash. While this technique may not be so well accepted on the “big” holidays – read: Christmas and birthdays – it’s much appreciated on the day to day – what about having the house cleaned and dinner made when she gets home? or giving her your full attention for an hour and just chatting? Consider an old fashioned lengthy love note touting the wonderful aspects of her and your relationship? These are great freebies that go a long way!
5. Generic sometimes is best. Valentine’s day = lingerie, box of chocolate hearts, old fashioned valentine’s card. Birthday – cake and jewelry. Christmas – perfume, and much of the same generic “girl” things. Definitely not a hard thing to do when you stick to the classics. It can only look generic if you’re buying something prepackaged with no personality to it. Always make sure you have your spin. Whether that’s adding a note, remembering that a perfume came specifically from somewhere you both cherish together. Moms can appreciate being thought of as a wife and partner aside from their day to day, make sure you distinguish between these roles too!