Most husbands put off their Christmas shopping until a few days before Christmas. While two-day shipping makes that easier than ever, Christmas shopping is not something most men look forward to. More than anything else, most struggle with finding the right Christmas gift for their wife.
How Husbands Choose Gifts
AYTM, a consumer research firm, reports that only 31 percent of men look forward to Christmas shopping. That means the rest of us dread it. Compared to 70 percent of women feel it’s important to find the right gift, only 30 percent of men make finding the right gift a priority. We’d rather just get something and call it done. But while we’re getting it done, we’re likely to spend more than women.
I’ve struggled with Christmas shopping for my wife for almost 30 years. Early in our relationship, I relied on advertising and sales consultants to guide me to the right gift. I bought sweaters, blouses, wall decorations, kitchen gadgets and more. I felt disappointed when more often than not my wife returned the gifts and bought what she really wanted. Sometimes I’d find the gifts tucked away in a closet where they gathered dust until the next Goodwill run.
My Secret to Getting Gifts She'll Love
In recent years, I’m less disappointed than I used to be. I’m better at Christmas shopping for my wife than ever. I’ve discovered a formula that makes it easier to get the job done. Not only is it easier to get the Christmas shopping done, but she’s also happier to get the gifts she receives. Here’s how it works.
1) Discovering her love language.
Before buying something my wife, I ‘ve learned to understand what makes her happy. Despite what the advertisements might portray, not all women want jewelry, perfume, or a department store gift card. My wife prefers quality time together with he family. She wants to make memories. So my gifts to her focus more on things we can do together as a couple or family.
Rather than receiving merchandise pulled off a shelf, many wives would rather spend an evening alone with her husband enjoying a meal prepared by someone other than herself. Others would prefer a family weekend at the beach, lake or mountain. Some would prefer their husband volunteer with them serving or raising money for a favorite charity.
Before racking up charges on your credit card for things your wife will only take back or leave in a drawer, know what makes her feel loved.
2) Looking and listening.
Once I understood what makes my wife feel loved, I paid attention to what gets her attention. I took note of the magazines she reads, the TV ads she comments on, and the displays that cause her to pause as she strolls through a store. I listen as she talks to me and to friends and family. Throughout the year, my wife will drop clues that can lead me to gifts that she’ll find meaningful.
After putting effort into the previous steps, this one is critical. Throughout the year, as I discover potential gift ideas, I take note. I keep a written list of potential gift items, because I know I’ll forget if I don’t. I make a list on the Reminders app on my iPhone titled “Christmas.” For husbands not into smartphone technology, their list can be on a piece of paper tucked away in their wallet.
Wherever you put your list, make it place you can get quickly before you forget what you were going to put on it. By doing this consistently throughout the year, Christmas shopping for my wife is less of a chore. There’s a bit more joy, knowing the gifts she receives on Christmas morning are gifts she won’t want to return.
How to Choose Christmas Gifts Your Wife Will Love #marriage #christmasshopping
A version of this post also appeared on LifeZette.com.