Christmas is right around the corner, and it can be a stressful time for those who are in new relationships and aren’t sure what to get for bae. Even those in long-term relationships struggle with the decision of what the best gift for their partner would be.
The fact is, an appropriate gift that will be well-received will be different depending on where you’re at in your relationship.
When it comes to holiday gift-giving, there’s such a thing as doing too much, and there’s such a thing as doing too little, but this greatly depends on what stage your relationship is in and how serious it is.
For your convenience, here’s a gift guide for every grey area, every situationship, and every stage of a relationship:
Dating for 2 years or more
Situation: Long-term relationship
Gift for her: Diamond earrings or Tiffany & Co jewelry
They’re sparkly. They’re gorgeous. They go with everything. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. “We get several orders right before Christmas, and most of those orders come from men shopping for their long-term girlfriend or their wife,” Josh Raber, founder of Vancouver Diamonds told me. “Diamond earrings are the perfect Christmas gift for those in serious or long-term relationships.”
This is one of the most romantic and timeless gifts to give.
If you’re in the long-term relationship stage, you also can’t go wrong with anything from Tiffany & Co. Most women will love pretty much anything from Tiffany, and a piece of jewelry from there is a luxury item so it’s perfect for those of your with serious girlfriends. It also comes in adorable packaging, complete with a romantic satin ribbon – and it’s very high-quality jewelry that lasts.
Gift for him: A stylish engraved watch
An engraved watch is gift for him that’s stylish, sentimental, practical and timeless. Every man should have a stylish watch in his collection of accessories. To make it romantic and personal, you can engrave the watch with “our love is timeless”, “time stands still when I’m with you” or “for all time” with your initials engraved underneath the message.
Many women keep an eye out for new trends in men’s watches, and give their man a new watch every Christmas. Just like women with their shoes, men can’t have enough watches in their collection.
Dating for 1 to 2 years
Situation: Serious relationship
Gift for her: An initial necklace or an engraved bracelet
Initial necklaces are trendy right now, so you can’t go wrong with this gift. Stella & Dot has beautiful initial necklaces in gold, silver or rose gold. If you’re one of those guys who hates shopping, they make it easy with user-friendly online purchasing, quick shipping and beautiful packaging so that you don’t need to wrap it. Stella & Dot also allows the buyer to customize the engraving on several products such as necklaces and bracelets. You can even customize the font. The personalized touch of a customized engraving shows thought and care, which makes for the best type of Christmas gift for those of you in serious relationships.
Not sure what to engrave? If it’s a bracelet, something like “you’re beautiful” or “I love you” is adorable, and if it’s a necklace pendant that requires a shorter message, simply getting your anniversary date engraved on it or both of your initials engraved is perfect.
Gift for him: An engraved men’s key necklace
The best place to get a cool men’s necklace that he’ll love is from The Giving Keys. My favourite is the Matte Black Key Necklace for him, which was originally inspired by a New York hotel room key.
The sexy matte black will look great with everything and he’ll wear it all the time. Think of it as a key to your heart, and engrave it with a special personalized message for him. You could engrave his key with the date you met, a special word, or both of your initials.
Dating for 6 months to 1 year
Situation: Ready to commit
Gift for her: A simple piece of jewelry
If you’ve been noticing a jewelry trend in this list, it’s because jewelry is something your partner can wear and think of you. It’s sentimental and it means something when someone picks a jewelry item out, because you chose it.
If you’ve been dating for at least six months, chances are you’ve already said “I love you” to each other, or you’re ready to say it for the first time. You’re probably ready to take the next step and make a commitment. The best Christmas gift for this stage is still jewelry – but a simpler piece that shows you’re not going too over the top too soon. (In other words, no diamonds yet.) Something like these cute unicorn earrings from LanaBetty would be perfect for her.
Gift for him: A weekend away with you
When you’re starting to get serious with him, the best thing you can do is spend a weekend away together to get to know each other even better and progress the relationship. A weekend away that you’ve planned and paid for is the perfect Christmas gift.
Dating for 3 to 6 months
Situation: Newly dating
Gift for her: A bouquet of flowers and a nice bottle of wine
After the six month mark, I think it’s safe to say you’re in more than a ‘situationship’. You’re a couple at this point, so it’s okay show some thought and be romantic – but you absolutely cannot go over the top. A bouquet of beautiful roses and a bottle of great wine is a gift is an appropriate gift for this stage of a relationship. Especially the wine. We like wine. Wine is good.
Gift for him: A gift certificate to get a massage
Chances are he works hard, has sore shoulders, and a gift certificate to get a massage is a thoughtful gift. By not getting a ‘couples’ massage and instead just getting him his own massage, you’re showing that you’re not trying to move the relationship too quickly but that you still wanted to get something for him on Christmas.
Dating for 2 months or less
Situation: Nothing (yet)
Gift for her: No gift – but maybe a fun holiday activity
Gift for him: Ditto
If you’ve been dating for less than two months, a gesture in the form of a gift is not really expected. That doesn’t mean you can’t do something for each other. You could plan a fun holiday activity to do together, and that’s more than enough for this new stage of a non-relationship.