Jack & Jill: The trick to getting us the perfect gift this Christmas

Jack:

I want a Red Ryder, carbine-action, 200-shot Range Model air rifle with a compass and this thing which tells time built right into the stock for Christmas this year. I don’t think a football would make a very good gift for Christmas.

That’s the approach I’ve taken when formulating my Christmas wish lists ever since I first saw a Christmas Story. Ralphie got it right. His mother asked him what he wanted for Christmas, and that weird little kid went for it. He spoke in tongues he’d only previously heard from his father, battling the furnace each winter. He shot his eye out. He beat up Scott Farkus.

And even though Ralphie was only a little kid, he taught us guys something very important about desire around the holidays. We want to do it big. We want something cool, something that’ll make our eyes bug out of our skulls when we open the packaging. We want something that’ll make us look as cool as Jason Statham walking away from an explosion, after he’s killed, like, 16 henchmen and strapped the bad guy’s lair with dynamite. And we want something we’re going to love 364 days from the time we open it.

As much as we like to say that it doesn’t take much to impress us, well, on Christmas, that’s the only time it’s not
completely true.

Good rule of thumb to follow when shopping for us, ladies: Would James Bond think this gift is cool?
Now, I know you’re shopping on a tight budget, and I’d be one of the 57,892 other people you have to buy gifts for, but that doesn’t mean you should skimp out on my present. I sure as heck put a lot of thought, time and money into what I got for you and I am totally, 100 percent self-conscious about whether I did a good job.

I’m sure most guys would be happy with whatever gift you decide upon. It’s not like you have to spend a ton of money to get the action-movie experience I described above. Just take what you know about us — our interests, hobbies and pop-culture influences — and run with it. Plus, if all else fails, just call our moms. Sure, she may not like you (yet), but she knows her son better than
anybody, and there is no one on the planet who wants to see us happy more than her, particularly around Christmastime.

Honestly, over the years, Christmas lost a bit of its luster for me. I no longer rush down the stairs to the tree at 5:30 in the morning to see whether Santa Claus broke into my house (I still don’t know how he got in — my house doesn’t have a chimney), ate my stash of Chips Ahoy! and left me a bunch of shiny boxes. I don’t tear into my stocking with the same eight-year-old gusto. More than anything, I want to feel like a little kid again. It’s up to you to get me to feel that way.

(Note: You get me GOOD Yankee tickets — particularly against the Sox — and I’ll love you forever.)

Jill:

Christmas time is about spending time with your loved ones, and yes – that includes you. I know it may seem intimidating to decide what to get me, and I promise you that I will read into whatever it is. Jewelry is loaded: you get me a watch then you
don’t think it’s that serious, you get me a ring then you’re thinking about marriage. I don’t want gadgets or gizmos. I definitely don’t want clothes – trust me. If you’re thinking a gift card, just
walk away.

All I want for Christmas is you… how hard is that? Okay, yes, that song can be a bit overplayed – but she’s saying what every girlfriend is thinking.

A gift that gives us the opportunity to spend more time together will all but ensure my smile is real as I open the box from
under the tree. Yes, you still need to wrap something – everyone likes presents.

It can be a dinner and tickets to see The Lion King. (Wednesday matinees are fine.  I know the pittance you make delivering pizzas.) Maybe it’s a weekend trip to your hometown and I can see where you grew up. Take me to Atlantic City where I can experience the casinos for the first time, or to the Garden to see the Knicks and all the celebrities who will no doubt be in attendance.

All of these things would beat out the motion activated candy dispenser that you’ve been drooling over at Brookstone, or the sweater that your mother, who hates me, promised would fit. It doesn’t by the way.

If you want to pull out all the stops, go over the top with the romance – reserve a room at a bed and breakfast in the Middle of Nowhere, New England. We can sit by the fireplace, talking about our dreams, aspirations and just be. There is nothing better than watching the snow fall while sitting in your arms and knowing that we are hours away from the stress of school and the rest of the world.

Now, that can be a budget buster and I do not want to be the reason Grandma June gets Domino’s coupons for her gift. For the cost of two venti hot chocolates, a couple of transfers on our Metrocards and maybe some of those nuts that smell like heaven, you can take me out for the classic New York Christmas. Strolling through Central Park in the snow, seeing the tree all lit up in Rockefeller Center, watching the people ice skating through Bryant Park and exploring the Holiday Shops are all things better done as a pair.

These are gifts that I will never forget and will make our connection even stronger. I’m not a girl who needs the
Tiffany’s necklace engraved with our initials (not that there’s anything wrong with Tiffany’s for a gift, ahem, Valentine’s Day, ahem) or the iPad 6.4. I just want to spend the most wonderful time of the year with you.

Although a Tiffany’s necklace or an iPad would be nice. Just saying.