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Gift Guide: For the New Girlfriend

If you’ve recently started dating, the holiday season can be a confusing time.  What do you buy her?  How much do you spend?  What is it that your gift should say?  Don’t worry, Belle’s here to help you find a good, appropriate gift.  But first, a few gift giving don’ts.

I wish I could tell you why women read so much into gifts.  But, frankly, it confuses me as well.  Suffice it to say, that most women are looking for a better understanding of their relationships and they will look for meaning in anything that presents itself.  In this case, a gift.

Don’t spend more than $150.  She probably won’t and if you’re not looking to get serious right now, an expensive gift is just going to blur those lines.  So unless you’re an overly generous guy who has been spoiling her with nice gifts all along (in which case, you need to raise the bar for the holidays), $150 is a good maximum.

Don’t buy any of the following…stuffed animals, chocolates, decorative tchotchkes, etc.  When/if you break up these are the very first things that go into the barbecue pit for a ceremonial cleansing by fire.  Plus, they’re cliche and juvenile and while she may smile sweetly, she’d love it if you tried a little harder.  

As for flowers, they die.  And if you’re girl does like a fresh vase full of blooms, she’ll get weak in the knees if you buy them for no reason at all.  Flowers on a random Tuesday are much better than flowers as a gift.

Don’t fall in to the lingerie trap.  Yes, women like lingerie and men like removing lingerie, but this symbiosis is best saved for Valentine’s Day or your anniversary.  

And if you do decide to buy her something lacy for Christmas, no sexy Santa suits or elf costumes, please.  Head to La Perla or Coup de Foudre Penn Quarter and pick something nice.  Something that she’ll like, because if she actually likes the lingerie she’ll wear it a lot more.  If you catch my meaning.

1.  Bliss Spa D.C. Gift Certificate

While most women have a regular spa where they get their manicures and pedicures, it’s always nice to head to a nice spa for a little something special.  Buy her a gift certificate to the Bliss Spa at the W Hotel and let her indulge herself a little bit.  I would say that $50 to $75 is a good amount.  This will allow her to either get a simple pedicure if she doesn’t want to spend more, or put it towards a message if she wants to treat herself.

2.  Dogeared Rose Gold Pendant ($60)

I hate everything about the book/movie Eat, Pray, Love, except for this pendant which is delightful.  The rose gold is unique and on trend, and the delicate floral shape is ultra-feminine.

3.  The Nostalgia Gift

If you want to show your new girlfriend that your really know her, a nostalgia gift is the way to go.  For example, I loved my Snoopy Sno-Cone maker when I was a kid and if a man dropped one of these in my stocking, I’d probably melt faster than the sugary, icy treats.

Don’t know what her favorite childhood things were? Two solutions, ask the Mom or surreptitiously ask the girlfriend what her favorite childhood toys, television shows, board games, etc. were.  It’s unlikely she’ll know the score (unless she reads here), if you frame it as a conversation about childhood nostalgia.

4.  Floating Picture Frames (CB2, assorted prices)

Women love photos.  If you want a great, meaningful gift, buy a few frames and then fill them with photos.  The photos can be of the two of you, of her family, or of her best friends.  You can also frame small objects like the check from your first dinner date (no joke, a guy did this for me once, it was sweet) or a small keepsake from her childhood that she has laying around her home.  But for a gift like that, you’d probably need a shadow box.

5.  A Day Trip by Train

If a weekend plane trip is too serious for your young relationship or way out of your budget, try a train trip to somewhere nearby like Charlottesville, Wilmington, Cape May, etc.  Leave in the morning, relax and have breakfast on the train, walk around the local area and just have a nice day out of the District.  If you decide to stay the night, more power to you.  But sometimes, a nice day or weekend out of town is the best gift that you can give.

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  1. jenny says:

    I love the train idea, but do NOT go to Wilmington! There's nothing to do in walking distance of the train station except a minor league baseball stadium…and it's December. Spend the extra half hour and go to Philly instead.

    December 14, 2010/Reply
  2. prosecutordc says:

    Frankly, I'd read alot into a framed picture. Particularly if it was of me and the boyfriend.

    I also thinks it bad when guys buy fancy jewelry for Xmas….it usually means a break-up is coming and they feel a bit guilty!

    December 14, 2010/Reply
  3. H says:

    whaaat that's silly, i'd love jewelry!

    December 14, 2010/Reply
  4. Belle says:

    Prosecutor, I agree about the fancy jewelry, unless you've been buying really nice jewelry all along. Then you dug the hole for yourself, honey.

    December 14, 2010/Reply
  5. A says:

    Oh.my.gosh. A Snoopy sno cone machine! The memories–straight from the 80's!

    December 14, 2010/Reply
  6. Holly says:

    The Snoopy Sno Cone maker was a hit with Drew Barrymore https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0378407/

    December 14, 2010/Reply
  7. Kim says:

    I agree about the fancy jewelry in a new relationship, which is why I think something like the necklace Kat suggested is perfect!

    December 15, 2010/Reply