The “Snog, Marry, Avoid” of Gifting
Another Christmas, another Gift Guide… Here are some ideas about what to get – and not get – your significant other. So before you hit the shops, read these important do’s and don’ts of romantic Christmas gifting.
Christmas shopping can be a real nightmare. Just when you’ve nailed it one year, next Christmas comes around, looks you in the eye and says “show me what you’ve got.” It never gets any easier. What to get the dad who has it all, the sister whose style you don’t understand, the brother-in-law you see once a year…
Stop. You’re over-complicating things. Unless you owe someone big time (or money is no object) Christmas presents shouldn’t cost a fortune or a headache. If it’s a grandma, mum or aunt, how about a nice tea, a candle or a DVD. For Grandpa, dad or uncle, try a game, a book or an amazon gift voucher.
Relax. It’s the thought that counts. Your family is not your real problem when it comes to the gift department. Your significant other is.
The gift you choose says a lot about how you feel about him or her, so be careful. You don’t want your partner thinking things like, how does he not know I’m allergic to wool? Why did he only spend £15 on my gift? What the duck does he think I need one of those for?
Take it from me, I’m a highly experienced gifter with a 99.9% success rating. I’m basically the Father Christmas of grown-up gifting. Past gift hits include waterproof headphones for my sporty brother-in-law, an automatic watch winder for my dad’s watch collection, Victoria Secret underwear for my sister who lives in a country where there is no Victoria Secret, among many, many others.
I want to share some of that gift wisdom with you, think of it as my way of giving back. After seeing a few similarly titled “Top Gifts for Him and Her” articles and laughing hysterically at the ridiculousness of some of the suggestions, this post began to take on a new sense of urgency.
I’ve decided to include a Best and Worst list for him and her, in order to help guide you in the correct gifting direction. Check out the image gallery at the top of this page. If you’ve already bought something on the worst list… I hope you kept the receipt.
For him: Get!
- Tumi travel products are the king of style in man travel land. I recommend all their products, but especially the laptop backpacks, from £300+.
- Beats headphones and wireless earphones, £90 to £350.
- Reiss cashmere sweater in Navy, £175. This is an amazing sweater. George is already rocking one.
- Cufflinks are cool but Montblanc is top-notch, the Louboutin of cufflinks, £150 – £300+.
- Silk Ties are always a nice gift for suit-wearing men. Hermes is the Louboutin of ties, around £130.
- Touchscreen gloves are everywhere, in leather from Dents £71, Burberry £295 or North Face £35.
- Whatever gadget he doesn’t have: Fitbit £130, UE Boom 2 wireless waterproof speaker £170, Victorinox Swiss card £32, Go Pro from £180, Kindle from £60.
For him: Do not get!
- Cologne, perfume. It’s bad luck in some cultures and also super boring.
- Boxers, socks, underwear in general. Because it’s a necessity of life, and there are so many better gifts out there.
- Handkerchief. Unless your significant other is 85 years old and his handkerchiefs are particularly worn out, cross this one off.
- Diary, Agenda, Filofax… He either gets one for free from his company each year, meaning you wasted your money, or he already bought one. Meaning you wasted your money.
- Candles or a butterfly knife. Because terrible idea and he’s probably not 13.
- Jewellery, such as necklaces and bracelets, with a few exceptions (artists, hippies, GBTQ men) or a watch (this is super personal and usually a reflection of his income, not yours).
- Lumberjack anything, unless your partner is a lumberjack. Saw this one in a top 25. It’s funnier if you imagine George in it.
For her: Get!
- Evening clutch. Spend over £700 on designer brands like YSL, Valentino or Jimmy Choo. Or under £200 on much-loved high street brands such as Reiss, LK Bennett, Karen Millen…
- Jewellery, a pair of earrings, a bracelet or a necklace from brands such as Carat, Monica Vinader, Links of London, Pandora and Swarovski.
- A watch. Choose from designer labels like Gucci, Burberry £400-800. A Swiss brand like Tag Heuer or Longines from £800 and up. Or fashion labels such as Olivia Burton around £75 and Vivienne Westwood on average £200.
- A cashmere scarf. Splash out on Burberry’s collection £350, or skip the branding for Scottish Cashmere £40.
- Touchscreen gloves from Burberry £375, Dents £30 or the North Face £40.
- Gym or yoga clothes. Sportswear has really evolved from baggy tops and bottoms to fashionable leggings and sexy sports bras. Top brands are Lululemon, Sweaty Betty, Nike and Adidas.
- LuMee Perfect Selfie iPhone Case, £40. If she’s already a selfie taker, this gadget is sure to unleash her inner Kim Kardashian, whether that’s something you want or not. Narcism aside, it’s pretty awesome. You’ll need a second gift, though. Something from 1-6, or maybe a kindle or Fitbit.
For her: Do not get!
- Umbrella. Seriously, an umbrella? No joke this is a commonly suggested gift for 2016. You can 100% do better than this.
- Sunglasses. Unless you know a specific pair she’s after, this one can be risky. For example, who knew aviators just don’t suit me?
- Lingerie. Is this for her or for you? I mean, unless she’s into it… like really into it and not just pretending to be into it.
- Alcohol. Do you even know this woman?
- Gift sets. Again, generally not advisable. Doesn’t really show that you put much thought into it.
- Cheap jewellery from Accessorize, M&S, Primark, TopShop… She can buy this shit herself.
- Sexist joke gifts, like anti-nagging spray and the inflatable instant boob job, or technological gifts she won’t be able to use. See what I did there?