Decoding the meaning of your holiday gift

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Gentlemen, consider this your own personal decoder to gift giving this holiday season. Do you wander around aimlessly through the mall wondering what to get your lady friend? Do you want to give a gift to show someone you’re interested? Or do you have a sister you’ve known for 15 years and still have no idea what she likes? Well, don’t worry I’m here to help. Here are some common gifts women receive and how they most likely will perceive them. It’s not rocket science, just the inner workings of the female mind; so maybe a little harder than rocket science.

Stay away from smells (Photo by Crystalwood Naturals via Flickr).

Stay away from smells (Photo by Crystalwood Naturals via Flickr).

Bath soaps and body sprays

This is probably one of the most, if not number one, gift women receive that spells out, “I don’t know you at all.” It’s a gift that gets passed around at secret Santa holiday parties because no one knows what anyone else likes. Don’t worry guys, women will give it to other women if they don’t know them well, but if there is already a relationship established this is probably one of the worst gifts to give. Try a different route, unless your lady is obsessed with peach scented body sprays from Bath & Body Works. This kind of gift is just so simple, easy to pick up last minute, and doesn’t take a lot of effort and time to pick out. “Gee, this smells good. Let’s go with this one.” It’s an even worse gift if she doesn’t wear perfume or isn’t into the whole scented scene.

On the flip side, this could be a good gift for a sister, if she has particular scents she likes. However, it’s probably best to use it as a stocking stuffer rather than a gift. Using this as little something extra on top of her gift will work out nicely.  Take the time to look around and find out what she likes to smell like; look in her bathroom or ask her husband/boyfriend. Use it as icing on the Santa shaped sugar cookie; just not as the whole cookie.


Stay resonable with lingerie (Photo by Dyanna via Flickr).

Stay reasonable with lingerie (Photo by Dyanna via Flickr).

Unless your girl is obsessed with Fredrick’s and Victoria’s or she wears it as part of her attire for work, it’s probably not the best idea to use it as a main gift. Now, I’m not saying to avoid it as a gift period; gift cards in small increments such as $25 can be a playful suggestion to an interesting evening. Buying a gift card for $200 is something else. It’s a giant flashing red sign that says, “I want you naked, so go get something cute to wear… for every night of the week.” It can make some women feel like you want them to be a stripper, which may not be a good thing if it’s still a new relationship.

But like I said, it can be used to be a playful suggestive gift. Use it as a stocking stuffer or place it in a sexy funny card. Just don’t buy lingerie and nothing else. Even though it can be expensive, it may be more appropriate to use as a birthday, anniversary, or just because gift rather than a Christmas gift.

Jewelry means business (Photo by bbaunach via Flickr).

Jewelry means business (Photo by bbaunach via Flickr).


Which leads me to jewelry; one of the most expensive and personal gifts a guy can get for a girl. This kind of gift implies you mean business. I know that’s the most obvious statement to make, but there are some guys out there who think they can get a girl jewelry and think it’s no big deal. Wrong. It’s a huge deal. Jewelry is something that women keep for a very long time, if not forever. Even if it’s a necklace or a bracelet, it implies that you plan on being around to see them wear it because they’ll think of you every time they put it on.  Be very careful with this gift, even more as a Christmas gift and only plan on giving it to someone who means something to you.

Jewelry can also be used a gift for sisters too. Nothing too nice or fancy (you don’t want to out-do her husband or boyfriend if she has one. I believe that’s against some man code), but maybe a bracelet to remember a special date, or a locket with childhood pictures in it. Something simple, classic and personal is always the best way to go with jewelry.

meaningful gifts (Photo by JuJups Studio via Flickr).

Meaningful gifts (Photo by JuJups Studio via Flickr).

Personalized gift

Personalized gifts have the same effect as jewelry, but it’s not as extreme. Some women will throw away personalized gift, but almost none of them will throw away jewelry. It doesn’t mean they won’t like the gift; it shows you care and want to have something between the two of you. Keep it fun and creative like a digital picture frame full of photos or a mug with a goofy picture of the two of you. These can be great gifts if the relationship is still new and you want to show you like being together.

The same goes for sister gifts. Something that she can keep at work or display in her home makes great holiday gifts. Plus you can get brownie points for both since this type of gift takes time to put together. Depending on what you buy, these types of gifts can range from reasonable to expensive. Remember to just keep the sentimental thought in mind. Don’t worry that it only cost $20; the fact that you took the time to put it together means more.

make it work (Photo by jetalone via Flickr).

Make it work (Photo by jetalone via Flickr).

Practical gifts

I doubt anyone should have a problem with practical gifts. They show that you’ve been paying attention to what she’s been saying and what she needs. There are brownie points on two fronts because it not shows you’ve been listening, but it’s something she’ll actually use. Pay attention to anything she mentions: a cooling fan for her laptop, she constantly losing her keys (key finder), she loves to bake (cookbooks, silicon bakeware, funny chef apron), or the need for new running shoes.

Same goes for sister especially if you don’t see each other very often. Getting a gift she mentioned in a conversation you had two weeks ago can really mean something to women. Plus these might be the easiest gift to give that still show some initiative.

I hope these help in surviving the gift giving season. With only a few days left until the holidays arrive, it time to take action if you haven’t already. Use the ideas and make this season a jolly one. Merry Christmas!

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