Gift-giving requires sensitivity, planning

Clyde Davis: Local Columnist

It began as we were watching — rather, I was watching, and Janice was tolerating — a CMT documentary on The Highwaymen. You remember The Highwaymen, don’t you?

Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash, when they all sang together. I got a brilliant idea, which I blurted out to my better half. “Hey, I’ll get you a Highwaymen CD for Christmas!”

Wrong answer number three. It isn’t that she despises The Highwaymen, or doesn’t recognize their individual and collective talent. It would just be ranked low on her list of delightful packages.  For me, on the other hand…..

We begin this week’s suggestion list by reminding you that Christmas shopping is not about getting your intended recipient a gift that you would like for yourself.

Oh, that may work in some cases. A candy apple red ‘67 Mustang, for example, would thrill either one of us but it’s usually a losing combination.

* Know her tastes and her desires, be aware of what turns her on. Unless you are sleepwalking through your relationship, this should be fairly easy. It’s a matter of focus. I know she likes Aaron Neville. As I am watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, I hear Aaron Neville perform a cut from his Christmas CD. Hasting’s runs a sale coupon — bang! Instant early Christmas gift success.

* Give her an experience, perhaps in the form of an IOU. If you book it now, you can be fairly certain of a lodging arrangement in Red River, for example, for later in the winter when there may actually be snow on the ground.

* Think outside the box. Maybe you’re at the stage where your kids would rather party with their friends than hang out with you all Christmas Day. Maybe kids are still in your future. So what’s to stop you, on Christmas afternoon, from heading to one of the two local motels equipped with indoor pools, for the purpose of giving her a “Night at the Beach?”

* Avoid fads and catchy gifts. Last week I mentioned gimmicky tools, and the truth is, there are gimmicky kitchen gadgets as well. If your loved one loves to cook, he or she may well appreciate kitchen items, but not the gimmicky kind. In the workshop or the kitchen, these things usually break before New Year’s Day.

* Plan ahead. There is a jewelry store in Albuquerque that knows I will, on a yearly basis, lay something away in July for a Christmas present. Last year I started purchasing her birthday present in January, for June. It’s not that I am so much of an example; it is simply that, to buy her a quality gift of love, I have to plan ahead.

* Do not ignore the tried and true items of romance. There cannot be too many scented candles, too much lingerie, too much nicely presented gourmet coffee and tea, too many romantic DVDs. If she says there is no need for romance, she is protecting your feelings. It means you have a history of dropping the ball, and she doesn’t want to be disappointed again.

* Remember that the gift of time and attention is the best, just reflected in the above. Help her remember why she fell in love with you. Which reminds me, I better go finish those romantic poems about Charleston and Ute Lake.  See ya.

Clyde Davis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Portales and an instructor at Eastern New Mexico University. He can be contacted at: