My Annual Panic Attack: What Do I Buy My Wife for Her Birthday?!

Each year around this time in April a panic begins to build inside me, and each year I swear I won’t wait until the last week to figure out what gift to get for my wife’s birthday.  I don’t know what it is about gifts, but the thought of giving them or getting them makes my mind go blank.

When I was teenager each Mother’s Day I would head to Walmart and I would buy my mom a present. All of those gifts were based out of the kitchen appliance section. By the end of three years I had bought all of the appliances Walmart sold that my mom needed. I’m not sure if my mom has gotten a real gift from me on Mother’s Day since — and I do feel badly about that.

Nothing compares to the difficulty I experience in picking gifts than when I have to figure out what my wife wants for Christmas or her birthday. For the first Christmas we were together my wife got some nice floor mats for her car from me, and I honestly thought that was the perfect gift idea. The next few years my wife ended up with stacks of DVDs. For the past two Mother’s Days my wife has gotten some kind of house cleaning appliance.

My gift giving ability is flat out terrible but it’s not for the lack of trying. I’ve spent hours lost in the land of Etsy and Pinterest trying to come up with something that my wife would like for her birthday. Each year I decide I want to give her a nice dress for her birthday, and then I find myself in the store clueless on what size and style works for her and I head home unsuccessful. From there I usually check into spa deals to see if I can get her a spa day, but then I question whether that’s what she really wants. Will a good spa day be thought of as a gift that lasts the whole year? Jewelry is usually next and that ends with fears that I’ll pick something she secretly thinks is ugly and she’ll be stuck wearing it for the rest of her life. What puts even more pressure on me to pick the right gift is that birthdays are huge to my wife. She loves every minute of them and celebrates them with full gusto. If I come out with a lame gift it takes away from some of that gusto.

I’m now a week away from my wife’s birthday and I’ve given her gift the best guess I can, but I’m about as confident in what I decided to get her as I am in my two year old volunteering to potty train herself — it’s possible but is it likely?

What I could really use are some fresh ideas and suggestions that will give me a head start for next year. Do you have any good gift ideas or suggestions I can use next year?

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