Thursday, December 17, 2009

Our love story: thoughtful present vs gift cards

Buying a holiday present for your partner can be a daunting task. Do you get them what they ask for or what you think they’d like
to have? For the past four years, I have been struggling with this question because of my own Honey. Let me explain…

My Honey loves Amazon.com. OK he’s a little obsessed with Amazon. He loves to talk about the site, the deals he finds and we had to compromise with creating our wedding registry at a department store of my choice and at Amazon. I have learned to love and appreciate his obsession. When it comes time to his birthday or promotion at work or the Christmas holidays he tells me all he wants is an Amazon gift card. So he’s pretty easy to buy for, right?

Except I love to buy presents!

I like to spend time thinking and choosing the right gift for the people in my life. I think it shows how well I know the person I am buying for and I get joy watching them open them. So when it comes to gift giving, Honey and I are polar opposites. I promise, I have tried to balance listening to what he wants when getting him prezzies. One year, I remember getting him some sweaters that I saw he had admired from Banana Republic (his closet is the BR catalog) but he looked further into the Banana Republic box for his Amazon gift card.

But last Christmas really took the cake!

I heard that Brookstone had a football score clock and I thought my Honey would love it. Surely this clock could be the exception to his gift card rule. So I braved the holiday crowds, went to Brookstone during my lunch break and waited in line forever to buy his gift. I was so excited to give, what I thought was the perfect present, to him. Christmas came and I handed him the wrapped box and I could tell by the expression on his face that I had made a huge relationship faux-pas. Plus, Honey gently let me know, football season was almost over so what was the need for a football score clock?

I guess it truly was the thought that counted?

So this year I want him to have exactly what he wants and I know he is saving his holiday gift cards for something geeky, but how can I fill my present giving need in a plastic gift card from Amazon? So what do you think, do you get them what they ask for or what you think they’d like to have?

16 comments:

Jenn said...

Wow, I think that in this case, just get the Honey what he wants. Use your wonderful gift-giving talents on someone who appreciates it (like friends and family). He'll appreciate your ability to get him the perfect gift each time.

BakerGirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BakerGirl said...

The longer J and I date the more it just becomes about giving the person what they want/enjoy.

I save my creative gifts for his niece, nephew and family members.

An interesting thing I've noticed among my married friends is that some of them decided to stop giving big gifts for christmas and instead plan a trip every year that they go on slightly before or after christmas.

I like that idea.

Char said...

see, i balance my need for buying with the look on their face when they get what they really wanted. they cannot appreciate the time you spent trying to be thoughtful when they are crushed by not getting what they wanted. i remind myself of this and instead, buy them small trinkets to put in stockings. that way, i get to buy - they get the big ticket item they wanted and everyone is a bit happy for it all.

Keith said...

I've always tried to buy what I know the person wants. There are times I've seen something that I think they would like, but more times than not you can tell they are disappointed that it wasn't what they had wanted.

Kris said...

I just stick to what he tells me he wants specifically. I can never get it right! haha

Oh, and here are those commercials I told you about. The ones that I interviewed Jude Law, RDJ etc for:

http://krisvids.blogspot.com/2009/12/sherlock-holmes.html

Enjoy!

Laura said...

Jenn: I totally agree sweetie! Great comment xoxo

Laura said...

BakerGirl: I do too! Dito over and over...

Laura said...

Char: What a wonderful way to please them all. Between you and I, I try to do a little of both as well.

Laura said...

Keith: You're so right, it should be all about them and not you!

Working Mommy said...

You know...there are people I know who HATE giving and/or getting gift cards...but let me say this, giving a gift card shows that you really do care!! What is better than letting the ones you love pick out something they will actually use/enjoy/spend hours drooling over?! It is the best solution for someone who is hard to buy for!

~WM

Dollface said...

Its so hard to get Jared gifts... this year I bought him a coat and of course its the wrong coat... hahaha xxxo - cant ever make them happy! xxxoo

Laura said...

Working Mommy: Hear, hear! Hold on as I go and buy some more gift cards :)

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

We do both. We each make a list of gift suggestions and then we each buy stuff that are surprises too. It works for us and yes, we have lots of presents to open! It's Fun! Amazon has wish lists--why not ask him to use it and then you can look at it and see what things he really wants.

so Spiffy April Marie said...

My husband is so PICKY.. I can't shop for him.. clothes wise, wallet wise... what is a woman to do?

I thought about it, and decided to tell him.. spend what you want on what you want .... okay... I'm getting him a pair of fur lined crocs so we can sit on the balcony and sit cocoa or hot coffee ... but I think I'm going to write him a long letter.. love letter on a christmas card....

Sean (husband of Jenn) said...

What has he REALLY, REALLY wanted for a LONG time, but hasn't been willing to take the dive on (but you know he will sooner or later)?

It's a total luxury, but SO personal.

That's the one.