April 14, 2012
I know that my husband doesn't wear ties any more and that he doesn't need another cashmere sweater or a bathrobe. I know how little time he has available to read books, and how much unused credit he already has on iTunes. He loves Godiva chocolates, but giving him yet another box of dark truffles seems to say that I've become too lazy to put any thought into the matter. He definitely doesn't want power tools, jewelry, or anything beer-related. If one of his favorite musical acts were coming to town, I could try to get tickets, but that's not always an option, and I'm not rich enough to fly him to Paris (either France or Texas) for the weekend.
My goal is to give him something he will truly enjoy and that will let him know that I put some loving thought and effort into it. The neon sign pictured here was all of that. During the summer, we sometimes hold big backyard barbecue parties. When the umbrellas are set up, the burgers are on the grill, and friends are splashing in the pool, we feel as though we are living in a luxury resort. My husband is a charming host, and we began to refer to our summer get-togethers as "Club Steve". Of course, a real club needs a sign. So for his birthday one year, I had this neon sign made. When Steve saw it, he was completely surprised and quite delighted. Now, whenever we have a party, the sign is always glowing in a prominent position, where our friends get a big kick out of it. Having this made was a bit expensive, but it was well worth it. Not only did it put a big smile on my husband's face when I gave it to him, but it has continued to be a source of pleasure for him (and for me) over the years.
This was a big, expensive gift. But a gift doesn't have to be big or expensive to be effective. What matters most is that it communicates a personal message: "You are special to me."