"Ninety-nine percent of the time, you are golden if you get her jewelry."
Time is ticking, ladies and gentlemen. Hopefully you’ve put some thought into what you’re getting your honey for the holidays!
Over the last several weeks, we have picked the brains of three couples who are all in different stages in their relationships.
We wanted to know how they’ve decided to spend the holiday, if they are starting or continuing family traditions and how they managed to pick out the “perfect” present. The gentleman who says women will always appreciate jewelry, ought to know. He’s been married for nearly a quarter of a century!
He and his wife Irene are also recent empty nesters, forcing them to spend “quality” time getting to know each other's likes and dislikes for the second time around.
“My advice to any guy who is having trouble finding a present is, whatever you do, stay away from anything that plugs in!” Jerry Lannoye says laughing. “One year, I bought Irene a clothes steamer. I was so proud of myself because she’d been asking for one for months. She never even took the thing out of the box! To this day, it’s never been used.”
Most women would agree that any electronic, kitchen device or household cleaner is hands down probably the worst gift to find under the tree. Is it appreciated? Yes . Is it something we’ve probably told you we could use? Probably . Will it make our lives easier in some way shape or form? Most likely . Should you put a red bow on top and give it to us on any holiday or special occasion? Absolutely not!
“I did ask for a steamer,” Irene Lannoye says. “But, it wasn’t the right brand. So not opening it was my way to rebel.” Irene says through the years they’ve been successful at making Christmas about their three kids, but in the beginning, deciding where they were going to spend the holiday wasn’t so easy.
Irene has 10 brothers and sisters. So, growing up they always spent the holidays at home. “No one wants to invite 13 people over for a Christmas morning brunch,” she laughs. “So I got really used to staying home doing things as a family. When I married Jerry, who also comes from a relatively large family, we had to decide whose family we were going to go to. When we started having kids, it was even harder.” Irene says eventually they were able to tell their extended families that they wouldn’t make it over for the holidays and started to make their own traditions as the “Lannoye family of five.”
As for this year, Irene already has her hubby’s present bought and wrapped. Jerry on the other hand, needs a little more time. “Every year, she asks me to just pick out something that ‘she’ll love.’ But, she never tells me what that is. I don’t even think she knows what she wants. I’m just supposed to know. Thankfully, after 24 years I’ve gotten pretty good at guessing.”
Our next couple is getting ready to say their “I do’s” in June of next year and say they are making a conscious effort to save money for the wedding even though this is technically their “first” Christmas together before becoming man and wife.
“I think there is a lot of pressure when it comes to finding the perfect present,” Kevin Brady says. “But, gifts should be a small expression of your love for someone. You shouldn’t have to spend thousands of dollars on anyone to make them happy. This coming from a guy who probably spent a pretty penny on that diamond ring about a year ago. We’ll probably just do one or two more significant gifts or spend a night doing something just the two of us.”
Kevin's fiancée, Katie Mason says the most difficult time they’ve had this year is deciding where they’re going to spend Christmas. “We probably won’t even be together because our families live in different states.” Katie says it’s been a bittersweet holiday season because she realizes that this is the last Christmas she’ll be spending with her family before starting new traditions with Kevin. “I love him and I am so excited to get married, but I we’re both extremely close to our families and I’m kind of attached to the whole Christmas morning thing.” Katie says the two have talked about celebrating future holidays as a couple, especially when they start having children. “We are totally on the same page when it comes to that one. This year, we’re just at an in between stage. I can’t wait to start our life together.”
Dating coach, Lea Haben thinks in this economy, more couples should follow Katie and Brett’s lead, take money out of the equation and give each other something incredibly personalized. “Take a picture that means something to you, like the first time he said ‘I love you,’ or your first date and enlarge it on a canvas print,” she says. “Make it more than just a trip to the local Walmart.”
Creating memories is a priority for our last couple: Ryan O’Neal and Amanda Bissette. The two have been dating for nine months and agree that people usually go “all out” when they are in a new relationship. But this couple has decided to go against