Thursday, November 18, 2010

How to make a Christmas Shopping List for the Idea-Impaired

This is public knowledge: my husband hates shopping. For groceries. For himself. But especially for special events. This became a small to medium problem in our marriage when he occasionally overlooked a birthday here, an anniversary there and sometimes even Christmas until the last minute.

In frustration at my expressions of disappointment, we talked about dropping gift-giving completely, but we still had our child in the home and that didn't fly. I suggested just making "gift certificates" for each other, like "This certificate entitles the bearer to one hour-long backrub at a time of her choice." But he said he'd rather poke his eye out than come up with creative writing ideas for gift certificates.

Finally, he came up with a simple, yet inspired solution: "Please, just make me a list of things you'd like and where I can find them and I'll shop from that." That worked quite nicely. I never received anything I didn't want and his shopping was anxiety-free (though he did have to figure out how to get them wrapped). He's a big boy. He handled that just fine.

This year, with university tuition bills for our only child, we aren't spending big bucks on large items, so my list will include smaller things like books and practical gifts. However, some of these are hard to describe, so today I pulled out my phone and started taking pictures.

Brilliant. An illustrated Christmas list. Sort of a smaller scale personalized Sears Catalogue "Christmas Wish Book."

Some would say, "Aw, but that takes away the thoughtfulness of gift-giving." Not exactly. I finally realized his only thought is to get me something I really want. What could be more thoughtful than actually TELLING him what what I'd like, instead of expecting him to read my mind?!

Ladies, haven't we grown up out of the idea that "I'm a princess and my man should cater to my every whim without me saying a thing" view of romance? Talk about dreaming the impossible dream. If you're still living in that Disney Princess fantasy, get used to disappointment. Make him a list and make his day.

Now that's an idea worth sharing.

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