How to Get Exactly What You Want For Christmas
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Look, Ladies, I’m gonna get right to the point here. My husband may be one of the nicest people on the planet, and he may be an awesome dad. But for the life of him, he cannot read my mind, and he especially can’t take a hint. I suspect it’s a general ‘male’ thing. So after years of disappointing, and–quite frankly–confusing gifts, I decided to take matters into my own hands. What I’m about to share is how to take matters into your own hands as well, to get exactly what you want for Christmas. (Or any gift-giving time, really.)
Ok, so lemme back it up a bit to the beginning so this doesn’t sound like it’s coming out of left field…
This all started many years ago when I would get things like a digital camera, or a blender, or even one year: a desk chair. Yes, a flipping desk chair. At some point in some random conversation, my husband would decide that he ‘knew’ something that I needed. I never said I wanted, I never gave any indication I wanted it. But he would simply decide for me. And from that point, he would ignore any ‘hints’ I dropped around my birthday, or Mother’s Day, or Christmas.
For whatever reason, jewelry never crossed his mind. A massage never washed through his consciousness. And an entire day to myself with no kids was never fathomed. Instead, I’ve received electronics, a desk chair, and multiple other random questionable items that have usually made my life more difficult in the long run. And honestly, I didn’t–and still don’t–have time to fret over how to feign excitement over some super weird gift when I’m probably already busy making sure our holiday party is on track.
Please don’t think I’m ungrateful. I’m really not. I appreciate that he made some sort of effort. But at some point, the blatant lack of actually ‘listening’ to me started to really hurt my feelings. It felt like he was just buying something just to have something to wrap and put under the tree. Especially when I paid super close attention to what he would say in passing about different cool things he’d like to have, and then make it happen.
So one day I read an article that talked about–which I wholeheartedly agree with–the fact that men and women are so drastically different in their communication styles. And I’ve had this happen a milliondy-billion-and-one times in the last fifteen years of marriage. He says one thing, and I hear something totally different. And vice versa.
The article recommended being very blunt.
Ok, I could do that. So the next go of gift-giving time I was very blunt. Except the hubby somehow got HIS feelings hurt because he wanted it to be a surprise. (Do you see how I just can’t win here…?)
So my solution finally came in the form of an Amazon Wish List. Which really started because the in-laws were always asking for super specific details about gifts for the kids. Again–I have limited time to do the text back and forth 25 times over one gift. So I started out by creating Wish Lists for each kid.
But what hit me is that I could make a list for myself, too!
See, with a Wish List that’s public, my husband can look it up at any time (as well as any other family members) to see gift ideas. It’s so great, because, A) They know I love and want this gift. B) They don’t have to think about it. And C) they can choose whatever’s in their budget.
And now I’m going to explain how to make this little gem work for you, too!
(AND don’t forget to read the whole guide to get the MOST important part of this process!!)
How to Create an Amazon Wish List:
If you have an Amazon account, you can create lists, add to them, delete stuff from them, and even SHARE them via text or email!
So I know the question you’re about to ask:
“What if what I want isn’t on Amazon??”
Answer: Doesn’t matter. You can still add items from any other website to your list!
From your Amazon account, find the area (circled in magenta below) that shows your Account & Lists–if you hover over it, a drop-down box will show up.
From the drop-down box, you can see the options for your lists. Really if you click any of them, it’ll take you into the Wish List section for your account.
So you can see, on the left side are tabs for your lists, and also one for your friends (which is where my kids’ lists show up that I also create). And on the right side are options for: Create a List, List Settings, and List Help. If you get stuck, always go to List Help!
Click ‘Create a List’. Once you do that, it will create a generic list, usually called ‘Shopping List’. To rename it, click on ‘List Settings’.
You’ll need to name your list, and you can add any of this other information that’s circled as well.
*Another cool feature is the ‘Don’t spoil my surprises’ option:
(It doesn’t specify if everyone else can still see the item or not, or if they give others that view the list a warning, however…)
Last you’ll want to save your changes with the yellow button at the bottom, and you’re ready to start making a list!
Add stuff from Amazon!
From any item from your COMPUTER, scroll down and look on the right side of the screen. There will be an option to ‘Add to List’. Choose that, and a drop down box will appear to let you add to whichever list you choose.
(#sorrynotsorry for the shameless plug on my Holiday Bucket List Journal,
which you can find along with many others, on my Journals Page.)
Then you just select which list you want the item added to.
So–from your phone, in the Amazon shopping app, it’s basically the same thing–the option to ‘add to list’ is under the yellow ‘add to cart’ button on the left side of the screen if you scroll down a bit.
Add stuff from other sources!
This can be done a couple of different ways: Either from your computer, or from your phone/tablet.
From your computer: The FIRST thing you’ll have to do is install the Amazon Assistant extension to your browser. (I know, I know, it’s just ‘one more thing’, BUT–this extension does way more than just add items to your list–which I’ll probably cover in another post.)
Find the ‘List Help’ link again in your ‘Lists’ section, and click it, then in the ‘Manage Your Lists’ section, find the ‘Add Items to Your Lists or Registries from Other Sites’ link. It’ll take you to the page where you can download the extension to your browser:
Once it’s installed, you will have to go through the sign-in process the first time you use it.
To add items from a different site, you simply go to the site and item you want to add, and then find the extension in the browser bar at the top of your page. Click it, and the drop-down box will appear. You’ll notice there are two tabs: ‘Home’ and ‘Add to List’. You choose ‘Add to List’.
And then choose which list you want it added to. (You can also select the blue ‘Edit Details’ option to add a note, size, etc.
From your phone or tablet:
Again, go to the site and item you’d like to add to your list. (You will have to have the Amazon shopping app installed, and I believe you have to enable it on the ‘shares’ feature as well.)
You’ll do the little ‘swipe up’ to see the ‘share’ button, then when your options pop up, you scroll to the left until Amazon shows up:
Choose that button (it even says Wish List under it!), and then you can edit the details for it, and choose which list to add it to. Then choose ‘Post’ at the top right.
And THE MOST IMPORTANT PART!!
Obviously you can share your list/s with others by the ways detailed below–BUT–I found that taking a ‘gentle’ approach to the husband made it not quite so traumatic in terms of ‘not being surprised by a gift he got me.’ I’d recommend casually bringing up this ‘cool new thing you found’, and how it’s gonna make things so much easier to buy for Christmas, birthdays, etc, for this kids. And THEN add in that the two of you should do it as well. That way he KNOWS it’s there and available. And maybe mention–hey, you can even search my name and it’ll pull my list right up! (I’ve gotten better at being ‘meaningfully subtle.’
So here’s how to ACTUALLY share your lists:
From your computer, pull up your lists in your Amazon account, then in the upper right corner look for the email envelope icon with ‘Share’ next to it. Click on that.
Then you can enter any email address you want to share it with. Unfortunately, the only way to share from your computer is via email. You must use the app on your phone or tablet to share via text, but on phone or tablet you CAN also share via email if you need to.
From your phone or tablet:
Pull up your list from the Amazon Shopping app, then look for the ‘List Actions’ option in the top right corner.
Click on it, it’s a drop-down link.
Then your options for sharing will pop up: Text, Email, etc.
So there ya go! A no-fail way to get exactly what you want for Christmas!
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Here are a few extra tips:
*Although this works like a ‘registry’ for the Amazon items, for items listed from other sources, they don’t automatically delete if someone purchases from your linked Wish List. If you and your partner/husband share accounts, he/she may need to delete that item from the list. Otherwise, you may want to delete it when/if you receive the item.
*There is an option to add a note–this is super helpful for items where you want a specific color and/or size.
*Every once in a while an item isn’t available after you’ve added it to the list. BUT–if you have notes on color/sizes, your gift-giver can do a new search for the same exact item that comes from a different seller.
How have Amazon Wish Lists changed your gift-giving (or receiving) season?
Oh, and hey! Know someone who could use a little help getting exactly what they want for Christmas? Please share!