There’s always that one person you find it difficult to shop for at the holidays. This may be the grandparent who says she has everything she needs. It may be the idealist who says all he wants is peace on Earth.
For me, it’s my husband.
It’s not that he has everything he needs. And while he certainly would appreciate peace on earth, it’s hard to find that and wrap it in a box. No, it’s that he takes all the joy out of gift-giving. He tells me what he wants. He says, “Buy that. It’ll be my Christmas.” Or he says, “That’s what I want. Buy me that.”
It’s not that I enjoy Christmas shopping. I rather loathed it, until online shopping became a Thing. Now I can shop in my pajamas (and please don’t tell me I could do that at Walmart) and pay with PayPal, so I don’t have to go to noisy, people-y stores and look around for just the right gift. Everything is presented to me, usually on my Facebook feed after I’ve been browsing.
But I have to give him something for the holiday, and I want it to be a surprise. Not the kind of surprise where you rip open a beautifully wrapped gift box and ooh and aah over what’s inside. Just something he’s not expecting.
Wrapping gifts is beyond me and, as far as I can see, a waste of time and money. For one thing, we don’t have a tree to put them under. We have cats. At one time I did wrap gifts. One year I bought Dan underwear but dressed it up by wrapping each t-shirt, each pair of underpants, and even each sock in a different shaped package, with a different wrapping paper for each. It turned out to be anticlimactic. After he opened the first couple of packages, he figured out what I had done. (What? He needed underwear.)
What’s particularly annoying is that he is so damn good at gift-giving. He follows me around when we’re shopping, then sneaks back and buys anything I’ve expressed an interest in. He buys presents all year long and hides them. (Sometimes he can’t even find them himself.) He even knows what size clothing I wear and what colors I favor.
Some of the things he likes best are widgets and gadgets, but I never seem to find the right kind. (I’ve bought him a number of things he never used, like a yogurt maker and a GPS, which he desperately needed. He’s topographically challenged. Instead of the gizmo fulfilling its function, hubby insists I go with him everywhere and navigate. He once got lost when I GoogleMapped a destination and made a sketch. But I digress.) Once or twice in my life, I’ve been able to come up with something he wasn’t expecting and really liked. A leather bomber jacket. A portrait of his first cat. That’s not much, considering we’ve been married for 37 years.
This year, though, fate is on my side. Our house, along with most of our possessions, was destroyed by a tornado. He needs everything. (And the insurance will pay for replacements, which enlarges my shopping budget considerably.)
I won’t say what I’ve gotten for him on the off-chance he’ll read this blog post, but I will say that I have been trying to replace, not boring, practical things like Dremel tools, but things that are purely decorative and may give him some solace for all the pieces he collected that were lost. I even have a small, decorative stocking stuffer for him. If we had stockings, I mean.
I may get him underwear too, though. He’s hard on underwear.