Guys, I've got a secret to let you in on this holiday season. You may think it's a good idea to head to the mall to purchase that special woman in your life a piece of jewellery that she has seen repeatedly on a TV commercial for the past month. But here's the thing: likely not. Probably a more personalized item would be a better direction to go in. Something less predictable (unless of course she has left a list on the table!). So while the ads out there will have you think that all she wants for Christmas is that sparkly diamond necklace, you may want to explore some other options that are more personal, modern and unique.
One of my favorite ideas for this holiday season is to select gifts for women that contribute to a charitable cause. You are then, in a sense, giving two gifts in one. For example, Pact brand undergarments donate 10% of your purchase to their environmental nonprofit organizations. Amnesty International sells colorful earrings that are handmade by women's cooperatives in Rwanda. Lord & Taylor sells a tote bag called the Feed Guatemala bag, and for every bag sold, $10.50 is donated to UNICEF to help support their programs in Guatemala. You can find products that contribute to recovery awareness, support of our troops, and contribute to many other causes. So take the time to select something that will benefit a cause she cares about.
Still think that the women in your life is the jewelry type? Not a problem, just look for ways to make your jewelry gift more personal than the mass marketed jewelry store picks. For example, visit the website etsy.com and take a look at all of the handmade semi-precious and precious stone jewelry that is being sold directly from the artists there. You'll find pieces that are literally one of a kind. Or, if you do go to the jewelry store, get the item stamped or engraved (such as a sterling silver bracelet or necklace) with her birthstone, the flower of her birth month, or even a photograph. This is a really nice personalized touch.
Don't forget that many of the items I've cited as perfect presents for men are great for women as well. A nice pair of stylish sunglasses is something that she can make use of all year, including in the winter when the sunlight reflects off of the snow. Leather gloves, knit scarves, hats, watches, umbrellas, purses, and wallets are also excellent options, as you can pick them out without knowing someone's size.
Oftentimes the best gifts are those that are not necessarily something she needs, but something that will make her feel special and offer some luxury that she wouldn't splurge on for herself. Never underestimate the power of a nice bathrobe and some scented bubble bath. And if some nice foot cream comes with the promise of a massage, well you might have just found her favorite present ever.
This past Christmas I ran across a problem that I'm sure all of you have stumbled across. I had no idea what to get my girlfriend for a present. We had been dating for only three months, but it was serious. So, just a teddy bear and some flowers wouldn't work. But, what was appropriate? How could I tell her that she was that special someone?
Having no clue what to do, I of course asked for reinforcement-my mother. I figured that she was a woman so that she would know what women want. She gave me a piece of advice that is at the heart of gift giving. "Make it personal," she told me. The wisdom. The insight. Get her something personal, that was it. But what was that something personal? My mom then told me to walk into a jewelry store and ask the jeweler to pick out a nice pair of earrings for me.
Is that personal I thought? "Women always love jewelry," my mom said. After the phone call with my mother, I was more confused than ever. I decided that I did want to get my girlfriend something personal, but walking into a jewelry store and having someone else pick out the right gift didn't seem personal to me at all. I called my mom back and told her that she could get my girlfriend jewelry and that I would get her something more personal. I still didn't know what that something personal was yet though.
It took weeks of agonizing thought before I finally found the answer. The answer came while I was admiring some photographs in my girlfriend's apartment. She explained that she had taken the pictures with a disposable camera. I was amazed that she had taken such vivid pictures with a not-so-good camera. I asked her if she still took photos and she said that she still didn't have a great camera. That was it!
I decided it. I would buy her a camera. It would be the perfect gift. Yet, when I told others about the gift, they were less enthused. "It's a typical gift," a coworker told me. "Just a piece of electronics," my dad said. (Ironically, I had also given my dad a camera). A few days before Christmas, I still hadn't bought the gift. I was so torn up that finally, I caved. I straight out asked my girlfriend what she wanted for Christmas. She wanted me to choose it. I explained to her that I thought I had the perfect gift but that others weren't so sure.
"You could just tell me," she said. I couldn't do that, I thought. That would ruin everything. But, with no other options, and Christmas a few days away, I did just that. I told her I had thought about getting her a digital camera. Her face lit up. "I'd say that you should follow your instincts," she said. I did just that and gave her the camera for Christmas! She absolutely loves it!