The "Half a couple" Christmas Gift

Okay…so here’s the dilemma. My husband has a friend who spends tons of time helping Mr. K with the hot rod and various household “manly” tasks. Mr. K likes to give him a nice Christmas gift each year in appreciation of all he does.

The problem is the friend’s wife. Over the years, we’ve been not-so-friendly, then pretty friendly, then back down again. She’s rude, crass, and obnoxious toward my husband. And I’m by no means crazy about her, but she’s our friend’s wife and for the purpose of gift-giving, I think that counts for something, etiquette-wise.

Mr. K has tolerated her in the past, but really doesn’t care for her anymore. We’ve exchanged gifts with them in the past. They’ve given both of us nice gifts. He wants to give his buddy a gift and nothing for the wife this year. I told him I didn’t think that was cool, so he said we can give her a token $20 - $25 gift.

I’m bothered by the situation and wonder what you all might think. Any solutions?

Just give her a really nice card and write in it, We would have given you a gift but you’re such an asshole. Merry Christmas.

Heh-heh. Mr. K thought that was a good idea!

Give a gift that’s nominally for both of them but is something in which she has no interest. Power tools, or a video game only he’s interested in.

You could buy gifts that go together.

For him, a nice cat-o-nine tails.

For her, a rubber ball gag.

Seriously, you should get her something. perhaps some nice consumables. A bottle of wine, a Hickory Farms beef stick or something like that.

In this case, you’d do well to give her something. You may not care about making peace with her, but I’d suppose you don’t want to disturb the piece further.

My suggestion: Make her gift something modest that both of them can use or something for the house.

Make his gift something really great just for him.

Like give her a cozy afghan and give him the new Super-Mega-Power-Roto-Tool.

In my opinion, sending any sort of message of disapproval of her behavior or personality would be horrendously crass - whether it’s by giving no gift at all, or giving her a gift clearly inferior to the one that you give him. And if her husband is any sort of decent husband, he’ll probably be pissed that you treated his wife that way.

I’d say give them a gift certificate to a nice restaurant. There’s one gift, and you’re not snubbing anyone in the process. Honestly, no good can come of giving her a token gift, unless the possibility of having *two *less people to buy for next year is considered a benefit.

I’d go this route. Get them a “couples” gift, and make it a nice one.

I like this idea. You’d be giving your husband’s friend a nice gift without snubbing his wife or risking the friendship.

I suggested the “couple gift” but my husband feels he should give something more personal to his friend. I told him it is starting to look like a gift from a boss to an employee, and that’s not good either. (He always says, “Thanks for all the help this year.”)

I, of course, feel he’s wrong. It IS a slap in the face of his friend to slight his wife (even though this guy bad raps her constantly). I just feel it’s bad form.

Then how about a nice couple gift, plus a small personal gift for the friend? I don’t think anyone would feel slighted by that.

That’s a good idea. I’ll put that on the table and see if he likes it. Thanks!

Maybe a nice restaurant that happens to specialise in food that Mrs whatsit doesn’t like. :smiley:
(OK, I’m scurrying off to the bad corner now. Muttering “bah, humbug” as I go.)

That’s what birthdays are for. I’d get them the couples gift for Christmas, and your husband can buy his friend a more personal gift on his birthday.

This is the best idea…she should be able to understand this.

I would also be gracious and generous, because your hubby’s friend is helping him out with his hobbies, etc., instead of working on things around his own home. No wonder his wife is mercurial – personality aside, she probably resents all the time her husband spends at your place.

Does Mr. K. ever help out at his friend’s place? Do you two ever invite his wife over for, say, dinner and a movie?

Yes, Mr. K helps out over there whenever asked. His wife is a bitch and makes it known she’s proud of it :rolleyes: . We don’t go out to dinner because she is embarrassing. She’s rude to waitstaff, has bad table manners, and her husband doesn’t like her very much. We’ve gone there for picnics a number of times, but there’s always a crowd so it isn’t as painful as the one-on-one dinner situation.

And I’m sure she resents the time her husband spends here, but he prefers to be away when she’s home. It’s a weird relationship. What can I say?