If someone ever asks me how to surprise your wife for Christmas, I've got an answer for him.
Unfortunately, no one ever asks me that. Instead, it's always like, "Where did you learn to park a car?" and "What's that smell?"
I have been married thirty-one years, and I still surprise my wife every Christmas. Sometimes she's disappointed, alarmed, and disgusted, but also surprised. The way I go about it is this, first I try to find out what she wants. Maybe we'll be walking in the mall and she'll say, "Look, a pet monkey!" That way, I know she wants a pet monkey. Or she'll say, "Let's stop at the Food Court and get a giant pretzel." That way I know she'd like a giant pretzel maker.
Some husbands let professional gift-wrappers at the mall wrap their presents for them. Bor-ing! Of course, if you do that, you get to see the gift-wrapper's response to what you've purchased. "It's a surprise for my wife," you say, and they say, "Oh, she'll be surprised alright." But it's much more heartfelt if you wrap it yourself, besides a lot of times won't help you anyway. They'll make excuses like you can't gift-wrap decorative rocks or a pet monkey. And they call themselves professionals.
I get good ideas for gift-wrapping things from TV. Like there was this husband who gave his wife a great big box, so she thought it would be a flat-screen TV or a statue of Venus or something, and then she opens it and pulls out paper, and paper, and paper, and it's like the whole box is full of nothing but tissue paper. But then she gets to the bottom, and it's a little box with a diamond ring, and she's thrilled. I think that's a really great idea for wrapping a small present. It would work perfectly for that pet tarantula she was admiring the other day in the pet store. Another time, this woman wakes up, and there's this long red ribbon lying on the floor. She follows it, and goes straight out the door, and outside there's a brand new car with a big red bow on top! That is so cool. I'll do the same thing if I ever get her a beehive.
Anyway, I've already got Nancy's next surprise picked out and wrapped. "Calm down," I say soothingly. "It'll only be a few more weeks." I'm talking to the present, not Nancy. Nancy doesn't know about it yet.
I can hardly wait.