Dilemma: I want to surprise my wife with a Christmas trip - that she might hate

Jo Brand / 16 November 2018 ( 05 September 2019 )

A reader wants to take his wife on a surprise Christmas trip, but he's not 100% whether she'll love it or hate it. Luckily, Jo Brand is on hand to give her sage advice...

Dilemma: Will my wife hate the Christmas surprise I have planned?

My wife loves Christmas and every year she asks for a ‘surprise’ gift. As the kids won’t be around this year (both are working in the USA), I’m thinking of buying her a last-minute holiday abroad.

However, I’m worried that she’ll hate the idea – she’s very traditional – and will refuse to go. Or we go and then sit in the Christmas sunshine in resentful sufferance.

What do you suggest?

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Jo Brand's advice

I suggest you put that idea out of your head and forget all about it, unless you (rather unromantically) check first with your beloved. These sort of costly presents are a bit risky and one of you will end up feeling resentful – and it will probably be you when she refuses to go.

Is it the case, secretly, that you want to go and are hoping she will cave in when the present is revealed? As you say she will probably hate it, I wonder why you are even considering the idea? If you want to go, you will need to suggest it and see how the land lies. 

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I hate it when people ask for a surprise present, and as you are the kind of husband who isn’t totally convinced he knows what his wife is thinking, maybe you could check with a couple of close friends.

Is she expecting you to spend the price of a holiday on her? Crikey!

I can’t quite make my mind up about whether we should totally pragmatically ask for something we want and point our beloved to the shop or website, or risk receiving some hideous article of clothing we wouldn’t be seen dead in. I know a couple, one of whom just gives the other a handful of twenties for a spree… somewhat depressing.

Perhaps you could tread a more conservative middle line – tickets for a theatre show maybe or a luxury spa day. I know that’s not very imaginative, but it’s probably a safe bet.

I wish you luck with all of this and hope you don’t end up face down at the bottom of the Christmas tree! 

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