Choosing the perfect gift for your significant other can be stressful, especially if it’s your first holiday together. But there are ways you can sneak a peek at your partner’s wish list (without outright asking for it) if you engage in a few spy tactics. Consider these six tinseled gift-giving tricks as Santa’s little sleuth to surprise your better half this season.
1. Mine his social media. Social media profiles are full of interesting information about an individual — but you already know that, you stalker. Use your data-mining skills for treasure hunts that don’t include shirtless summer pics to find out what your babe wants under the tree this year. Perhaps they’ve shared an item on their Facebook page, tweeted a link or liked an Instagram photo of something that caught their eye. Browse the businesses they like, and keep an eye on the comments they make on those pages. A little attention to Internet detail will go a long way in unearthing all the things that strike your S.O.’s fancy.
2. Ask his friends and family. I started dating someone new this year, and even though I’m fairly astute in gathering clues about what he’d like for Christmas, I also asked his mother and brother to gain a more comprehensive perspective. If it’s not too awkward, you should reach out to some of your partner’s family members, too. You may come up with ideas you haven’t thought of yet, and your thoughtfulness toward your mutual loved one will be recognized by the family early on, which will help you build a rapport much quicker and easier in the New Year.
3. Be a great observer. Whether you know it or not, your partner has been dropping clues for what he or she would like as a gift since shortly after you started dating. You’ve had countless conversation on your likes and dislikes throughout your relationship, you’ve talked about childhood memories and holidays past, and you’ve each pointed out objects and ideas that pique your interest while on vacation or shopping or just walking around town. Take these collective experiences and put the pieces together to come up with a gift that’s not only special and memorable but also shows that you listen — which, in all likelihood, will be the best present of all.
4. Choose memories over material goods. If you’re having a hard time thinking of a tangible thing to buy, skip the material object all together. Rather, opt for an experience gift — like a quick getaway or an exciting activity — which you two can do together. Not only will you make a lasting memory out of the experience, you’ll prevent one more thing from collecting dust in his or her house before eventually ending up in the attic (or worse) a landfill.
5. Consider needs vs. wants. We all want plenty of things, but are they necessities? If you partner needs things — like, say, a new interview suit or tires for his car — prioritize these over frivolous gifts that serve no real purpose. Sure, these gifts aren’t glamorous or even exciting, but your partner will be thankful that they don’t have to spring for them… and if they’re a decent person in general, they’ll recognize that your love for them runs deeper than that video game console.
6. Stay In sync. Couples who are in sync don’t have much problem thinking of gifts to give one another. Moreover, couples who are in sync make their own rules at the holidays by forgoing traditional gift-giving tactics by finding interesting ways to show their love and affection. Make ornaments for one another, bid on that coveted childhood wish-list item that they never got, or make by hand (and heart) a piece of art that they’ll hang and think of you often. When you’re on the same page romantically, there won’t be any disappointment when it’s time to unwrap all the goodies. It’s the thought that counts, after all, and couples recognize that above all else.
— Mikey Rox