The holiday season is officially upon us, and for all of those frantically searching for the perfect gift for your significant other, look no further.
Shopping for a boyfriend or girlfriend is almost never a simple task. What if they never wear that sweatshirt you spent hours searching for, or what if the shoes you bought for them don’t fit?
For starters, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask what they want. Do they prefer silver or gold? What size do they wear? What is their favorite restaurant? Where is their favorite place to shop?
Ask as many questions as you can. This may hint at what you are planning on buying them, but it’s better to slightly ruin the surprise and get them something they like, than it is to buy them something they don’t like at all.
For those of you with an endless budget: Go big or go home, right? Well, maybe that’s not quite the case, but grand gestures are never frowned upon.
The one place you can never go wrong, and also one of the most common gifts during this lovely season, is jewelry.
This is the type of present that will impress if you have only been together for a short amount of time, and will be a reminder of your affection for someone who you have been with for longer.
Remember that although the hearts and infinity signs might be trendy, they are also a bit overdone.
Try to be unique. So your significant other likes elephants? How about an elephant necklace, or a bracelet charm? Find something that reminds you of them: a certain shape, animal, flower, or even a nice color.
Keep in mind, most girls will never turn down anything that comes out of a Tiffany Blue box with white ribbon.
For those who are prepared to spend nights laying on the couch watching your significant other obsess over virtual violence and nonfictional missions, buying a new gaming system is one way to go.
Not only will this get you major brownie points, it will also give you a few minutes, or hours, of time apart to do your own thing.
It is also something that can be used more often than a nice tie.
Is your partner always running late? Try getting them on track with a new watch.
Not only are they professional, and useful, they can also be gifted to both men and women.
If you’re looking to buy your special guy a nice watch this year, check out something by Fossil or even Rolex. For the girls, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, or Kate Spade are some names you should keep in mind, or anything sparkly.
If you want to save a few dollars, try the counters at Macy’s, Nordstrom, or even TJ Maxx; they will have all of the designer names for a marked down price.
If you want to stray away from the common and typical gifts this year, try something that doesn’t involve buying material items.
Is your significant other filled with wanderlust, or always looking for some type of adventure? Take them on a road trip for a weekend.
Take a train or even drive to Chicago, and experience all that the city has to offer.
Spend a weekend up north in the UP and take in the beauty of the winter wonderland that we call Michigan.
It’s always good to get away for a few days, and any adventure-seeker will love an excuse to take a few days away from their Netflix binging and see all the beauty a road trip can bring between two people.
Not only will this be an experience you will always remember, it is also a very romantic gesture sure to make any adventure-loving partner happy.
Sure, large and romantic gestures might leave your significant other swooning and bragging about your bank-breaking generosity, but it is not the only route to take this holiday season.
To my fellow minimum wage laborers out there who cannot afford designer jewelry watches, and $300 gaming systems, there are still plenty of options left. Have no fear!
For those normal college students foraging for bottles to return for a few extra dollars this season: Try to aim for simple, yet meaningful.
Concerts, for smaller groups, are typically less expensive, and always a great experience. It is an atmosphere that is sure to bring about a great time, and the countdown leading up to the day will have you and your significant other excited and give you both something to look forward to while struggling through your busy schedules.
Is your boyfriend or girlfriend a sports fanatic?
Lucky for you, we live within a reasonable driving distance to some of the most exciting sports arenas around.
Sure, for those of us on a budget, Monday Night Football tickets might be out of the picture, but Red Wings, Walleye, and Pistons ticket are almost always available.
To save your credit score, you might not be able to get front row seating or upper level suites, but any seat in the Joe or the Huntington Center is a good seat, no matter the cost.
Perhaps you are looking for something a little more personal or unique to give your significant other this season.
A gift that will never go out of style is the classic mixtape. You can make your significant other’s holiday extra special with this simple, and cheap gift.
You can find blank CDs for fairly low prices at any store with an electronics or office department. Add on silly love songs, the song you two danced to at a wedding or high school dance, or a song that reminds you of them for any reason. If you want to go the extra mile, write a note to put inside the case that says the reason you chose every song. It will add a special touch to your gift, and make it more personal and unique than just your average couple’s playlist.
Sometimes gifts aren’t necessary. Sometimes all your partner really wants is some time with you.
Plan an evening that you can both take off from work and other responsibilities and do every type of Winter or Christmas activity the area has to offer.
Drive to Campus Martius in downtown Detroit and go ice skating. Visit the bakery near Greektown, and maybe even make a stop at your favorite restaurant.
If you are unfamiliar with the area, Lafayette Coney Island, and Pizza Papalis are a couple of “must tries.”
A simple intimate night out may be all you and your partner really need and want this season.
Feeling crafty? Try some “Do It Yourself” ideas. Remember to be creative, and don’t worry about being cheesy, it’s endearing.
Is your boyfriend or girlfriend going away next semester? Write them “Open When” Letters. These are letters that are placed in envelopes written for specific times.
For example: Open When: You are sad, happy, stressed, cannot sleep, etc. This is a gift that will keep on giving until the letters run out, and something that is thoughtful, and pretty inexpensive.
Are the two of you always struggling to figure out something to do for Date Night? Make a Date Night Jar.
Buy a sealable jar, and some popsicle sticks. Write date ideas on the popsicle sticks, and when you are struggling to pick something to do, draw a stick and your date is picked for you.
If these ideas don’t spark any creative flame, try looking on Pinterest, or any other crafting website. They are sure to give you great, inexpensive, and meaningful gift ideas.
Still have no idea what to get that special someone this year? Well, you can never go wrong with gift cards.
Don’t be generic and just throw one in an envelope and call it a done deal. Try out the “Gift Card Tree.”
Get gift cards from your significant other’s favorite stores, restaurants, salons, coffee shops, and anything else you can think of. Arrange them in a tree formation, and TA DAH! You have just given them anything they want, without having to actually figure out what to buy them.
Whether you are on a budget or are willing to spend whatever you can, remember that the most special thing to give someone you love this season is, time. Sure, a nice necklace, video game, or small road trip might be a nice plus, but material items are not the only important thing about this time of year.
Maybe there is no such thing as the “perfect gift,” but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to do something special for the one you love this holiday season.