Next to Valentine’s Day, one of the most significant holidays for couples would be Christmas. There’s just something warm and fuzzy about Christmas that sends everyone into a tizzy. Unfortunately, this means it’s also time to rack your brains and come up with a gift! A proper one, of course, that isn’t cheap, tacky, or too cheesy.
Buying gifts would be so much easier if you could let the recipient just go ahead and choose it. But part of the fun in Christmas’ gift giving tradition is the surprise that comes with it. For most people, this means you’ll actually have to take time and think about what you’re going to give. No generic “scented candles or picture frames” here, unless you want to spend New Year’s Eve as a single man.
No, the key to gift-giving isn’t the gift itself, but the effort you put in. Recipients know whether or not the gift they received is sincere. As trite as the cliché may be, it’s true that “it’s the thought that counts”.
For the people out there who still have no idea what to get your girlfriend, here are a few reminders and guidelines that should help you out:
1. Be practical. What are things that she can use often? If she’s a runner, get her a pedometer. If she likes to cook, get her additional cookware sets or even that hard-to-find cookbook written by a celebrity chef. The point is that you should take into consideration her lifestyle, her hobbies, and her personality when choosing a gift. As pretty as decorative items may be, they’re not always the best gifts, and could even be misconstrued as an attempt at generic gift giving.
2. Avoid generic gifts. Stuffed toys are the worst, followed by scented candles. Unless your girlfriend actually collects stuffed animals and scented candles, giving these generic gifts might communicate the message that you can’t be bothered to take time and think about what to get her.
3. Don’t give cash. Yes, it’s easier than actually having to think of something, but it’s also tacky and lazy. If you really must, get her gift cards for her favorite bookstore or clothing shop.
4. It’s not always about the price tag. In fact, it would be insulting to assume that expensive gifts are the be all and end all of relationship gift giving. Simple gestures can be even more touching, as long as they are genuine and heartfelt. Contrary to what media often depicts, a personalized card would actually be a welcome gift for your girlfriend. Just make sure that your personalized card actually contains your sincere message, and not just a trite “happy holidays”. Plus, personalizing a Christmas greeting card means you’ve put more effort and time into it.
5. Jewelry can be misunderstood. It’s a given that most women might assign meaning to your decision to give expensive gifts, especially jewelry. If you’re not ready, don’t buy her a pair of diamond earrings unless you want to send the wrong signals.