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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

More ideas on christmas presents

Daniel has a post up today about the worst Christmas presents you can get for people.

I agree with all his 5 worst picks. The only person I would buy either a pet or a cell phone as a present for would be one of my kids, and only if they had begged and pleaded for it for quite a while. Cash and gift certificates are just tacky and impersonal, and definitely inappropriate for close friends and family. (Getting a $100 bill from old Aunt Jane does do a lot to improve relations between little kids and elderly relatives, though).

And the only thing worse than lottery tickets as a gift is the fake winning lottery ticket as a gag gift. Take the emotional rollercoaster of imagining what you would do if you might win, and the disappointment when you don't. Then multiply it a million times to conceive the agony the person will be in who thought for a moment they really had won before they found out it was a joke. The person who gives that gift completely deserves the severe bodily harm that will be visited on them by the recipient.

The only one of his honorable mention picks I disagree on is jewelry. In particular, a man buying jewelry as a present for his wife. I think women do appreciate jewelry more than men think. It might not serve a practical function, but it's something beautiful that makes us feel beautiful. And a woman who feels she is beautiful is happy and confident. And she will love you for making her feel that way. And that can have many benefits for you as the giver, don't you think?

Plus, it's an extravagant, generous present. Most women, or at least, most women whose highest priority is their family, do not tend to splurge on things for themselves. And they tend to feel guilty about it if they do. So, she is certainly not going to buy something like that for herself. But that doesn't mean that she doesn't want it. It just means that she feels she ought to buy things that are more practical and useful for the family. When you, as her husband, buy her something like that, you validate that she does deserve these things. It also shows her that you value her enough to spend that much money on her. For all these, reasons, I think jewelry makes an excellent gift, if you can afford it.

That really is the only caveat here. If you buy her jewelry when the kids need new shoes, she will probably still appreciate the gift, but will not be able to enjoy it because she will be thinking about what better use the money could have been put to. (So will you, most likely.) And the gift will become a source of frustration more than a source of pleasure. So, please don't spend the rent money on jewelry for your wife. But, please do consider buying her something pretty and extravagant, and you may just be surprised at what happens.


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