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To gift or not to gift

Dec. 22, 2017
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The holidays are among us, and that means Christmas shopping. For those of us into social interaction and friendship, this usually means every December you brave retail lines in pursuit of gifts.

As you grow older, it also seems like Christmas lists get longer with gifts for people you actually want to give presents to and those you feel obligated to give to. If you're on the fence about whether or not you should spend your money on certain people, this guide will help clear things up.

1. Your best friend's new partner

Sure, they’ve broken up several times. There may have been a moment of panic before things started getting serious between them, too. But your friend loves their significant other, and by default, so should you. However, that doesn’t mean you have to spend your hard earned cash on them... or does it?

The deciding factor: Is there a chance the significant other will be getting you a gift or will they be giving a joint gift with both names signed? If this is the case, then you might as well give them a couple’s gift and kill two birds with one stone. On the other hand, if your friend is the type to only sign their name on your gift, don’t worry about getting something for their partner and just get something for your friend.

What to give them: Everyone loves a good set of matching mugs, or at least I do. Etsy offers all types of cute couples' gifts. These mugs are adorable and under $40. Another great couple idea is a date night. Head over to Groupon and get the happy couple a date night sipping wine and cheese.

2. Your boss


The deciding factor: You get along with them, and you value your job.

What to give them: I don’t know about your boss, but my boss loves craft coffee. Instead of getting the typical Starbucks gift card, treat your boss to Intelligentsia. They have shops in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, but their products are also available for purchase online and in certain Target stores.

3. Your sorta-kinda friend whom you contact once a month for happy hour

You know, the friend you text to meet up after work? You rarely speak outside of the bar, but you enjoy their company. If you know you’ll be seeing each other close to the holidays, it could be a nice gesture to get them a little something.

The deciding factor: You’re feeling generous.

What to give them: Some liquor, duh! By now you should know their drink of choice. Either buy them a personal bottle of their favorite alcohol or suggest the two of you get together for holiday drinks (and treat them to a round).

4. Your S.O.’s parents

If you value your spot in the family, you should probably get them a little something.

The deciding factor: They like you, and you want it to stay that way.

What to give them: Last Christmas was my first Christmas with my boyfriend and his parents. Since I was just getting to know his family, I got his parents a joint date night basket. The “basket” (which was actually a cute silver bucket with cellophane wrapped around it) consisted of two movie passes, his parents’ favorite candy, one of those hot chocolate kits, a candle, and popcorn.

5. Your new boo

Perhaps the riskiest gifting scenario of them all. Scenario A: you gift and they don’t. Or Scenario B: they gift and you don’t. If you really like this person, follow your heart and put yourself out there. After all, love is generous, right?

The deciding factor: You’ve been consistently dating for more than a month and (as mentioned above) you really like them.

What to give them: So many options! If they’re nerdy, consider getting them a book from this list of books everyone should read in their lifetime. If they love alcohol, a personalized flask goes a long way for the inner booze connoisseur. If they love sweets, this website allows customers to make custom ice cream and gelato flavors and delivers it right to you. If they’re a fitness fanatic, they most likely love a good shake or power smoothie. This personal blender comes with a sports bottle that attaches directly to the blender and makes the smoothie process much easier. 

This article was originally published on November 25, 2016.