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Guys’ Take On: Holiday Gift-Giving

The holidays are rapidly approaching, which means it’s time to start buying presents for your closest friends and family. Maybe you have a boy in your life too, and you want to get him the perfect gift. The only problem is, you have no idea where to start looking. We spoke to college guys from across the country to answer your most pressing holiday gift-giving questions!

Do you expect to receive a gift from your girlfriend at the holidays?

We polled the guys to see if they expect to receive a gift from the girl in their lives during the holidays. The guys were split on their expectations.

“It depends. If we’ve been dating for a while, then yeah. But if not, then we should probably talk about what we expect. It’d be awkward to get a gift and not have something to give her in return.” – Pat*, a senior at the University of Illinois

“No, definitely not. We’re in college so both our budgets are tight. It would be good enough to just spend some time together celebrating the day.” – Collin*, a junior at Illinois State University

“I don’t expect it, but it’s definitely appreciated. I will probably be getting her something so she should put in a little effort, too.” – Jason*, a senior at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

“Maybe. If we are clearly in some kind of relationship, then I would expect to get something, not necessarily a huge gift, but a little something to let me know she remembered me during the holiday.” – Steve*, a junior at the University of Missouri

“Yes. I know I’ll be getting her something, and it’s only fair for her to do the same. Plus, it’s a nice way to show someone you care at Christmas.” – Jake*, a senior at Texas Christian University

What kind of gift is your favorite to receive from a girl?

For all of you girls struggling to find the right gift for your guy, the guys told us about some of their most memorable holiday gifts.

“I really like tickets to something, like a game or a concert,” Pat says. “It’s fun to have something to look forward to doing together even after the holidays are over.”

“New clothes or shoes are always nice,” Collin says. “Girls have way better style than guys so they usually pick something perfect that I never would have bought myself.”

“I like stuff that shows she really thought about it, like a picture of us together that brings back a great memory,” Jason says. “It’s something I wouldn’t buy myself, but I like to have.”

“One girl got me tickets to a major professional basketball game in my hometown, and it was a great gift,” Steve says. “I was so excited to go, and it showed she really cared about what matters to me.”

“Any gift is a good gift, but this year, I’d really like to receive the iPad mini,” Jake says. “It’s pretty expensive so it’d have to be from a girl that you’ve been dating for a while.”

Do you read into what kind of gift a girl gets you?

Relax a little, girls. It seems as though guys don’t really care what they get from you as long as you tried:

“Not really,” Pat says. “Unless it’s exceptionally bad, then I’m pretty much just happy to have gotten something from her at all.”

“No, unless we were on completely different pages, like if she bought something super expensive, and I gave her something casual,” Collin says. “That would probably be a bad sign.”

“A little,” Jason says. “A really great gift shows that she’s been paying attention to what I like and knows me really well.”

“No, I don’t really care,” Steve says. “I’m more interested in making sure that she likes the gift I got her.”

“Yeah, I mean it’s a pretty good gauge of how someone feels about you or at least how well they know you,” Jake says.

What goes through your head when gift shopping?

When all else fails, remember that guys are struggling just as much as you are to find the perfect gift http://www.hercampus.com/love/….

“It’s so tough,” Pat says. “I never know the right thing to buy, and I get stressed out because I want her to like it. It’s hard.”

“Unless I’ve been dating the girl for a long time and have a good idea of what she likes and doesn’t like, I ask one of her friends or her mom for advice on what to get her so that makes shopping a lot easier,” Collin says.

“I always ask my friends what they’re getting their girlfriends and what they’ve gotten in the past,” Jason says. “Usually there’s a pretty good idea or two.”

“I hate shopping for gifts because it’s a lot of pressure to get it right,” Steve says. “I spend a lot of time thinking about what to get, and it usually takes me awhile to find the right gift.”

“If I have a girlfriend, then I just ask her what she wants,” Jake says. “Hopefully she can give me a few ideas, and I can pick from there so I know she’ll be happy.” 


Does the kind of gift you give a girl say anything about how you feel about her?

While the guys put in a lot of effort to find the right gift for you, they aren’t always successful. Whether it’s spot-on or a major disappointment, don’t read too much into his gift for you.

“I don’t think girls should read too much into what we get them,” Pat says. “Because a lot of times, we have absolutely no idea what the right gift is so we end up grabbing something last-minute.”

“If he gets you something really special, then you can safely assume that he cares a lot about you and wants you to be happy,” Collin says.

“Yeah, usually,” Jason says. “I mean, if you can tell we spent a lot of time trying to find the perfect gift, then it shows we are committed to the relationship.”

Steve says he’s unsure, “She could hate the gift and think I know nothing about her when I really spent hours trying to find the right thing. She shouldn’t think about it too hard.”

It’s a definite “yes” from Jake, “Yes. If I really care about the girl, then I will try to get her what she wants most or something that’s really special so she knows how I feel.”

What’s on your holiday wish list this year?

And finally, for a few extra ideas, check out what the guys are hoping to receive from you this holiday season, from music to electronics:

“I really want a new pair of jeans and some other clothes,” Pat says. “I wear the same t-shirts all the time so it’d be nice to get some new stuff.”

“I’m hoping for the NHL lockout to end so that I can grab some tickets to a Chicago Blackhawks game,” Collin says.

“I’m asking for house stuff because I will have a new apartment once I graduate in May that I need to get ready for,” Jason says.

“There are some movies that are coming out soon that I would love to have and also a few books that I’m interested in reading – nothing major,” Steve says.

Jake would love some clothes and new music, but he says, “I really want an iPad mini.”


There you have it, girls. From their mouths to your ears, it’s what guys are thinking when it comes to holiday gift-giving. Lucky you, it sounds as though he’ll pretty much like whatever you get him and is working hard to find the perfect present for you!

*Names have been changed 

Allie Duncan is a senior, class of 2013, in the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri. She is specializing in Strategic Communication within the Journalism department, while also pursuing a Textile and Apparel Management minor. In addition to writing for Her Campus, Allie is a member of Kappa Delta sorority - Epsilon Iota chapter, the Publicity Director for Her Campus Mizzou, a Campus Representative/Intern for Akira Chicago, a Contributing Writer for Chicago-Scene magazine and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. She spent the 2012 summer as an intern at Tory Burch, and the 2011 summer as an intern at Vogue magazine. A Chicago native, Allie enjoys shopping, watching reality television, cupcakes, expensive shoes and reading magazines. She hopes to eventually land a job in fashion public relations while living in New York City, Los Angeles, or Chicago.
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