Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gifts--part two.

Read part one.  

With Halloween behind us the Christmas decorations and advertisements are coming out whether we like it or not!  Every retailer wants to get into our wallets and they’ve got big plans for Black Friday, and some even having sales the Friday before Black Friday.  So, the big question is: Who gets your money?  What are you going to buy...for her?  Tough question, right?  We’ve still got two more months to go, so why think about it so early?
Maybe you just take one holiday at a time.  Maybe you just got over an anniversary and want a break before diving into the next gift buying fiasco.  I hear stuff like this from guys around me all the time.  Guys who are frustrated by the fact that they never seem to get it right.  Guys who are tired of feeling like they are doomed unless they happened to pick up on that one obscure comment way back in February when she mentioned that thing she wants.  What if she never mentions it again?  How is he supposed to know what she wants?  Well, I don’t think it’s as tough as it first appears.
It’s actually really easy, but it takes a long time.  Buying a gift needs to be a process...kind of like buying that big screen TV or your dream car.  You don’t need someone to point it out to you and tell you, “This is the car of your dreams!”  You just know.  You see it and instantly you know.  You know, because you’ve been learning a little bit at a time.  Every time you read a magazine or browse the electronics store you learn a little more about what is available.  You learn a little more about which one is better and why.  
Where do we go wrong?  
We don’t think like girls.  How many of us think jewelry is a waste of money?  How many guys think a bouquet of flowers is a waste of money?  Greeting cards?  Waste of money, right?  Lots of guys tend to be too practical to want to buy that stuff.  We think in terms of what we get from our purchase...$50 bucks for a bouquet that lasts a week?  Hundreds of dollars for a piece of jewelry that you might wear a couple of times each year?  But, it doesn’t matter what we think.  For her, there’s a connection between the relevance of the gift and her value--as a person and as your girl.  She doesn’t think in terms of the market value of a gemstone or a bouquet of roses, she thinks in terms of her value to you.  The gift is a valueless token of a priceless relationship.
We don’t ask enough questions.  When was the last time you asked your wife about her favorite kind of flower or her favorite gemstone?  Do you know how she feels about jewelry?  Do you know about her preferences in clothing, handbags, perfume, chocolate?  If not, ask.  If you were going to buy a giant TV or a hot rod you’d ask the experts, right?  So, before you run off and buy your wife something for Christmas, ask a few questions.  Don’t limit the questions to, “Do you want a blank for Christmas,” but ask, “What kind of a gift makes you feel cherished/treasured or loved?”  AND, be content with whatever she answers!
We don’t think far enough in advance.  Have you seen the number of men out shopping on Christmas Eve?  There are tons of them!  I wonder how many of them thought about their shopping list before the left for the store.  If you haven’t started thinking yet, don’t wait.  There are just over six weeks left.

We don’t practice enough.  One of the most beneficial things for me has been taking some trips to the store strictly for the purpose of learning what Mrs. O. likes.  During trips around the mall you can stroll through different stores and watch what she picks up.  Notice which stores she wants to shop.  Then look around and pick out two or three things you might pick up if you were looking for something she’d like.  Ask her which she likes most, or ask her to rate them each one to ten.  You won’t get all tens--no worries.  You’ll quickly learn a lot!
When you give a gift you’ve chosen intentionally, don’t be afraid to tell her what you’ve noticed about her that made you choose that gift.  She wants to know you and she’ll appreciate knowing the thought process that went into your purchase. 

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