Dear Editors: So, I’ve just started dating a guy. Yay! Christmas is coming, which means gifts. I’ve only been seeing him a little while. What are some good small, hey, you’re cool, but we’ve only been dating a month, gifts?
The editors converged in our Secret Backroom of Answering Things, and we’ve come up with a lot of great ideas, several of which involve food. We all need to eat, and your editor team is a big fan of eating. Also, geek toys.
Hattie: Something small but still referential to a date you’ve had, or maybe an inside joke. Did you find out you both love whiskey on your first date? Buy him a small bottle of a mid-level whiskey.
Maybe not the best example, but a non-mushy callback to a fun time or conversation you’ve had in your short time together would keep it light but still show him you’re paying attention.
Sara B. (who answered at almost the exact same time as Hattie): Consumables are good in this situation: candy, booze or some other food thing he has said he likes. Depending on what he is into, something small and goofy will also work. I would set myself a $20 spending limit and look for something fun that shows you have been paying attention when he talks about himself.
xfafafabulous: ThinkGeek! There is something for everyone there. The best gifts are things related to offhand remarks someone makes. For example, I mentioned one day that I wish I had a plant that I couldn’t kill, because I am notorious for forgetting to water plants. My next birthday, my boyfriend ordered me like five flip-flap plants, these solar-powered plastic plants that flap their leaves when sitting in the sun, from ThinkGeek.
queSarahSarah: If he doesn’t have a copy of his favorite movie, a DVD of that. Or a new book by a favorite author.
Meghan: Music, dinner out, a bottle of some fabulous Scotch, and anything not too committed but experiential (the zoo? a concert? a hike? also not in the too distant future) are all good ideas. More importantly, steer clear of: anything wearable (guys I know tend to have a thing about women picking out their clothes for them), anything hand-made (too sentimental, unless it’s disposable, like food), and anything that is too significant (pressure for commitment when your gifts are all based on in-jokes). It’s not that thoughtfulness isn’t great, but when it’s still early, and you’re only trying to say, “I still like how you smell,” instead of, “I want to have your babies,” sticking to things that are Just Kind and Fun instead of Serious and Full of Feelings is generally a good rule of thumb. What does the dude like? Also: I’d set a budget that’s really, really reasonable.
Anonymous Editor(s): Sex.
SallySassyPants: A nice bottle of booze or making dinner is always nice. I think ThinkGeek is a great option for easy, not-too-personal gifts. I think a first holiday, you might just agree together to skip the gifts and spend time one-on-one. In bed.
Selena: Not a sweater.