and it doubles the amount of anxiety-induced emails I get.
Every year, once we get past Thanksgiving and Black-Eye Friday and the Christmas Shopping Season It’s a trickier question than you’d think.
I genuinely loved certain family traditions like the annual gathering of as many friends as possible to take over a local Tex-Mex restaurant for Christmas Eve lunch – before we all got older and had responsibilities that made it impossible to keep it going.
No, my biggest issue is the way it gets shoved down one’s throat earlier and earlier every year.
The more you can show that not only do you appreciate their passions – even if you don’t share them – but you care enough to love. Printing a favorite photo on wood, for example, gives it an extra level of texture and artistry that it didn’t have before, turning a couple’s selfie into something special.
To give one example: one of my friends effectively won Christmas forever by buying his wife a single chef’s knife. It’s incredibly simple makes you look like the best, most attentive boyfriend/husband/what-have-you in the world. Even when you’ve been with your partner for months or even years, it can be a little daunting to find something that will not only make them smile but will say that you put some thought into this. There are several services online that print photos in many different media, including canvas, aluminum, wood or even on chocolate.
At the same time, you don’t want to go overboard in terms of buying presents – going over (depending on your budget) is still going to carry some emotional heft.
One of your best bets is something that you can do together.
One of my best friends once got a ring for Christmas from her boyfriend. If you want to avoid sending the wrong message with your gift and signaling that you might have gotten overly attached too quickly, you need to navigate the Price/Relationship axis.
You’re also starting to enter the period where jewelry isn’t a bad idea – something small and simple, like a pendant or earrings – but avoid anything with gems.
This is also a good time to prowl through Amazon wishlists for inspiration.
At the same time however, if you haven’t had the “Defining The Relationship” talk – you’re not exclusive or otherwise a “serious” relationship – then you want something cute and fun that reflects the fact that you’ve been enjoying your time together.
Giving something practical like, say, cookware, implies a more committed relationship than you actually have.