Monday, December 04, 2006

The Christmas Test

Speaking of knowing what you want (my last post)...

... I was watching my new favorite show, Rachael Ray, minutes ago and her guests were a married couple who both agreed that the husband (poor guy) was a horrible gift-giver. When his wife said she'd NEVER received a good gift from her husband and then he hung his head and said he was a loser-- I became upset with the wife and ran down here to our basement office in order to re-run a post I ran this time last year.

Here is what I wrote last December about gift-giving where husbands and wives are concerned:

The Christmas Test... I know women who give their husbands The Christmas Test every year and almost never have I heard of a husband actually passing it (the poor guys...).

Which Christmas Test? The one which starts with, "If you really love me, you will be able to figure out--on your own--what I really, really want for Christmas."

Oh my...

Why do women torture their husbands that way? And why do women even do that to themselves year after year, disappointing Christmas after disappointing Christmas?

If you are one of those women, I just have to ask, in the words of the O-So-Wise Sage--Dr. Phil, "How's that working for you?"

I guess I have an especially-sensitive compassion for men who must take The Christmas Test because my own brain came without the Good Gift Giver Gene. No, really. There's a blank space inside my brain right where that gene is supposed to be.

(Actually, I think there are lots of blank spaces in my brain, but that's a whole other post.)

The odds of my coming up with the perfect gift for my husband and my daughter are about 1 in 3,999,999. Finding the perfect gift for them (and often for friends, too) is enough to make my hole-splattered brain hurt and freeze and downright dread Christmas.

So what have Tom, Naomi and I done for years? We give each other nice, long, quite-detailed lists of what we would like. Lists from Amazon.... lists in emails... lists on little slips of paper. I have even been known to give Tom a coupon and a little map of the aisles of a store leading to just the right shelf where he would find just the right diary to match the title I'd written down for him. And hooray! He found the diary, used the coupon for ten dollars off, wrapped it up and put it under the tree. It was my favorite gift that year.

And, yes, there are still surprises this way. I never know for sure which items from my list Tom will choose to buy for me. I do try to list them according to what I want most and then second most, etc., and often he goes that route.

And I am always thrilled that I get just what I wanted! It certainly beats getting, instead, mad or sad or depressed all because my poor husband couldn't read my mind.

And then, too, Tom likes to buy me some little things I did not ask for.... and that's always a very hit-and-miss kind of activity. But since he also gets me things from my list, the 'misses' don't even matter. In fact, they are often comic-relief and our whole family (Tom included) has been known to laugh until we cry at some of those 'misses'. We even look forward to them.

Well, I just wanted to share this with you in case it might help. Tom and I haven't been married for 27 mostly-happy years without learning a few nifty, peace-giving tricks along the way.

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