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Proven Gift Giving Tips

Know What is Important to Your Spouse

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Gifts Photo: William Andrew / Photographer's Choice / Getty Images
Do you throw your hands up in the air in frustration when it comes to giving your spouse a gift? Here are some gift giving tips to help you.

Throughout your years together, there will be certain times of the year that you probably expect to receive a gift from your spouse and your spouse will expect a gift from you. If birthdays, wedding anniversaries, Valentine's Day, or Christmas pass by unremembered, your feelings and your spouse's feelings will probably be hurt.

Give what Your Spouse Wants -- Not What You Want to Give

Even when the occasion is remembered, the type of gift you receive can still cause disappointment and strife.

I remember our very first Christmas feeling extremely upset because Bob gave me a sewing machine. He knew I didn't like to sew. He knew I wasn't very good at sewing. Yet because he had this expectation of a happy little wife sewing home made clothes, drapes, and slip covers, he bought me a sewing machine.

I still have that sewing machine. After 49 years, it is in like new condition because I still hate to sew.

Gifts That are Remembered

The types of gifts that have truly touched me greatly have been the gifts that come from Bob's heart. I remember the hours he put in making a memorial mini rose garden with an angel birdbath in memory of our babies we lost in infancy.

Through the year, pay attention to comments your spouse makes about items and notice when shopping together what items your spouse looks at. With today's smartphones, it is easy to quickly snap a quick picture of the item.

Here are some gift giving tips and ideas:
  • The gift of your talents. You can make something, grow something, design something, draw something, etc.
  • The gift of your time and energy. This can include making time for a walk in a soft rain together, a back rub, a sensual massage, or painting a room, cooking a meal, etc.
  • The gift of a promise. Are there things that you know your spouse has wanted you to do, but they haven't been high on your priority list? Create and print out a coupon promising to get those things accomplished. A promise of a day free of chores or child care would be enjoyed by many spouses.

Hopefully, as you grow closer and learn more about one another, your gifts to each other will be more creative and sensitive. Gifts do not have to be elaborate or expensive. It is often the simple, spontaneous gifts that are the most memorable.

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