Home > Uncategorized > It’s the Thought that Counts… Kinda

It’s the Thought that Counts… Kinda

It’s that time of year again.  Those who are dating are under pressure to pick the perfect gifts for their significant others.  They know that no other gift will be as analyzed and scrutinized as the one that comes from the love interest.  Where did he get it?  What does it mean?  How much did he spend? 

Everyone is feeling the stress.  Couples that have been down this road before either feel pressed to outdo the last gift, or compelled to redeem themselves for it; but it’s the new couple exchanging gifts for the first time that is under the most pressure of all.  Not only do they want to make a good impression with their selections, but they also have the added burden of making sure their gifts are “equally yoked,” so to speak.  There is nothing worse than the letdown one feels after coming up with the perfect gift idea, spending hours scouring the malls, braving the traffic and crowds to find it, proudly handing it to him, squealing with excitement as he unwraps it… all for him to hand you… a Dustbuster… “because you’re clumsy and you spill stuff.”  Or, just as bad, what if you’re sitting there, ready to hand him his underwear and socks, and he hands you… a Tiffany box? 

Well don’t panic, there are some simple tricks to resolve all the madness that comes along with selecting the perfect gift and to make sure that you don’t under or overdo it.   

First, remember that if this is your first gift exchange, it really shouldn’t be too extravagant – but it should be heavy on the thoughtfulness.

Second, don’t get anything that you are not interested in yourself; and if you do, make sure it is transferable and/or refundable.  Not cool to make reservations and buy tickets to go see his favorite team play a home game, and you get… a wallet with a built-in calculator.

Third, get a gift that can be given in two or more parts.  This is a great way to give something modest, get your gift, and decide whether to leave it at that, or say, “But wait, there’s more!”  He loves wine? Get him a great red that you’ve heard about, with a stopper or a corkscrew, and some pretty glasses.  If he hands you that gorgeous bracelet you were eyeing in the jewelry store window, that’s the time to tell him that you also set up a tour through wine country; if he gets you jumper cables  or a shovel?  You can easily take a girlfriend. 

Fourth, stay away from gift cards, or donations to charities, or anything that shows exactly what you’re spending.  a) it’s not very imaginative and b) if you spend way more, or way less than he did, there could be hard feelings.

The bottom line is that with any gift exchange it’s really all about listening, as opposed to spending.  If he’s told you he really wants to get back into writing, maybe you can get him a nice leatherbound journal with a beautiful, engraved pen.  He’s expressed an interest in photography? Then maybe you can get him a handsome portfolio to store his shots.  It doesn’t matter if this is gift #1 or 101, if you put some thought into it, you really can’t go wrong.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. PHILLYGYRL
    December 24, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Happy Holidays to you! I bought gift cards for my sisters but for my nieces and nephew, I’m giving money.

  2. December 24, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Happy Holidays back at you!!! I’m giving some special gifts to a select few and I’m done. And I’ll probably do something for my 3,000 Godchildren. But other than that, I’m over shopping for gifts and all that. =((( Bah Humbug. LOL

    • PHILLYGYRL
      December 26, 2009 at 11:02 am

      hahaha!! 3,000 godchildren! lol! I think teens should get gift cards or money.

  3. December 24, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    After being married 23 years, we’re both long past giving material gifts to one another, esp. at Christmas. I want to buy her a trip, but our finances aren’t supporting such a purchase. May your Christmas be a great one.

    • December 27, 2009 at 11:24 pm

      Hmm… I hope any husband I have doesn’t “get over” purchasing me material gifts for my birthday or Christmas!!! Over the years, there were no gifts I anticipated receiving (or giving) more than the ones from (to) my spouse or significant other!!! =)

  4. December 28, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    To each couple their own, I guess.

  5. K.I.M.
    December 29, 2009 at 10:31 am

    I’m quite the scrouge this time of year. I like the whole family/togetherness aspect, but the entire point of Chistmas has been missed upon me. At best, when I have kids we will take 8 days and do something for loved ones that demonstrates the 8 Beattitudes (Matthew 5). I don’t know that I want them believing in Santa (an overweight Turkish dude who flies in the sky and comes down chimneys? No thanks!) even if it is a mystical fantasy that enriches childhood. I say that now, but may change my tune after a few hours of labor.

    My best gift this Christmas was 3 cookies from my Alma Mater (my sister attends the school now and we have fallen helplessly in love with the Oatmeal Raisin cookies made by the school). She also bought me Thomas Friedman’s, “The World is Flat.” At most the gift cost $22 bucks and I couldn’t have been happier.

    I made my mother return the Garmin and instead donate the $ to my favorite nonprofit. I don’t feel right having a redundant gift (I have free google maps on my phone) when I’ve witnessed abused women who simply need diapers for their children.

    I find Christmas to be more about pagan/secular rituals (Santa, trees, caroling, decorations, gifts) than it is about the lil baby born in a manger.

  6. December 29, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    @ K.I.M.,

    We stopped doing the tree/decorations thing some years back. (The last tree we put up was a foot-high fiber optic thing.)

    We haven’t totally stopped the gift thing; we at least try to ensure the kids and nephews get something even if it’s just cash. (I admit I look forward each year to getting that $50 from my dad; this year he doubled it to $100. Yee-haw!) I digress.

    Christmas as celebrated for decades in the Western world has been less about Christ and more about the pagan trappings. Old habits, the saying goes, die hard.

    • December 29, 2009 at 2:40 pm

      I always wonder why people care about how the rest of the world celebrates Christmas. It just doesn’t matter, to me, what everyone else is doing. People have the right to celebrate it however they want. If they want the emphasis on the tree and the lights and the fat man in the suit *shrug* more power to them. None of that affects how my family celebrates it behind our closed doors. So I always find it strange when people say (and you didn’t say this) that they don’t celebrate Christmas anymore because it has become so commercialized. HUH??? To whom??? And why does what Christmas has become to others keep YOU from celebrating it in the way you see fit? I never get that rationale.

      • K.I.M.
        December 30, 2009 at 10:39 am

        I guess I’m seeking a deeper meaning to it. To me, it becomes more stressful than fun. Take all the greatness of Thanksgiving and then slap some cyanide on it.

        To your point on celebrating it how ever you choose behind closed doors…I see it fit to try to demonstrate some aspect of Christ, even though I’d consider myself loosely religious. I kind of like my idea of doing 8 things to give life to the Beattitudes in the month of December. I think that’s how I will celebrate it with my family. Perhaps after fulfilling each beattitude task, I’ll give my lil’ ninos gifts…that’s life: you do good and you get rewarded.

        The tree/decorations part isn’t so bad. It’s simply the whole, “I’ve got to spend money on stuff that somebody else can easily get for his/herself, without regard to my financial capacity right now. Adding to that, I get a fancy electronic that I don’t need and then go to a domestic violence shelter where women and children are asking for basics such as diapers. It simply doesn’t sit right with me. I like gifts that fill a need rather than nurture a want.

  7. cee
    January 2, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Ever since your post on my blog, I’ve been looking at the names on the sideline, reading what you’ve shared here, and trying to figure out which one of you awesome people this is. So, help me out. Gimme a clue…and Happy New Year to you!

    • January 4, 2010 at 12:49 am

      Notice I didn’t tell you. I “clearly” thought you’d be able to figure it out! =) Great to see you again! You need more clues?

  8. cee
    January 4, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Ahhhhhh…I love this game….Gimme one more clue…I think I know who this is now….LOL

  9. Prime Example
    January 5, 2010 at 1:21 am

    LOL yooooouuu knoooow who it is. I’m UNIQUE!!! Umm… let’s see. What can I tell you to make you know who I am. I know! Ask me a question only I would know. LOL LOL Let’s see who you think this is…

    • LB
      January 5, 2010 at 4:51 pm

      Tell cee that one of your favorite words is “CLEARLY”!

      BTW, call me pagan but I love trees, light shows, and gifts! Though I’m feeling guilty b/c I didn’t give my “friend” a thing…I assumed that I was no longer obligated when we turned the heat off, lol.

      • January 7, 2010 at 6:43 am

        Yeah, I already used “clearly” in a sentence with her. =)

        And so do I! That’s the fun secular part of Christmas, to me. =)

        And you weren’t. You clearly weren’t. Do not feel bad!

  10. LB
    January 11, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    **clearing throat** ahem, I know you’re in school and all, but REALLY? Two weeks? That.is.all.

    • Prime Example
      January 21, 2010 at 8:52 pm

      ROFLMAO I know. I’m sad. Sad, sad. But I might be back, I thought of two topics. =)

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