Dec 08 2011

Are men really bad at Christmas shopping?

It’s almost Christmas. Time for most men to go into a panic as they’re forced to do two of the things they hate most in the world – go shopping; and buy presents.

Doc’s no different.  For weeks he’s been begging me to tell him what I want. He can’t accept that I’d really rather not get a present at all than get something that I’ve picked out myself just because he feels he has to give me a present.

The first Christmas we were really together I took pity on him and gave him a list of things that I’d like, with the instructions to just pick something off the list. As it included jewellery I told him if he wasn’t sure to ask one of my daughters.

His solution? He bought EVERYTHING on the list. One of the things I wrote down was a chain bracelet. As he couldn’t make up his mind between two in the shop, he bought both of them.

My kids told everybody the story for months!

It was a very sweet and thoughtful gesture – once.

Maybe I just set impossibly high standards, but now we’ve been together for a while I expect him to be able to buy me things himself.

This panic mode is very strange, because Doc’s really not bad at buying presents. The most romantic present I’ve ever got was a pair of pink gardening gloves that he saw while he was out buying hardware.  He bought them just because they made him think of me.

And that’s what buying presents is all about.  They don’t have to be expensive, or big gestures, just something that you know the other person will like – or that makes you think of them.

And despite what blokes tell you, they don’t really hate shopping. As I’ve written in this blog before (Snatch straps and other things that aren’t as dirty as they sound), if it’s shopping for things they want they’re world class.  When we were preparing for our trip to the Cape I got dragged to every camping, 4WD, adventure and outdoor shop in the greater Sydney region, as well as others throughout NSW. And we trawled the internet to find the best bargains.

So what’s the problem? Sometimes I think it’s a deliberate tactic to get out of it all.

The first time my ex husband bought me a present I liked was for my birthday a few months after we split up. As I told all my friends, if he’d put that much thought into what I liked when we were still together we might never have split up.

So I left Doc to solve the present buying dilemma himself. And it seems he has.

Last night he looked at my with big puppy dog eyes. “I’ve got your Christmas present” he said. If he had a tail he would’ve wagged it.

“Thank you darling” I replied “That’s lovely. But don’t tell me what it is otherwise you’ll spoil the surprise. You have to wait until I open it on Christmas morning.”

He was crestfallen. From the look on his face I felt like I’d just shattered all his dreams.

Let’s see if he can manage to keep the secret for another two and a half weeks!

Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/are-men-really-bad-at-christmas-shopping/