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He Said, She Said: Gifts, Dates, and Christmas

How expensive is too expensive for a Christmas gift for a significant other? Family member? Friend?

He Said: Giving gifts to friends is tricky business, because you always run the risk of causing guilt and making your friend feel forced to reciprocate. If your friend can handle being given a gift and not get anxiety about it, then by all means, gift away. But if you do, try to follow the “Chipotle rule.” Do not spend more on a friend than you would spend treating them to Chipotle. In other words, stay below $15—at a certain point, gift giving to a friend can stop being a touching gesture and start seeming like a bribe for continued friendship. There is no limit for family member gift giving—chances are that at some point they will return the favor, so gift away! You love your family, and they love you. Best of all, they aren’t going anywhere. Showing them that you care with cool gifts is part of embracing family. If the gift you want to get is a little pricey, consider getting some of your other relatives to pitch in with you: make those third row Kenny Chesney tickets for your Auntie a gift from the nephews!

Giving gifts to a significant other is a touching and special way to show your affection. It can also get very expensive, very quickly (you ladies sure do love your jewelry). Many factors go into gift giving for a boyfriend or girlfriend: how long have you been dating? Do you both have jobs? How much do you usually spend on each other? If money is a concern, maybe surprising him or her is not such a good idea. You might be better off just telling each other what you want. Better yet, set a spending limit—all the fun of surprise, with none of the stress!

She Said: Alright so we’re all broke college kids right? In the words of Matt Bellassai, “We’re all just trying to turn hard work into chicken nuggets.” With that said, keep in mind that your family and friends know that you aren’t made out of money! Also, its the thought that counts, not the price tag. For family members, more specifically the ones that you are closest with (aka, your mom), its okay to spend anywhere from $20 to $100, depending on how great of a job you have. For friends, I usually keep it at about $20 for each, going a little higher for my all-time, forever best friend. Now the big debate is over significant other gifts, right? So my rule of thumb is to calculate this based on how long you’ve been dating. After all, you don’t want to spend your whole savings account on a gift and break up in January. Start small at the beginning and spend about as much as you would on a friend. When the relationship has stood the test of a year or two, then you have the freedom to get them that Calvin Klein watch or Kate Spade purse they’ve been eyeing every time you go to the mall.

What is the best/worst gift he/she could give you for Christmas?

He said: How about a box of your stuff, as he tells you about how “it’s just not working out”?

ROFLMAO. I kill me.

Assuming you guys are staying together; ladies—the absolute worst thing you can do as a gift is to get him something that you want. Does he hate One Direction? Maybe you should pass on those concert tickets; I’m sure Harry and Liam will understand. Buying him that crazy new electronic hand-held massager isn’t going to make him want to touch your sweaty feet any more than he already does, princess. You may laugh at how ridiculous this sounds, but rest assured it happens often. Especially with a significant other, it can be hard to separate what you want from what they want. So this Christmas, ask yourself what he would like even if you weren’t in the picture—and trade in that 12-month subscription to Cat Fancy for the new Call of Duty.

She Said: I love this question. Let’s start with the best gift. The best gift you can give your significant other for Christmas involves a lot of time and effort coming up with something that is meaningful, useful, and tugs on the heartstrings of that person’s desires. When you know a person well enough, you can pretty much tie in their favorite animal, color, and silverware patterns along with the kitchen sink to make it perfect. The best gift in my opinion would be something along the lines of blankets, candles, and mugs. After all, it is Christmas and cold outside so why not prepare to snuggle till the end of time? Other than that, it is safe to say just get to know the person and you’ll know what they’ll appreciate most for Christmas!

Now…the worst gift. This is one that has no thought behind it. Something just thrown into a bag or box and put under the tree. For me, the worst gift would be something I’ve never asked for or said I liked because that proves the person doesn’t know me at all. I’m thinking like a snow brush for my car or a bike helmet. What the heck kind of gift is that?

What is the best/worst winter date?

He Said: The best dates are the ones in which you can be yourselves and get to know each other comfortably and informally. Ice skating is a must—endear him/her to you by showing him your years of figure skating practice. Or, if you’re like me, impress her by showcasing your incredible ability to avoid serious head trauma after falling on ice for the 15th time. Either way, you’re winning!

As for the worst winter date? Your picnic in the park date idea probably won’t work out as well as you hoped.

She said: The best holiday date definitely, hands down, involves Christmas lights and hot chocolate. Personally, I live right by the Polar Express’ “North Pole” station and Blossom Music Center and the lights at both are absolutely stunning. Even simply taking a night drive around neighborhoods to see the lights with Christmas music on the radio can be a lot of fun. Doing this after a nice dinner or ice skating would make it a pretty memorable and great holiday date.

The worst holiday date that I can think of makes me cringe just writing about it. If someone takes me to go see Santa and plans for us to wait in line at the mall and sit on Santa’s lap, it is safe to say that you are going home alone. I didn’t like sitting on Santa’s creepy lap when I was little and I can surely say that nothing has changed since then. I can’t even picture what I would say or how I would handle that situation. Therefore, here is a message to all men out there: Don’t do it. Just don’t. This is not a suggestion, please, do us all a favor and don’t do this.

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