Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

Newlywed Accidentally Finds Christmas Gift

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: While I was putting my husband’s socks away in his dresser, I found a jewelry box inside a little gift bag. Even though this is our first married Christmas, we said we were not going to spend a lot of money on each other for Christmas this year, so I just got him a couple of little necessary items he needed for work. Now I feel like a cheapskate and want to go out and get him something special, but 1) I don’t know what to get him, and 2) I don’t make that much money and we’re trying to keep our expenses down so we can save up for a house.

I feel happy that he wants to spoil me, a little angry that he didn’t follow our agreement, and sad I can’t afford to get him something really special.

Should I make the stretch and get him something more than just practical stuff? --- CONFUSED MRS. SANTA

DEAR CONFUSED MRS. SANTA: For openers, just because it’s a piece of jewelry, it doesn’t mean it’s an expensive one. Next, if it makes him happy to give you something special, why not let him have that pleasure, without feeling guilty? You got him things he needed; and if you want to do a little more, then something personal from you, like a card, a special photograph in a nice frame, or small token gift that doesn’t cost much but comes from the heart may be even more significant to him than a big ticket item you can’t comfortably afford.

Need advice? Please send your questions to Someone Else’s Mom at