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How to get the gift you want this holiday season
By Sandra Beckwith

Tired of receiving the same old case of motor oil every Christmas? Has a really bad gift— say, a cemetery plot—pushed you over the edge? Would you like to open a gift from the man in your life this holiday season and squeal, “It’s wonderful!” instead of, “Did you keep the receipt?” Here’s how to get the gift you want:

  • Forget subtlety. Give him a list of twelve things you’'d like to receive, and ask him to buy just two or three. Make your list very specific: Include sizes, colors, where to buy each item and how much to spend.
  • If he’s avoiding malls by shopping on the Internet, tell him what you want by using the “my gift list” option at your favorite Web retailer, whether it’s or
  • Mark pages in your favorite catalogs: circle item numbers, colors and sizes. Tell your mate any of those items would make a great gift this holiday season.
  • Tuck a small piece of paper with your clothing sizes and favorite colors into his wallet, jacket pocket and glove compartment.
  • To minimize disappointment, remember that gifts are more important to women than they are to men.
  • Don’t read too much into a bad gift. It usually means that he’s careless, not that he doesn’t care.
  • Reward him when he actually buys something you’d like.
  • Remind him to keep receipts. You’ll need them to make exchanges!

Sandra Beckwith speaks frequently on the lighter side of gender differences and is the author of WHY CAN’T A MAN BE MORE LIKE A WOMAN? Learn more at