I was laughing at a funny meme on the internet earlier today, the one that shows a Christmas paper wrapped gift which looks like a giant dick and balls, and says “Christmas gift wrapping tip: Leave the vacuum inside the box before wrapping it”. It’s funny. I laughed. But then I wondered why the hell anyone would think that buying someone a household appliance as a gift would be a good idea? No doubt this “thoughtful” gift was purchased by a man for a woman.
Let’s think about this for a minute. Appliances like vacuums, irons, and slow cookers are for DOING HOUSEWORK. I don’t care how amazing, how expensive, or how state-of-the-art a device for doing housework is. I also don’t care if it’s an appliance that my household happens to need right now.
If something is needed, it should be purchased from the “household necessities” budget, not the “gifts” budget. If the dishwasher dies the week before my birthday, it is not my responsibility to forfeit my birthday present for a new one. A present that means that I have to do housework is not a good present.
Listen to our very real talk about Christmas this week. Post continues after audio…
I have some experience with this issue. Let me set the scene for you: Mother’s Day 2013, I woke up to a lovely breakfast as per tradition and excitedly set to unwrapping the gift I had received from my husband and kids. I wasn’t put off by the fact that it was a lot bigger than the Madonna CD I had requested for the car; perhaps there were two things in there?
I was right, there were two things. A set of towels, and some soap. Yes. I feigned delight because my children were watching, but I stewed on it for days. Eventually, when I asked him what happened to the one thing I had actually asked for and wanted, my husband told me that he had actually gone into a store and looked at the CD, and thought “Phht! I’m not wasting $30 on a Madonna CD!” and went and bought towels (which, by the way cost a lot more than $30) instead.
His rationale was that I was going into hospital soon (I was pregnant with baby number three) and he thought it’d be nice to have some luxurious towels to use. “HOSPITALS HAVE TOWELS”, I cried. “Why would I take nice towels to bleed all over and then have to wash them myself?” Needless to say, in a bid to avoid divorce he’s since lifted his gift game.
So men, when you’re Christmas shopping for the woman in your life, think to yourself, “Will purchasing this item lead to housework?” and if the answer is “yes”, don’t buy it (unless she has specifically asked for it). If you’ve already bought the item, find the receipt and return it and buy her something that’s actually good.
No-one wants extra housework under the tree on Christmas morning.