This is the time of year, when many husbands break out in cold sweats trying to figure out the right gift to give their wives so they won't end up in the doghouse.
To help men out, an informal survey was conducted asking women what husbands should NOT give them for Christmas. Some items mentioned were: jumper cables, tools, a vacuum cleaner, an ice scraper, a low-calorie cookbook or gym membership, anything that plugs in or dish towels.
So how do you know what would be a great gift?
Be a good understudy to your wife. Listen carefully. Pay attention to things she enjoys and how she spends her time. You might even ask her to give you a list of things she would like.
Our survey says:
• Women like to be pampered, so consider a spa gift certificate.
• Make plans to take the children out to dinner one evening, allowing your wife to stay at home in peace.
• Take her on a date to her favorite restaurant or on a romantic getaway.
• Indulge her hobby. If she enjoys gardening, buy a gift certificate to a local nursery, a new gardening book or book a spring trip to The Biltmore in Asheville, N.C., to tour the gardens.
• Arrange a surprise visit with a friend she rarely sees.
One rule of thumb - if it is practical, do not buy it. It isn't something that should be given as a gift.
If all else fails, ask her to accompany you on a shopping spree to find a gift.
When choosing a gift for your wife, consider how she will interpret the meaning behind your gift. If in doubt, ask one of her friends or don't run the risk. What men don't understand about gift buying for their wife is that women see the creativity, effort and gift itself as a direct reflection of how much her husband loves her. Men see a gift as a gift.
Whether you think it makes sense or not, in general, there is a lot riding on gift giving -- so if you aren't planning on taking up residence in the doghouse, take your gift buying seriously.