gifts from husband

pcj42December 26, 2005

How many of you did not receive a gift for Christmas from your husband? To clarify, I don't mean that you bought the gift yourself and handed it to him to give back to you, and you didn't go pick it out and give him a description, down to where it was on the shelf and what store it was in. Did he make the effort or not?

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My DH tends to WAY overdo buying gifts for me. So this year we agreed that we would each pick out one thing - inexpensive - that we wanted and the other one would buy it. He picked out something for his motorcycle and I picked out two gardening books. I want to keep doing this as I think it is less stressful and I already know that he will more than make the effort so he doesn't need to prove anything to me.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 5:14PM
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My DH really doesn't get into the holidays at all. I always end up putting up the decorations alone and taking them down alone. Some years it seems like a waste of time since we don't have kids to get any enjoyment out of it. It always seems like a struggle for us to get gifts that the other would love, so this year I suggested that we do something different and give the gift of not exchanging gifts.

I'm not sure if that was the right decision, I have to say that this Christmas ranked as the MOST boring one of our 13 year marriage. But I guess the bright side was that neither one of us stressed out over what to get the other. He seemed pretty relieved about not having to set foot in the mall this holiday season.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 7:49PM
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We don't exchange gifts. We buy something together that we want for the house (usually an appliance or piece of furniture), something we both will share.

It works better for us than stressing out about what to buy each other.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 7:34PM
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Like Petaloid, this year my DH and I decided to buy something for the both of us/house. He ended up getting me a few little things anyway, and I felt like a jerk because I hadn't gotten him anything!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2005 at 9:59AM
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This year, my DH and I made a joint decision not to get each other a gift. We are building a house and did not need ANY additional stress. My DH is NOT a shopper (ever) and in the past he would wait until Christmas Eve, and choose something disappointing (and cheap) that it really hurt my feelings. After enough holidays like that, as I would listen to my SIL brag and brag about her DH getting her this really neat gift, and what each of the kids got her ( the necklace her 5 year old got her was way too cool for a 5 year old to EVER pick out) I finally realized that she picked out all her own gifts, and I asked her how she handled it. She said that she picked out everything ahead of time, and the clerk held it in her name. The family would then all go shopping together, and she would wait outside while they went in and bought them. She would then brag about what each person bought her for Christmas. So last year, I picked out a $45 bracelet I had made by a local gal who makes jewelry. I have discovered that my SIL has the ability to really see things differently than they really are. What it really feels like when you buy the gift and hand it to someone to give back to you is just that. It FEELS like you just bought something and someone just handed it back to you. Nothing more. I think for women whose husbands drop the ball and hurt our feelings, that we should still pick out what we like and wrap it....ONLY do so in January, February etc., so that by the time Christmas roles around you will have totally forgotten what is in those wrapped packages and will actually BE surprised! And hopefully delighted! I also have reached the stage in my marriage, that I understand that this is one of DH's shortcomings. I could focus on that, and allow it to eat away at my marriage. I could wallow in (and feed) the thoughts, that IF he REALLY loved me, he would show it by buying me jewels or something. Or I can understand that it is a flaw in him, and it is not personal. (he does the same to his mother). On the other hand, he rarely questions what I spend, and I can buy many things I like throughout the year. So I am "choosing" to not take this personally anymore, and let it go. I did for a long time, and it feeds on itself. And so, like many wise women before us, and along with us, think about what you can do that would make you feel content on Christmas morning, and not break the family budget.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 9:53AM
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bnicebkind, I guess you have it figured out. I have a friend that picks out her gifts also and even sometimes buys them and hands them to the family to wrap for her. I always wondered if she acted surprised when she unwrapped them?? My husband has also waited until Christmas Eve to buy something for me, if he buys anything at all. Sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn't. Mostly, I have not let it bother me that he is this way. I have never been upset if I didn't have a present to unwrap, but I guess at times I think it isn't the gift, it really is the thought. He is also this way for anniversaries, birthdays, and mother's day. He doesn't care how much money I spend either and I could run us in debt and he wouldn't care. This year it did bother me that he didn't bother, especially when I heard what other people got from their husbands and it got me wondering if these women had to tell them what to get them, buy it for them ahead of time, or the husband actually put some thought in it and made the effort to do it.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2006 at 8:16AM
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Mine does the same as yours on ALL holidays, including my birthday. A few times he has bought me something, but it is often something cheap, and he can afford something really nice. Many times, he does not get me anything at all, and does not seem to even notice as he and the kids are opening up all of the gifts I bought for all of them. For my birthday this year he had someone pick up a fake designer purse (cost $30) for me while they were in NY. It hurt my feelings, although I did not say anything. So I know how you feel. And there are moments when I wonder if he were married to say...Paris Hilton, would he still be this way, and so cheap, or would he knock himself out for her? I wonder if I could have changed his behavior, if I had responded differently early in our marriage. I have "chosen" to appreciate the good parts of him, and let this one go.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2006 at 3:41PM
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bnicebkind--I have wondered that myself-if I complained in the beginning would mine have been different! But then it would have been him buying something because he "had" to instead of wanting to. I also try to appreciate the good, and he does have alot of good in him. I also try to reason that even if he bought me something, I would get the credit card bill and have to sit down and pay for it. Afterall, the money comes out of "our" money. I guess it is reassuring to know there are others out there and I don't have to sit around feeling sorry for myself.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2006 at 7:16PM
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This year I told DH that we would not exchange gifts....but to ask me each year because each year may change, and I didn't want anything set in stone. lol. We decided to buy something for the house....but haven't gotten around to it yet! However, we did decide we wanted to celebrate V-day this year with a little more intensity.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2006 at 6:58PM
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This subject is a real pet peeve of mine. My wife handles the checkbook; I was ambivilent about the job and she volunteered to do it when we first got married. It's worked out well and I have not regretted it. The only drawback is that she instantly knows how much I spend on her at Christmas / birthday / anniversary. I rarely usa a credit card, I just withdraw from an ATM or she'd see what I bought on the credit card bill, possibly before the big day arrived and spoil the surprise. I never know how much she spends on me. Let me emphasize that I am NOT LOOKING to find out the amount she spends on me so that I can do the same. She has her own part time job that pays very little and that money goes into her own account, so I couldn't see that anyway. All of my paycheck is deposited into our jount account every week.

Now that that's out of the way, we don't have a huge amount to spend on each other with three kids in school. I spent $200 on her which is a larger amount than I have in the past because I overheard her saying 'He doesn't spend much on me.' The real problem is that I like to surprise her with what I bought. Her family has a very strange way of exchanging gifts; they each say 'What do you want?' to each other. if the answer is, say, a wool sweater, the asker buys it, wraps it and gived it to the recipient who knows exactly what's in the package before they open it! Therefore I never would ask. Early on it wasn't as hard but now that we've been together for over 20 years it's almost 'What do you get for the woman who has everything?'.

A few years ago I heard her say that she didn't have a good tablecloth that would cover the dining room table when both leaves were in it. One thing I got her that Christmas was a new tablecloth. Was she mad!!! She said it wasn't 'personal'. Well how did I know? She has always said 'No appliances' which I can't figure out because to me they are the equivalent of power tools for men, and I like getting those.

This year I asked for a new list of sizes she wears (she has put on some weight the past few years). She listed 'shoes 8/12 - 9, snow boots 9 if only in full sizes'. Now even a completely clueless fool llke me can see a hint that blatant. It's as big as a broken down tractor trailer on the expressway. So she got snow boots, a sweater, a blouse and a pair of pants as well as stocking stuffers. All in all I think she liked what I got her, but I keep thinking I could have done better. I've always said that I don't understand women, and at 55 I feel no closer to doing so than ever.

Thanks for letting me get this off my chest.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2006 at 11:58AM
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Softball sounds as though you did an awesome job! It shows that you thought about her and what you thought she might like and need. Most importantly, you went and looked for her and put thought into what you chose. In the end, THAT is what matters. For those of us who find ourselves disappointed, it is because they either did nothing at all, and they feel O.K. about that... or grabbed one thing on Christmas Eve just before the stores closed, that hurt because it showed that he had spent the whole day doing something else that he wanted to do, and thought he better get "anything" and gave almost zero thought or effort. Or worse, he might ask my MIL to pick up something and wrap it and drop it off at his office. Again, zero effort or thought on his part.

It is not really the cost of the item just can't be that you bought it because you are obviously cheap, which women take to mean that you don't think they are worth it. Like the time my DH handed me a Hershey chocolate bar on valentines day, after I had just delivered my 2nd baby, and told me he got it because it was less expensive than the heart shaped box of chocolates. O.K. I just went through childbirth...twice, and he can't spring for the box of heart shaped chocolates from Wallgreens?!? So he hands me a Hershey chocolate bar?!? They ought to have classes for men like this, and for men like this, attendance should NOT be optional. Boy did his mother drop the ball in teaching her son.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2006 at 7:59PM
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lets just say if my husband didnt give me a gift for christmas he would still be sleeping in the doggie house

    Bookmark   January 13, 2006 at 4:58PM
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I heard an interesting phone call (where people call in for advice on the radio) about this very subject. A man called and told Dr. Laura that his wife had "chosen" the diamond earrings that she wanted him to buy her for their wedding anniversary. He was reluctant to buy them for her, because he said that the marriage had been pretty bad for years, and that she treated him badly. He knew that if he bought them for her, it would change NOTHING in the marriage. (He had learned this from past experiences in buying her jewelry as gifts). But he also KNEW that if he did not buy her the earrings that there would be H#$$ to pay. He asked Dr. Laura what he should do, since he did not know if he was prepared to deal with the repercussions of NOT buying the earrings. Dr. Laura told him NOT to buy the earrings for her, because he knew that it would change nothing in the marriage. Instead, ( am I am trying to remember exactly how she phrased it...but I will try)so instead, she told him to give her a copy of her book, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" and to tell her that when she became a real wife, who was kind, supportive and loving towards him, then he would feel like becoming the kind of husband who would do ANYTHING for HIS WOMAN. That a wife like THAT makes a man WANT to give her the world! for thought.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2006 at 7:42PM
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Our gift giving varies from year to year. In general, I am the one struggling to figure out something nice to get him. One year he bought me a pair of diamond & pearl earrings that exactly matched a necklace I already had. Convinced the package contained slippers, I tossed it to the side Christmans morning and proceeded to gush over my new rocking chair. When at last I opened my 'slippers' I was moritified because the earrings are beautiful. He got a good laugh out of that for years. I learned early never give him a list because he will buy everything on it.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 11:47AM
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We don't make lists or anything, sometimes we get something we need for the house. I'm an avid runner/walker & loved using my daughters Ipod, but she took it w/her when she went to college, so he got me an Ipod Nano and on the back it's engraved with "in case i forget to tell you...I Love You"...Sweet Huh?

    Bookmark   January 22, 2006 at 11:43AM
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msmagoo-really, really sweet.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2006 at 5:59PM
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Bnicebkind, it sounds like we have similar husbands! My husband lets me know in his own special way how much I mean to him. He simply is not a shopper. He also doesn't do cards. However, throughout the year he will do little things for me that mean more to me than some expensive gift. My sister's DH always buys her lots of gifts, has been doing so since he started dating her. (They are the ones having marriage problems now, that I've discussed in my other threads.)

I will admit that I got an iPod Shuffle from him, but that was because I told him over and over again that I really wanted it. And I do love it!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2006 at 1:06AM
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