The Dancing Puritan

Thursday, February 11, 2016

14 Days of Love: Day 11: How to Choose a Gift For Your Spouse

Day 1: Write a Song: Here
Day 2: Pray, Tell, Pray: Here
Day 3: Kiss: Here
Day 4: Meet: Here
Day 5: Read, Journal, Share, Remember: Here
Day 6: The 30-Day Challenge: Here
Day 7: Work on the Inside: Here
Day 8: Friendship: Here
Day 9: Grace: Here
Day 10: Keep it Simple:Here

How do you choose the right gift for your spouse?

1. Ask, at various times throughout the year, what gifts that they would enjoy receiving. I have asked these questions: "If money were no issue, what gift would you enjoy receiving?"Since money is an issue right now, what is something inexpensive that you would really enjoy?

2. Keep a list: Putting together a list is easier than you might imagine. Of course write down the gifts that you discover from #1 above. However, you probably do not want to be asking your wife/husband just before a special occasion what they want? Learn from everyday listening. I often hear Lori mention some item or activity that she would enjoy. However, hearing alone is not enough. I need to write down what I hear. You might consider keeping a pocket notebook for writing down gift ideas. My wife keeps a list on her phone for everyone in our family. Write down sizes that you will need for clothing and apparel.

3. Involve your children. Your children are your secret weapons and they will likely enjoy helping you choose a gift. I like to buy clothes for Lori. I have often called or sent a text message to one of my daughters asking for advice while I was out shopping.

4. Ask their best friend. I will play the part here. Hi good friend of Lori. Has Lori mentioned anything to you that she would enjoy? Clothes? Trip? Date night to restaurant? 12 gauge shotgun?

5. What would you like to buy your beloved? Think outside the blender or white dress shirt box? Go beyond even candy and flowers (but keep them in your arsenal). Nostalgic gifts work for some people. Does your spouse ever talk about items or places that they really enjoyed when they were younger? Ebay is your friend. For example, if your husband enjoyed going to a favorite place on vacation when he was a boy, get him an item connected to that place. Lori often went to Savannah, GA when she was a young girl. It would be relatively easy for me to find something unique to Savannah to get Lori for a special day.

6. Give a gift that requires effort on your part. Try to avoid last minute shopping and just picking up the first thing that comes to mind. Maybe your neighborhood grocer has just the item and if so, that's great. However, be willing to drive a few miles extra and pay a few dollars more to get the right gift. The "right" gift is the one that is given joyfully, lovingly, thoughtfully, and skillfully.

7. Surprise, Surprise, Surprise. Lori and I still remember with great joy, gifts that came with an excitement of surprise. On our 25th Anniversary, I planned three days of activities for us (they did not take the entire day, but parts of three days). Lori did not know from one minute to the next what was next. One day I took her to breakfast at one of our favorite places in Dahlonega, GA. We walked around town after breakfast and then spent the rest of the morning at home. The next day we had lunch and a tour at a winery. We closed out the day by going to a dinner and movie restaurant. On day three, we celebrated at a fine restaurant near Atlanta. I worked out a plan ahead of time with the waiter. When he brought dessert to our table, he also brought a gift that I had wrapped and given to him for Lori. Lori opened up her box and received her new earrings.

Before each event I gave Lori ample time to get ready. I told her what to wear but not where we were going. I planned our dates without Lori having to make any decisions. She liked that. She still likes for me to lead the way in planning our dates.

8. Have Fun. A handwritten note and a candy bar with love is better than a diamond ring and joylessness: "Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it." (Proverbs 15:17).

G: Generosity: Be generous, not stingy. Yes, be wise but always generous.

I.  Invest: Invest time and energy in knowing your spouse and gift-giving will come easier.

F. Focus: Your list will help you to focus on specific items and keep you from random shopping.

T.  Thoughtfulness. Be thoughtful. What does your husband enjoy? What is his favorite color? What would he do if he had an afternoon to himself? What makes him laugh?

Gifts do not have to be expensive. With a little creativity, a gift may be very inexpensive (thought it does cost time, energy, effort, thoughtfulness). Enjoy giving. Because of God's love, He gave his only Son (John 3:16). The gospel is ample motivation for giving cheerfully to your spouse.