It might be her birthday, Christmas, an anniversary, or just the end of her exams (or the start…). Whatever the occasion, you want to make her happy, and so the short, seemingly unremarkable, yet trickiest and most difficult question comes up: What do I get her?
Here are my top 5 picks from Mandy Velez’s collected list of gifts for your exquisite lady-friend:
1. Taking the time to learn her native or used language
This is an incredible gesture because languages allow for more ways of communication and expression, thus bringing people closer. People express themselves differently based on the language they speak, especially if it is their native tongue compared to their second language. I think this is especially important to People of Colour and immigrants here in Canada and the U.S.A.: there is already that sense of feeling inherently displaced, so when your significant other tries to learn your native language and communicate with you using it, that adds to the familial, safe and homely space you share with them. I don’t mean to limit this to just vocal languages either — sign language would be crucial for you to learn if your significant other is deaf or hard of hearing. To use a cliched saying, communication is key — and it really is, to enrich the space you two share. Taking up a language is always a great thing for your brain anyway.
2. Something related to her interests
Don’t overthink the gift-giving. Seriously. If she likes fashion, get her a gift card to her favourite store. If she’s a nerd, let her indulge in her nerdiness: buy her the associated merchandise. If she loves Doctor Who, get her Doctor Who-themed things, etc. Etsy and Redbubble are great places to start looking.
3. A personalized comic*
Remember when Pam made Jim that adorable comic about “Jimmy Halpert” in the seventh season of The Office? Not only should Jim and Pam be enough reason for you to do this for your girl because they’re practically the perfect couple, but it’s also thoughtful and bound to be original as it’ll be based on her.
*Requires doing art. Options: a) Bribe your artsy friend b) See: #5
4. A balloon-filled room with hidden gifts
Self-explanatory, no other justification needed. A room full of balloons…with hidden gifts. This is her (and probably your, and just about everyone’s) childhood fantasy come true.
Want to make her something but don’t have too much artistic capability? Fret not, for those of us who are not particularly artsy or craftsy, there is the scrapbook: artsy and craftsy but extremely doable. Scrapbooks are a sweet, thoughtful and fun way to preserve your memories. Anything that might initially be seen as trivial, commonplace or even junk can be sentimental: old receipts, tickets, do-not-disturb hotel door hangers that never left the doorknob…
And the runner-ups from the original askReddit where these were discussed:
“At some point, my boyfriend (now, husband) and I shared our car keys with each other (so we each had a copy of the other’s key). One day on his lunch break from work, he drove to my office and left a cupcake in my car, so I would find it after work. Cost: $5” – user tarynevelyn
Gotta be practical. “For our first wedding anniversary, he bought me a cute heart-shaped necklace that opens up to a 64gb USB stick inside….People get really excited when they see me pull my necklace apart and stick it in a computer, and I feel like a spy from a movie or something.” – user prolixdreams
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