How to Get What You Want for the Holidays
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Hint, Hint1 of 11
By Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn, real-life married couple and authors of You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up: A Love Story
Without some hints here and there, everyone who may be thinking about buying you a present is going to assume that you don’t expect anything—which of course is totally wrong! Here are our tips for getting what you want.
Talk It Up2 of 11
He says: When drinking a wine you really like, really go to town about how much you love it! Describe it in detail, smell it, swirl it around. Tell those you’re sharing the wine with how perfect it is for the holidays, and how one sip can change your life and make you a happier person, and then let it slip that it’s very reasonably priced.
Be Strategic3 of 11
She says: Leave a list of the songs you hope to be added to your iPod in a place where your spouse will be sure to notice it. Like under the TV remote. Programming an iPod is the 2010 version of a “mix tape”—a great, low-cost gift that keeps on giving. It's especially great for your beloved. That way, every time he or she plays a tune you've programmed, they can say, "It’s playing our song."
Write It Down4 of 11
He says: Write a wish list and leave it lying around the house. Entitle it “Holiday DREAM LIST”: 1) A new car; 2) A trip to Paris; 3) A few new songs for my iPod. There’s no way you’ll get one or two, but they will set you up very nicely to get #3.
Be Realistic5 of 11
She says: I would like to replenish the savings we lost in the market, a jar of Le Mer moisturizer and a pair of Rag & Bone boots. I will be receiving none of these things this year no matter how cleverly I ask, hint or cut out pictures of said items and subtly place them on top of our pillowcases.
Give Freebies6 of 11
He says: Football. College Bowl games. NFL playoff games. More bowl games. Me watching them with some friends drinking beer—sometimes alone, sometimes with our son. These things make me happy, so thanks for understanding.
Ye Old Bait & Switch7 of 11
She says: I'm addicted to vanilla-scented bath gels. If I ask for something really expensive—say I mention a few hundred times how much I need a spa day at Bliss, something we both know isn’t going to happen unless Jeff sells a kidney—he may get the name "Bliss" stuck in his head, consequently notice that half-empty Vanilla Bliss Shower Gel sitting in our bathroom right now and get the clever idea to surprise me with a new bottle.
Give, Give, Give8 of 11
He says: While you may not get a present from your kids, it’s so much more thrilling to see the unabashed delight on their happy, joyous, greedy little faces when they open their new electric bass guitar and amplifier. Who knows, maybe these kids will grow up to be happy, joyous and generous adults who will shower their old parents with presents … like a new Porsche 911 Carrera.
Be a Rebel9 of 11
She says: I plan to focus on my aforementioned blessings and enjoy the gift of gratitude—and it's already making me angry. Acting entirely un-PC at the holidays helps. For example: Return the card reading “a donation has been made in your name to charity,” noting that you’d prefer the cash instead, or print multiple copies of every e-card that reads, “Please consider the environment before printing.”
Be Creative But Direct10 of 11
He says: If money is really an issue between you and your significant other—be that a spouse, fiancé, girlfriend or boyfriend—remember that "love" has many rewarding benefits that come absolutely free of charge. Try this extra-subtle holiday hint on your loved one: "Please, God, I need some holiday action, baby! I need it!"
Focus on Your Needs11 of 11
She says: The sages otherwise known as the Rolling Stones said it best: You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need. So the big question is, what do you really need? I need to be surrounded by friends and family, and a little good food and wine wouldn't be so bad either.
SHOP NOW: You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up, $16