Like many couples, we pool our money into shared accounts. That pretty much ruins the element of surprise when giving big-ticket items, as I discovered the first Christmas we were married, when I used our debit card to buy Alejandro a flat-screen television. I was so excited: This was going to be the best gift ever, I thought.
A couple of days later, I got a call from Alejandro at work.
“You got us a new TV!” he said giddily. He had seen the deduction on our banking statement and figured it out. The suspense was so thoroughly quashed, we unwrapped the set a week before Christmas. It has been the same story ever since.