You broke up, but now you’re back together (kind of), but not really. You’re not dating, but you want to be dating, so now what? No matter your relationship status, there’s a big difference between appearing interested and looking desperate. It’s not about the dollar amount you spend; it’s about the intention. Send a clear signal by choosing holiday gifts that aren’t too much or too little, presents that will make them wonder how you did that and leave them wanting more.
It’s Just a Crush
Photo courtesy of Katie Vaz
Start with a greeting card. If you think it sounds cheesy, you’re wrong. A well-chosen card with a handwritten, heartfelt message penned inside makes you appear interested and sincere. From subtle to overtly sexy, there’s a greeting for everybody. Pair it with a cheerful, hand-poured candle that gives back (proceeds support female refugees) and you’ve created a thoughtful gift that exudes peace and love—and a cheery scent.
Too Soon to Tell
Overspending is a serious gifting no-no, especially in the beginning stages of dating. Keep it simple by purchasing a favorite novel or cookbook instead. Package it with a sprig of mistletoe. Add a flirty, personalized inscription to show you care.
Keepin’ It Casual
Photo courtesy of Jolanta Knit
If you’re into each other but it’s not serious yet, consider gifting a not-so-basic, basic gift, like a hand-knit, chunky scarf. A soft, luxurious memento lets someone know you might be interested in getting wrapped up in something more.
Photo courtesy of Santa Barbara Swings
Your relationship is on, then off, then back on again. Enough with the drama! If your intent is to patch things up once and for all, then let that be known. A rustic, handmade tree swing is a nostalgic, heartstring-tugging gift that says we’re doing this thing.
Photo courtesy of JW Hulme Company
You have a date secured for every festive fête this season, so splurge and get your sweetie something good. J. W. Humle Company bags are durable, well-designed trend-transcending pieces. Earn major style points by shopping this dapper, made-in-the-USA brand.
Photo courtesy of KT Boundary
Stay connected from miles away. Even if you can’t spend the holidays together, you can show that you’re never truly apart by gifting this handmade, personalized state-to-state pillow.
Never Ever Getting Back Together
Photo courtesy of Herbivore Botanicals
Screw it. Gift yourself. Seattle’s Herbivore Botanicals natural detox bath salts, face elixirs and body oils will have you looking good on the outside, even if you still have some internal post-breakup work to do.
You Moved In
Photo courtesy of Jonathan Adler
Whatever you do, don’t buy a vacuum—or some other practical gift—even if that’s what’s on the wish list. Practicality is not linked to moving in together, nor is sharing everything. Keep romance alive by gifting famed designer Jonathan Adler’s luxe watch boxes and jewelry boxes instead.
Put a Ring on It
Photo courtesy of Shinola
Express your love for each other with his and her watches from the acclaimed Detroit-brand Shinola. Select a pair of luxury watches. Then make them unique with custom engraving.
In it for Life
Photo courtesy of Lisa’s Craft Shop
If you’ve already spent tons of holidays together, why not opt for an activity instead of a traditional gift exchange? Often people are happier with experiences rather than purchases. Tickets to a game, concert, comedy event or a Broadway show are generally welcomed, as are memberships to museums or to the theatre. Give the gift of time this year instead.
Paste Staff Recommends:
Get the perfect present for everyone on your list in under 10 minutes. You can even do it in your pajamas. Now when you purchase a subscription to Paste Quarterly via our Indiegogo Campaign, you can print out one of these PDF gift cards for your loved ones. With its large 12”-by-12”-inch format, thick paper and rich colors, it’ll be unlike any magazine they’ve seen. Each issue comes with a 150-gram colored vinyl album with exclusive tracks recorded at the Paste Studio in New York.
We have printable cards for each of our membership packages from a single issue and vinyl sampler for $20 to a Paste Quarterly Founding VIP (a one-year subscription, Paste T-shirt, $20 gift certificate to Wolfgang’s and surprise Daytrotter vinyl) for $90 to the Ultimate Paste Goodie Bag for that really special someone in your life.
Emily Davidson Nemoy is a freelance writer based in Nashville, Tenn. When she’s not at her computer or on her yoga mat, she can be found at live music venues happily spending her excess cash on concert tickets.