April Jeppson: All she wants for Christmas — a cheat sheet

Published 8:23 pm Thursday, December 6, 2018

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

April Jeppson


Our Christmas tree is up and the glow fills our family room. I love this time of year — the cocoa, fireplaces, scarves. What I don’t love is the stress associated with gift-giving — trying to stay within our budget but also give gifts that people actually want.

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So here’s my present to you, a gift-giving cheat sheet for the busy wife/mother in your life. I can promise that at least one of these will make your lady smile on Christmas morning.

• Gift certificate to her favorite salon or spa. If I need a haircut, I will schedule it and get it done. A massage or a pedicure is something I love, but often am not sure if I can justify it. Should this money go toward something else? Do I deserve it? As moms, we often question if we are worthy of extra pampering. So to get it as a gift is wonderful.

• My girlfriend has a coffee that she just loves. It’s a little more expensive than normal stuff, so she only uses it when she wants to treat herself. How happy would she be if her husband got her a whole bag?! Think about it. For me it’s the expensive chocolate. I hide it, don’t share it with the kids and enjoy a piece after they go to bed. My stash is getting low, so I’m hoping there will be more in my stocking this year.

• Tickets to a concert. Minneapolis, Des Moines — they aren’t that far away and are always bringing in good entertainment. You can go to Ticketmaster right now and see all the options coming to the area over the next few months. Chanhassen has an amazing dinner theater. Music, theater, comedy shows. Do a little research, and buy the tickets. Not only did you just get her something that she wants, but you also get to spend some time together and create memories. These are my favorite kind of gifts. P.S. If this will cause daycare needs, take care of that as well.

• Does she cook, or is she always vacuuming or doing the laundry? Does she complain about the crappy vacuum or the dryer that takes forever? If you can swing it, upgrade. You might not think she wants a new vacuum or pots and pans, but you might be wrong. If she spends hours every week using these things and they aren’t efficient, I can promise you, she’ll appreciate it.

• She might have a whole list of things she’s been eyeballing every time she logs on to Amazon. My friend’s husband will occasionally just purchase everything that’s sitting in his wife’s cart. How great is that? I have seven items that have been sitting in my online cart for months, to have those things finally purchased would be a great surprise.

• Not everyone exchanges gifts, but there are still things that you can do to help bring in the spirit of Christmas.

We often don’t get to see our friends or family as much as we’d like, or when we do see them, it’s hurried or forced. How nice would it be to sit down and just enjoy lunch and each other’s company. Catch up on life without all my kids interrupting our conversation — ahhh, glorious. Taking time out of your busy schedule might be exactly what she needs from you.

• Does your wife wrap all the presents? Make dozens of cookies to gift to loved ones? My girlfriend told me that nothing would make her happier than having her husband say, “Hey babe, why don’t we put on a movie and I’ll help you wrap the presents.” Like that’s seriously what she wants. She wants help. If your wife is doing all the things, these next three weeks can be stressful. Lightening her load might be the best gift you ever got her.

• My friend knows I’ve been wanting a new pair of running shoes; whereas, I’ve never mentioned it to my husband. Call or text her best friend, cause she knows. If she doesn’t know, she will most definitely do the top secret recon and get you the list asap. The best friend is your best resource.

As cliché as it sounds, it’s not the gift, it’s the thought. It’s the fact that I can tell you put in some serious time and consideration. You saw the gift, and it made you think of me. You picked up the phone and made the reservation. You walked into a store you’ve never been to and you asked questions until you found the right thing. Women all want the same thing. Effort. So no matter what you get, put some thought and time into it, and I promise she’ll love it.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams.