Two-thirds of women want nothing more than to be surprised this Christmas but one in five will choose their own gift

Inga Norvilyte

Inga Norvilyte

Nothing Secret about Santa

The element of surprise is top of the Christmas wish list for two-thirds of Northern Irish women as a new survey confirms too many men sadly play it safe when it comes to Christmas gifts

Out of fear of getting it wrong, one in five men now ask their partner directly what they want but instead of pleasing their wives or girlfriends, it’s having the opposite effect. It’s like knowing how your favourite TV series will end, the excitement and anticipation is gone. Women are left them feeling disappointed by the lack of imagination and the fact they have essentially chosen their own gift.

In fact, only eight per cent of men dare to risk it by surprising their partner with a thoughtful, personal-to-them gift

Research by Midas Jewellers showed that women try to set a ‘surprise’ precedent in their relationships by leading by example, with almost 40 per cent of the fairer sex choosing to pick up on information over the year, bank it and then spend a few weeks pulling together the perfect present for their significant other.

It’s perhaps no surprise that men can source and purchase a gift in less than two hours, given the direction and precision of their shopping expedition.

Jim Conlon, proprietor at Midas Jewellers, said: “We’ve begun to notice a real nostalgia among our female customers for a simpler time where gifts were real surprises and thought and care was put into getting something special for the special person in your life.

“Women have long been able to buy themselves the things they want and need and so, for occasions such as Christmas and birthdays, they’re now more of the persuasion that it really is ‘the thought’ that counts – for many, they want to see that their partner knows them and can buy a gift accordingly.”

Backing this observation up, the research also showed that 50 per cent of women will buy themselves a treat while out and about Christmas shopping; proving that they tick their own wish lists regularly – even more reason why a partner’s gift should be a surprise rather than a request.

Men secure their place on the ‘naughty’ list, as it is revealed women spend more on gifts, with the majority spending £150, whilst a third of men spend £50-£100. For women, the guarantee of getting a quality product would encourage them to splurge that little bit further for a partner’s gift whereas men have a set price in mind and stick to it.

Jim continued: “As a retailer (and a husband myself) I know it can be daunting for men to come in to stores and browse, when they’re programmed to collect as directed. We try and work closely with any men who come into store to draw out what their partner likes and the jewellery she already wears so we can begin to shape a picture of who she is and what would really make her smile this Christmas.”