Today is THE day. Black Friday. And while I don't personally see what all the fuss is about, maybe you're a husband dutifully following along with your wife's plans for shopping nirvana. If you're anything like I am, you fall under the category of "guys who can't wait for this day to be over" or, as I heard one man who was brought into the fray by his fiancee´say: "Bringing a man Black Friday shopping is like bringing a Vietnam Vet to a firecracker factory-nothing good comes of it."
We may not like it men, but finding that perfect gift for your wife is an assignment we've all been given. Here's a list of simple, inexpensive gifts that will pay dividends. For some, you might not even have to leave home!
#1 The Love Letter. I know what you're thinking guys. I told her I loved her on our wedding day, if anything changes, she'll be the first to know. But really, the truth is she NEEDS to know that you still do and that you still would all over again. Your wife needs to know how you feel about her. But wait, you say, I'm not some kind of writer or anything, I wouldn't know what to say! Listen, you don't have to be some kind of "Bill Shakespeare" all you have to do is share how you FEEL. That's what is important here. Just find a quiet 20-30 minutes, some nice paper and a pen that writes well and express your love. If you're not a poet, trust me, she already knows it. She knows how you communicate, she just wants you to actually do it. Having trouble thinking of something nice to say? Pray to see your wife through God's eyes, think of the covenant vow you made on your wedding day and go love your wife. One caveat: DO NOT use your computer/laptop/iphone/text messaging. Take the time to actually WRITE the letter. Spritz it with your cologne or aftershave. She'll love it.
#2 The Sticky Note, also known as the Post-It note. For those of you who read #1 and have now moved on to #2 thinking "There's got to be some way I can avoid expressing my feelings!", you're out of luck. However, the Sticky Notes are the "CliffsNotes" of love letter writing. You still have to express your feelings, you can just do it in a shorter and more creative way. I had this idea when counseling a military couple: How can he express his love for her daily from 3000 miles away? Write brief expressions of love on a Sticky Note and then hide them all over the house. This particular guy took the idea and ran with it! I think he ended up using two or three whole packs of notes! She was still finding the notes well after he came home from deployment. Think of how much fun it would be for you to think of places to hide them and then think about how loved your wife will feel as she finds each one!
#3 Essential Oils. My wife is fairly allergic to most things, so finding a perfume for her was difficult to say the least. One day, while walking through downtown Wilmington, we stumbled upon a beautiful little shop called Down to Earth. They sell all natural essential oils and make their own custom blends to produce the most amazing aromas and scents. Sherry was fairly delighted to finally find a "perfume" she could wear that didn't produce fits of sneezing or cause her to break out in hives. They also offer lotions, creams, body butters and other amazing products. They are absolutely some of the most accommodating and customer-friendly folks I have ever had the pleasure to meet. They'll even send you samples! You can also find some massage oils and use them for their intended purpose: massage. With no strings attached, light some candles, have some dinner, run a warm bath and then give her a massage with no expectations. If she falls asleep while you're rubbing her shoulders, let her fall asleep! If she's up for something more, let her take the lead.
#4 The Project. You know. That home-improvement or repair project which isn't quite essential to the day-to-day functionality of your home but that has been staring you in the face for a year. Send your wife on a shopping excursion or spa day with her friends and get it done. As an alternative, you can listen for the subtle (or not-so-subtle) hints from your wife about what would lighten her load and take some pressure off of her. Recently Sherry expressed that she felt overwhelmed with ministry, work and other projects to the point that she was letting our family down by letting the housecleaning fall behind. So I did what any good husband would do in that situation: I hired a maid. No, not really, but I did pull up my big-boy britches and go to work. While she was out I cleaned the house from top to bottom. Not only did it relieve the pressure Sherry felt about the housecleaning, but it made her feel like I was listening to her. It was a win-win!
#5 The Can't Wait Valentine Date. Join us January 11 at 7PM at The Bridge Princeton campus for a date night of awesomeness! Register by clicking the link and put it in her Christmas stocking. You can also purchase gift certificates if you know a couple that could use a date night and really, what couple couldn't? This one really only works if you live within an hour of our church The Bridge, but even if you don't you can still take your wife out on a date! Make ALL the arrangements: reservations, child care (preferably overnight), clean out the car, etc. Your assignment here is to sweep her off her feet and pursue her like you did when you were trying to get her to notice you (leave the burn-outs and muscle flexing for the high school students).
One of the most important things your wife needs to know is that you still choose her and that you still want to pursue her. Go do it!
Ladies, have you started your shopping yet? Don't forget your list.
Do you have some ideas to add? TELL US! We men need all the help we can get!