Top Ten Things Wives Want For Christmas

What do women want? I read somewhere that the answer to that question is that women want men to KNOW what they want. And men want women not to want anything.

That rings true enough. But it makes every gift buying occasion a Love Test for men. At SpouseBuzz, our compassion is vast and deep for servicemembers. So we decided we would make it easy on ‘em. We would give them the answer.

So at our last SpouseBuzz LIVE event, we asked group of Army spouses to lay out a top ten list of what women want for Christmas. Instead, we got a list of what women do NOT want for Christmas: Incense. Handkerchiefs.Fake jewelry.Christmas sweaters. Toiletries. Used Items. Socks. Knock-offs.

The list kind of fell flat with the crowd. Which is always so revealing. When I found myself reviewing this list this week, I wondered if there was a better list of what women DO want for Christmas. Here is what we SpouseBuzzers came up with:

1.We want you to be home. Yes, we understand that you have to be deployed this year or that you have to stand the duty Christmas Day or you will be AWOL. We don’t want you to feel a load of guilt for being gone during the holidays. And we don’t want you to go to jail after spending time with us, so the AWOL option is out. We just want you to know — really KNOW — what a central part of our lives you are and how nothing is the same without you here.

2. We want your wonder. If you are home this year, we want you to look around and feel a little awe. Look at these kids we have. They aren’t just bundles of snarling, oozing, gritty, sobbing, snotty mess. This time of year, drag us into our sleeping child’s bedroom to wonder over them — how amazing they are, how fast they grow.

3. We want your respect. The older spouses get, the more they realize they have to SAY WHAT THEY WANT. Some spouses really don’t want anything under the tree — they would rather spend money on the kids. Or they don’t want a sweater, they’d rather have a night alone with you at a good hotel. Or they don’t want you to spend into oblivion, but to stay in the budget. If we actually say what we want, get it on a voice memo. Then run with it.

4. We want your ‘good enough.’ Lots of times guys get so caught up in making sure that they do not make a mistake that they put off the decision on what to buy. So they wait until the last minute and wrap up whatever is left in the stores. Buy early. Get it done. Sometimes good enough really is good enough.

5. We want you to use our list. If your spouse gives you a list, use it. She loves you. She knows you are busy. She knows you hate shopping. So she made a list on Amazon or Pinterest and sent it to you. Pick three things off that list. And reread tip four above.

6. We want to feel beautiful. Give us something you think we would look/feel/smell pretty in. Then write on the card “Because you are beautiful.”

7. We want to feel smart. Put something under the tree that demonstrates that you know we are smart — a book, a subscription, an iPad mini. Write on the card “To the smartest woman I know.”

8. We want to feel like the most awesome parent on the planet. Give us whatever and write on the card that you weep when you think of how lucky our children are to have such a mother.

9. We want things from stores we like. Go to your credit card statement and see where your spouse shops most. Buy something from that store.  Nine times out of 10 you will score. Or at least make returns easy.

10. We want a shared experience. Christmas gifts are nothing compared to the life we share. We spouses spend so much time alone that when you are home we want to share something beyond watching “Dancing With the Stars.” So please help finish the kitchen clean-up so that we can walk around the block under a sky full of stars. Let’s get in the car and look at Christmas lights. Let’s go to bed early, light a couple of candles and think tidings of Wonder. And joy.

 Our Top Ten may not be complete.  What do you think we missed?


About the Author

Jacey Eckhart
Jacey Eckhart is the former Director of Spouse and Family Programs for Since 1996, Eckhart’s take on military families has been featured in her syndicated column, her book The Homefront Club, and her award winning CDs These Boots and I Married a Spartan?? Most recently she has been featured as a military family subject matter expert on NBC Dateline, CBS morning news, CNN, NPR and the New York Times. Eckhart is an Air Force brat, a Navy wife and an Army mom. Find her at
  • David

    Your home. Listen to what she says about y’all’s home and what she would like to do with it. Make it a point to fix something or make something about your home better. This will go a long way. Make it feel more like a home for the both of you.

  • breanne

    Pay special attention to HER. and if you do want to get her a gift make it meaningful. You meed to buy a gift that says “I know you” those are the sweetest best gifts.

  • the mrs

    Sex. (and I am the wife)

    • jacey_eckhart

      The true meaning of “a long winter’s nap!”

  • jennifer

    A heartfelt card is the best. One that tells me how much I mean to u. U can’t go wrong. I know my husband bought me a beautiful very expensive diamond necklace and a ring to match. And it’s amazing but I’m still hoping to find just a simple card with lots of love wrote in it.

    • Laura

      I’m a widow of a 30 retired Navy man..I use to send with him cards for all the holidays he will be missing. And for all the different occasions. Like birthday for family and such. I even made him up printed address labels on our computer and put several sheets with the cards and a roll of stams…pre computer employments…I also would send story books that I knew our son would like and …again dating myself…cassette tapes. And he would read the story book on a tape and send the tape and book to his son. So daddy could still read him a night time story. These are kind of out-dated ideas but Ideas not the less.

  • jennifer
  • carly

    this year i asked to NOT receive any more appliances :) and i like useful gifts. so in using my list-great advice- he got me the perfect watch. chic and sporty, and REAL-also good advice. One thing women do want is to receive a well thought out special gift, but even more so, we want the gift of appreciation,attention,and optimism.

  • Tammy

    I sent the page to my hubby of 25 years & this was his reply: trying to give #1, you know you have my #3, our lives revolve around your #5, you know what Ithink about # 6, you are definitely # 7 & 8, sorry about #9, that’s all you, trying to give #10, just being in the same room with you makes me happy!, but tired of always giving you # 4. I miss & love you so much!

    • LOVE the response! That’s love!

    • jacey_eckhart

      He is a total keeper.

  • H, Stefansson

    Mother loves her Hubby Hug and I love you whisper.

  • sue

    Tammy (see above) has the husband of the YEAR!
    All a woman ever wants is the receipt (old joke) but makes me laugh.

  • Dana
  • Maryv

    I would just want him home for Christmas safe and sound…..and all the lovin that goes with it.

  • JL