A successful Boston businessman and close friend posed the question the other day, “When is it too early to give a person you are dating a gift?” The quick answer, as a Leo who loves gifts, is it is never too early for a gift! However, the wrong type of gift given too early can have a creep factor. Timing is everything in dating and gift giving. We are talking about a new relationship here, less than 6 months and possibly not exclusive yet. So here are a few tips:
If it is someone’s birthday or a special holiday for them, you must send a text. But if you are going to see each other within the week of someone’s birthday or holiday, you should give a card and maybe flowers. For a classy arrangement that is sure to impress, go to www.winstonflowers.com and find a location near you. Of course, a card is the minimum expectation and the universal message of thoughtfulness and friendship. Don’t get nervous. It is not a marriage proposal, just an expression of kindness!
Another nice thought for a gift is a candle. There is a local company called Roots Creations that makes soy candles named after Boston neighborhoods. So, if your first date was in Chinatown or on Hanover Street, you could commemorate a special occasion with a candle from the site of your first date. It is a small financial investment and it again shows thought without being overly intimate. There is also a store in Wakefield. The candles have been spotted in Stop and Shop supermarkets in the floral section. When on sale, they are $9.99 which is less expensive than flowers and lasts longer.
If you want to keep in the theme of Boston, there is a great website called www.findgift.com and they have over 350 Boston themed gifts for every budget. There are chocolates for $4.95 and a Boston marble coaster set for $39.95. They have everything: shirts, calendars, books, ornaments. It is a really cool site with great ideas.
If you are dating a sports fan, there is nothing like a Bruins or Patriots hat or shirt as a gift. Kohl’s carries local team sports gear for men and women and has plenty of sales and coupons. Bob’s store recently had a nice Bruins championship beach towel (around $12-14) which is seasonally appropriate and might create the request for a beach date. Of course, if you are not bathing suit ready, avoid the suggestion!
To give a decent gift, you need to know something about the person you are buying for. For example, giving soaps to a person who is allergic to different fragrances, just doesn’t work. It becomes thoughtless when you don’t do any research. If all you know about this person is that they have a desk job, buy a fun paperweight. They will be thinking of you while they toil away! Wink. Wink. And if it doesn’t pan out, they can leave it in the desk when they terminate their employment and the next person will enjoy it.
But keep in mind, commemorating an event is always better than ignoring it. You have to go with your gut and if you think just calling and saying “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Festivus” (remember the Seinfeld episode on this one?) is enough, at least make the call. Happy shopping and gift giving.