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christmas-present-83120_640I think socks make great Christmas gifts. But I’m a woman. Any kind of feminine undergarments (or any garments) pillowed in tissue paper and wrapped in a box or stuffed inside a stocking is the perfect gift.

My daughter agrees. Ankle socks and fuzzy socks are always on her Christmas lists—ever since she was old enough to say, Gink gocks.

Men are different, though.

Before doing any Christmas shopping for men, I’ve discovered we women must learn the rules.

Rule #4 says,

Do not buy men socks. Do not buy men ties. (Unless he’s a preacher, because I happen to know that my man would much rather open a box and find a cool tie inside than to find socks or briefs between all that tissue paper. But back to Rule #4…)

And never buy men bathrobes. (Except for my dad, who was thrilled to find a thick, cozy robe in a box with his name on it under the Christmas tree. But he probably never read the List of Rules for Shopping for Men.)

It’s been said that if men were supposed to wear bathrobes, boxers wouldn’t have been invented. (And just in case you’re slow at catching on, boxers are off-limits as Christmas gifts, too.)

But when our kiddos were just above knee-high and they loved counting the number of presents under the tree, guess what! If somebody in the family needed socks in December, I bought them socks and wrapped them in Christmas paper—adding another present under the tree.

The Preacher once owned a couple dozen dress socks—all stacked neatly and arranged by color in his top dresser drawer. But close to 10 pairs of those dress socks had never been worn (and would remain unworn, he told me).

The white elephant gift exchange at our adult Christmas party turned out to be the perfect opportunity for getting rid of the socks. I could clear out his drawer and expand another man’s wardrobe. Great idea! Right?

Wrong! After the party the lucky guy who opened the box of socks went around the room stuffing the pairs into other people’s purses, tote bags and coat pockets! He wasn’t interested in socks, either.

What men do love getting for Christmas is tools… like a cordless drill—even if they already own one… or two… or twelve. To the male mind, adding to the ever increasing, legion of cordless drills by buying him one more is way better than buying him something warm and practical. Like socks.

(Don’t ask me why. I still can’t figure it out.)

Must be a guy thing, owning a garage or shed full of tools for their relatives and friends to borrow…

Finally, after 34 years of wedded bliss and so much grumbling about socks, I’ve decided not to buy socks for the men in our home.

Not this year. Not any year.

No more (manly) socks underneath the Christmas tree. No more t-shirts. No more boxers. And definitely no bathrobes.

(The 17-year-old still counts the presents, though… and this year her socks have polka-dots!)

As for the Preacher, I wrapped cookies and coffee and books and movies and a new shirt and a gift card.

To LOWE’s.

For another cordless drill.