Wednesday, December 11, 2013

For your boyfriend: 5 Things NOT to get your girlfriend for Christmas

Get a load of these jokers...
I once had a boyfriend (you know who you are) who gave me Waitrose vouchers for Christmas. We had been dating for four months and it wasn't the romantic gift I'd expected for our first holiday together. He was going out of town over the holidays you see, he said he was worried (justifiably, I was very poor and had my priorities ALL wrong) that I would not feed myself properly. 'Well, what did you want me to give you?' he asked. 'A Chanel purse? You can't eat a Chanel purse!' No, you definitely cannot.

His intentions were pure and he's still a friend today, but the memory of the vouchers remains. A girl can live on boiled veg if she's desperate, what she REALLY wants for Christmas is a gift from the less practical side of the heart. I wanted a treasure; something to rediscover in many years, hold against my heart and remember the joy of misspent youth. Sure not starving to death would also be a great memory, but we all know I spent those vouchers on wine.

The reality is, good intentions don't always translate into good gifts. I know this because I've made similar mistakes. Basically 40% of the stuff I buy for my mother she doesn't even use... but I do. That coffee machine is worth its weight in gold. So since I'll be providing a gift guide during December, I thought it would also pay to be clear about what NOT to get. Forward this link to your boyfriend.

1. Tyres
Sigh. Yes her car tyres are balder than Mr Burns, but this does not qualify as a gift. I know you're thinking 'Well she won't buy them for herself! I'm just looking out for her safety! It's dangerous her driving around on those worn down tyres. Showing her I don't want her to die in an horrific car crash is my way of showing her that I love her and can't live without her.'
If you really loved her and cared about her safety, you would just buy the new tyres straight away. You would not wait for Christmas and try to worm your way out of getting her an actual gift. Let's put it this way, if your girlfriend enjoyed sky diving and you knew her parachute had a hole in it, would you wait until next Valentine's to have it repaired? Weigh it up….she might plummet to certain death OR you might have to take her out for dinner in 6 months time. Let's make the smart choice here.

2. Tickets to the Cricket
No further explanation required. This is not lazy writing on my part, if you've watched cricket, you are picking up what I am putting down.

3. A framed photo of the two of you
If you're gonna take it to sap town, you may as well go ahead and buy her a teddy bear, name it Mr Huggywuggykins and glue it to the frame with a note written in glitter that says 'I WUV U'. You're gonna get dumped anyway, so take it like a man and go down with the kind of flaming sentimentality you only find in a Hallmark made for TV movie about a couple who breed swans. Personally I'd be more thrilled if you framed a Pet Barn catalogue and gave it to me.

4. A compilation album hand picked by you
Is this even possible anymore? My MacBook Air doesn't even have a disc drive. Do you have to put it on a USB?  Logistics aside, sometimes the music that reminds your beloved of you, is not your cup of tea. One of my boyfriends set my personal ring tone as Babycakes by 3 of a Kind. This song contains the lyrics 'Babycakes, you just don't know, how I like it down low.' This is a not a compliment to me. On the flip side, if you're thinking about me listening to Looks Like We Made It by Barry Manilow, that's not a compliment either, because then I have to face the fact that my boyfriend is LISTENING TO BARRY MANILOW. Yes, I'm being judgey, but here's the deal, the following would be the 3 opening tracks of my compilation about someone I love:
1. I will follow you into the dark- Death Cab for Cutie
2. First day of my life- Bright Eyes
3. Over the love- Florence + the Machine

Kind of depressing right? Do you want to listen to these songs on your drive to work? I didn't think so. 

5. The WRONG perfume
I used to run a fragrance hall, so I say this with a world of experience and the utmost respect for people working in the industry. Buying perfume for your girlfriend is a mine field the size of Australia. Honestly, fragrance is complicated shit. You pretty much have to have a degree to understand the complexity of it, so do some research before you shop. Remember: these people have targets. They may genuinely love and believe in their product, but it's also their job to sell it. At the very least bring a list of what perfume your girlfriend wears and try to get something in the same ball park. For example, if she likes Gucci Flora, she'll probably like Miss Dior.

Getting it right is important not just for her enjoyment, but yours too. Scent is actually a powerful memory trigger! What if her last boyfriend gave her Issey Miyake and the scent of it reminds her of how he broke her heart, took all her money AND her dog?  Likewise, if you buy her the same perfume your Ex used to wear, you may as well just punch yourself in the face. I don't even have the time to get into the difference between Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette! You know what, just ask her what perfume she wants. Get a gift receipt just in case.
Image via Christmas39

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