Saturday, February 6, 2010

We like gifts.

With Valentine's Day around the corner, I thought this would be a good time to talk about the fine art of gift-giving. I know that some of you guys have a female counter-part who has said something along the lines of, "don't get me a Valentine's Day gift" or "I don't really like Valentine's Day". Sorry to be the one to break it to you, but that's a load of crap.

Every girl likes to get gifts. Whether or not she finds Valentine's Day to be too "commercialized" to celebrate is beyond the point: get her something. It doesn't have to be anything big--a box of chocolate, a $20 necklace--anything to show her that you are thinking about her will do. This is one instance in which that phrase "it's the thought that counts" really rings true.

Why do women say that they don't want gifts when they secretly do want them? Well, there can be many reasons. Maybe she doesn't have any money this year to give you anything nice. Perhaps she wants to look low-maintenance and so she's playing it "cool". It could be that she knows that you are low on money and is trying to let you off the hook. Whatever the reason, 99% of the time, we would still very much like to receive some sort of token of your affection.

So, what do you get her? A sure-fire way to pick the perfect present is to pay close attention to little (or big) hints she gives. For example:

"I sure wish I could still wear my favorite necklace, but the clasp broke."
Translation: Buy her a new chain (or a new necklace).

"My back has just been in knots lately!"
Translation: Get a massage certificate, or give her one yourself.

"I've been looking for this movie everywhere, but I just can't seem to find it! I'd sure like to watch it..."
Translation: Hop on Amazon, you moron.

See how easy that is?

Now, with Valentine's Day in particular, the most important thing about the gift you give is that it is thoughtful, or romantic in some way. Lingerie is good, but only if she is very comfortable with her body and likes wearing fancy underwear. If you're going to go with lingerie, by the way, I would stick with matching bra and panty sets, because she will be able to use them often. I do have one exception for a romantic gift: Unless she is really psycho-crazy in love with candles, I would steer clear from giving her candles for Valentine's Day. Candles are the type of thing you give someone when you don't know what else to give them--that's what you get for strangers in Secret Santa exchanges, not for the love of your life.

Another great idea for a Valentine's gift, especially for the wife or girlfriend who thinks it's too "commercialized", is something home made. Try gathering up old photos, upload them to Blurb, and make an album of your relationship. Write her a love letter, listing out the reasons she's wonderful. Mixed CDs are always a good option, especially if you have a lot of songs you share as sentimental. Cleaning the house and cooking dinner and dessert is ALWAYS a hit. Get the idea?

Also, please keep in mind that it doesn't have to be a holiday or special occasion to show your woman how much you love her with a present. Sometimes the nicest gifts are given "just because". So next time you are out and about and you see something that reminds you of her, pick it up for her! I guarantee you that she will love you more for it. :)


  1. Alas -- for years I have given my wife a plant accompanied by a love letter. She always settles into the sofa, places the plant on the table next to her, sips her coffee and quietly reads the letter.

    Meanwhile I wander around trying to look busy all the time peeking to see her expression as she reads.

    But the best time is when she finishes, carefully folds the letter, looks directly and me and whispers, "Thank you."

    I guess I'm doing it right. She hasn't divorced me yet.

    You have some excellent suggestions here.

    Enjoyed this,


  2. Great job, Jerry! I think that having a gift-giving tradition can be a wonderful way to go. I'll bet she looks forward to that love letter (and accompanying plant) every year. You must have a very oxygenated home!

    Last Christmas, I went on and made a rhyming photo book, telling the story of the last year from the perspective of my 2 year-old son. I gave those books to most family members as gifts and they loved them, so those books are my new tradition. It's so exciting that I've found the perfect gift for so many people, especially since some of them were impossible to shop for!