Here I was spending the first Christmas with my boyfriend of 10 months. Although very excited, I was very anxious about the whole gift exchange thing. How much is too much? How much is not enough? Should I go sentimental? Romantic? Nostalgic? Or was it better to stay safe, and just give him something on his wish list. The possibilities were endless…and thus, exhausting.
After much thought, I decided to be a little creative, put a twist on an old classic, and essentially give him E. all of the above. How’d I do it? Well, I took the ol’ carol, The 12 Days of Christmas, and made it into my 12 Days of Gift Giving. Starting on December 14th and every day thereafter until December 25th, my carol went a little something like this:
The key is finding a word that rhymes with me…it’s the only essential piece in the entire Christmas Carol. I’m obsessed with Starbucks Chai Tea…and Ryan (the BF) always drinks mine, so it’s a thing for us. Not your thing? Below are some suggestions if you’re in need of inspiration.
- Give the cheese lover some crackers and brie.
- Feeling Generous? Then hit the mall for a shopping spree!
- Find your Holiday Spirit, and try an ornament for the Christmas tree.
- Wanna Get Away? I’m envisioning Capri, a boat on the sea, or maybe a little sightsee!
- Skip the tea, how ‘bout some Doughnuts and Coffee?
- A sports fanatic can appreciate a golf ball and tee.
- Or get daring, and give that special someone your house key!
- Of course, the default is to give them something for free. Kisses for Free. A week’s worth of laundry duty…free!
Now that you’ve established the rhyme, the rest is all about making the numbers work.
Two is a great number to use for something the TWO of you can do together. Think movies, concerts, and as in my case, a comedy show!
On the third day, I took Ryan out on a date to 2Amy’s, a gourmet pizza place for three mini pizza pies. Another suggestion: If you’re on a budget, don’t be afraid to gift redeemable hand-made coupons. Give them three home cooked meals. Three hours of the remote control. Three 15-minute shoulder massages. Or you could always go big with the Three Karat Diamond. Just saying.
I have these sheets made of a fabric they call jersey that are supposed to mock the feel of a worn in t-shirt. AMAZING. So amazing, that Ryan likes to steal my pillows. I’m sorry…he likes to BORROW my pillows. So essentially, this gift is really about me reclaiming what’s rightfully mine. For your 12 days of Christmas, four’s a good number to splurge on books, movies, ties, or maybe even a four-piece grill set.
Every day doesn’t have to be about something expensive. I went with lotto tickets. You could go with candy bars, gum, chapstick…anything stocking stuffer-esque.
What guy wouldn’t want a 6 pack of his favorite brew? I paired my six-pack with tickets to a cooking event that features his beer in every dish. You could couple yours with a trip to the brewery, or a beer brewing kit so he can make his own six-pack at home! Or get creative and give him “6-pack abs” with a month’s membership to your local gym.
Seven for me was all about satisfying the sweet tooth. Can’t go wrong there.
I tried to mix up giving him tangible gifts with gift experiences, so on my eighth day, I made him eight shooting targets and combined it with tickets to the gun range. My targets featured: Abu Nazir (for all of you Homeland Fans), the Pittsburgh Steelers (Ryan’s a Baltimore Boy), and a whole host of other inside jokes. A fun suggestion for 8…give ‘em an 8-ball, and take a trip to get your palms read!
Nine was a real stretch for me. Washington, DC’s a city known for its museums, so I knew I wanted to gift a fun local experience…I just had to be creative with my gifting. Since I had my heart set on the Newseum, I was hoping it had nine levels…it has seven. I was praying it was on 9th street…it’s between 5th and 6th. I needed 9 galleries, it has 14. So we’re just going to have to choose the best 9 exhibits and leave it at that. Sometimes the numbers just don’t fit…and it’s at that moment when you shove the square peg into the round hole. (Even if you have to break the toy.)
Ryan and I single-handedly (I guess that would be double-handedly) keep Chipotle in business. We heart Chipotle. Gift cards are always a good bet when you reach these higher numbers and don’t feel like breaking the bank. If you’re not feeling Chipotle, consider a gift card for song downloads.
Ryan’s a big movie buff, so naturally, Netflix is essential to his wellbeing. Subscriptions like these are definite go-tos if you’re strapped for cash, as you can stretch the spending over the length of the gift. If you’re not into movies, try a magazine subscription or a “something-of-the-month” club.
I closed the show with a briefcase to match the luggage he uses for business trips and such. To my surprise (and by sheer divine intervention), the briefcase had 12 pockets. Other suggestions? Maybe a 12 day vacay or a 12 month scrapbook calendar. Remember, it’s the thought that counts…Happy gifting!