1. Prepare in advance.
    Don’t leave it to the last minute to do your 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. It also means that your spouse is guaranteed to get their gift on time!
  2. 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. This means you don’t have to ask them directly what they would like to receive. You can return to the shop later to keep the gift as a surprise.
  3. Remember the gifts don’t need to be expensive but they do need to be thoughtful. Putting care and planning into buying a gift will mean more than something that didn’t ‘cost you a thought’. “I don’t want expensive gifts; I don’t want to be bought. I have everything I want. I just want someone to be there for me, to make me feel safe and secure”. Princess Diana.
  4. Don’t buy what you like, buy what they would like!
    It might seem obvious, but your spouse will not appreciate the latest gadget if they are not interested in technology! It’s not out of the question to buy something of mutual interest but check your motives!
  5. 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 probably will not appreciate a fluffy toy.
  6. 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!
  7. Don’t buy something for their “job”.
    This is not a universal rule, but it may apply to many 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 getting tools as a gift 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; those are things he ‘needs’ not things he wants as a gift from me.
  8. 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 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 favours 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’.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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!
  12. Don’t forget the greatest gift you can give to your spouse is to love them!


 By Lainey Hitchman

Bringing Worlds Together Book

Many couples struggle to get on the same page in marriage. Whether you are newlyweds or have been married for years Bringing Worlds Together will help you blend together. Expect to learn more about your spouse, gain insight and be challenged.

Are you ready to move closer rather than drift apart?

Available in print and ebook formats.

Adjusting Expectations Book

No-one enters marriage expectation free. Adjusting Expectations helps identify how expectations were formed and whether or not they were realistic. Most expectations need some adjustment; they are often too high but can also be set too low. The good news is expectations can be reset!

Find out what you should expect and what God expects from you.

Available in print and ebook formats.

Improving Communication Book

Most couples would willingly admit that their communication could do with some improvement; although many people also point the finger of blame squarely at their spouse for communication failures. Whether you believe it’s your fault, their fault or that you’re both to blame, this book is for you! There is always room for improvement.

Available in print and ebook formats.

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