I have a low-stakes, probably silly problem. My wife and I (both women) are very happy together, and our anniversary is coming up. I want to get her something special but am incredibly stressed about finding her a gift. My wife is amazing at gift-giving. She’s an artist and often puts a lot of time into creating beautiful things for people. Sometimes her gifts aren’t homemade, but even the store-bought ones are carefully selected (plus she’s quite generous). I don’t have a talent for making or painting things, but I’ve tried having craftspeople hand-make personalized gifts for her in the past, like jewelry boxes. But I don’t have the same knack, and it always looks like I’ve made less of an effort for her than she has for me.
For example: Last year, I bought her a necklace. She got me an antique guitar that she’d restored and decorated herself (I’m a musician). She seems to genuinely like the necklace (it was expensive, and I’d really tried to find a unique design for her), but it was clear my gift had required much less effort and time than hers and I felt really guilty. In previous years she’s given me: an oil painting of my favorite view, a ring she designed herself, and a jewelry box she made from scratch. Meanwhile I have given her: jewelry, clothes, books, ornaments. Again, she has always seemed to like them, but they are clearly the less exciting and thoughtful gifts. I had been planning to get her concert tickets this year to try to up my game, but that obviously isn’t happening with COVID. Can you advise me on what to do? I’ve been stressed for ages and trying desperately to think of something as amazing and personal as the things she gets me, but already feel guilty knowing that she’ll get me something better.