Gift giving around the holidays can feel like a never-ending task. There are so many products getting shoved down your throat through commercials, sales, craft fairs, office parties, and almost every imaginable retailer. When shopping for your girlfriend, the stakes are even higher when it comes to finding a gift that will be both special to her and will show her that you actually took the time to put thought and effort into her gift. No one wants to give or receive a gift only to find that it is a duplicate, or that it isn’t what they really wanted and end up standing in the returns line at a store the day after your big holiday bash.
While you certainly can rack up a credit card bill spoiling your girlfriend with a wide array of gifts that will last her until the next holiday season, don’t confuse quantity with quality. It's much better to give her a gift that she really wants or will improve her life in some way than to simply go to retailer and clean out their sales racks just to be able to keep the surprises coming.
These ten gift ideas will help you make sure that this holiday season you are able to give your girlfriend a gift that is both memorable and thoughtful. Whether you’ve been together for a matter of months or years, whether your girlfriend enjoys luxury items and pampering, or she’s more into handcrafted items and experiences, these gifts will help you spend your money and time wisely and give her a gift she actually wants.
10 Handwritten Journal
This one will take some time to accomplish, but it is well worth the effort. Simply get a handsome journal, which you can find anywhere from big box stores to bookstores, and write little notes in it about makes your girlfriend special. It doesn’t have to be something exceptional, it could be something as simple as her always making sure to have your favourite comfort food stocked in the house, or helping you steer clear of awkward conversations at holiday parties. Just fill the journal with memories and qualities about her that show her how much she means to you. While this gift takes more time than money, she’ll appreciate the effort you took to tell her all the ways your relationship is meaningful to you.
If your girlfriend always listens to music and has a strong connection to the music she enjoys, you can add some variety into her playlists by making her a specific playlist that reminds her of your relationship. Put the playlist on her favorite mobile device via a gift card, surprise her with a romantic night in, and play the music for her so that you can explain why you picked each song. Additionally, you can use a photo editor to edit a photo of the two of you together with some of the lyrics to a favorite song on the playlist and overlay it on part of the image (just be careful not to put the lyrics on your faces). Frame the picture and put it somewhere that she can find easily but may not notice right away.
8 Collectible Items
Collectors can be a tricky bunch to buy for. If your girlfriend is, say, an avid Thomas Hardy fan, or enjoys other classic literature, it can be hard to know what to buy her that will go along with her collection. Make note of the books and items she already has, then research what other works or items could go with her current collection. You can search for first edition books on sites like Ebay, though you need to be careful that the seller can be trusted. Specialty sites like AbeBooks can also provide first edition copies. You’ll know if a book is a first edition by opening the title cover and looking at the publication page, “first edition” will be printed there along with the date of publication. For collectible items that are not as specific with labelling, like Funko Pop figures, check her collection against their online data base to find hot or limited edition items.
7 Weekend Getaway
Spending time together is a great gift. It gives you the chance to disconnect from your everyday life, get off your tablets and cell phones and enjoys each others' company. If it’s particularly cold where you live during the holiday season, a long weekend to a sunny, beach centric destination is a sure way to make your girlfriend excited. If she’s more of a snow bunny, get weekend passes and a romantic cabin or hotel rental near the slopes. Make sure you plan the trip for a time when work and life wont interrupt your plans. When it comes time to get ready, make the packing and traveling process as painless as possible by helping do laundry before hand, cleaning up the house and having all your travel needs prepped in advance.
6 Cleaning Service
A less common but greatly appreciate gift is a cleaning service. Regardless of who usually does more cleaning around the house, she’ll appreciate the free time and relaxation that comes with coming back to a spotless home that she had no hand in. Use the extra time that you’ll save cleaning to order in food and have a cozy movie night in, or take her out to that movie she’s been dying to see, but just hasn’t made the time for. If she’s particularly stressed with work or social obligations, extend the cleaning service to a few weekends or even a month to give her more time to relax and not have to worry about what state your house is in when she gets home after a long day.
Edible gift items can be a great way to treat your girlfriend to something special without adding clutter to the house or worrying about sizing. Pick up her favourite dessert from her favourite restaurant, order a specialty fruit arrangement, or go to a speciality chocolate and dessert store and splurge on some more pricey and luxurious treats for her. Add her favourite bottle of wine and some wine glasses to make things more luxurious. If you’re a decent chef, make her something special to come home to and add in a gift card to a specialty desert store as an added bonus.
Some of the most cherished times spent in a relationship are when you can do something together that helps you both grow as people while you test your own personal limits. Find something adventurous to do together that will make plenty of memories while growing your relationship. You could go bungie jumping, do indoor skydiving, take surfing lessons together or go backpacking through a local mountain range. So long as you pick something that will test your limits without making you both completely frustrated and you are encouraging throughout the experience, you’ll grow together and learn things about yourselves you didn’t know before.
3 Sentimental Gift
Gifts that have sentimental value are evergreen and can mean the world to your partner. You don’t have to be crafty or handy to put together something that she will find both romantic and thoughtful on your part. If you’ve spent a fair amount of traveling or your lives together have brought you to various places, take a map that shows all the places you've been and make note of all the places you've been together with a star, heart, or other marker. Connect all the places together to show where your relationship has taken you together and frame it for her. If she travels often, put together a physical photo album of all your fondest memories together with notes that tell her why that moment was special to you.
2 Spa Day
It’s hard for anyone to make time for themselves when they have a busy work and social life. As much as your girlfriend may tell herself she’ll take a day to pamper herself, she’s likely too wrapped up in her day to day life to actually make time to slow down and relax. With a gift certificate to a spa for a relaxing spa day or spa treatment, you’re giving her the perfect opportunity to relax and be pampered. If you want to amp up the romance, do a couples massage or end the spa visit with a romantic night out.
Jewelry is a no-brainer gift when it comes to most any occasion. Despite having hundreds of options to choose from when it comes to selecting a jewelry item for your girlfriend, it can quickly become a daunting process. The key to finding a jewelry item that will make her feel special without breaking the bank is to take your time shopping around. Consider what type of jewelry she’s into. Does she wear a lot of bangles and charm bracelets? Earrings? Pendant necklaces? Look at what she already has or what her eyes linger on when you’re at a jewelry counter. Don't buy a white gold necklace if she gravitates toward yellow gold. If you aren’t thinking of proposing, be careful to not lead her on by just handing her a wrapped ring box. If you’re buying a promise ring or something similar that isn’t an engagement ring, add a small card with the box to let her know what to expect when she opens it. Always go to a quality jeweller who can back up his or her product.