#1: Gift Cards
According to USA Today, consumers purchased $24.8 billion (yes, illion with a B) of those little plastic cards. Yes, gift cards or a few Jacksons are great when you asked for them specifically, but are far from thoughtful when your significant other tosses one your way. Sheryl Kurland, a speaker about creating and maintaining healthy relationships and author of Everlasting Matrimony: Pearls of Wisdom from Couples Married 50 Years or More (Noble House, 2004), says that gift cards are good for friends when you know where they shop, but arent so certain about what exactly to get. So, if you got a gift card from your friend during Secret Santa, its more likely she didnt want to embarrass you or herself for that matter for getting that size small when really you wear a large. Dont despair, though, if your man gave you one to the mall, he could just be, well, a man. You know they dont do shopping.
#2: Big Ticket Electronics
Score! You got that brand-new, top of the line, laptop under the tree and an iPod in your stocking. Besides being one lucky lady and the envy of the office, you have been blessed by having someone who loves to spend their money on people who matter. In addition to having deep pockets, these gift-givers have even deeper hearts. Whether youre a significant other, family member or close friend, the gift-giver wants you to have the latest and best because you really deserve it, says Kurland.
Bling bling, ice, shiny treats, call it what you want, but you are now the rightful owner of a jewelry gift. If you received jewelry this year, you must have been on Santas good list! Sterling silver or gold; diamonds or pearls anything that comes in those telltale boxes is certainly special, just like you. People say you cant go wrong with jewelry, and boy are they right. Kurland says that jewelry is very personal and when you get it from your one and only it represents that you have a truly special bond with each other.
Getting that top you were eyeing with your friend and getting that sexy lingerie from your man are two different things. Kurland shares many different meanings of receiving clothing as a gift. Get that cute top from your friend? That means: I like you. Youre a good friend. What about an entire ensemble from your sister? This costly number means: I treasure our kinship. Now lets not forget that little black something-something your significant other gave you. This says, You are very, very special to me. Being with you makes me feel great, and I want to reciprocate.
#5: Personal Meanings
Wondering why you received The Phantom of the Opera Soundtrack this year, and you didnt even ask for it? Well, chances are you got it because you loved the movie and the person who gave you it knows that. Kurland says that gifts with personal meanings say I want to make your life more fun! and that they show endearment of the individual. Lesson on this one? Your grandmother who knitted you that scarf isnt just trying to keep you warm; she is showing just how much you mean to her.
Ultimate Shopping Championship: Men vs. Women
Theres a reason men dont have Born to Shop signs hanging in their office. So, your man bought you a barely-there nightgown and its two sizes too big. Or maybe he gave you oil change coupons. Before you relegate him to the doghouse, check out these explanations.
What Kind of Woman Does He Take Me For?!
The mall is like kryptonite to a man. Have you ever been standing in an aisle of power tools and thought, Dear God, get me out of here! Nail guns and drills and saws, oh my! Now picture your guy in Victorias Secret, sticking out like a sore thumb amongst 50 gabby women, staring at endless rows of panties as far as the eye can see.
A man would not put himself in that kind of situation unless he thinks you are the hottest thing next to the sun. Your gutsy guy probably felt like a pervert trying to find such an intimate item. So, cut him some slack for his pink-boxed gift and dont assume he thinks of you as an over-sized adamant object. If you got lingerie or bedroom-appropriate items, he doesnt look at you as just sex. Instead, be thankful that your man thinks of you as the goddess you are!
Cant He Just Get It Right?!
Kate Zabriskie, founder of Business Training Works, Inc. and etiquette expert, says that men are cursed with selection neglection, while we women suffer from analysis paralysis. We slip into a mode where we have to find the specific item with every possible feature, where men can see a blender and say, Great! I can scratch that mixing bowl off the list!
According to Zabriskie, women analyze, and reanalyze, everything they receive. So, when we get the mixing bowl, not the blender, we start asking ourselves if Mr. Sensitive thinks we cant even cook. Your guy probably thinks you are as great in the kitchen as you are in other places, and that you can whip up something tasty no matter what you use.
Next time you rip open the wrapping for any occasion, like it or not, say Thank You, and remember: appreciate the fact that someone thought enough about you to get you a gift even if its just mixing bowls.