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Great Gift Ideas for Your Wife or Partner

Updated on November 22, 2014

Presents Your Wife Will Love

It's coming up . . . her birthday, Mother's Day, Christmas, Hanukkah. And there you are, wondering, "What does she want? What should I get her?"

You want to give her, the woman you love and mother of your children, something she really wants.

So you turn to your children: "Kids! We need to get Mom something great this year! What do you think we should get her?"

The two-year-old holds up a rock that he just found in the front yard. "A wock! Mommy likes wocks!" The five-year-old, frowning, corrects, "No, Mommy doesn't want a rock." The two-year-old starts screaming and turning red. The five year old pushes him. Well, that didn't work. What to do?

Gift Ideas & Resources

1. Has she dropped hints?

Often women will drop some hints, either consciously or subconsciously, about what they want and / or need. "I'm freezing! I need a some warm socks!" "Darn, I just used the last of my perfume!" "Ack! I have a big meeting today and can't find any matching earrings!"

A great source of inspiration may be her Pinterest account. If you can find her on Pinterest, you may discover a wealth of ideas on the the boards she has created, from clothing and jewelry to fun products that would make great gifts. Also be sure to check out the brands and stores that she follows on Facebook.

2. Practical but Personal

Practical gifts are usually fine for Christmas or Hanukkah. Most women don't mind receiving less expensive, practical gifts at the holidays and focusing the budget more on the children. Those warm socks? If she's mentioned them, then go ahead and stuff that stocking with warmth! Maybe add a new wool scarf, some driving gloves and a pretty sweater.

Pajamas: At the end of a long day, nothing beats throwing off work clothes for a pair of comfy pajamas. If you are buying for the holidays, skip the Christmas-themed pajamas and purchase a nice pair of flannel PJs that she can wear all winter long. Most department stores and Target have affordable selections of comfy winter or summer pajamas.

The Shower & Bath Products: Shower soaps and body lotions are both practical and personal--and usually welcomed by women. If she isn't a flowery person, go for the Anti-Stress formulas or the Relaxation formulas. Before purchasing soap products, consider whether your partner actually takes a bath or is exclusively a shower person and purchase accordingly.

If you want to give a shower girl the gift of a relaxing bath, then the best part of the gift is the presentation: get in there and scrub the bathtub and bathroom yourself; clean any nasty grout on the tub surround; purchase a cozy bathrobe and a special monogrammed towel and washcloth for her; and, line the tub with candles and create a pleasing, calming atmosphere. Put a bow on the bathroom door, then give her the gift of a luxury bath.

Great stores for shower/bath gifts include The Body Shop and Bath & Body Works.

Good quality towels and bathrobes are in abundance at any major department store, from Kohls to Bloomingdales.

Scented/Aromatherapy Candles are available everywhere, including at Bath & Body Works (you can buy candles in the same scent family as the lotions and soaps). Bed Bath & Beyond stocks Yankee candles. Pier 1 and Target also stock candles.

3. Earrings & Jewelry

While some women enjoy wearing a variety of jewelry--earrings, necklaces, pins, bracelets, watches--some women love specific pieces and wear only those each day. You should know which type your wife is.

If your partner loves to wear different jewelry, you are in luck!

A beautiful pin or necklace from the kids for a birthday or Mother's Day is just as special as one from you.There are many options from which you can choose, including pins or necklaces that represent each child with a birthstone, precious metal pins depicting families, and charm bracelets. Some women really love that whole Pandora charm bracelet thing. If your spouse is one of them, then a new charm makes an affordable holiday gift.

Even if your partner only wears her wedding band and the same beloved necklace, if she has pierced ears, chances are a pair of earrings will always be welcome for any occasion. Earrings have a bad habit of losing their partners, much like socks, through the years. A small pair of silver or platinum loops go well with any work or casual outfit. Studs with her birthstone or mixed with your birthstone or those of the kids are also a nice gift. However, for everyday use, don't spend too much. We all feel terrible when one expensive earring suddenly goes missing!

Some great online resources for jewelry include:

4. Hobbies

Some hobbies offer endless gift-giving options. Perhaps your wife composes and records her own music, collects china settings or antique books, or knits or creates metal sculpture. Collectors are easy: a unique addition from an antique or related store or online at Ebay or Etsy would be a great gift. I have an oddly large cookbook collection. One memorable year, my husband scored an autographed Julia Child hardcover cookbook for me from ebay. Your partner or spouse also may be missing a piece of much-needed equipment. Check her amazon wish list or ask her about her recent projects.

If you can't determine what crafting supply or equipment your wife needs, a gift certificate to a related store, catalog, or website will be a well-received and highly appreciated option.

If you have the money to spend for a milestone birthday, the gift of a weekend retreat related to her hobby might be an amazing surprise. Quilting, knitting, and other artistic clinics and retreats abound. There are even quilting cruises! Use Google to investigate available workshops, retreats, and conferences.

5. Clothing Gift Certificates

Does your wife have a favorite catalog or store? Perhaps you see her paging through the same catalog, looking at the same website or see shopping bags from the same store throughout your house. A gift certificate will always be appreciated and avoids the tricky question of what size of clothing to purchase. But be sure to personalize it with the token gift.

Some popular brick & mortar clothing stores for women include:
Coldwater Creek
American Apparel
Ann Taylor

Popular catalogs/online retailers include:

Gift Idea No-No's

1. Exercise Equipment & DVDS: Do NOT buy these items unless specifically requested by your partner. Even if she exercises every day, do NOT buy any exercise equipment, DVDs, weights or--god forbid--scales unless she has very specifically asked for these, preferably backing up this desire with an e-mail linking to the items she really wants.

Seal It with a Kiss

Whatever you end up buying your partner for the holidays, a birthday, or Mother's Day, be sure to put a nice finishing touch on it. Don't hand her the shopping bag with the unwrapped gift. At least find a festive gift bag and, except for the holidays, a card. Then present it with a kiss.


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