Holiday Shopping: For the Ladies

Guys, let’s be honest. Unless you’re a mind reader, you have no idea what to get your girlfriend (fiance, wife, sister, whatever) for the holidays. This can be tricky. If your lady is like me, she doesn’t want to ask for anything but she wants something special and wants you to surprise her. Difficult, I’m sure. It’s just weird asking for things because then it takes the surprise element out of it! I know I make no sense, but really what female does?

I know you guys have brains. This is apparent because regardless of how my relationships have ended in the past, all of they guys have done at least something romantic for me to remember and my current boyfriend is keeping the romance alive regardless of his obsession with sports (what guy isn’t?). However I read this magazine article that a girl received a 12-pack of Diet Coke for Christmas one year from her high school sweetheart when she had saved and saved to get him something he had been wanting for awhile.
So many things wrong with that last sentence. First of all, buying “Diet” implies she’s fat. Or trying to watch her weight. DO NOT under any circumstance buy a gift for a woman that has to do with losing weight unless she specifically asks for it (and even then I’d be hesitant). Second, going into a gas station to buy a 12-pack of coke and bringing it out in a plastic bag shows little to no preparation on this poor guy’s part. Epic fail. I’d love to know who his mother was. Third, DO NOT BUY DIET COKE FOR YOUR GIRLFRIEND (sister, fiance, wife, mom, etc.) FOR CHRISTMAS! Shame on you if you think that’s a reasonable gift for anyone.

Based on that article, I’ve compiled a list of things for each and every woman you can think of. I have a few rules of thumb though, and they go like this:
  • If you’ve only been dating a few weeks, do not opt for jewelry. Jumping the gun much?
  • If you’ve been dating at least three months, jewelry is always a perfect gift. You can’t go wrong unless you don’t…
  • …Contact the woman’s mom for sizing, colors, etc. She’ll be thankful you did and Moms love that stuff.
  • Buying the “journey” pendants from Kay or wherever they’re from doesn’t really express that you took the time to look for a gift, it just means you were able to watch a commercial and then go and buy it. Put some thought into it, gentlemen! Kay, Zales and all of those other store are great, but don’t buy the advertised option. Go in and find something that you think she’d like, not what the advertising companies want you to buy. (Note: she’ll love anything you get her because it’s from you and it’s the thought that counts. But at least work hard for the praise you’re going to receive.)
  • It really is the thought that counts.
  • If you know someone well enough, get them something you think they might like. For instance, handing your girlfriend of three years a pair of fuzzy socks and a CD is like pulling down the covers of your deathbed. You’ve known someone for three years and that’s the most thoughtful thing you can think of? I’m not trying to sound like a priss here but you know I’m right. Now, if she asked for fuzzy socks and then you bought her a CD with concert tickets to see her favorite band hidden inside, that would be another story.
So let’s get started. I have these broken down into categories for your reading pleasure:
For the sophisticated woman in you life
Unless you’re dating a tomboy (nothing wrong with that), any of these items would be appreciated by any woman.
Brookstone Jewelry Cleaner, $49.99
Have you bought your woman so much jewelry she looks like a iced up Christmas tree? This jewelry cleaner will save her a few trips to the local jeweler. I will say this in conjunction with another one of these gifts is more ideal than handing her a jewelry cleaner she uses every once in awhile. It’s a useful gift, but pair it up. BONUS: It cleans DVDs too! http://www.brookstone.com/
Sunglasses, $50 – $400
I’m not saying drop $400 bones on sunglasses, but if you have the money and want to get her something she’ll wear literally EVERY DAY then this is one of the best purchases you could make. Take her to a sunglass store and see what she likes and then go back and pick it out (get her a case too if not included); or get her a gift certificate and offer to go with her to choose her favorite pair.
Shoes, $30 – $120
Shoes are really a girl’s best friend. I can’t get enough. Ask what size she wears (via her mom…) and then go and pick out a pair. I’d suggest steering away from open toed shoes and go for boots or booties. The Jessica Simpson collection is pretty much a universal “yes” for all woman-kind, if she needs a comfy pair of shoes go with Uggs, and if she’s preppy and loves polos get her a pair of Sperry Topsiders. Examples:

Handbags, ???
Every woman needs a purse. I read that having a purse that is big, spacious, but not HUGE, is lightweight, had compartments and looks good on the outside is ideal. Of course it is! And it doesn’t matter what size it is if it’s designer. Urban Outfitters has great bags for a reasonable price… buy her the purse and put a sweet note in it with how much she means to you this Christmas and you’re good as gold.

For the beautician in your life
If your woman knows your away around a Sephora and likes to be pampered, she’ll love these gifts
If I’d Known Then book, Ellyn Spragins
This book has contributions made my celebrities and idols such as Maya Angelou and Macy Gray. Great for your lady if she likes to soak in bubble baths or great for a spa day while getting a mani/pedi! Pick it up at Urban Outfitters for $18 OR buy it online at Amazon.com for $14.04
Massage and Facial from Bliss Labs, see site for pricing
If you’re running around Sephora, there’s a pretty, pristine white and baby blue section that is undeniably known as the “Bliss Labs case.” It’s beautiful and it has so many different products that you can’t bare to turn away from it. Now, the bonus to all of this is that Bliss Labs has spas all over the country where people can go and get facials, massages – the whole nine yards. If that female in your life works too hard, stresses a tad too much or just needs a few hours of alone time, visit http://www.blissworld.com and buy her a gift certificate! Better yet, book her appointments online and surprise her! (FYI: 60 minute massages are great, 75 minutes is better {unless she is antsy, then a massage probably isn’t her thing at all}) http://www.blissworld.com/
Sephora gift certificate, any denomination (but $50+ is recommended)
I’m really not into giving gift certificates for holidays because I think they should be more personal. However, if your girlfriend loves “do-it-yourself” beauty treatments and is a fiend for skincare and makeup, adding a Sephora GC won’t hurt you a bit. A matter of fact, she’ll be ecstatic. Just be prepared for a few shopping trips. http://www.sephora.com/
Zoom Whitening sessions, price variable
I must preface this purchase by making sure that your girlfriend actually wants teeth whitening. If she purchases white strips, brushes her teeth like a mad woman and has mentioned in passing that she wants her teeth a tad bit whiter, go for it! You have to be careful to not offend her. If she’s a coffee drinker but has never asked for Zoom Whitening, she might get pissed that you think she needs the sessions at all. Most women, however, would be thrilled to get this luxury dental service. Look up local cosmetic dentistry centers in your area and ask about their packages.
For the woman who likes a thrill
She likes to do things herself, learn something new and is always on the go
Concert tickets
I know this isn’t specific, but what’s more awesome than seeing your favorite band in concert? She’ll flip when she realizes you didn’t just get her John Mayer’s new CD, you got her concert tickets for next March to match! It will be a great experience for her (and you if she chooses to bring you). Just make sure it’s her favorite band, not yours, and that you get her at least two tickets.
Airline vouchers
Have a long distance girlfriend? Is your woman constantly wanting to travel? Giving airline cards is perfect, especially with spring break coming up in March. Just FYI, Virgin America is supposed to be a ROCKIN’ airline, however it doesn’t travel to certain destinations. Southwest is cheap but again, locations are limited. http://www.virginamerica.com/
Cake baking classes at Central Market
Most women have a domestic side, where they aspire to create beautiful dishes in the kitchen. Central Market offers great classes such as cake baking, sushi making, pasta, grilling and more! If she’s an at-home Martha Stewart and loves to throw a great party, any of these classes would get her excited. Since CM is only in Texas, I’d check out groceries in your area for all your Californians. http://www.centralmarket.com/
For the woman who is attached to her computer
She can’t get off her phone, has 25 iPhone apps, always needs something new for her computer and is obsessed with up-and-coming trends
Kindle, $259
If your woman travels a lot, reads a lot, or doesn’t like to read at all, the Kindle is a great gift. It encourages reading with it’s sleek look and is so slim that you can take it anywhere! It saves money too with books as low as $9.99. http://www.amazon.com/
Koolatron Kargo Kooler mini travel fridge, $84.99
I guess what I should really ask is “does your girlfriend like to party?” Because this mini travel fridge is ideal for anyone who likes to tailgate or has a need to keep things cold away from home. Also will keep flowers fresh! Holds 42 12 oz cans…. see it here
Ear Muff Headphones, $20
Does your woman love to listen to music when walking just about anywhere? Well give these efficient headphones — they warm the ears and will warm her heart. http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/
iDesign Tower Stereo Speaker for iPod, $249.99
Charges, docks and plays your iPod all in this convenient sound system! Supported by two multi-directional speakers and a subwoofer, amazing concert hall sound comes from this conveniently designed system. Great for the party throwing gal, stay-at-home Moms or for at-home gyms. http://www.brookstone.com/
e-Pad Lap Desk, now $29.99
A portable, lightweight solution for the technology savvy woman in your life; if she works a lot from her computer and doesn’t like sitting at a desk, this is an ideal gift! It’s great because it can be transported anywhere and it also is a carrying case for your laptop or other necessities!
Mobile Me, $99/year
Great for any lady who is a work-aholic, writes a blog, designs websites, need additional back-up, likes to have multiple e-mail accounts and likes to keep everything synched and organized. *For Mac Users www.apple.com/mobileme
For the athletic woman in you life
She loves yoga, pilates; a undying servant to working on her fitness (or wants to get started)
Wai Lana Total Yoga Toning Kit, $79.99
A complete yoga workout in one box! Includes a instructional DVD for all of us females who wants to learn the art of yoga, plus all of the great accessories we’re too cheap to buy (and are too dirty at the gym to use!). http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/category/index.jsp?categoryId=2812888
Reebok Easy Tones, $100
What more could a woman want? Toning your butt and legs without the gym? SCORE! Of course to get the full effect working out and eating right would help, but feed her confidence by purchasing these nifty tennis. Also, check out Fit-Flop for a different shoe that does the same thing! www.reebok.com/easytone http://www.fitflop.com/
Lulu Lemon Athletica GC, variable
Lulu Lemon is the woman athlete’s dream store. Comfy clothes that fit perfect and are durable make this store a favorite of mine! I love wearing their hoodies to gym! Getting her a gift certificate here will be a pleasant surprise to any gym-goer. http://www.lululemon.com/
HeartBeats by Lady Gaga, $119.00
I love walking around with my headphones in. At school, I was “that girl” who always had her ears plugged up with music! These headphone are made by the infamous Lady Gaga for Dr. Dre’s “Beats” line and are high definition for pristine sound. Something a woman normally wouldn’t splurge on, these make excellent Christmas gifts! It also comes with the fantastic Monster cable that can plug into your car for perfect radio reception (compatible with iPods and iPhones as well). http://www.beatsbydre.com/
I hope these gifts help you out or at least give you an idea as to what to get a your special woman in your life!
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