One thing I’ve learned over the years counseling couples is that men like gifts that do things and women like gifts that mean things. 

Now, this is not universal, but it’s true in general. 

Certainly men and women both like gifts that do things and mean things, but I’m just saying this is what I’ve seen as a safe and general rule. If you have not finished your Christmas shopping and you still need to buy for people who are typically hard to buy for, keep in mind the aforementioned general rule.

Let me explain.

Let’s say a couple is about to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. She has walked by that expensive vacuum cleaner several times in the store and actually said, “Oh, I would love to have that!” If he buys that for her for their anniversary, it will not be good. She will take it like, “So, you think I’m a maid?”

Now, let’s say the same couple saw a commercial with a shop vac that was so strong it can launch bowling balls if flipped in reverse as a blower. He said, “Man, that’s a great shop vac!” If she buys that for him for their anniversary, it will be good. He will open it up and play with it right away — even if nothing needs vacuuming.

If a woman is in the hospital and you know she has no allergies, as you go to see her and pass by the floral and gift shop, you might do well to buy her flowers with a nice, meaningful little card. However, if it’s a guy, flowers are not the best. No, if you’re going to get him a plant, get him a Venus fly trap, and no card is needed.

You see, as a general rule, guys like gifts that do things and gals like gifts that mean something.

Fortunately, Christmas is really more than buying gifts for people. It’s about celebrating the birth of baby Jesus — God, coming to earth in the form of a human. We celebrate this time of year this world-changing event. It’s a big deal.

God didn’t have to do this, but He loves us. So, Jesus came in a miraculous way, as predicted and documented hundreds of years prior to His arrival. Angels and people celebrated. People traveled from many miles away to see. It was a grand event.

Jesus grew to fulfill even more ancient prophecies. He performed miracles, taught with authority like no other and demonstrated genuine love that we are to emulate. 

However, only a few would love Him back. He was tortured and killed out of His unfailing love for us. As predicted, He rose to life on the third day and later ascended to heaven, and enthroned as King of Kings. He has prepared a place for those who choose to love Him back, demonstrating that by living for Him.

We might have differences in genders in our preferences in gifts. You might even disagree with me that guys like gifts that do things and gals like gifts that mean things. That’s OK. 

It’s my opinion to use that general rule when you struggle to get gifts for people. Trust me, as I get older, I often find myself liking gifts that mean things as well. It’s not a universal rule.

The cool thing is God gave us all a wonderful gift that does something and means something. His gift of Jesus means He loves us. His gift does something, too. 

It gives us the opportunity to live forever with Him in a place with no more pains or sorrows!

Celebrate the greatest gift this Christmas! (John 3:16-17)


Pastor Jeff Adams is a professional Christian counselor who travels the world teaching but serves our community. His column appears weekly. He can be reached by email at

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