Gift Giving As A Guy

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Since a visit from Santa is right around the corner, I wanted to touch on the subject of :

Gift Giving As A Guy

As a guy, do you do a lot of gift giving? Do you enjoy it? I know I’d enjoy it much more if money was no object, and who wouldn’t? I’m not a fan of shopping, or malls, or crowds, but I love to give gifts, especially the kind that really touch the recipient’s heart. The kind of gifts that a person would likely never buy for him or herself. It could be a thing mentioned months ago in passing they never thought you would remember, or simply a very personal item because you know them so well. I’m not saying those kinds of gifts *always* need to cost a fortune, but in my experience, they often do. Sometimes it’s more costly finding the gift than actually purchasing it.

One of the most delicate endeavors in gift giving can be the one(s) you give your significant other. Who here has run in to this problem (besides me?) Your significant other (my girlfriend) says she doesn’t want anything.

“Um, well, that’s fine, but you’ll be getting something,” you tell her.

“No, I don’t want anything,” is her maddening reply.

Well, crap. Okay, so where do you go from there? Even if you’re on a budget you want to get a gift for her, but are you to take her literally and not get her anything because she said she doesn’t want anything? [I wouldn’t recommend that] Is it a trap? [yes it’s a trap] Can you ever take her literally? [probably not ever] So many questions, so few answers, so little time.

If you have half a brain you know that NOT getting her a gift is NOT an option here. She does NOT mean, “I do not want you to get me a gift,” even if she has said that specifically, out loud, to your face. Do not be fooled! Unless, of course, you want to spend the holidays alone in which case by all means don’t get her a gift. Since we know that we’ll be getting her something let’s think about how this works and how we might go about finding something great.

One method I’ve relied on in the past is to call her siblings and/or mother. Unless you’ve been with her for a good long while (and this Christmas I have not) her siblings and/or mother may know her better than you and may have some insight into something she’s mentioned over the last year she’d like to have, or some interest she hasn’t yet shared with you to serve as a jumping off point in your gift search. Unfortunately, this plan can backfire in a couple ways.

First, if you take a specific suggestion from someone she talks to on a regular basis there’s the chance she’ll find out ahead of time what the gift is. It happens. Siblings and mothers can get excited and talk. In my case I might even casually ask my girlfriend’s daughter if she’s heard anything, but I have a feeling the daughter would be even more likely to spoil any surprise.

The second potential downfall of asking for help is hopefully not as common, though I’m certain it happens. If she finds out you enlisted aid in figuring out what to get her for the occasion she might be upset that you didn’t or couldn’t come up with something on your own.

“I thought you knew me better.”

“That’s kind of lazy of you, don’t you think?”

“No, I’m not disappointed, but I just thought maybe you would’ve remembered I liked that one thing in that place we saw that one time…”

As I said, hopefully our girlfriends and wives and partners and sisters and mothers aren’t really like that. The only reason I would even suggest it is because that’s how it works in the movies or in sitcoms, right? Or in those commercials where the guy is always a moron? Never happens in real life, but STILL, it’s good to consider all possibilities.

I was hoping in the course of writing this article that I might have a breakthrough and actually come up with a solid gift idea for my girlfriend for Christmas. This has not been the case. It’s not helpful at all to know that her birthday is mere weeks after the holiday, which will send me once again spiraling into the gift choosing quagmire. The more you struggle the faster you sink, right?