Dec 052017
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I love surprises.

My sweet wife, Brenda, hates surprises.

We agree on one surprise area, though, and that is neither of us likes gift surprises. We know what we like, we know what we want, and we don’t see the point of getting something we can’t use or don’t like.

For example, one family who brings their two Dachshunds to us has a delightful jewelry store. A few years ago they ran an ad for a ring and, when Brenda saw it, she said she just had to have it.

Obviously, I got it. I love her too much to say no.

Recently, the wife of the couple was in the clinic with her little girl Dachshund. At the end of the visit she said, “Come get Brenda some nice earrings to go with that ring.”

That night, Brenda and I were talking about Christmas presents, and I mentioned what the lady said. “That wouldn’t interest me,” Brenda opined, “because I want something I can hold out in front of me and see, like a bracelet.”

See what I mean? Why spend money in jewelry-sized aliquots of dough, just to have it be something she doesn’t like?

Brenda quit buying me surprise gifts when she discovered that I was secretly returning them for credit and getting something else. I mean, what if your wife bought you a left-tilt table saw when you wanted a right-tilt? You’d never be completely happy with it.

If you’re going to spend $3000 on a tablesaw, you might as well get what you actually want, and forget the surprise component.

To me, the principle is the same whether you’re spending $14 on a premium paint brush or $500 on a professional Earlex 3-stage Spray System. I don’t want a one-stage sprayer, and, if I get one, I’m going to trade it in toward the unit I actually want, even if I have to save up and do without until I can afford it.

Now, I’m off to print out the photo of the 14″ Rikon Bandsaw and leave it lying around.

Did you know Highland Woodworking has a Wish List feature? Just click here to access the Help page  that will walk you through the registration process. You can also print your Wish List, making it easy for your sweetie to order exactly what you want.

  4 Responses to “POLL: What Woodworking-Related Gifts Do You Get for the Holidays?”

  1. A couple years ago, I pointed out a 1/2″ Milwaukee impact driver I’d use to swap tires for summer and winter driving. We bought it on the spot, brought it home, she wrapped it and I was sooooo surprised when I found it under the tree. Okay, maybe happy is a better word.

  2. A woodworking tool from a list I make, from an online website that sells woodworking tools. Usually a couple inexpensive tools, and maybe one expensive tool. And if I’m lucky she’ll get the expensive one, only if I’ve been good that year.

  3. This is the first time I’ve seen “aliquot” used outside my work life. I’d never heard it for almost 50 years! Then I went to work for a blood testing lab…

    I tend to buy the specialty items when I want and put shirts on my holiday list. It’s easier to live with a shirt that isn’t 100% what you want and nobody has to see their gift returned.

    Happy Holidays

  4. If I want a new tool and it is in the Fall then I will go ahead a buy it and give it to my wife to wrap up for Christmas. By the time Christmas morning comes around, it’s 6 to 9 weeks later, I’ve forgotten about it and it (sort of) is a surprise. This year is a new Rikon bandsaw from HH but ot’s already in the shop waiting on the mobile base. No surprise this year, it’s too big to wrap!

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