My poor hubby. His nuclear family was not big on gift-giving. Maybe that’s because his warm and thoughtful clan were amazing throughout the year. (Or maybe because they’re mostly anti-hoarders who loathe knickknacks, souvenirs and other sentimental clutter.)
And then he marries me.
I’m quite the fanatic about gifts. It was the only time my nuclear family actually showed up (that and picking me up from airports, another thing he doesn’t get). I'm a sucker for getting presents—and giving them. The thought and effort of finding a friend something exactly “them” is really special to me.
My husband, on the other hand, doesn’t really get why a gift—on the day of the occasion—is so special to me. And why there are so many occasions! So with my birthday coming up, I’ve put together a handy guide to the year for my man that anyone can tailor to their own needs. If getting gifts is your “thing” I think your partner will appreciate it.
RELATED: 10 Gifts You Should Never Give
February: Valentine’s Day
“I want to do something for Valentine’s Day,” said NO MAN EVER. Look, I know it’s a made-up holiday. I know it’s just a marketing ploy for singles to feel bad about themselves and coupled people to feel undue pressure to pay double the price at a restaurant. But still. I love taking the time out to celebrate love! On this day, a mushy card and flowers will do. And if you want to walk around the village and watch other suckers—er, I mean couples—eating at overpriced venues, that could be fun, too.
This is a time we should do something together. Something fun. Something that reminds us who we were when it was just us.
May: Mother’s Day
My curmudgeonly father hated celebrating Mother’s Day because he used to say “She’s not my mother.” Anything related to the tyke will do, from a photo album to a pretend card penned by her until she can take over her filial duties. Breakfast in bed or better yet, letting Mom sleep in, would be amazing, too.
June: My Birthday
This is the ONE time my family really came together for me. I love surprises, so bring on the party when I least expect it! This is the only occasion that warrants a special present, something sparkly or sentimental that I can look to it and say, “My husband bought me this because he loves me.” Last year, I got a watch (sparkly AND useful!) A few years ago it was a sleek cruiser bike.
This year, ironically, I’m hoping for a mini vacuum. Hello, 1960s.
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September: Our Anniversary
This is a time we should do something together. Something fun. Something that reminds us who we were when it was just us. This is a tough one for many guys, so I recommend websites like Groupon or Living Social, which always have events to attend, like a pizza-making course or a spa night out, depending on your fancy (Him: pizza. Me: spa.)
December: The Holidays
By this time of year, we’re all feeling put-upon by giving gifts. This is the time of year a “gag” gift –less like fake poop and more like love coupons or Soduko placemats—is perfect as something to exchange when the families get together. Of course if you’ve got Chanukah instead of Christmas, that’s eight small presents, or “clutter” as you my husband likes to call it. I say double up on the practical things, then like some bags for my new vacuum.
Now if this list seems unfair, fear not. I know what to get my husband on every occasion. Since his two Love Languages are “Acts of Service” and “Touch” I’ll let you guess what that is….