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Solving the “What do to I get my Husband/Wife for Christmas?” Problem

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It's that time of year again. Time to engage in hanging stockings and mistletoe. Time for dreams of Kris Kringle and Super Bowls. Wait, something is off there. I've given up on my typical holiday-neutral stance and added a little football to the mix. It's the time of year where things get all mixed up anyway, so I figure, let's go with it. I get a lot of questions this time of year, but there's one question that I get more than the others... "I need to buy a gift for the husband/wife... and I can't come up empty handed?" What do you suggest?

I got one of these questions on Friday, my second of the season. I am always quick to suggest that you can never go wrong with hair clips and watch chains, especially because I often get asked by both spouses. When I get serious, I can occasionally be helpful, but it is always hit or miss.

It occurred to me that my wife and I typically don't have this problem. We accidentally developed a pretty good system. Throughout the year when we want something we put it on our Amazon Wishlist. (Yes, I know you'd think this is Jeff Bezos' blog lately, but it seems appropriate during the holidays.) Since Amazon allows you to put little notes on your list, we leave little hints like, "I don't need this exact hair brush" or "You can get this cheaper at Target" (I'm sure Amazon loves that note). The items for me range from things like Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 8 comic books graphic novels (note that I can be all adulty about it) to the aforementioned hair brush (Jacoby chews through mine a couple times a year). When Christmas rolls around we both look to the list. On Friday, when thinking about how to answer the hubby/wifey question, I realized that this is a double win for us. It not only solves the Christmas problem, but it limits our spending throughout the rest of the year.

One thing you don't want to give your spouse... a $60,000 debt. You know how I feel about those. Oh and add bungee cords to the list of things not to get. Even if your wife loves to camp and the bungee cords are very close to free, so it could be considered an "extra" thing to open, don't do it... seriously.

Posted on December 13, 2010.

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3 Responses to “Solving the “What do to I get my Husband/Wife for Christmas?” Problem”

  1. Lol. Now I know what to put on my list next time around – a collection of O. Henry stories. I love his work (and use his style in some of my own stories) – but I don’t actually have anything written by him in my collection of 500+ books.

    My kids have a Mickey Mouse and friends book where Donald is in the role of Jim and his friends are in the role of Della (or vice versa). My wife didbn’t pick up on it, but I immediately spotted it as a derivative of The Gift of the Magi.

    My wife collects elephants. Not the living ones (we’d go broke feeding them – The Simpson could never keep Stampy fed), but anything that is elephant themed. So I find myself wandering around these qauint old shops (and more often, chain stores made to look like quaint old shops) in an unending hunt for my elusive quarry.

    Maybe she’ll get me a tiger one of these years. Not a real tiger … that’d be cruel.

  2. Andy Hough says:

    My wife actually put what she wanted on my Amazon wishlist. I guess she wasn’t the only one to have that idea. There weren’t any bungee cords on there though.

  3. My wife has a foolproof way of receiving the gift she wants. She shows up with it, and informs me this is one of the gifts I’ll be giving her. But I always augment with some fun ideas of my own :) Andrew (To Love, Honor, and Dismay)

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