I have only been dating this woman for a few months now, and it's the first time I have been with anyone but my Ex-wife for Christmas for some years now. So I am a little rusty on what would be considered a good first X-mas gift for the new woman in your life.I welcome any suggestion... Thanks

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You really need to talk to her about this a little. My now-fiance and I were in a similar situation a year ago, and we needed at least an understanding of whether we're exchanging gifts and how much we're spending.

Beyond that, here are the only gift guides I've read this year:

http://www.glamour.com/about/holiday-gift-guide-2011

There's no secret perfect Christmas present for "a few months now." There are no secret perfect Christmas presents for every-woman. Only you know this woman, so only you know what she would like. Keep in mind:

*Everyone gives women lotion. It's nice, unoffensive, but fills my beside drawer.

*Nothing to wear, unless it's a necklace or pin. I find all women wear a necklace at least occasionally, but bracelets can be annoying, and everything else requires some knowledge of size, etc. No clothes. (My mother is a gynecologist. She deals with women's bodies all day. She still can't get my size right.) No other jewelry. (My now-fiance's first gift to me was a pair of pearl earring studs. I don't have pierced ears. I still don't know what to do with them.) This includes purses, make-up, and perfume, all of which are very personal and hard to choose for someone else.

*No cases - iPod, phone, computer

I read once that you shouldn't give real nuts/buffs gifts in their area of expertise. They'll already own it, or have decided they don't like it.

Don't give a duplicate of anything you own. I gave my now-fiance a copy of my favorite architecture book last year. Now we'll have 2 when we get married. Be more optimistic than I was.

Never buy anything she can wear, use in the kitchen, requires batteries, needs to be serviced, has an instruction or warranty packet, requires two hands to pick up, that has two pronunciations, is childproof, can be lit, or makes her go on line to find out what it is. Do buy art, books, simple wines or liquors, something you two can share once, something that she can carrying in a clutch purse, or a service that she mentioned she could use, like a maid for a day. Don’t spring for something that costs more than you earn in say a day, and try not to let her know what you paid for it. And take time picking out a card to go with it; in fact a well thought out card might be all you need.


Merry Christmas.

"Never buy anything she can wear, use in the kitchen, requires batteries, needs to be serviced, has an instruction or warranty packet, requires two hands to pick up, that has two pronunciations, is childproof...or makes her go on line to find out what it is. Do buy...books, simple wines or liquors, something you two can share once...or a service that she mentioned she could use, like a maid for a day...try not to let her know what you paid for it."

+1

"Never buy anything...that...can be lit"

Candles are like lotion, though not as common. They're an OK idea.

"Do buy art...something that she can carrying in a clutch purse..."

Never buy someone home decor if you visit regularly. They'll have to display it, but may not like it. Most women's purses are already too crowded; key fobs are like lotion.

"Don’t spring for something that costs more than you earn in say a day"

Or an hour. Like I said, have a little chat.

"And take time picking out a card to go with it; in fact a well thought out card might be all you need."

Really depends on the individuals. My family is very happy to skip cards. They're very important to my fiance's family.

If I knew I was going to have a subjective list being reviewed for proper submission, I would have qualified the statements by saying, “It has been my experience that…” But I am happy to be judged by someone who would give an architectural book as a first gift for whatever holiday comes around at this time of year, as it proves my contention that women give worse first gifts than men.

LOL

No, really; look.

Things women have bought me over the years as my first present.

Ties- I hate ties, the few I have are for business reasons only

Scents – I don’t use colognes, after shaves or lotions

Slippers – they’re either one size fits all, or the wrong size

Candles – Same reason I don’t use scents, plus they cause a fire hazard with I get blitzed and light them

Handcrafts – Most of the stuff out there is just…odd

Kitchen equipment or supplies – I would never let you add to my tool kit, why think it doesn’t apply to my kitchen

Photo – Usually with some animal they live with, pet or child,

Furniture – They can’t buy slippers but they think they can pick an Ottoman?

Gift cards – These are usually for a place that sells lotions, candles, or handcrafts so the store gets money but never has to trade anything in return

Charities - Big on this sort of thing, but some of the charities should just be fire bombed and not supported

A couples weekend – The single best way to break up a blossoming romance is to try be romantic while sleeping in a too soft bed, with handmade quilts showing the shape of farm implements

Right now I am…between relationships, but hope to have something after my birthday and way before any Holidays.

My fiance is an architecture buff. I fell in love with him when he could name the architect of 3 of the 4 churches, pictures of which adorn my living room. The book is about the work of the architect who designed 3 of the 4 (but not the 3 he identified). Half our dates are touring architecture sites; the other half involve libraries and bookstores. It was the right gift, were it not duplicative.

He got me earring posts (for my unpierced ears) and mirrors in black cases, when I specified any-color-but-black. [We had previously discussed following my family's tradition of very specific gift requests]

I didn't expect such personal information, but at least you added to my day by sharing something that was sweet without being sugary. Personally, I think a book someone shares with you says more about the relationship than just about anything you can give. Books have souls, you know. So James, I haven’t forgotten you, for me, go with a book.

ahh, smiles.

Here's another secret: My fiance's public Amazon wishlist had 292 books and 2 video games, last I checked. When my parents asked what to get him this year, I told them to check it out. Turns out, Dad owned one of the books on the list, so my fiance's getting that. No more doubles now that things are official! haha

I think a scarf is traditional.

It ruins the joke that you two beat me to it by a couple seconds.

A scarf or pashmina may be additional exceptions to my nothing-to-wear rules.

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