People freak out about gift-giving, particularly when it comes to that special someone. So, just in time to help you out, here are the Dating Diva’s top tips for that clueless bunch of you who need to find, wrap, and gift, stat.
1. Do stay calm. Remember that the holidays are a time for bells and lights and all things joyous. This includes you. Finding the right gift for someone is really not something to get worked up over.
2. Don’t complain about the difficult search to your single friend. She/he might offer up a few suggestions half-heartedly, but will quickly become resentful. Every time you want to complain, instead comfort yourself with the thought that, unlike her and most of the single people in New York, you have someone in your life to buy a gift for.
3. Do join forces with a friend of the opposite sex who is also shopping for their significant other. Then, as you shop, you can bounce potential gift ideas off of your friend. He, or she, can quickly eliminate the presents that are not going to work.
And, if you are thinking of buying that person any form of clothing, take a friend with you who has a similar build as the person you are dating; they can then try on for size and model the options for you (WARNING: this does not include lingerie). Remember, things look way different on a person than they do on a hanger.
4. Don’t ask the salesperson for advice, unless it is a yes or no question. Many salespeople only get paid from commission. This is why when you pick up a fifty dollar lingerie set, or cologne, and ask their advice on it, they come back with one that is twice or even three times as much. Christmas season and gullible holiday shoppers = more money in their pockets.
5. Don’t think that the most expensive gift is the best gift. If there is any “best” gift, it is the most thoughtful one, not the most expensive.
That being said, if you do find something insanely expensive that you know they will love, do write down the model/style number and look for it online- you can almost always find it cheaper.
6. Do think about buying several small gifts instead of one big one, and putting them together in a neat way. Three gifts indicate that you thought about that person three times as much.
7. Do invest in beautiful wrapping paper and ribbons; or if you are bad at wrapping, invest in a lovely girl raising money for charity who has set up a wrapping stand. Presentation is, if not everything, pretty darned important.
8. Do ask your significant other what he or she wants this holiday season. And listen! Although what they list aren’t your only options, they give you a better idea of the types of things they are thinking about, and possible last resorts if you can’t find anything good on your own.
9. Do ask their family for advice, particularly a sister or brother. Someone good to ask is also one of their close friends.
10. Do take the time to write or pick out a thoughtful card. A good card can be the make or break on an iffy gift.
11. Do think customized gifts. Customized gifts make someone feel special, whereas generic gifts make someone feel like they may as well be the mailman or a teacher.
12. Do look for presents you can’t get just anywhere. Boutiques and open-air markets are great places to look for unique presents.
13. Do use your skill set. If you are a poet, write a romantic poem, put it on parchment, and frame it. If you are a musician, compose a song and record it. Convinced you aren’t creative? Trust me, you can be. Just think hard.
14. Don’t get them a pet unless you know for sure that they want one. Pets are huge commitments, and there is nothing worse than having to return a tiny puppy. Not good.
15. Do look around their home the next time you are there, particularly their room (no, this does not mean snooping through their underwear drawer). Are the paintings on the walls colorful or black and white? Are there posters in different languages? What languages? Is there a particular celebrity or band around? Look also at the colors and the complexity level of their home- this tells you whether they prefer an ornate present or one stunning in its simplicity.
16. Do accompany them the next time they say they are going shopping (however painful this may be for you)and take notice of the types of things they pick out or admire. This can be really helpful.
17. Do send them a carefree, funny online holiday card, no matter what you end up getting them. There is nothing that brightens up a work day like a frog in a Santa suit (or better yet, Moses in a Santa suit) hopping around the computer screen of your cubicle, rapping Hanukkah carols.
18. Do start keeping an eye out now. The best presents may pop up when and where you least expect them.
19. Do expand your gift list. If you are close with their family, send their family a holiday card or get them a small gift. Also, if they have a sibling under 13, buy them some type of gift as well. This will show that you are not only thoughtful, but generous and caring (WARNING: do not do this unless you are prepared to have them fall in love with you).
20. Do trust your instincts. You will know when you find the right gift. Instead of second guessing yourself, just buy it. And if they don’t like it, then they are not the person for you anyways. That old cliche is true, “A gift isn’t really about the gift, it’s about the person who is giving it.” So stay awesome and don’t sweat it.
For great, economical gift ideas, read “Gifts that Won’t Break Your Budget.”
Still looking for that special someone? Don’t worry, there’s still time. Look on Meezoog now to find love this holiday season.