Style

How Do You Gift?

Sale PSA: Suede over the knee boots from Vince Camuto with great reviews, now under $150, a gorgeous brocade and pearl slide sandal from Tory Burch, now 40% off, a chic striped sweater dress from Theory, now under $140, and a great long ribbed cashmere cardigan (highly considering this, the perfect easy outer layer in fall/winter) from Caslon, now under $200. 

Do you like gifts? I assume you do, otherwise I don’t know why you’d be reading this blog (unless to satisfy some hateful curiosity). But how do you like your gifts? Do you like to know what they are far in advance, and suffer anxiety if presented with a wrapped box with no idea of what’s inside? Or do you love a good old fashioned surprise?

I recently began to ponder this topic after my husband complained that I’m a terrible person to buy surprise gifts for. At first I took offense – What do you mean you think I don’t like getting gifts? Has this been unduly handicapping my holiday seasons? –  but then I realized what he meant, and he was totally right. I am a really bad surprise gift receiver because I always want to know in advance what’s inside. It actually makes the whole experience much better for me.

Actually my ideal gift most of the time is one that I’ve picked out myself, or at the very least come from a pre-approved wish list. I know, I know, it sounds horrible and so unromantic, it’s not like in romantic comedies the dude is going off and checking some Excel spreadsheet before making his Big Sweet Gesture. And I was really embarrassed about this, because I thought it made me sound like a materialistic monster, until I confided to a few (girl) friends, and it turns out….they’re all the same way too! Basically 90% of the women I’ve asked so far have confessed that they would all rather know in advance the exact, or at least general, nature of gifts they’re receiving.

Now that being said…I LOVE giving surprise gifts. There’s nothing more pleasing that finding the perfect item for someone, and surprising them with it, and seeing that happy look on their face. But then again, maybe they might even be happier if I stuck to their wishlist? Whoa. I’ll have to think about that.

What kind of gift receiver and giver are you? Do you like surprises? Or do you have to know?

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Jaime Stephens
    November 13, 2017 at 8:59 am

    I am the exact same way – I pick out my gifts and sometimes buy them, give to husband to put away until the “day” , then getting a reimbursement check along with gifts.. Husband has it easy, everyone’s happy. When one is particular, that’s the only way to go!

  • Reply
    Alisa Gabriel
    November 13, 2017 at 9:45 am

    I agree too! I hate surprises because I’m very picky and if you gave me two black turtlenecks to look at I would have a distinct preference for one over the other.

    So my husband and I have a system: we either shop together (including looking online) or have a clear list of options. It may not be “romantic” but there’s nothing romantic about getting something you don’t like and ruining the whole experience for both of you!

    The only category where I don’t mind is electronics — when he bought my iPad I was thrilled I didn’t have to participate 🙂

  • Reply
    Sanita
    November 13, 2017 at 9:59 am

    I must admit, I am the same. Unfortunately I buy myself B’day gifts way too in advance, I don’t even ask my husband to wrap them. I wear/use them straight away. Like this time I returned form Japan (I live in Europe or Latvia to be exact) and I already have my Christmas and New Years presents sorted 🙂

  • Reply
    Jane
    November 13, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Larger gifts are never a surprise, mostly because I love to “research” everything. My husband is totally uninterested in my shopping interests, although he is always on board for jewlery purchases and has “learned” to appreciate Hermes. So, part of the “gift” is for him to look at something with me or talk about my potential purchase as part of my “research.” Considering his lack of interest, it is really a very kind part of the gift. We surprise one another with smaller gifts, and he is an amazing gift giver. I alway lose my keys and he bought me the Tile, and that kind of thoughfulness is priceless to me. I love finding the perfect gift for people, but my problem is that inspiration does not always strike every year! So sometimes my gifts are more inspired than others.

  • Reply
    sydnee
    November 13, 2017 at 11:49 am

    What a great question! I like being surprised but it’s certainly a letdown when it’s not what I was wishing for, haha!

    Design by Sydnee | A Lifestyle Blog 💗

  • Reply
    ahhhsoneo
    November 13, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Like others I prefer to provide a short – list of pre-approved items. But unless its tech stuff, my husband ignores it. We had a horrible time a couple of years ago where we both bought gifts neither of us liked and he made me return his to get him what he really wanted, while i was met with out-rage when i suggested returning what he had purchased. Mind you, i now love the item he purchased, but since then gifts have been akward and traumatic. Now, if he asks i either say “anything” or “cold hard cash” and buy my own gifts. But I do love buying surprise gifts for others:)
    http://ahhhsoneo.com

  • Reply
    Helen
    November 13, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    The idea of my husband in charge of a four digit or beyond budget as a “surprise” gift actually would give me a panic attack (I’m having heart palpitations just thinking about it). I suspect for him too. So we do each other a favor and do large gifts together.

  • Reply
    Diane
    November 13, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Oh my god I’m exactly the same!!!! Glad to know I’m not alone there😂😂😂

  • Reply
    Michelle
    November 13, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    I just tell him what I like and he goes from there. It’s better than being gifted stuff you don’t care for 😀
    I still have the pearl earrings he gifted me in our first year of marriage … unworn, untouched cos totally not me.

  • Reply
    christinebrightside
    November 14, 2017 at 12:29 am

    I hate surprises as well …but then my husband has managed to surprise me several times, and I am so lucky his taste is really good. He never got me anything that I didn’t like (well I hope it stays like this in the future *lol). About being romantic or not – my husband asks for updated wish lists and receives them about twice a year. He usually does not get exactly the things on my list, so it’s more of a “framework for general orientation.” And I show him things I like when we are in a department store…

  • Reply
    Belen
    November 14, 2017 at 11:53 am

    My husband and I set up a $ limit per occasion and exchange Amazon wishlists. Anything from the wishlist is fair game up to the pre-agreed dollar amount. That way we keep in budget and we get a surprise within a pool of things we wanted. I like the Amazon wishlists because you can pin items from anywhere on the web, not just Amazon. Gosh I’ve even pinned homes from Zillow when we were house hunting. HA!

  • Reply
    Nancy
    November 14, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    I always have a wishlist prepared with links and exact descriptions so that there is no ambiguity. It has a variety of things on it from small to large. I’m still surprised because I have no idea which item(s) I will receive but always love everything. I do this with my family for Christmas as well, and we have all enjoyed opening presents a bit more. It helps because we are all particular, but have completely different taste and interests. We save true surprises for stockings since they are smaller items.

  • Reply
    Deb
    November 16, 2017 at 2:09 am

    I must be in the minority, but I love surprises!! They make my world go round! However, my poor husband is in a catch 22 situation – I will sadly be unhappy if I’m not terribly keen on the gift.

  • Reply
    Ava
    November 19, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Dear Katherine,

    We are two peas in a pod – as it appears many of your other readers are as well 😉

    I think for the most part, most of your readers are folks who know precisely what they like leaving usually little room for the element of surprise – lol!

    To be frank, I don’t think my partner has ever gotten me anything (even from my favorite shops) that I did not end up returning and exchanging (sadly) unless he was working on a pre-approved item via some friend as the “knowledgeable source,” (read: said friend told him exactly what I wanted and I feigned surprise). Horrible, I know.

    That said, I think it takes exceptional attention to detail of your friends and family to gift them EXACTLY what they want or EXACTLY what they didn’t even KNOW they wanted but are thrilled to receive and KEEP (most importantly) the gift you give them.

    Very fun post! 😀

    I’d love to know about your readers best shopping or luxury sample sale shopping experiences! I am certain there are jaw-droppingly-amazing stories out there (re: that insane VCA mis-priced-steal at Heathrow, lol!) and during this hectic shopping season it would be a fun read 😉

    Hope you and the entire Feather Family are all well and we all wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    xx
    Ava

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