Mistakes Couples Make When Gift Giving and How to Avoid Them - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

Mistakes Couples Make When Gift Giving and How to Avoid Them

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I had been married about fifteen years before I got the worst gift from my husband for Christmas. We had just moved to Lubbock, Texas, and we drove in during a massive dust storm. I was upset to be moving there, and the dust really brought my mood to a new low. Christmas was a week away, and our kids were still young enough to want a tree and all the trimmings in their new home.

We managed to get a tree up on the 20th of December and finished the decorating, Christmas shopping and other frills that make children excited before Christmas. Christmas morning there were many bright ribbons, sparkly bows and gifts beneath the tree. One was huge and had my name on it. I was so excited because my husband usually sticks to small boxes with nice jewelry or gift certificates at my favorite stores. To see this huge box turned me into a child again, wondering what in the world it could possibly be. As I began unwrapping the gift, the kids joined my excitement! When I saw what it was I first looked at him with my jaw dropped, and then held it together so the kids wouldn't see my disappointment. In the box was a huge, red Shop Vac.

My husband is a practical man, and in his defense (although I rarely defend him over this topic) I had commented several times in a derogatory tone about the dust in the house and in this place (Lubbock, Texas). But his lack of knowing me after fifteen long years of marriage was more than I could take on Christmas morning. What was he thinking, and why in the world with all the possible things I would have loved did he settle on a Shop Vac? It was definitely the wrong gift, and my children still cringe to this day when I open one of his gifts.

When you give your partner a gift it should be one that helps your partner feel special. They should feel as though you took time from your day to choose it, and you want them to feel as though you value pleasing them.

We get so busy during the holidays, and many of us forget the significance of a gift. We may ask someone else to go purchase it for us, someone else to wrap it and sometimes we even forget to sign the card, or to write something of what loving this person means to us. If you are one of those people who still haven't gotten a gift for your partner and you are struggling with gift ideas, I have a few suggestions to consider prior to shopping.

• It really isn't the money you spend; it's the way you present the gift. Wrap it yourself, and always include a card with a hand written message. It is always better to err on the side of making it special rather than making it expensive.

• The gift should make your partner feel closer to you, and that means you have to know your partner's interests.

• Giving your partner an experience is always better than something they open and re-gift or take back. Taking a class together or tickets to a concert or theatre performance that your partner will love means so much more, especially if it is not something you really like, but are doing for them.

• Stay away from impersonal gifts. If you have known your partner longer than six months, that is long enough to get them something with meaning.

The best gifts I have ever received were not the most expensive, but they were the most well thought out gifts. The giver took time to consider what areas of life I was curious about or invested in. They wrapped the gift with their own hands and put a note on top. The Shop Vac did not make the cut. –Mary Jo Rapini

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