Dear Monica, I am in a new relationship, and I want to get my girlfriend a gift for Christmas, but I am not ready to buy jewelry. What is your suggestion for a gift that says “I like you” without being overly committal? — SK, West Chester
Buying a gift for a significant other can be tricky, especially when you don’t want the gift to be interpreted as something more than it is. Of course you do not want your gift to appear insignificant either. You want to come up with something that does not necessarily break the bank, but rather shows that you put care and thought behind your gesture. Here are some go-to ideas that I think fit the bill.
1. A booklet of movie tickets to your favorite theater is nice because it is something that you can do together and look forward to over the coming months. This is especially well timed as we are approaching the Oscar season.
2. A day of beauty. Every woman wants to be pampered and feel like a queen for a day. From a mani-pedi to a facial and then a blowout, she will love head-to-toe beautifying.
3. A Kindle, or an Amazon gift certificate she can use to get new books, if she already has a Kindle.
4. A gift certificate to her favorite clothing store. This way she can buy a new outfit for New Year’s Eve (hint, hint), and it also shows that you were listening when she talks about where she likes to shop. Brownie points for this pick.
5. Make up a care package with champagne, mistletoe and a bottle of perfume. All of these say, “I want to be with you” and are totally romantic.
6. If you are up to that stage in your relationship, a weekend getaway will make for lasting memories. We’re so close to New Hope, the Poconos, New York, Washington D.C., and even the Jersey Shore, which can be very romantic in the winter.
7. Plan a day to take her around town. Be the local tourist and do all of the Philly-centric sightseeing that residents often overlook. Walk around Independence Mall; take a horse-and-buggy ride.
Gift-giving should be a reflection of the kind of person you are and the relationship that you are looking to have. You want to let her know that you’re dialed into what she likes. A gift that shows you put some thought into the process will speak volumes without being intertwined with potential deeper implications. If she’s the right one for you, the best gift of all is not in a velvet box. It’s being together and ringing in the New Year as a couple.