Give Him Gift Giving Help

I have suggested beforemore than once, that men are bad at getting clues. This is certainly true for gift giving. I talk to men who really want to get a gift their wife will love, but they have no idea what to get. One fellow told me about the year he got something she really liked, and how he thought he had hit the lottery. He stuck to the theme and gave a similar gift on each gift-giving occasion from then on because it was the only time he had ever “gotten it right”. If a man wants to get a good gift but cannot, it suggests he needs more than clues.

Socks for Christmas?? © screamviewer |

I’ve also seen guys give up. They decide they have no chance of guessing right, so they stop putting any effort into it. Being told they are horrible at gift giving often plays a part in this. Some ideas to help him:

  • Point out something, and say, “That would be a great gift for _____. S/He loves _____.”
  • Even if you do all of the gift buying for the kids (and everyone else) discuss your choices.
  • Make comments on things you see in stores or advertisements. Discuss why it would be nice to have one, or how it is close to what you would like, but it would be better if _____.
  • Thank him for some past gift you liked, telling him why it was such a great gift.

I know gift giving is so second nature for some women they honestly cannot understand how anyone could mess it up. Some men feel the same way about understanding sports or computers.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and when my wife hugged a rice cooker in Costco one December, I got the hint.

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4 Comments on “Give Him Gift Giving Help

  1. Thanks for the timely article. My husband and I were just discussing this. He gives lousy gifts, and I always figured he felt I wasn’t worth the effort. He thinks greeting cards (written by someone else) are special, and I hate them. They’re just flowery words written by goodness knows who. They mean absolutely nothing to me. Every year he asks me what I want for my birthday and Christmas and every year I tell him “nothing”. I truly believe a gift is not special if you have to ask for it. If you have to ask, it is not coming from the other person’s heart. It doesn’t mean they think you’re special, they’re just trying to fulfill some obligation they feel. So every year he feels badly that he doesn’t have a gift for me, so he goes to the mall on Christmas Eve and buys me something really stupid, like slippers. Or, here’s a good one, he’ll buy me clothes two sizes too big – what does that tell you? “Hey honey, I think you’re even fatter than you actually are! Merry Christmas!” So, yes, I’d really rather get nothing than boring slippers or clothes that are way too big. If we are being honest, I’d like a nice dinner alone with him, or a pretty bracelet, or even a new set of casserole dishes. But I’m not going to ask. If he paid any attention to me, he would know. Or if he really felt I was special, he’d put some thought into it and give me a nice surprise. Gift giving is a good measure of what your husband really thinks of you. WHICH is another example of why when he says “I love you” I know he doesn’t really mean it. When my girlfriends get earrings, or a vacation, or a new dress THAT FITS, or the Keurig they’ve been longing for – from their husbands that obviously love them so much – and I get cheap slippers – that shows his true feelings more than any words. When my sister gets a surprise birthday dinner for her 40th, with friends and family – that is showing true love. I’ll be 40 soon, too. Know what I’m gonna get? A stupid card. I know I sound selfish and greedy, but really it’s not about the greed or the “stuff” or the cost. It’s about the THOUGHT and the lack thereof that tells me my true worth to him. I hate gifts. So much.

    • From someone who doesn’t even get a “stupid card” I would say be careful what you complain about. Some of us would be happy if effort was put into finding a card, yes written by someone else, but saying something nice, over nothing at all. To me the fact that he gets you a card is saying that he put some THOUGHT into it. I guess this falls into the saying “the grass is always greener”.
      If I measured my worth to my husband by his gifts, then I fall into the bottom of the dung heap. He is not good with gifts or cards or verbal expression or even affection really. BUT when I hear him tell his friends that I am his best friend or his single friends or our boys that they need to find a wife with the qualities like me, then I know that it doesn’t matter how “short” he might fall in the other categories, he does think ALOT of me. And so I stopped comparing how other husbands treat their wives, and started being happy with the other ways my husband treats me. I am well provided for, always have been. And if I lack anything, its because I haven’t spoken up and said something. Sometimes I think we get so lost in comparing our guys with others, we forgot who we fell in love with in the first place. It wasn’t the gifts that made me fall in love with my husband, it was the long hikes in the woods. It wasn’t the surprise dinners, it was the ruined ones that he laughed about, kissed my head, and fixed frozen pizza instead eating by candlelight like it was still romantic. Once I started remembering these, I began to see that THAT guy is still here, and still trying the only way he knows how.
      So maybe start looking for those things again and see what happens.

  2. Last year, my husband and I exchanged gifts for the first time in a long time. In preparation we walked through the store and I pointed out a few items that I would appreciate. Nothing very expensive, but things I wear (silver hoop earrings and a silver wrist watch) or use (red wallet) every day. I think of him whenever I put the earrings in, the watch on, and open the wallet. I really do. For me, usefulness is a quality I appreciate in a gift.

    Years ago, I would often find a pillow gift at the end of the day after celebrating Christmas with our family. Once the hubbub was over and the house was quiet, I would discover a tiny box on my pillow. Usually a pendant or some earrings. Again, nothing expensive, but the message was that this gift was just between us and not for anyone else to participate in.

    This year, we have decided not to make any purchases. However, we will have a quiet day with the house to ourselves. This morning I invited my husband to think about something new we might try to add variety to our repertoire. Based on what I have learned here and on other similar sites, this will mean more to him than anything I could purchase. ;)

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