Tag Archives: gift

It’s good to spoil your wife sometimes

IMG_1308Sometimes Julia and I have different opinions about how we should spend our money.  That doesn’t mean we always do what I want.  And it doesn’t mean we always do what she wants.  We try to make large decisions together, but ultimate we have decided that finances are my area of responsibility…meaning I have to make the final call.  So…when we’re not on the same page about something big, it’s bound to lead to conflict.

So, rewind to last year when Julia discovered the musical Hamilton.  It was new on Broadway and got amazing reviews and a lot of hype.  Julia instantly became obsessed with it…not in an unhealthy way…but simply meaning, she thought it was amazing and wanted to go see it SO much.  So, she made sure I was aware of her desire, but all I could see was large dollar signs.  First off, you can’t buy tickets for any shows in the next year because they’re sold out.  So, you have to buy resale tickets costing several hundreds of dollars a piece.  Plus, we’d have to fly to New York, stay in the city, and eat in the city…all of which are very expensive activities.  Not to mention getting around and all the other sight-seeing we’d end up doing.  This cost added to the fact that we’ve been to New York a couple times before led to me NOT wanting to do it.

After resigning herself to the disappointment that we would not be going, she was able to share her heart with me.  Musicals have always had a special place in her life.  Growing up, her family would go see musicals at The Fox downtown and she had such great memories of listening to the recordings, reading through all the programs, and remembering the fun her family had.  One of her dreams has always been to see a musical on Broadway with the original cast.  So…enter the obsession with Hamilton.

Now, to give perspective…Julia doesn’t ask for much.  She spends hardly any money on herself.  She doesn’t have expensive tastes…a BIG shopping trip means a few things from Target…half of which are eventually returned.  I have it pretty easy…and I am very aware of this.  :-)  So I started to think…it would be a great way to love Julia if we DID go!  Add that to the fact that giving gifts is one of her top love languages, and I started to realize that this could be a great opportunity.

IMG_1360So, we did it!  The tickets weren’t cheap, but I felt a lot better when I found out later (after the Grammy’s and Oscar’s) that they were selling for double what we paid.  Also, we found ways to get great deals on a hotel and most of the places we ate, so the cost wasn’t as bad as it could have been.  And you know what…it was an awesome trip!  We both had the best time…not just going to the show, but also seeing different areas of the city that we’d never been to before.  I was so glad we took the trip…even though I didn’t want to do it at first.

My advice to you:

Spoil your wife every once in a while.  It doesn’t have to be with an expensive trip.  It could be something like making the kid’s lunches for a week, or doing all the laundry sometime when she’s away, or taking her out to eat at a nicer than normal restaurant.  Find something that your wife will not expect but will LOVE…suck it up…and make it happen!  :-)

Just get her flowers for crying out loud!

Seattle 081Julia loves getting flowers…this is something I know.  She tells me frequently, and it is very clear.  She doesn’t tell me in a nagging pestering way making me feel like a louse for not getting them.  But, sometimes we talk about things we can do to show each other love and things we really appreciate, and flowers is one that seems to always come up.

You would think this clarity would be great right?  I’ve been granted access to this secret knowledge of a way to Julia’s heart…score!  So, what could go wrong??!!  I’ll tell you what goes wrong…I don’t get them.  It’s as simple as that.  “But Michael, that doesn’t make any sense!” you say…”if she tells you that she feels loved when you get her flowers, and you are always trying to find ways to show her you love her, then why don’t you just get her some flowers?!”  That’s a very good question, to which I don’t have a good answer.

Now to be fair, I DO get her flowers sometimes.  Sometimes it’s for no reason at all.  Sometimes it’s when she’s having a rough day.  But, my issue is the frequency.  To give context for comparison, let’s says her ideal desire is flowers once a month (I’m just throwing that out there as a basis to compare to, not that it is accurate).  If that is her desire, my frequency is around once every 3 months probably.

So, here is the issue…there is a big opportunity for me to show her that I love her, that I was thinking about her, that she is more important to me than the small cost of getting something pretty even if they only last a short time.  Even though I do it some, this bothers me that I’m missing out on an opportunity to knock her love-socks off.

IMG_1061I don’t have a magic answer to master situations like this.  Obviously…because I am far from figuring it out.  But, my hope is to continue to think about her and think about how I can show her I love her.  I’ve recently been thinking that I wished I would get Julia flowers more.  Then, yesterday, I was at the store getting some groceries, and when I passed the flowers section, it wasn’t even a question of whether or not I wanted to get some.  I picked out some flowers I thought she would like and put them in a vase at home.  When she saw them, she came up with a big smile and gave me a hug and a kiss and told me thank you.  Score!  :-)

My challenge to you:

Is there an area that your wife could feel loved in that you’re not doing all you can?  Maybe it’s getting her jewelry, you cooking dinner, cleaning the house, taking her on dates, helping out more with the kids.  Think about what your wife has expressed about ways you can show her love, and think about if there are some of those areas you’re NOT taking advantage of.  Then…make a plan to make it happen.  Keeping it at the front of your mind is going to be the best way to help make it a reality.

What you should NOT get your wife for Christmas…and what you SHOULD

girl-unhappy-with-present-s3-medium_newIt’s that time of year again.  When our houses are lit a little brighter, our Starbucks cups turn red, and our Facebook feeds are filled with pictures of elves on shelves doing crazy things.  During this time of year, there is one question that ALWAYS must be answered…what present should I get my wife for Christmas?

Top 5 list: Worst gift ideas

  1. Anything that is actually a present for YOU.  Does she really want that 60” TV?  Would she really enjoy 2 tickets to the Falcons game?  Did she ask for sexy lingerie?  Come on…give her something that SHE wants…not you.
  2. Something you were already planning to buy.  Let’s imagine you had both discussed the idea of buying something and both agreed that you should do it…but you just hadn’t gotten around to do it yet.  Buying it as a gift and wrapping it up under the tree is a great way to get out of having to buy something else, but is that really showing her love…if you were already going to give her it anyway?
  3. Something that shows you didn’t put much thought into it.  A gift card, generic jewelry, a box of chocolate…these don’t typically show that you thought much about what to get her…UNLESS those are things she actually wants.  But generally, if a gift is easy, convenient and doesn’t show much thought, it’s not going to convey that you were thinking about her much.
  4. Something UNDER her expectations.  Your wife is going to have some sort of expectation of the cost of the present she’s being given.  If you typically spend about $200 on each other, but this year to save money you buy a couple $25 sweaters and call it a day, she’s probably going to be disappointed.  If money is tight, talk about it beforehand so you both are on the same page.  Also, it’s worth noting that many gifts have a “cost” to them without that cost being monetary.  These are often some of the best gifts.  Just don’t let her feel short changed that you didn’t spend enough money/time/effort on getting her a gift.
  5. Something that sends a negative message.  Don’t get your wife a scale, a gym membership, or something that shows you want her to change.  Unless it is something she specifically asked for, it could easily make her feel worse.

Top 5 list: Best gift ideas

  1. Something she actually wants.  Put some effort into figuring out what she wants.  Maybe you take note of things she mentions over time.  Or maybe you get a list of ideas from her.  Either way, she is going to appreciate getting something that she actually wants.
  2. Something that shows you put thought or effort into it.  Some of the best gifts are the ones that you can’t order from Amazon.  If you put a lot of time and effort into making something for her, chances are she is going to appreciate it no matter what it is.
  3. Something that will make her think of you.  A DVD she wants is fine.  A bag of her favorite candy is cool.  But a gift that makes her remember YOU every time she sees it or uses it will be much better.
  4. Something OVER her expectations.  If she’s anticipating you buying her an iPad, get her a scarf to go with it.  Or…if she’s expecting a regular gift from the mall, put a lot of thought into a special gift that you make.  If you normally spend around $200, every once in a while go big if there is a perfect gift idea that costs more.  Obviously, it’s important to be financially responsible and you shouldn’t spend money you don’t have.  But, sometimes it can mean a lot to do a little more than what she expects.
  5. An experience, rather than a product.  A special date night, a weekend getaway, dance or art lessons,  going skydiving.  These are ideas that will create memories together which can last a long time.

How to be fluent in gift giving

iStock_000014778365XSmallGift giving is one way some people receive love.  (See previous post for thoughts on love languages)  It can be something that is purchased or made that shows that you thought of them.  It doesn’t have to be huge or fancy, but should show there was a cost involved.  The cost could be monetary or in time or creativity.  And it should be something that the other person appreciates.

For me, gifts from my wife aren’t a huge deal.  My usual initial reaction is to think, “how are we paying for this?” which can put a damper on my joy unfortunately.  Julia feels love in a big way when she receives gifts though.  It shows her that I was thinking of her and she is THAT important to me to be worth the time, money, and effort it cost.  Because of this I try to give them whenever possible.  Ironically, I usually don’t enjoy giving presents as much on Christmas, her birthday, Valentine’s Day, or our anniversary.  I like to give them on random days just for fun.  That way, she knows I was thinking of her, not just following what “society” told me I needed to do.  A while back, I planned a whole week of presents and gave her one each morning as a surprise.  It was SO much fun.

If your wife receives love in this way, make sure you’re giving her gifts on a regular basis.  Here are some ideas…

  • Flowers (always a good idea)
  • Candy (or some sort of food she likes)
  • Framed picture (of you two or of the family)
  • A DVD she likes
  • Clothes you think she’ll like (with a return receipt just in case)
  • Gift card to a store / restaurant she likes
  • Vacation (my favorite gift to Julia ever was a trip to Italy…I told her 3 days before we left)
  • Household decoration (accent pillow, wall hanging, decorative vase, etc…something you think she’ll like…with a return receipt)
  • Utilitarian item that she has wanted (blender, cooking items, dustbuster, etc…something she has expressed a desire for)
  • A card that you made
  • Starbucks coffee

Any of these, if given in a way that shows you were thinking of her will help her to feel loved.  So, figure out what she likes and do it!

A gift that you (and only you) can give to make your wife feel loved

Questions

Women like to be given gifts, and there is something you can give your wife that no one else can.  No, I’m not talking about something you can give her in the bedroom. 😉  I’m talking about something special that will make her feel loved that is unique to you.  I can’t suggest that you take her up in a biplane for a sunset flight because few men can do that.  I can’t suggest that you tap dance your wedding vows in morse code because few men can do that.  So here is what I AM going to suggest…

Use the talents and skills God has given you to love your wive in a unique and memorable way.

I have a couple of talents that I feel are somewhat unique, and I LOVE using them to do things for Julia.  One is music.  I love singing and playing guitar, and every once in a while I’ll get inspired to write something for her, record it, and even make a video out of it.  One of my favorites is the power ballad My Snuggs that I wrote a couple years ago for Valentine’s Day.  Just recently, I recorded Julia is Awesome (based on the Lego Movie theme).  And last year, when Julia was gone at student ministry camp for a week, Eli and I did Mommy, I Love You with him at lead vocals.

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Another thing I like to do is build things (climbing wall, window reading nook, indoor playground, etc).  My craftsmanship isn’t particularly amazing, but I enjoy the creative challenge.  So, for a present, I built some wooden display cases for a rock collection she has.

I believe these things have helped her to know that I love her for a couple reasons.

1.  They took thought, which shows that I really wanted to do something for her, and I had to put some creative effort into coming up with it.
2.  They took time.  It wasn’t something that I just threw together in a couple minutes, which shows that she was WORTH the time and effort to me.

Not everyone can write songs or build things,  BUT everyone has SOME sort of talent…something that sets them apart and makes them unique.  Think about what talents and skills you have and come up with a way to use them to make your wife feel loved and appreciated.  Here are some ideas:

  • Photography – use pictures you’ve taken (either of her and your family or of an artistic nature) and print and frame them to give to her as a present
  • Music – write, sing, or record a song for her
  • Art – draw, paint, or sketch something for her
  • Writing – write a story for her
  • Video – make a video of something that shows that you were thinking about her
  • Construction / Woodwork – build her something that she would like
  • Connections with people – use a connection you have to arrange some sort of creative date that you wouldn’t normally be able to do
  • Sports – find a sport/activity SHE likes (or would like) that you haven’t tried and give it a shot WITH her.  Something like dancing, running, zumba, yoga, tennis, etc.
  • Cooking – take a week and plan, shop, and cook all the meals…maybe trying some new recipes you think she will like
  • Computer skills – Spend some time helping her with the computer (lessons, cleaning up clutter, etc)
  • Encouraging – focus on something difficult your wife is going through and make a point to regularly follow up and encourage her in it

This is just a very small list from tons of possibilities that are out there.  Everyone has things they do well.  So, think about what yours are, and USE THEM to love your wife!