Baumgardner: Choosing the right gift for a woman is an art form

Baumgardner: Choosing the right gift for a woman is an art form

December 22nd, 2013 by By Julie Baumgardner in Life Entertainment

'Twas four days before Christmas when all through the house, no one was stirring, not even your spouse. Stockings were hung by the chimney with care. What should you get her? Buyer beware!

Your wife all nestled snug in your bed while visions of diamonds danced in her head. The dog had his bone in front of the fire while you shopped online before you retired. So many choices. What do you see? "A blender, a vacuum or something for me!"

On Christmas morn, you'll awake to a clatter and spring from your bed to see what's the matter. When what to your wondering eyes will appear, your wife with a look that is very clear ...

We've all heard horror stories of gift giving gone bad. One newlywed, recalling the look on her mother's face when she received an appliance for Christmas, told her husband if she could use it in the kitchen or for cleaning the house, it did not qualify as a Christmas present. Believe it or not, she is not alone. Most women say if it's practical, it isn't something that should be given as a gift.

Dec. 25 will be here before you know it (as in Wednesday). Not to worry, it's not too late for you to come up with a great gift.

Remember, men and women think differently. When choosing a gift for your wife, consider how she will interpret the meaning behind your gift. When in doubt, ask one of her friends or don't run the risk. What men often don't understand about gift buying is ... 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, there is a lot riding on gifts in general. So if you aren't planning on taking up residence on the family room couch, take your gift buying seriously.

Be a good understudy to your wife. Listen carefully to what she says. Pay attention to the things she enjoys and the way she spends her time. Does she like to cook, garden, sew, read, run, knit, go to the movies or ride bikes? You might even try asking her to give you a list of things she would like for Christmas. With a little investigative work, you can uncover some helpful hints that will guide you in your gift buying.

When women were asked what they would like for Christmas from their husbands, here are some of the things they said:

• A gift certificate for a massage, manicure or pedicure.

• Make plans to take the children out to dinner one evening, allowing your wife to stay at home in peace and quiet.

• Purchase a gift certificate to her favorite restaurant for a Date Night.

• Plan a romantic getaway and take care of all the details. Give her hints about where she will be going and what she needs to bring for your getaway.

• If all else fails and you are still at a loss, it isn't against the rules to ask her to accompany you on a shopping spree to find the perfect gift.

So ... with a gleam in your eye and a plan in your head, you know that you have nothing to dread. Your wife will proclaim with a smile shining bright, "Merry Christmas, honey. You got it just right!"

Julie Baumgardner is president and CEO of First Things First. Contact her at