Gift Giving: Trial and Error


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Guest post by Sarah.

Learning how to give, and receive, gifts…

Mother’s Day, 2014.  The day that will live in infamy in our house.

Brent and I had just moved into our first home that we actually bought with our very own credit line.  So, I didn’t really expect a lot.  I told Brent, “Let’s not do gifts this year, I just want stuff for the house!” Well, I wake up Mother’s Day morning and Brent wasn’t in bed.  I was excited. Though I couldn’t smell it, I just knew he was up making me a Mother’s Day breakfast.  He always goes above and beyond.

I make an elegant stroll downstairs and I was greeted by a nice “Happy Mother’s Day” kiss and then . . . nothing. Brent rolls into the computer room to check his email and ti make sure his fantasy baseball team got all the TLC it needed.  I know, I know, I said don’t get me anything, but he actually got me nothing. So, maybe it was my fault?  But was a simple card too much to ask?  You know, one of those ones the kids trace their hands and scribble a few colors on and hand to you, with excitement, saying, “Happy Mother’s Day, mommy! You’re the best!”

I'll enjoy the latte, but an e-Gift Card AFTER the tears is never good.

I’ll enjoy the latte, but an e-Gift Card AFTER the tears is never good.

But alas, I got what I “asked for,” nothing…nada. I gave disguising my feelings the best effort I could, but that darn fella can read me like a book.  He knew I was upset. He frantically went in to damage control mode and his purchase of a Starbuck e-Gift Card pops up on Facebook. Meanwhile, I was already upstairs on the phone with one of my sisters venting, “How could he?! Not even a card?” I’m crying, face red. I’m trying to get a grip while I get ready for church, but I had made up my mind. In that moment, no amount of prepaid caffeine was going to end the way I felt. I mean, how could he not get me IN – E – THING?

Life in the aftermath

Now, I realize that men can’t read our minds (Brent is, surprisingly, no exception) and now realize, it’s okay to be honest. In turn, this Mother’s Day, I decided to be honest…perhaps I went overboard.

He could have been on his phone ordering PineappleBling while he was on my back!

He could have been on his phone ordering PineappleBling while he was on my back!

On more than one occasion, I had noticed cute set of custom bracelets from an Easy shop called, PineappleBling. Perfect for displaying our kids names and a perfect Mother’s Day gift. I thought, “Perfect!  I will hint to Brent like crazy about these and then they will magically appear next Sunday.” Unfortunately though, we were gone over the weekend at our first Tough Mudder race. (Don’t think we are too in shape, we only did the half). He’s frantically trying to wrap of his Master’s, Little League has us at the field about 5 nights a week, and prepping for a move in less than 4 week. I get it, this guy’s plate is full.

Long story short, in lieu of leaving the Easy homepage up for every time he walks to the computer, I went ahead and just ordered it myself and conveniently used his email when placing the order. He received the order notification on his phone and almost immediately, my phone is ringing. Brent was not happy. Like I mentioned, Mother’s Day has some history in our house and he felt I was making it even harder on him now.

Apparently, buying my own gift isn’t the answer either. I really thought I was helping.  There have been several of his birthdays he simply sends me a link, “Hey babe, I like this.” I go ahead and purchase it.  I’m sure he knows exactly what he is getting most birthdays because of it! It must be the same for me, right!?  Turns out, I was wrong, and he wanted to surprise me. Mother’s Day 2014 was not going to be repeated; not on his watch.

Funny thing is, I like to be surprised. Weird after 10 and a half years of marriage, we are still troubleshooting something as simple as gift giving.

Ladies, guys really do like to make you proud and surprise you! You just have to give them a chance. Brent’s actually an awesome gift giver and I realize not everyone has a knack for it, but talking about it and being open has helped us come along way in that department. We had played the “don’t get me anything” game many times in the past and I’ve been floored by some of the creative things Brent does, even on a strict budget. His experiment of taking “don’t get me anything” literally didn’t work out, but we both learned a ton from it.

gift-givingGift giving is an awesome way to connect and show your appreciation to your husband. It’s a great way for him to communicate with you as well. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or cost dime, but it’s important. It’s gotta be, it’s one of only 5 love languages for crying out loud. Just some food for thought…our guys can’t ready our minds. Let’s set them up for success. Be up front about your expectations and talk about it.

Check out Brent’s post from February. The them was around Valentine’s Day, but I think it’s a great reminder on any holiday!


About Brent Nichols

My blogging is, no doubt, all over the map, but hope you'll find something just right for you. Currently living in the D.C.-metro area in Northern Virginia. You know what? I think I kinda like it out here.

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