Okay, I’m going to ask your advice, Daddy Drinks readers, and I’m hoping you can steer me down the right path like the North Star steered the Three Wise Men so long ago.
I’m on the verge of buying my wife a new vacuum cleaner for Christmas. My question is, will this purchase secure my place on the long list of clueless husbands who got their wives terrible, thoughtless Christmas presents, or will I be celebrated across the land for choosing such a practical gift that puts a premium on household cleanliness?
I can remember my own father’s foray into really thoughtless gifts. Tires for the car. Speakers for the Hi-Fi. I think he gave my mom a chainsaw once. Am I doomed to repeat this terrible gift cycle?
Sidenote: The kids have spent the last week “practicing” for Christmas. They go around the house wrapping random shit up and giving it to each other. Remote controls, forks, pillows. It’s cute as hell.
Now wait, before you answer, you should know that I do all of the vacuuming, so technically, the vacuum would be for me. So, I guess the real present for my wife here would be well-vacuumed floors, but that’s hard to wrap, so I’ll give her the vacuum and tell her that her that the vacuum represents well-vacuumed floors. No, an entire year of well-vacuumed floors. How about that? Maybe I’ll even write a cute card that puts the notion of clean floors into a sonnet. What rhymes with vacuum?
Does that information make the vacuum a better present for my wife, or a worse present?
I know, it’s a tough call. There’s no easy answer here. Let’s do a quick pro/con list to get to the bottom of this predicament.
Con: The Vacuum is a Bad Present For My Wife and I am an Idiot
1) It looks nothing like the black boots or jewelry that my wife has asked for.
2) Let’s be honest, even with a state of the art vacuum, the house will still be a wreck when my wife gets home from work because I have two 4-year-olds who behave like chimpanzees and literally throw banana peels on the floor.
Pro: The Vacuum is a Great Present and I am a Great Husband
1) It’s a really sexy looking vacuum. It’s really more of a race car than a vacuum. I think it even has Bluetooth. (Scary thought: is this what stay at home dads buy when they suffer from a mid life crisis? Expensive, European vacuums that they don’t need?)
2) Christmas is suffering from all the commercialism that surrounds it and what we need to give each other is genuine experiences and good will. Giving my wife a floor free of dog hair and banana peels is the closest my we’ll ever come to finding world peace. How can I deny her world peace?
Shit. It’s a tie. Help me Daddy Drinks readers. Help me.
Step away from the vacuum. Appliances as gifts are only OK if she asks for them. I actually asked for a vacuum for Christmas once because hauling a Kirby to the basement to vacuum my sewing room one a year was NOT happening so a $30 vacuum that sucks was a practical yet desired gift. The Kitchen Aid stand mixer and dish washer (because I’d never had one before and loath doing dishes) still rank among the best gifts ever because I really wanted them. The electric toothbrush was BAD. Not “you’re the biggest asshole to ever walk the earth and I can’t believe I married you” but still gets brought up around parties as worst gift in recent history bad. Especially given that you’ve acknowledged the vacuum is really for yourself. So buy yourself the vacuum and buy your wife the boots or jewelry because no matter how much she appreciates the well vacuumed floors you will not recover from the “Christmas he gave me a f’ing vacuum I didn’t ask for”.
Yes! I love my kitchenaid!! Only super shiny appliances that make cakes are permissible….
Don’t put the vacuum under the tree. Disappointment turns to rage very quickly. That’s one mistake (among others) that your dad made with the chainsaw. Print out the page from the Sears site, and slip it into a Christms card. Tell her you’re going to pick up that vacuum cleaner in some massive after-Christmas sale. Let her fosus on the other good gift(s) you got her.
You did get her something else, right?
Buy yourself a Neato Robotic vacuum (they vacuum for you) and get your wife the sexy black boots AND a chainsaw. Nothing’s hotter than a woman in f***k me pumps doing tree sculptures with a chainsaw. Your sex life will thank you.
Buy her the boots and jewelry, and then splurge on a vacuum in an after-Christmas sale as an extra. 🙂
Don’t do it. If your wife is anything like mine, she’ll jump to the irrational conclusion that the gift implies that her house is dirty– that it is her fault that it is dirty–and that you expect her to do a better job at taking care of it. Nothing you can say will trump her gut reaction to it.
I learned the hard way. I hired a housekeeper for a year for her birthday one year. (We were both really busy and she was was hired help clean-clean, not do the daily “pick up.”) The housekeeper is gone; I’m the new housekeeper. But the persisting, scathing remarks in front of her family remind me incessantly of my folly.
Get the boots and the jewelry.
Don’t you dare
I think that you hold off on the vacuum this year and wait on that one andget her a nice necklace instead. Then after christmas bring up the fact that you àlmost got a vacuum instead of the necklace and see if she would have been alright with it or not.
I have been on the receiving end of a number of gifts which were actually intended for my beloved. They include a New Order in Concert DVD (which he has watched and I never have) and a kettle (because I ‘needed’ a new kettle). After 10 or so years I can laugh about these gifts now, but on the day itself it’s not so funny or welcome. Make your wife happy and buy her the boots and the jewellery. As for the vacuum cleaner…my family had a tradition where we bought the house a present- usually an appliance like a DVD player, outdoor garden furniture and a new vacuum. Your house will thank you for it :).
Absolutely don’t get the vacumn cleaner as a gift. Strictly speaking it’s an essential for the house – like the oven and the washing machine. Just buy the vacumn cleaner for the house. The house will thank you and your wife will be very happy with her boots and jewellery. But – I think you already know this, right? 🙂
Buy her something else.
Then, buy the vacuum anyway. Wrap it, and make the tag out to yourself, from Santa.
Don’t buy the vacuum unless she asked for it… go for the boots or something shiny it will end better for you that way. Unless you want a bad ending and then fire away, might want to grab a couple of bottles of vodka to make it all a blur for everyone …. and a baby sitter….
Don’t do it! A vacuum represents chores Personally, having cooked the Christmas meal for as long as I can remember, I would love love love not to have to do it. I am talking roast on an Aussie hot day. Don’t get me wrong, I love feeding my family and I love Christmas. Cook the Christmas lunch, dinner, whatever your tradition. And then clean up! Set the table with a beautiful table cloth, table runner, your best crystal etc. Light some candles. Include your children. Children love this stuff! Get some christmas craft going eg paper chains, doily snow flakes etc. I know you are going blah, blah however if you do it and the reaction isn’t fantastic,,,,well, you will never hear from me again…lol. A woman’s perspective.
PS you can buy the vacuum anytime and I would recommend a Dyson. I have had 2 in 15 years with the old one still going (our daughter now has the old one at her place) and I can’t complain about the sucking power!!
Sorry, I’m behind on my reading … and now you’re divorced.
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