Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Giles Hash's Guide to Christmas Shopping part 1

So it's that time of year again. Time to go buy gifts for the people in your life. Now, shopping for women is hard, guys, and each woman you know needs or wants something completely different. Many of them would get offended or even mad if you shop for them the same way that you would shop for the other women you know.

On top of that, when a guy asks his wife what she wants for Christmas, her answer may be direct, but too often she'll say something like, "Oh, just surprise me," or "I don't want anything, but go ahead and get me whatever you like." And then she expects you to get her exactly what she wants. She won't tell you what it is, though. You have to guess! Sure, she'll leave hints around house: pages from catalogs with a single item circled on it, or when you're watching TV together, or walking the mall, she'll point at a piece of clothing, jewelry, book, movie, or whatever, and then she'll say, "Oo! I like that." And what she means is, "If you don't get me that exact item, you'll sleep on the couch for a month."

What's a man to do? Well, nothing. It's like walking through a minefield. Men, I can't give you much advice, just get her something you think she wants, or get her a giftcard. If that doesn't work, I don't know you. You're on your own.


  1. My $0.02. Gifting is a tricky area, and there's no one solid answer for a specific person, but there ARE things you can default to if you have absolutely no idea.

    There are gifts and there are default gifts. A default gift for someone you barely know is a gift card. Besides, if you know them well enough to get them a gift card to a store they like, might as well just buy something from that store. It's the thought that counts in this area; they probably weren't expecting a gift from you at all. However, iTunes is kind of an exception because there are a lot of things available for the iUser in your life (music, movies, apps).

    A default gift for the woman in your life would be something feminine... meaning it smells nice and is usually bath-related (from Bath & Body Words or The Body Shop), or a nice perfume (which B&BW also sells). If you are totally clueless, go for that. Just make sure it's a) something she doesn't already have and b) something you won't hate to smell for the months or years it'll take her to exhaust the supply. A default gift for a man is kind of similar; anything related to manliness (shaving, sports, leather accessories) is a pretty safe bet.

    Buying your wife a gift card is tantamount to stepping on all of the mines in the field at once. Unless your wife collects them. It's just such an impersonal gift.

    Micah says I always give good gifts, and I think this is because I pay attention and I am creative. She has absolutely no idea what she's getting this year, but I guarantee that she will love it. If you live with someone, you should be able to pretty well guess the kind of things they like, or what they've been complaining they don't have, or what they've almost run out of.

    Otherwise, just surf trendy "gift" websites until you find something you think they'll like. Wandering stores is absolutely no fun at all, so better to wander from the comfort of your rolly chair. You know what also works? Amazon wish lists.

    Phew. Think that didn't reveal TOO many of my secrets. GOOD LUCK EVERYONE AND HAPPY CHRISTMAS.

  2. That's a bit more than $0.02 worth :) It's good advice, though!

  3. Jewelry usually works. Just don't break the bank.