Make this Year’s Gift Giving Stress-Free and Fun!
You’ve just starting dating someone that you really like and now the Holidays are in full swing. You know you’ve got to get them some sort of present for the gift exchange, but what? You don’t want your gift to be too big and scare your new guy/gal away or too small and insignificant that it makes you look like you haven’t put any effort into it. There has to be a delicate balance. So to help you out, here are some gift ideas that we feel are appropriate, as well as which ones to avoid:
Gifts that are Appropriate
Scarves, gloves, hats — basically items that are one size fits all. Plus its winter here, so any item that will keep us warm will be useful. Other suggests: For guys – If they are into sports, get them their favorite team’s jersey and/or any other sports related items. For women – we can always use another silk scarf or a small fancy purse to accessorize our wardrobe. Also, fragrances are always great gifts and during the holiday season, all of the department stores sell fragrance Xmas gift boxes that include the perfume, shower/shave gel, and body lotion. Just make sure you know what your guy/gal likes before you purchase anything!
Consider the following: There’s a book she’s always wanted to read but never got around to it or there’s a new book from an author he’s said is his favorite. That’s when a book is a good gift. It shows you’ve been listening and take interest in their life and it’s something you know they’ll like.
This mainly applies as a gift idea for the ladies. Costume jewelry is an acceptable gift. It’s whimsical and light-hearted. Go into any hip fashion boutique and they usually have on display costume jewelry that’s hot this season. Pick up a couple bangles with different colored stones in them or a stylish necklace with colors you know she’ll like. Go for it! Just make sure you have a pretty good idea of her fashion sense and taste.
4). Hobby-related gifts
If your new partner has talked enthusiastically about a certain hobby they love, then take notice and purchase something that can be used towards this hobby. If they are into ethnic cooking, look into purchasing some spices, recipe books and/or cook ware that will enhance this cooking. If they are into drawing or painting, maybe purchasing some new brushes or sketch pads, smocks, whatever. Anything that will show you’ve listened to what interests them and have paid attention to what they enjoy doing.
Gifts to Avoid
1). Don’t buy anything too expensive.
For a new relationship, it’s best not to spend more than $30 to $50. Anything over that price might make your new guy/girlfriend feel like you’re taking the relationship too seriously, too fast. Plus, if your partner has gotten you something less lavish, it will make for an awkward situation.
2). Stay away from cheap gifts that are small/simple.
On the other end of the spectrum, don’t get a gift that is too small. While you don’t want to overspend, you also don’t want the gift to be something too generic. The key is to show that you’ve enjoyed the time you’ve spent so far, have listened and learned a bit about them and would like to continue down that road.
3). Stay away from gifts that are too personal.
It’s not a good idea to give something that injects yourself into your new guy/girlfriend’s life too fast. You have to let the other person open up their life to you at their own pace. Getting too intense, too quickly is a sure-fire way to creep her/him out.
4). Avoid gifts that can send the wrong message.
This is straightforward enough. If you can imagine your new guy/girlfriend reading too much into something or interpreting the meaning of an item in a different way than you intended, leave it at the store and walk away.
5). Avoid gifts that are too impersonal.
Gift cards are the worst! Don’t get me wrong, gift cards are appreciated in general, (heck, my own sister requests that I give her one every year as her gift, and I ask for one in return) but for a new relationship? No way! They are too impersonal and show you haven’t put any effort into the gift. I mean, if you can pick up a few at the checkout counter at the supermarket (like gift cards for Itunes, Century 21, TJMaxx etc.), don’t you think your new love will notice that you didn’t put much thought into their gift? Just avoid gifts cards, please!
(Updated on December 17, 2015)
It’s that time of year again when we are celebrating the holidays. But when you’re presently dating someone new, or the relationship is just starting to take hold, how do you handle certain issues when it comes to gifts, family, etc.? At Premier Match we are often coaching clients on these “dilemmas” and would like to share a few of them with you, along with a few resolutions on how to make the holidays the best they can be with your new love.
So, how do you handle:
With holiday dating, the issue of whether or not to exchange gifts can be confusing. If you’re dating casually, you shouldn’t feel obligated to give a gift just because it’s the holidays. However, if you feel you would like to give your date something thoughtful, keep it inexpensive but something they would appreciate. It’s good to pay attention to what s/he likes so that they will know you care and that you put some thought into your gift: perhaps a book on a special topic that was discussed or a bottle of scotch that was tasted and enjoyed. Another great gift idea is pre-arranging a future date together– whether it be tickets to a play or ball game or an evening of skating in the park. Remember, certain gifts are going to imply certain intentions. Giving your gal lingerie will certainly hint at the idea that you’re looking for a more sexual relationship, which may be great or awkward. Be careful about splurging for gifts dealing with grooming or exercise as they may backfire and cause your date to believe that you are dissatisfied with the way they look and want to change them.
When contemplating inviting a date to a family gathering, first consider whether an extra guest is welcome. Is there room at the dinner table and will your family feel comfortable with a virtual stranger joining them? The nature of the gathering can also determine the appropriateness of inviting someone special. If it’s a cocktail party with extended family and close friends, then a date will be appropriate. However, if it’s an intimate gift exchange amongst siblings then perhaps inviting your friend later would be a better bet. Consider your date’s feelings too. Will s/he feel comfortable with off-key family Christmas caroling or being asked by your nosy aunt when you two will be getting married because you “look so adorable together.”
The Office Party
With dinner, drinks, and dancing, why not bring along someone to share in the fun? Having a date can also prevent a potentially embarrassing interoffice hook-up. However, turning an office party into an opportunity for holiday dating presents a few concerns similar to family gatherings. Are dates welcome at the event? If your company is budget-conscious, they may not allow dates to come. Will your date enjoy spending time with your co-workers? Since you’re the only one s/he knows, it’s especially important to make sure you don’t abandon your date during the evening.
If you’re seeing someone that has a different religious belief, holiday dating can highlight conflicts in your spiritual thought process/beliefs. The key to avoiding problems is to be open and honest about your comfort level at all times. Don’t feel obligated to go to your date’s house of worship if you feel uncomfortable partaking in the religious rituals. As long as you are open and communicate your concerns you both can have a better time getting through the holiday season. It may also allow you the opportunity to see if you are both compatible in this area and if your relationship has the potential to last.
Work, Work and More Work
If you find that the case you are working on or the budget deal is cutting into your personal life, hopefully you can steal away and attend at least one gathering that will be meaningful this holiday season. A lot of busy professionals find themselves working against the clock to finish projects before the clock strikes twelve on New Year’s and we are now into another tax year. Try to pace it, get your sleep but find some balance between work and play–it’s important for your mental sanity as well as your emotional well-being.
Here are 10 Creative Ways you can Express Your Love—This Valentine’s Day….
· Create your own Valentine’s Day card. Be creative and compose a poem or an expression of love that states your feelings. S/He will be emotionally touched by this. Follow it up with popping open a great bottle of wine or champagne!
· Make a CD of your favorite songs as a couple including love songs that have meaning to you both. Buy some romantic CDs, classic videos or DVDs and wrap them all together with red ribbon.
· Create a Video reel of live footage and still photography and add your favorite songs. You can create a simple video by purchasing video editor software on to your computer. With today’s technology this is easy and cheap to do.
· If video editing is too complicated, than buy an Electronic Picture Frame and put your best photos as a couple in to it. This is a perfect gift to remind your beloved that they are special.
· Jewelry is always a favorite. Custom engrave selected items: For the Lady in your life ~ buy a heart-shaped locket and put your picture in it. Personalize the locket with your loved one’s initials so she’ll have something to wear that’s hers alone. For the man in your life ~ a good choice is the classic sterling silver bill holder, card case or cuff links with his initials custom-engraved.
· Prepare your loved one’s favorite dinner and serve it on a romantically set table and dine by candlelight on Valentine’s Day. For the sweetheart with a sweet tooth, make a decadent dessert such as a chocolate fondue with melted chocolate mixed with a touch of heavy cream, and serve it with fruit or cookies.
· Give the love of your life a personalized gift for his/her favorite sport, (if s/he has a passion for it). Order personalized golf or tennis balls that say, “I love you,” “You’re a hit!” or “Be mine.” Other ideas are monogrammed workout towels, tote bags, yoga mats, etc.
· Create a “recollection collection” filled with love letters, keepsakes from special occasions, and cherished mementos. You can buy a simple plastic box and place these favorite items in this container. And more importantly you can add more items as your relationship grows over time.
· Make a Love Basket filled with items that cover all the senses: Sight, Hearing, Taste, Touch, and Smell. Be creative with each gift that fits each category (i.e. a sexy picture of yourself for Sight, delectable sweets for Taste, their favorite fragrance for Smell, etc).
· The gift of togetherness is precious, given today’s busy lifestyles. Plan a romantic, surprise weekend travel getaway. Whether it be a cozy Inn by the ocean or a little cabin in the woods. Make it romantic! How booking a day at the spa? Schedule dual massages and a day to relax and enjoy each other.
So you’ve been in that bright, shiny new relationship for a few months now. You love the one you’re with and have finally asked him or her to … MEET THE PARENTS. The holidays are the perfect time to take that plunge and bring a date to your Thanksgiving get-together.
We all know that first meeting with the family can be awkward. Not only is your date meeting your parents for the first time, they’re likely to meet aunts and uncles. Let’s face it, aunts and uncles can ask some pretty embarrassing questions and/or tell stories about your past relationships that went awry.
If this is your first holiday together with each other’s families, we have some tips to make it a little less awkward:
- If you’re the host family: Tell your mother, or any other relatives most likely to give the third-degree, to take it easy on your date. Nothing is more embarrassing than your mother or father asking your date 20 questions about things you could clue them in on later.
- Tell your family not to bring up your past loves or any stories that could incriminate you. Once you’ve been with someone long enough, those stories surface on their own. They’re yours to tell in your own time.
- Do mingle if you find yourself in a snoozer of a conversation or in one that you feel will get confrontational. Simply say, “Excuse me, I’m going to see if the hostess needs some help,” and then get up and move on.
- If you’re not the host family: Bring a hostess gift. This gift is for the woman of the house who does the cooking. Do not show up empty-handed. A bottle of wine or flowers can go a long way, not to mention score you some brownie points.
- If you really want brownie points: Send a thank you note. A simple note that says, “Thank you for the lovely evening. Everything was so perfect — from the food to the flowers to the company. I had a wonderful time. Thank you for your hospitality.”