In a few weeks, Christmas will be upon us and we husbands must come up with a gift for our wives. "Why be concerned with that at this early date?", you might ask. Yes, I know that you will not actually purchase her gift until the last week, or day, before Christmas. But without proper preparation the selection of a gift will be an act of desperation. These next couple of weeks must be used to cleanse the mind of all those impulsive ideas you tend to have when you first face a life threatening critical situation.
Let's take a look at why gift giving has become an important part of our culture. Originally, gifts were exchanged as a token of friendship. Later, gifts became a way of finalizing an agreement or contract. Gift giving has a whole new meaning, however, where marriage is concerned. When a man presents his wife with a gift at Christmas - it is considered reparations! Your gift is meant to bring your standing back up to the footstool level after all the real and imagined transgressions you have been accused of over the past year.
There are many pitfalls to avoid when buying a Christmas gift for your wife. Many men actually dig themselves deeper into a hole due to the unwise choice of a gift. The temptation is to ask yourself, "What would I like for Christmas if I were her?" Forget it. You are NOT her!
Men tend to think in terms of functional gifts. A woman should be happy to get something that is useful and practical. Don't fall into this line of thinking. I'm still reeling from the year I gave a shovel to my wife for Christmas. Another thing to avoid is the catchy TV ads that come out this time of year. Here is a typical example:
Folks, look at this handy battery operated cheese grater.
It grates cheese right when and where you need it without needless arm movements.
But that's not all! Just look at this -
It can also be used to sharpen pencils!
ALL THIS FOR ONLY $19.95
And if you call this number within the next 10 minutes:
We will also throw in this combination salt and pepper shaker shaped like an hourglass.
After your wife unwraps this little gem, all your detailed explanations of the features will fall on deaf ears. In fact, you may wish you had deaf ears.
The bottom line is:
Colors, for example, must be coordinated. We men know that this is an unnecessary constraint but women use this as a symbol of their superiority in matters of taste. "Only certain colors go together", they will tell you. And only they know what they are. I'll bet if they were blindfolded, they couldn't tell the difference.
Style has to do with what other people think. Few women are leaders, they are followers. So, in order to select something stylish, you must survey the (female) population and get a reading on what's in. It helps if you find an article in a women's fashion magazine. This goes for jewelry and accessories as well as clothing. If you are in a bind, you can make up a story about how the item in question is of the same style (and color) used by some famous female celebrity.
Sometimes just spending a lot of money on a gift can do the trick - especially if it can be returned to the store for a refund. Just be sure the item isn't functional or it will blow your cover. Some husbands just put a wad of money in their wife's checking account and think she will appreciate being able to make her own choices. Wrong! This seemingly harmless maneuver will depersonalize the gift and, eventually, take away the element of control that you must pretend to have in your marriage.
Marriage is supposed to be based on love and respect. With this in mind, many husbands believe that no matter what gift they give their wife, "It's the thought that counts." This may work for the first few years of marriage but as the marriage "matures" this maxim no longer applies. If thought and logic were the guiding principles of marriage, gift giving would be a straightforward proposition. In a "mature" marriage, however, your past record of behavior has been well documented and reparations are necessary. It's the worst of all worlds. You don't know what you are accused of and - you don't know what the proper punishment should be.