We’ve all had one of those moments when we hoped that our gift-giver kept the receipt to our exchangeable (if not re-giftable) Christmas present. I can personally say that, over the years, I have been gifted a sweater or two that didn’t fit right or a present that didn’t necessarily meet my expectations, but what characteristics make a gift completely and utterly unacceptable?
It’s safe to say that my fellow ladies can acknowledge that there are some clear boundaries when it comes to what gifts friends, significant others and even family members can purchase for them. The question is, what falls within those boundaries? Does the fact that a wife’s husband purchased a clothing item that was two sizes too big show his true feelings about her recent weight gain? Does a girl’s boyfriend getting her the entire Harry Potter movie series when she actually has no interest in it (this is a judgment-free zone) reveal his lack of attention to her taste? Gentlemen, here are five gifts that you should definitely, without a doubt, not get for the lady in your life this Christmas.
1. A bathroom scale
I can just imagine your jaw dropping as you read this. Who would even consider getting someone they love such an awful gift? I’m not saying it’s happened to me, but I’m confident that it’s happened before.
Much of today’s population, specifically women, feel insecure about weight, height and every other characteristic related to size. The media portrays size as the be-all-end-all. Apparently, to some, a girl isn’t considered “pretty” if she isn’t 5’9’’ and 115 pounds. Many men and women have developed debilitating conditions such as anorexia and bulimia as a result of the sheer insecurity that the number on a scale gives them. So, any respectable boyfriend or husband would never consider a gift that negatively contributes to insecurities and conditions such as a scale.
2. Wrinkle cream
It’s always reassuring to hear a parent, grandparent or some other older person announce that they intend to age gracefully, without using methods such as plastic surgery or Botox to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and age-related beauty marks. Yet, chances are that as a college student, you haven’t exactly thought about whether you have similar plans or not, so why should your boo? When you get her wrinkle cream for Christmas, unless you immediately reveal intentions of the gift being related to some practical joke that comes with diamond earrings (or whatever floats her boat), it could be possible that you’ll come off as trying to offend her or that you’re merely not paying attention to her face.
3. Food-related gifts
It would be a great gift for me, but not everyone is going to respond positively to a box of chocolates. With a large portion of the population on a diet of some sort, including vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, ketogenic and Krispie Kreme (just me?), it’s a little bit difficult to find a food-related gift that isn’t going to contain allergens, ingredients that violate diets or even just components that she may not like.
Getting a food gift that your girlfriend might be apprehensive about eating could very well cause some conflict. She might not immediately tell you, but there is a possibility that your apparent lack of attention to her health choices relating to what she eats might translate to her as a general lack of attention to your relationship.
4. Hand lotion
Nothing says, “I did my last-minute Christmas shopping at the dollar store,” to your partner on Christmas day quite like opening a lackluster bottle of pine-scented hand lotion. She will probably have issues with receiving a gift that indicates she has cracked skin or stretch-marks, which you think she needs to be rid of. That would sort of be like getting a mask for her because you think that she’s ugly; yes, this may be an exaggeration, but you get the point.
Despite the fact she might have been complaining she needed lotion for her dry, cracked skin, I’m confident that a bigger-ticketed item would make her feel better than a container filled with a skin-healer that she could easily get on any other day of the year.
Almost every year, I receive clothing for Christmas that doesn’t fit. I’m sure that my gifters were thinking I would be happy to receive the gifts, which I always have been, but when I am given an outfit, whether I like the piece of clothing or not, it’s usually too big or “two sizes too small” (did anybody get the “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” reference there?).
It’s not unusual to feel a little bit embarrassed when the outfit a loved-one buys you is too small. Personally, it would make me feel as if I were too big. Some girls might even feel like they’re too small (insecurity is common on both ends of this spectrum). So, before purchasing an outfit for your significant other, think about what they will think when they try it on.
Feeling a little stressed over what you should get your partner? Take a deep breath and calm down. I know that the do’s and don’ts of what to get someone you love can be overwhelming. The best way to avoid Christmas conflict is to get to know the girl you’re buying for. Sit down and talk. You can take an indirect approach by gradually shifting the conversation to what she might want in the near future, or taking her to the mall and being observant of what she casually points out. You could also just be straightforward by asking her to make a Christmas wish list for you. The better you know the likes and dislikes of your loved one, the more likely you are to get her a gift that will fit her personality and preferences perfectly!