By Alexandra Foster
It’s that time of the year. You need to get your girl a gift. But this isn’t just any girl. This is a new girl. You’re not in a Facebook relationship. You’re not close to dropping the L-bomb. Things between you are fun and fresh. They’re new. Hell, you don’t even know if she’s officially your girlfriend. So you’re probably asking yourself two questions right now.
1. Should I bother getting her a gift?
Answer: Yes, yes, yes! The only thing worse than being over-prepared is being under-prepared. I don’t care if you’ve been dating for two weeks or two hours. Only the Grinch wouldn’t acknowledge the holidays.
2. What should I get her?
Answer: It’s a tricky question. There are a lot of bad gift options out there. For example: A gift certificate. Lingerie. Bath/body stuff. Believe me, I’ve been on the receiving end. Fret no longer, because we’re here to help. Here are five gift ideas for the new girlfriend.
It could be tickets to a theater production, a concert, a sporting event (for a team that she wants to see, not just you), or a comedy show. You can’t go wrong with tickets. They’re thoughtful and meaningful. They’re always fun. They guarantee you a great evening with her. Grab dinner beforehand and drinks after. Make a night out of it. “Going to some sort of show is something fun to do together that doesn’t seem overly sentimental or attached like jewelry would. To a girl it says ‘I want to have fun with you’ more than any other gift,” says Jarvie, 22, from Michigan. Check out Ticketmaster or StubHub or a website to a local venue near you.
Something thoughtful and personal
Here’s some simple advice: Listen to your girl when she talks. Chances are good that every time she opens her mouth, gift clues spill out. One of the best gifts I got from a boyfriend wasn’t anything crazy expensive or trendy. We were at his house before the holidays and he made fondue for us. When I pulled out the chair where I was supposed to sit there were two stuffed animals with red bows around their necks. He had remembered that just a few weeks prior I had told him that my two favorite animals were dolphins and giraffes. It meant a lot to me that he actually listened, remembered and acted on it. If you’re not a stuffed animal kind of guy, there are a lot of other creative ideas you could try. Take her to her favorite restaurant, cook her favorite meal, fill a treasure chest with her favorite candy (I did this once for someone I dated and he loved it), or get her favorite television show on DVD. “Something that I would love for the holidays would be the Glee DVDs,” says Sara, 21, from Chicago. “My boyfriend knows I love that show, obviously, since I sing the songs in the shower for the entire week until the new episode. By him gifting the DVDs to me it would show me that he cares and notices that I love the show. And we could even watch them together!” Trust me, girls will love a meaningful and sentimental gift, especially if the relationship is new.
By the time the holidays roll around, your girl is sick of work, bad weather and every other hassle or setback that happened that year. Bottom line: It’s time for some relaxation. And there’s no better way to unwind than getting pampered. SpaFinder.com allows you to search your zip code for the best spas and purchase gift certificates and treatments online. My advice? Get her a hot stone massage or Vichy scrub. If you’re feeling really generous, get a package so that she can bring her best friend, too. She’ll love it and it’ll totally score you points with her bestie. If you’re feeling daring, go all out with a couples massage. “A guy I dated once got me a couples massage as a gift. It was such a cute idea because it was something fun and sexy that we could do together. And let’s face it. Who doesn’t love a good rub down every once in a while?” says Cara, 21, from Detroit.
A wine-themed gift
I once heard about a guy doing this as a gift and it’s still stuck in my head. It’s the perfect idea for a girl you’ve just started dating and don’t know much about. You’ve probably gone out to dinner before. You’re probably getting an idea of what wine she prefers. It took my boyfriend less than three dates to know that I love Sauvignon Blanc. It does not take a brain surgeon to figure it out. Does she like white or red? Narrow it down from there. So, let’s say your girl is a fan of Chardonnay. Buy her a nice bottle. Novus Vinum does an awesome job rating affordable wines. Let’s say you go with the Joseph Drouhin 2005 from France (great choice). Accompany that with two wine glasses. Gone are the days where traditional wine glasses are trendy. These days, it’s all about the stem-less wine glasses. They’re easier to drink out of, easier to wash and they look better in the cabinet. Etsy has an amazing selection of wine glasses. You might be thinking that a $25 bottle of wine and two wine glasses isn’t enough. Localwineevents.com allows you to search your zip code for wine-tasting events. A bottle of wine, two trendy wine glasses and a wine-tasting event? Um, yes please.
Gift of the month club
My friend Kelsey came up with this idea and it’s really perfect for a new girlfriend. There are so many different options you can choose and websites like clubsgalore.com that lists them all for you. My favorite? The chocolate club. For less than $30/month, your girl will get a variety of chocolate treats: creamy truffles, buttery caramels, dark chocolates, milk chocolates and more. The gift is good for three months (fingers crossed you make it that long). It shows her that you’re thinking about her month after month. My friend Kelsey has been the recipient of the cookie club gift for a few months now. “It’s fun because you’re getting a variety of things, so it makes the guy look more creative without having to do much, and it’s also nice to get little gifts every month,” she says. There’s really something for every type of girl. A beer club. A cake club. A tea club. A coffee club. A candle club. Whatever your girl is into, I guarantee you’ll find a monthly gift club for her. Not totally confident that your relationship will make it the rest of the year? I contacted a lot of the well-known monthly gift clubs (bestgiftclubs.com being one of them) and you can cancel at any point. If you paid for the year in full you’ll get reimbursed for the months you didn’t use. If you pay month-to-month, the gifts will stop being delivered upon cancellation so that she won’t be rewarded for her poor girlfriend behavior. Or you can just change the delivery address to your own and, voila, Merry Christmas to you.