It’s that time of year again—the holidays are upon us! I love the holidays, but I’m not a fan of buying gifts. I’m one of those rare women who doesn’t like to shop. I don’t know, maybe I got all my shopping ya ya’s out when I was a buyer for a major department store. Actually, what happens is that I agonize over buying the perfect gift, but I’m not great with paying attention to details, so I never know what the perfect gift might be.
I just finished writing a blog post about gift buying for men, and it prompted me to write one for women, too. Buying gifts is usually easier for women than it is for men, but there are still pitfalls.
- Let me begin by saying this: if there’s something special you want from your man, ask for it directly. I know, I know; it’s uncomfortable to ask for what you want. But don’t you think you deserve it? Your man is not a mind reader, even if he loves you beyond all reason. He won’t think you’re being pushy if you give him a few ideas. In fact he’ll love you for it. Trust me on this one.
- If he’s into video games, go to a store that sells them, and ask the sales associate what the most popular new games are. Then buy one of those for him. I know you probably hate his Xbox, but that’s not the point. The gift is for him, not you. He’ll love you even more for getting him a game, when he knows you’re not a fan of gaming.
- If he’s into watching professional sports, try getting him tickets to the next home game. If those are too pricey, opt for an officially sanctioned jersey. The non-sanctioned jerseys and T-shirts are usually pretty cheesy, and he’ll love you for knowing the difference (yes, even if you don’t care).
- Does he have a favorite television series, or is he a history buff? There are plenty of boxed DVD sets that make great gifts. The History of World War II in an eight piece DVD set will keep him entertained for hours.
- Does he love the outdoors? Ask him for a few suggestions of gear he could use, and get him something to support his outdoor activities. Some suggestions include: a fire pit on wheels for when he goes ice fishing, a new pair of skis, or the warmest set of long johns you can find.
- For music lovers, there are plenty of options: satellite radio for his car, a boxed CD or DVD set of his favorite band (complete with never before seen live concert footage), the new iPod Nano, or even an iTunes gift card. Concert tickets are a great idea too—get him two, even if you don’t like the band.
Whatever you do, do not buy him something that you want. Also, do not buy him a tool that he needs to complete a project you want him to work on. That’s selfish and transparent—it’s like him buying you a vacuum cleaner.
You may have noticed that none of my suggestions include things that you would enjoy together. There are two reasons for that. First of all, gifts are supposed to be for the receiver, not the giver. Second, as important as it is to spend quality time together, it’s equally important to spend time apart. Healthy relationships develop between healthy individuals, and knowing how to spend time alone is one way to cultivate being a healthy individual. Happy shopping!