Christmas is a time for giving!
Since the world seems to have gone crazy and Christmas decorations abound in November it doesn’t seem too early to start talking about the ‘shopping’ season. In fact starting to think about gifts in advance can be a significant advantage because you have time to find the perfect gift for your spouse.
I love giving gifts!
As Christmas approaches people either love this opportunity to give, or they dread it. Which category do you fall in? If you love it you are probably a natural at buying presents for other people; you have a knack for finding the perfect gift and have a real joy in waiting for the smile on someone’s face when your loved one opens the gift.
I dread giving gifts!
Some people are very creative and are able to make gifts, whether it is something you have cooked, grown or made, you have a real talent for blessing other people by giving them a gift that took your time and love.
Those who fall into the “I dread Christmas” category are not usually in the above. They hate the crowds, the pushing, shoving and the hustle and bustle at the stores. Even if they do venture out, they spend hours walking up and down shopping aisles but return home dejected because they haven’t been able to find the perfect gift. They return home either with empty shopping bags or with the usual tie or pair of socks.
The following shopping tips are useful for those of you who are struggling this Christmas to find the perfect gift. They are especially useful if you are struggling to find the perfect gift for your spouse.
12 Golden Shopping rules:
- Prepare in advance. Don’t leave it to the last minute to do your Christmas shopping. This causes extra stress and makes your decision making poor. Good planning also means you do not have to pay a premium price for the gifts you buy.
- Listen to your spouse. As you listen to each other, make a mental note of the things they say they would like to buy or like to do. You can return to the shop later to keep the gift as a surprise.
- Remember the gifts don’t need to be expensive, but they do need to be thoughtful. That means that if your spouse is not going to like that sweater you want to knit for them… don’t! Instead, pay attention to what they really want.
- Don’t buy what you like, buy what they would like! This point really follows on from number three. It might seem obvious, but your spouse will not appreciate the latest gadget if they are not interested in technology!
- Shop outside your zone. This follows on from the point above if your wife is into crafts, you will not find the perfect gift in a hardware store. Wives if your husband likes gadgets he may not appreciate a fluffy toy for Christmas.
- Get a second opinion. It can be useful to get a second opinion on the gift you are thinking of buying, but the sales assistants aren’t usually the ones to ask. They have another agenda, and that is to get a sale!
- Don’t buy something for their “job”. This is not a universal rule, but it may apply to some people. Let me explain, a number of years ago my husband decided he would buy me a food processor for Christmas I had mentioned a number of times that I needed one and he thought he was following rule number two. The problem was that ‘I needed it’, it wasn’t something I wanted as a gift. You might feel that buying a vacuum cleaner is blessing your spouse because you don’t mind tools for Christmas but bear in mind that it may not be her idea of a ‘romantic gift’. The same thing follows for my husband who doesn’t like gifts of socks, underwear or sweaters for Christmas those are things he ‘needs’ not things he wants as a gift from me.
- Don’t believe the ‘I don’t need a gift’ lie. If you are under financial pressure, your spouse will often try to alleviate the stress of Christmas by telling you they don’t need a gift. Unfortunately, if you believe this, you can often leave your spouse feeling neglected and unappreciated. Be creative! A beautiful letter in a handmade card can speak volumes. A coupon book of gifts to be redeemed is an inexpensive and thoughtful way to say ‘I care, I love you’. The coupons could be for ‘a night off cooking’, ‘help with gardening’, ‘a long hot bath’.
- Presentation. It may seem like an obvious point to make but make sure you buy wrapping paper and wrap the present yourself. A lovely gift looses some of its appeal when thrust at your spouse in a plastic shopping bag.
- Shop on-line. When I asked my husband if he had any shopping tips to share this was it ‘shop on-line’. He gets stressed at even the thought of shopping, so this alternative provides him with the opportunity to give without the stress.
- Pray. It might seem like an unusual thing to some people, but I find when I pray before I go God leads me to the perfect gift for people. Let Him guide you!
- Don’t forget the greatest gift you can give to your spouse is … Love them!
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