Some holiday gifts are easy. A bottle of perfume for mom. Coffee table books about history or animals for dad. A nice bottle of scotch for Uncle Frank. Old Saint Nick couldn’t be more efficient!
But partners and lovers are trickier to buy for – you want to wow them without necessarily going into credit card debt and after a while, the same old gifts lose their lustre. You know for a fact she doesn’t want another sweater (because she told you). And he hasn’t yet worn the necktie you bought him last year, even though he says he loves it.
Whether you’ve been dating for a short time or you’ve been married for decades, it’s time to think outside of the gift box.
First, take into account your budget and personal gift-giving style. The best gifts aren’t necessarily the most expensive ones, but those that reflect the interests and tastes of your partner in a thoughtful or interesting way. Giving them a gift that is personal and meaningful lets them know you’ve been paying attention.
Mad Men siren Christina Hendricks told Esquire in an interview last year about the gift that helped her husband win her heart.
“When I first started dating my husband, I had this weird fascination with the circus and clowns and old carnival things and sideshow freaks and all that.
“About a month after we started dating, he bought me this amazing black-and-white photo book on the circus in the 1930s, and I started sobbing. Which freaked him out,” Hendricks told the magazine. “I thought, ‘Oh, my God, I mentioned this three or four weeks ago and talked about it briefly, but he was really listening to me.’ And he actually went out and researched and found this thing for me. It was amazing.”
If the love of your life is a foodie, taking them out to dinner is a nice, if somewhat forgettable gesture. Consider making a romantic and elaborate four-course meal as your gift.
Another route to take is to buy them some spices they don’t yet have on hand and gather together recipes featuring each spice for the two of you to try to make together. If you’re a bit of a dud in the kitchen, consider a couples cooking class as your gift.
If you’re head-over-heels with a cinephile, instead of getting them the usual box set of DVDs, tickets to an interesting documentary or to a speaking engagement featuring one of their favourite film directors would not soon be forgotten.
If your lover is a huge music fan or a sports fiend, tickets to a concert or big game will have you in their good books forever.
And speaking of books, they’re a popular holiday gift to be sure, but if you can find a particular book that has meaning – such as a beautiful collector’s edition of their favourite childhood storybook or a lovingly inscribed book of poems – they’ll cherish the book and their memory of your giving it for a very long time to come.
For those with tighter budgets, hand-made gifts that take more time, effort and thought than store-bought ones are always appreciated. Knitting your new guy or girl a simple scarf or making them a well-thought-out mix CD of music make for surprisingly intimate gifts.
Generic gifts work great for some, but when it comes to the person you love, put some time and thought into making this year’s gift great.
Sexy Typewriter blogs about her dating failures – online and otherwise – at Ssexytypewriter.com.