It’s that time of year again. Carols are in full force on the radio, office parties are filling up your calendar, and shopping centers are brimming to capacity. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, exchanging gifts this time of year is still a nice opportunity to do something special for someone you care about. Gift-giving with someone you are dating, however, often becomes challenging and stressful, especially when we want to find that one perfect item. What gift is too much? Too little? Should we exchange gifts at all? Fret not, gentle reader. We at GDG have you covered with gift-giving tips that apply not only to the holidays, but birthdays as well!
To gift or not to gift?
The first question you must ask yourself is whether or not you want to exchange gifts in the first place. While you may exchange Christmas presents, it may not be something the person you are dating usually does or enjoys. Discussing what you usually do for the holidays is a good way to not only find out if your date usually exchanges gifts, but also a great opportunity to swap holiday memories. Debate real versus faux trees, and find out whose parents kept up the better Santa rouse!
If you ascertain that your paramour indeed does like exchanging gifts, you have to consider whether or not you’ve reached the point in the relationship where you want to be exchanging them. Gift-giving too early on can be awkward, even if you do love buying presents. After only a few dates, gifts aren’t really necessary. If it’s been a few dates and you really feel it’s important, something like a nice card or some homemade cookies are good ways to play Santa without appearing too assumptive. Whatever you decide, gifts early in the dating process shouldn’t be too expensive or too elaborate.
It is when you have gone beyond a few dates that things get trickier. If you’ve established you both exchange gifts and have been going out for some time, you may want to know whether you should begin racking your brain for something good. The best solution in this case is the simplest: just ask. Deciding together whether you’d like to exchange gifts prevents the awkward situation of only one of you showing up with one. Some people find it helpful to set a price limit as well, as it can be even more uncomfortable if you gift a paperback and get a piece of jewelry.
Now comes the fun part. No, really! Gift-giving can be a lot of fun and an excellent exercise in learning about the someone special in your life.
The first step is to find out what types of gifts the person in question likes to receive. Some people love frivolous and fun gifts, while others are more appreciative of something practical. In either case, it really is the thought that counts. Putting effort into a gift means getting something you genuinely think the giftee will like and use. A wise wizard once said, “One can never have enough socks,” and if your ultra-practical giftee feels the same, they’ll appreciate the extra effort you put in getting them D20 or TARDIS foot gear. Alternately, if your companion has more fanciful tastes, try thinking of ways to combine their likes. Do they love tea and Star Wars? A stormtrooper tea pot may tickle their fancy . A quick search of a product and a fandom or interest on etsy or Google will often yield great gift ideas. Just remember to order early if you can’t buy what you find in stores! If all else fails, ask (or check Amazon) to see if your mate has a wish list. They’re often great sources of inspiration, even if you don’t want to get something directly off of it.
Here’s hoping we’ve eased some of the holiday stress for you this winter! What gifts will be at the top of your geeky wish lists this year?