Learn to wrap Christmas gifts

One of the surest ways to brighten your wife’s Christmas is to wrap her presents. Fortunately, the level of expectation for guys wrapping gifts is so incredibly low (think aluminum foil) that all you need to do is put forth a moderate amount of effort and she’ll think you’re friggin’ Santa Claus. Now, I am in no way even remotely competent when it comes to wrapping gifts, but I have picked up a few tricks throughout the years to at least be able to fake it. Here’s my standard method of wrapping, which definitely qualifies it for the ‘good enough’ category:

1. Roll out the wrapping paper and lay the gift face down on the paper. This way when you cut the paper to size the rough edges will be on the back of the gift, which she won’t see. If you’re really dedicated you can fold one side and then place that on top of the unfolded rough side to create the illusion of a smooth edge. Apply one piece of tape to hold the two cut ends together.
2. Cut off the excess paper on one end and push in the edges so you have two trapezoids sticking out of the top and bottom of the gift. Fold the top trapezoidal part in half (or however many times you need to make it fit), then fold half of the bottom edge onto itself and then fold that part on top of the first part. Again, the point is to create the illusion of a smooth seam. Apply tape and repeat on the other side.

OK, if you did everything right you should now have something that looks like a halfway decently wrapped gift using only three pieces of tape and with no visible rough edges showing.  Now it’s time for you to really prove your love.

3. Do something clever to decorate the wrapped gift. Either tie some ribbon around the gift, slap a bow on it, wrap some ribbon, just do something that shows you put some thought into it.  Don’t get too creative, just do something to show she is important enough to you that you’re willing to go the extra wrapping mile.
4. Put a label on it and write something cute. Don’t just put, “From Husband to Wife.” Put something like, “To a wonderful wife from a loving husband.” I guarantee she’ll start tearing up before she even opens the gift. (note: make sure the ‘to’ and ‘from’ line are appropriate to the gift. Don’t write something sappy if the gift doesn’t warrant it, otherwise she’ll end up expecting a piece of jewelry when you really got her a bowling ball.)

Finally, there is one cardinal rule that you must follow when wrapping gifts for if you violate this rule all your efforts will be wasted: Don’t mess up her gift wrapping kit. This rule will vary depending on how crafty your wife is, but odds are she has some sort of collection of wrapping paper, bows, ribbons, labels, etc. and since no married man has any of these things you’ll inevitably end up using hers. Make sure that when you’re done you put everything  back where you found it!  If your wife is organized enough to have a gift wrapping kit she won’t appreciate you messing everything up.  Many a Christmas’ have been ruined at the sight of ribbon being haphazardly placed in the bow tray. 

Well, there it is!  Everything I know about wrapping gifts.  Seriously.  That’s it.  Good luck to you and remember, unlike gifts, here it really is the thought that counts!

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Published in: on December 14, 2009 at 11:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Don’t take her for granted

When a married man starts to take his wife for granted he makes her feel unappreciated and unloved.  This can be a real problem as the moment a partner starts to feel that they are no longer loved they lose their motivation to put any effort into the marriage, which in turn angers the other partner, causing the other partner to grow more distant, and so on and so on.  The simple way to avoid this problem is, like most solutions, simply to not let it become a problem in the first place.  By continually reminding your wife that you appreciate all she does for you (and I guarantee she does more than you think) she will continue to feel validated, thereby ensuring she continues to do all those things that help your marriage run smoothly.  Showing your appreciation doesn’t need to take the form of any dramatic gesture (although it doesn’t hurt), it can be as simple as thanking her each time she makes dinner or does the dishes, publicly complementing her in front of your friends (“You should try [insert name of spouse and favorite dish here]!  It’s fantastic!)  Taking the time, even if it’s just a few seconds, to show her that you are appreciative of the time she puts into making your relationship work will go a long way to ensuring that she feels appreciated and loved.  No one wants to do the dishes, clean the house, or any of the other countless chores that need to be done, but those chores become a lot less of a burden if the person knows that their efforts are being noticed and valued.

Always defend your wife

No matter what happens, no matter what she does, you always need to be her first line of defense.  I don’t care if it’s a guy in your office who makes an obscene reference to your wife or your parents who make a snarky remark about how ‘clean’ your house is, you should always be ready to leap to her defense.  I’m not saying you should pull out the leather gloves and challenge the offenders to a duel, but be prepared to respond with an appropriate amount of force that makes it clear you will not allow someone to talk about your wife that way.  She is the most important thing in your life, and even if what the person said is absolutely one hundred percent true, it doesn’t matter.  She is your wife and you shouldn’t allow ANYONE to say anything bad about her.  For someone to say something disparaging about your wife is not only disrespectful to her, it is disrespectful to you, and you need to make it clear that you will not tolerate it.

Published in: on October 29, 2009 at 6:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Avoid disparaging remarks about your wife

If you get a bunch of married guys together and get a few drinks in them I guarantee they will start up a game of one-upsmanship about who has the most annoying spouse.  Most likely this isn’t because their spouse is annoying, it’s because they want to beat the other guys.  The best way to avoid this trap is to not get involved in the first place.  If people start talking about how their wives annoy them, just sit there, drink you beer, politely laugh when appropriate, and don’t play along.  If someone tries to call you out you can either deflect the question or simply say you don’t like talking about your wife behind her back.  Don’t be a douche bag when you say it and be prepared to take some shit, but those are better options than giving in because once you start down that road, there really is no good way to stop.  I’m not saying you should be the buzz kill of the group; just ask yourself if impressing your friends is more important than honoring your wife.