I have the best wife in the world, but she is one of the hardest people to buy gifts for. Plus, she is super competitive, and she gives the most thoughtful, romantic and unique gifts ever. For instance, the Christmas after we got married, she had a scarf made (I love scarves) with our wedding vows printed on it! It’s hard to compete with stuff like that because she does not have many things that she loves, and she is well, a dyke.
I have found myself on numerous occasions Googling “Unique Gifts for Lesbians or Dykes or Girlfriends or Wives,” only to get the disappointing results of coffee mugs or girly jewelry. Her identity means that she does not wear girly jewelry. Also, she does not drink coffee, so no mugs. She is super picky about clothes, and she loves to shop, which takes clothes out of the equation.
Also, I am on a budget! I am starting two businesses, so a lot of my funds go back into the businesses leaving me little room for extra stuff.
So, as we are going on three years of marriage, I have decided to start putting my creativity to work in gift giving. If you share my struggles, you have come to the right place!
I have found that creating a gift that is based around a theme allows me to be romantic, thoughtful, and frugal at the same time. When I pick the theme, I am being romantic and thoughtful because I’m considering what she really likes and putting that into the gift. Because it is thoughtful, I can also play around with the budget.
Basically, themed gifts also become experience gifts. As you’ll see, presenting a themed gift is more than just shoving a box at someone.
Of course, these are specific to my wife, but you can take the concept and apply it to anyone. For instance, instead of using a Christmas song, you could take the music gift and create it from your couple’s song. Maybe it’s the song that you first kissed to, or maybe it’s the song that you danced at your wedding to–whatever song you choose, you can create a gift from it. With the “Channel What She Loves” theme, this could be applied to basically anything. The key is to think about what she loves, and create a bundle instead of just one thing. So, if she loves coffee, you could get her a mug, some gourmet coffee, and inside a ticket to some place that has unique coffee experiences (not Starbucks). I love a good foodie trip: it marries my love of travel and food together nicely.
THEME 1: Music
If you want to get creative, think of her favorite song or a song that has meaning, and theme the gift around that! There are lots of ways to do this, but here’s how I did it for Christmas:
This year for Christmas, I demanded that we steer clear of generic gifts (clothes, socks, books, etc.). Basically, I said that we could not buy each other anything that we would buy for ourselves. To be fair, I thought this was a good idea because Alisa’s clothes are expensive. Then, about mid-November, I started panicking because I realized that I had to come up with something meaningful and romantic for Christmas while also planning a masquerade ball and buying for my two teenagers. I had basically pitched a two-year-old fit about not wanting generic gifts, and I couldn’t come up with anything!
One night, we were riding around, and Alisa’s favorite Christmas song came on, “Feliz Navidad,” and I realized that she gets super happy whenever it comes on. That was the key. I decided to throw her a Feliz Navidad themed Christmas gift. Yes, throw. I wanted it to be an experience that she would remember even if it didn’t cost that much. Also, I am an #eventplanner, so that’s my specialty.
She has been wanting to grow fruit trees, so I thought, why not get an avocado tree as part of this gift? It kind of goes with the Puerto Rican origin of the song. That was her big gift.
Then, I did a little research and found that Puerto Ricans wear straw hats and love music. I went and bought a straw hat and some maracas to incorporate into the second gift, which was a boudoir photo shoot. Now I know that sounds a little conceited to think that she would want pictures of me as a gift, but I’m telling you, she was super excited about them!
Finally, I decorated the house and made a Puerto Rican dinner, blasted Feliz Navidad, and met her at the door dancing when she came home from work (Christmas Eve). It was so much fun, and it was a hit because she looks at her pictures all the time and is excited for her avocado tree to bloom.
THEME 2: Channel What She Loves
Alisa does not have little obsessions like I do. I like all things tiny. I collect vinyl. I love cheap earrings. I like scarves. All of these can turn into meaningful gifts. She, on the other hand, like Alabama football, but she doesn’t like gifts related to Alabama football. She likes her dog, but she doesn’t like gifts related to her dog. She likes sea turtles, but I’ve exhausted that gift. I’ve even adopted her a sea turtle. It’s time to move on.
Valentine’s Day is another hard one because most of the regular gifts are very specific to men and women. We do not do roses and candy. That’s just not our style. This year, I really stepped up my game.
We love to #travel, but we’ve never left the states. As our last child is nearing adulthood, we want to go overseas and explore the world. There is one major barrier to this: WE KEEP FORGETTING TO GET OUR PASSPORTS! Well, hello cupid!
Of course, you might think that I should just take her on a trip, so let me give a little disclaimer: my wife is a hotel snob. I cannot book travel. I am too frugal. I always pick cheap hotels, which ends up in disaster. She is the one who reads reviews, researches, and determines what is best. Plus, I’ve taken her on all the short/weekend trips that I can afford on my own at the moment (like NOLA). I wanted to think bigger this year.
Of course, I’m not able to just hand her a passport. I’m actually going to get the paperwork all together with the payment and put it together with the rest of her gifts.
Remember this post is all about themes, and this one is travel (what she loves).
I got her this “Crossed Paths” bracelet, and wrote this note, “I’m so glad that you crossed my path, and I can’t wait to cross many more together!” Cheesy, yes! Romantic, yes!
I also bought a small cork board, and painted the world on it using a stencil.
These combinations have been a great hit! Alisa cares for her avocado tree daily. She started planning adventures the day after Valentine’s Day. I have to admit that I’ve never felt so good about gifts. As a matter of fact, I usually spend a lot of money on gifts and then fret over whether she’ll actually like them or not. For these, I put a little more effort into the thought, but I knew that she would love them!
I hope that you find value in this post, and I would love to hear if you use the ideas to create your own themed gifts!