If I bought you a sexy Mrs. Clause outfit, would you wear it for me?
I’m totally serious. There’s just something about a woman dressed as Mrs. Clause that does it for me.
As I’m sure you’re aware, the holiday season is in like 8 days, and if you’re anything like me, you haven’t even started shopping yet and will find yourself glued to Amazon.com for the next 72 hours. But what are you going to get your significant other, or your employees, or your mother, or your mother-in-law, or your sister, or your daughter? After having this discussion with my flatmate, I’ve decided to address these issues as a man, because there are many women in our lives who play various roles- and you wouldn’t want to give mixed signals at the company Christmas party…or maybe you would. I won’t judge.
Here’s my take on gifts. Feel free to leave your own opinions in the comments section. I’m sure we all could use your help.
Wife, Fiance, Girlfriend: If your significant other has been hinting to you for months what she wants this year, then you’re a lucky man. For the rest of us who are left trying to figure it out, I always suggest something romantic paired with something practical. When I say ‘practical’, I mean something she will use on almost a daily basis. This could consist of a tasteful piece of jewelery, or that e-reader she’s been begging for because she’s obsessed with Sabatino at hotcupoflove.com. The romantic gift keeps the passion alive in a rushed holiday season, while the practical gift will be a daily reminder of how much you care about her wants and needs. Neither one has to cost a lot of money, but both must be sincere and come from the heart.
Sisters, Cousins, and Friends: Don’t worry, this one’s easy. Keep the gift light and fun. Maybe tickets to her favorite broadway musical or sporting event, or something for her dorm, apartment, or home. In most cases I will pair a fun gift with a gag gift, but only because my sister and I have the same sick humor. I can treat her as family, but also as a friend. Don’t be afraid to have a little fun with this, but make sure there’s a little sincerity because you know she searched forever to find you something perfect.
Your Boss: Ugh. The dreaded boss gift. This one has plagued me for years. You want to get her something that is sincere and that says ‘I really appreciate working for you’ without crossing the line and getting too personal. If your office doesn’t do it already, talk to some of your co-workers about pitching in some money and going in on a gift together. In these cases I find a customized gift basket to be perfect. It’s easy to keep the cost low, it’s personalized, and if done right, can be aesthetically pleasing. For example: maybe your boss is a coffee snob. You can easily fill a small basket with her favorite blend, creative mugs, gift cards to her local cafe, and pastries. Wrap it in plastic to hold it all together, and tie it with a bow. She’ll absolutely appreciate it, and it’s guaranteed to turn some heads as she carries it out to her car.
Your Employees: This one’s for you, Jay. Being a manager and lover of people, my flatmate asked what he should get for his management team of all women. It’s important to remember your role as a manager. First and foremost, you should absolutely get them something. Employees are a company’s greatest asset and should be shown that you personally appreciate all their hard work. Second, you should really get them all the same thing. You never want to seem partial to one but not the other- trust me they will notice. In these cases, I usually suggest something from Bath and Body Works, or Yankee Candle. These types of places usually offer discounted ‘gift packages’ around the holidays, which will take the guess-work out and make you seem like you actually know what you’re doing.
For the Lady of the House: The holiday season is one of the most active times of year for house visits and parties. While you may be bouncing around town trying to make an appearance for every invite, don’t forget to thank the one who invited you. This can be done with a bottle of wine, a small tray of cookies, or some other confection. This is a respect thing. You should never show up empty-handed, even if you were specifically told you didn’t need to bring anything. Show up with something for the hosts, and as long as you don’t hit the nog too hard and end up half-naked and passed out in their front yard, you’ll probably get an invite again next year. Then again, if your friends are anything like mine, it’s not a party until someone’s half-naked and passed out in the snow.
1) Every gift should be given with sincerity and a little thought.
2) Go that extra mile for those who are close to your heart.
3) Pairing gifts is a great way to bring multiple dimensions to your gift exchange.
Hope that helps! I would love to hear your ideas on this topic.
I hope you all have a great and safe holiday season!