Brian's wife wants a DSLR for Christmas. Leo says that sensor size drives what camera he'll really want to get. The bigger the sensor, the more expensive it will be. And it will tend to be bigger and heavier. Leo has a Canon 5D Mk. II that he rarely uses because it's so heavy. That's why he likes mirrorless and micro four thirds cameras. They are every bit as good, but they don't have a prism or mirror. They are lighter and simpler.
The Sony α7s is a full frame mirrorless camera that's fantastic. But it's out of Brian's set budget.
Next comes lenses. Many prices are just the body or come with a "kit lens," that's good to start out with. Usually a 24-105mm. Brian's wife will want to start posting images on Flickr or other sites that allow for user comments so she can learn how to get better. Always ask: how do I make this image technically better? Play with the settings, and learn the camera.