My 7-year-old daughter created a Christmas list in my Google Docs folder. Not only did her list include what she wanted for Christmas, but it had a picture from Amazon, the price, and an attached hyperlink. ‘Tis the season.

My first thought was, Are you serious? My second thought was, Well, that’s incredibly helpful. My third thought was, I wonder if my wife can do the same thing?

I have a hard time Christmas shopping for my wife. It’s not because I don’t enjoy giving her gifts. I do. It’s just that I don’t want to mess it up.

Christmas comes once a year, and, if I blow it, I have a hard time saying, “Hang tight, Babe. Twelve more months and I’ll take another shot at it.”

Full disclosure: I also struggle with a more limited budget that isn’t shared by some family and friends. I can give my wife a sweater you’d wear in a Colorado winter. But I have family members and friends that actually take their wives to Colorado.

A limited budget, feeling the pressure to compete, and a desire to knock it out of the park can make Christmas shopping for my wife more strenuous than Walmart on the day after Thanksgiving. If you’re feeling it, too, here are a few key reminders as you venture out this holiday season.

Remember, know your wife.

If your wife doesn’t love jewelry, you should consider yourself lucky. But seriously, don’t buy her a diamond necklace. On the other hand, if she has more jewelry than a Hollywood star has shoes, maybe new earrings are in order.

Buying her a blender and telling her you think it will make her more productive in the kitchen—that’s insulting. But if your wife watches the Food Network more than a stockbroker watches the market, find the prettiest blender you can afford and put a big red bow on it.

For my wife, a created memory is more desirable than just about any other gift. She’d rather drive two hours to pick apples than drive to a perfectly good grocery store .3 miles down the road.

Where I live, we have more Christmas tree stands on the corner during December than we do gas stations and Starbucks combined. But a trip to a snow-covered mountain to find the perfect tree is more desirable than a trip to the corner.

I know it sounds basic, but I try to keep my wife in mind when I’m Christmas shopping for her. You should, too. (Not my wife. That would be weird. I mean, your wife. Keep your wife in mind.)

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Remember, the best gifts don’t come with receipts.

Be careful here. On Christmas day, when your wife can’t find her present under the tree, don’t tell her to close her eyes and then put a bow on your head, open your arms wide, slap on a cheesy smile on your face, and proclaim, “Merry Christmas. I got you … me!” That may cost you more than you can afford.

When I told my wife I was thinking about writing an article on what men should get their wives for Christmas, she replied, “Wait, am I not getting anything for Christmas? Is this going to be like a ‘presence over presents’ thing?”

We laughed. And I secretly started rewriting the article.

But we both agreed that the truth is the best gifts don’t come with 2-day shipping. If a box showed up to the family Christmas party, but you didn’t, that would be a problem.

Remember, be present.

Sure, my wife would like a present, but she also wants me present. She wants me to sit at the table with the family, long after dinner is over, to listen and laugh. She wants me to connect with my kids much more than she wants spending cash in a card.

My wife wants me engaged in Christmas festivities more than she wants me on my phone. She wants Christmas memories that last longer than the leftover ham. Something tells me she’s not the only one.

Your wife’s Christmas list may not come with pictures and hyperlinks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get her something memorable. Go ahead and start Christmas shopping for your wife. Your gift and time will be worth it.


Copyright © 2019 by James Metsger. All rights reserved.

James Metsger is a local church pastor in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is also a speaker and author of the forthcoming book Lavish Love–a daily devotional written for you.  James has a heart for the local church, a love for people, and a passion for world missions. James is married to sweet Melissa, and they have three children. Find him on Twitter @JamesMetsger.

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