Friday, August 20, 2010

Gifts-part one

As I make the final decision about what to get Mrs. O. for her next birthday, I thought I'd write down a few of the things that are going through my head.  It's always tough to decide on a gift, but I've been practicing.  I mean, this is a sort of skill, right?  It's not least for me.  But you've got to practice when the stakes are low--when there are no expectations.  Now, when the stakes are higher I can lean on what I've learned in the past.

I made this discovery early on--quite by accident.  I was at Bath and Body Works.  I had just happened on one of their semi-annual sales.  They do one in June and one in December.  The one in June is better from my experience, and I've been going for...well, about 6 years now.  So, I was in the store and they've got all these 3-for-1 deals.  I decided to get a little of this and a little of that.  It was early in the relationship and I didn't really know what my young bride would like best.

When I got home, I took one of the items and put it in the bathroom where she would find it.  I put the rest in a box on a shelf in the garage.  I knew it would be safe there!  Mrs. O. was delighted at the surprise gift (any gift is a good gift when it's unexpected!)  After a little while when her supply was getting low, I made a secret trip to the garage for another surprise gift.  It was a stroke of genius!  The best part is that during the semi-annual sale, I can get a 6 month supply of fragrant, girly lotions and potions for less than $20.

I found that Mrs. O. loves the shower gels.  She doesn't love the lotions.  Didn't matter much when she wasn't expecting any gift at all.  She was delighted at the surprise, but I noticed she just didn't use up the lotions as quickly.  She talked a lot more about the shower gels, too.  So, when it came time for filling her Christmas stocking I got a bottle of one of the shower gels.  She likes them enough that 6 years later, I still have a stash of shower gels under the bed.  She's discovered my stash by now, but by now it's no secret anyway.

I found that the same thing worked for flowers and chocolate.  At Easter time, when the Cadbury eggs come out, or at Valentine's day when the chocolate-covered marshmallows are available in every shape and size I like to get a bunch and start hiding them around the house.  It's easy to tell which are the favorites!  After a while, I've collected a list of her favorite chocolate, her favorite flowers, and her favorite fragrances.  It just gets easier every time.

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