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Buy Your Wife a Vacuum Cleaner for Christmas

Give your wife the gift of time...to do other chores around the house.

I bought my wife a vacuum cleaner for Christmas this year. I’ve been warned many times that this is not an appropriate gift. I disagree.

From the dawn of the electrical appliance era and even from the dawn of time, people have been fanatically searching for ways to make their lives easier. With each new invention, people labor less and consequently have more leisure time. In times past, the search for more leisure time was concentrated in two major areas: the workshop and the kitchen. With each new invention, additional leisure minutes were harvested. With each minute saved, both men and women rejoiced because they could spend more time with their families and on their individual pursuits. Life was good and getting better.

Look back at advertisements in newspapers and magazines at the turn of the last century. Nestled under Christmas trees were electric toasters, coffee percolators, and, yes, vacuum cleaners. The woman portrayed receiving these gifts was wild with excitement. Only loving husbands would be thoughtful enough to give their wives the gift of time. Life was good and life together was better.

I always ask my wife around her birthday and at Christmas time what type of present she wants. Her reply befuddled me. She always said, “If you love me, you will know what I want for my birthday and for Christmas.”

This year, I took her advice. I watched her carefully and noticed that she was struggling with the old vacuum cleaner as she pushed and pulled it around the living room. Lately, she has been vacuuming while I watch football games. I thought she was doing this to catch my attention. It’s kind of like leaving an open catalog on the kitchen table with items circled in red marker. After three decades of marriage, I finally get it.

I spent the better part of an hour looking at the newest vacuum cleaners. I selected the one with all the bells and whistles; my wife deserves the best. This machine can swivel 360 degrees. It's self-propelled. It’s got every attachment imaginable. It automatically adjusts from carpet, to wood, to tile floors. It’s a real time saver. The minutes she saves will allow her to spend more time cleaning clothes, ironing, and washing dishes.

I stumbled onto the secret to a happy marriage and, as a bonus, I have gift-giving ideas for years to come. What a relief. Maybe I should cut some wood in the kitchen with an old hand saw to give her a hint that I want a new circular saw for Christmas. I would be ecstatic if I found one under the Christmas tree this year. I can’t wait to see the look on my wife's face when she opens her present on Christmas morning. My advice to husbands: If you want to lead a happy life, buy your wife a vacuum cleaner for Christmas.

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