View Full Version : Gifts for your spouse
Anyone else have trouble trying to figure out what to get for your spouse for a gift (birthday, Christmas, etc.)?
I often come up with a lot of ideas, but we tend to buy the things we want/need when we think of them, so all of my good ideas are gone by the time the event rolls around.
We've never really gotten each other anniversary gifts for that very reason. Instead, we go to a nice restaurant, or see a play, or something like that.
Same problem with telling others what I want for Christmas - I usually just go get what I want myself. Last year, I even refrained from buying things Oct thru Dec so I could tell my family to get those things for me.
Anyone else have the same problem? What do you do?
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: CJL on 2001-10-03 13:05 ]</font>
10-03-2001, 01:19 PM
Yes, we have the same problem. We solved it after a year or two by just not buying each other gifts anymore. (I had some precedent for that - my parents never bought each other anything, either).
In terms of telling other people, I do similar to what you do. The last few months of the year if I think of something I would like to have, but it's not an urgent need, it goes on the list, and I just don't buy it. (I do my best to make my husband do the same, but he's a little more impatient than I am to go buy whatever he wants....).
One thing we've done a couple of years (and want to get back to) is to say that instead of giving each other gifts, we spend the money for a charitable purpose. Especially at Christmas, you can find all kinds of groups looking for sponsors to get gifts for needy families. That's sort of a nice way to 'honor' your spouse (or others), without buying something just to buy something.
I'd actually like to do that with my whole family (other than the kids), but when floating the idea past mom (to whom Christmas is a HUGE deal....), it went over like a lead balloon. Maybe we'll still do it for other family members on the alternate years that our entire family doesn't get together.
Dr T Non-Fan
10-03-2001, 02:31 PM
I recall a few years ago when I returned every present I received. One of them was world peace. I'm tough to buy for, I guess.
I tell my wife my sizes, and she forwards the info to the interested parties. Or lately, it's DVD's that I'd like to own, but won't buy myself.
My wife tells me a few things that I want, then I get a few of them for her. She also throws out obvious hints that I'm supposed to listen to. I pretend that I don't.
My husband and I gave up gifts years ago. We treat ourselves to at least one weekend a year together (no kids) and one full week. I'd rather spend the money that way. We also buy for a "needy" child at Christmas. I realized this year that it was a bit more difficult explaining that to my five year old. She said "why do we have to get the little girl a gift, won't Santa Claus know where to find her?". I told her that Santa needed our help he had so much to do that night. Anyway our family gets into the "giving to others" every year. (I'd like others to give to the needy in the name of my children - they don't need another electronic toy, something that only those who don't have children would purchase)
10-03-2001, 04:21 PM
We don't give gifts to each other anymore. We haven't in years. Birthdays, we go out to dinner with the kids. Anniversaries, we go out to dinner without the kids. Christmas, we just buy something we need for the house. We just save our money and go on nice vacations with the whole family. We really have no need for too many material things. Those that I need, I like to buy myself.
10-03-2001, 05:21 PM
Regarding giving to those who need it most, I recommend Angel Tree, a program for helping the families of prisoners.
Regarding stuff for the spouse... you can never go wrong with chocolate. For more substantial occasions, we also do vacation trips. And for a real big deal (like a birthday that ends in zero), I´ll send her (by herself! no kids! no Don!) to visit one of her good friends or sisters. She always comes home happy.
10-03-2001, 05:34 PM
I thought the "Angel Tree" program was just for needy kids - I didn't realize it had anything to do with kids of prisoners.
10-04-2001, 08:09 AM
There may be more than one variation on the Angel Tree. I know my sister coordinates the Salvation Army angel trees for her company, and I don't believe it does have anything to do with prisoners.
10-04-2001, 08:51 AM
Just an idea: take the parent(s) of a needy child shopping, and let them buy presents (at your expense) for their children. Not only does the child get to enjoy the gift, but the parent gets to enjoy selecting the gift for their child. My wife and I have done this for years in lieu of exchanging gifts, and have received more blessing than those we have helped.
10-04-2001, 09:48 AM
Traci and Gretchen.. you´re right. A quick Net search turned up not only the program I´m familar with, but one from the Washington post, and one from a junior league in Little Rock, (among others) neither of which appeared to be particularly associated with prisioners. I guess it´s just a nice name. Still recommend it.
10-04-2001, 01:36 PM
I could've sworn there was another message here, by someone called ... um ... "switch", "mitch", "witch" ??? :smile:
10-04-2001, 01:51 PM
I saw it too.
I see "IT" is gone from the Members List, also! Was wondering how long that would go unnoticed.
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: A No One on 2001-10-04 13:52 ]</font>
10-04-2001, 02:02 PM
"""take the parent(s) of a needy child shopping, and let them buy presents (at your expense) for their children"""
I would not be comfortable with this. I would think it would be humiliating for the other parent(s).
I prefer to go to the organization and pick a family anonymously. However,
I am currently debating the best way to get my kids involved. I want them to experience the joys of giving - but I don't want to ruin the "Santa" myth too early. What do you think of this idea:
Early December, they receive a letter from from Santa - asking for their help. As a family, we shop for another family - to help Santa out. (I don't want them to wonder why Santa isn't bringing presents for ALL kids)
In the past, I have always preferred to give anonymously (just my preference) but with little kids, I may have to bend the rules for a few years, until they really understand. I think it would be better for MY kids to actually deliver the gifts themselves.
What have y'all done w.r.t. family charity events?
Dr T Non-Fan
10-04-2001, 07:28 PM
Nothing. Too busy. The school has some stuff, but no independent thoughts. Too busy.
We give lots of toys to Goodwill. Hardly used toys (grrr!)
And more are on the way, if I have my way. (Later on the show tonight, monkeys will fly out of my butt.) One should be able to walk into a clean toy room without stepping on anything.
10-04-2001, 09:37 PM
Christmas time, my department "adopts" 3 needy families. We get a list of what they want and need. Then we buy them or donate money to our coordinator and s/he buys whatever was not donated.
I hate shopping so I just give money and let someone else buy the gifts.
11-03-2005, 06:40 PM
:bump: ...only 52 days 'til Christmas after all.
11-04-2005, 09:52 AM
What have y'all done w.r.t. family charity events?
We give to the "adopt a Foster Child" program (where we don't actually adopt the child, but just buy them gifts!). I like it better than the Salvation Army "Angel Tree", because the latter tends to specify gifts that they want, and they tend to all be expensive electronic toys or games that I don't want to buy (and sometimes consider inappropriate).
We deal with the Santa issue by explaining it that some kids' families don't have enough money to buy their kids presents. Santa still brings them things, but we are helping the parents with "their portion". Since our kids get presents both from Santa and from us, they understand that.
We adopt kids of approximately the same age and gender as ours, set a budget and try to find each kid a toy, book, and article of clothing. If we don't know the kid's size, we buy things like mittens, which aren't so size-specific and are needed in our climate. Since the kids we're buying for are similar in age to our kids, they do most of the selecting of the stuff.
We've been doing this since my older child was almost 3. We don't give the gifts directly to the child, but deliver them (unwrapped) to the center where volunteers are wrapping them and verifying that they are reasonable for the child in question. One of these years, my kids will be old enough that we can join the group of volunteers, but I don't think we're there quite yet.
11-04-2005, 11:28 AM
My husband and I have discussed the idea of getting sterling silver flatware for years- he suggested this year that we do that at Christmas and buy only token gifts other than that. I think it's a great idea.
One charity we've used is Alternativegifts.org; another is the Heifer Project (http://www.heifer.org). Both allow you to donate for specific items in a specific country. One person got us a couple of llamas for a family in Peru when we married!
11-04-2005, 11:35 AM
I recently got a Heifer Project catalog, and I was baffled by several things. One, it appears you cannot actually give cows. Two, I kind of don't understand the point - am I giving people live animals, so they can kill and eat them? Somehow, it struck me as a little odd.
11-04-2005, 11:42 AM
I do like to give as a family to charitable causes at the holidays, but not in lieu of personal gifts (unless it is the request of the recipient). I still like the idea of of paying close enough attention to people that I care about to be able to pick out something to make their eyes light up.
Mr. M is a tough one. He is extremely particular about the things he likes, and totally unimpressed by many things. One tactic for him is a gift certificate to his favorite specialty store catering to his hobby. Rather than trying to scope out what piece of equipment would be next on the wish list, I can let him have the fun of browsing through the catalog. Or sometimes I will know generally what he wants, but not the specifics so it's a matter of "You can have the HF mobile rig you want this year. Pick out what you want and I'll order to be here in time for Christmas."
For most people, I would rather surprise them than do that, but Mr. M prefers that approach and cares diddly squat about surprises. Since it's his gift, he can have it his way.
Nothing says "I :ht: you" more than a sexy pair of specs:
11-04-2005, 12:52 PM
I kind of don't understand the point - am I giving people live animals, so they can kill and eat them? Somehow, it struck me as a little odd.
They also breed them and give the offspring to others in need.
11-04-2005, 04:25 PM
For a while I asked my wife what she wanted before every major day...the answer was always the same so now I don't bother asking...and she hasn't received that particular item for a few years now...
11-04-2005, 04:47 PM
For a while I asked my wife what she wanted before every major day...the answer was always the same so now I don't bother asking...and she hasn't received that particular item for a few years now...children?
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