Pick an appropriate gift for your gal

Get your gal an appropriate gift for the occasion

Merry anniversary day
For certain holidays and occasions throughout the year, there are particular gifts that are acceptable and others that your gal may be expecting. Something that's appropriate for Mother's Day might not be cut out for an anniversary gift, and what you get her for Christmas may not work for Valentine's Day. Just observe the rules below to keep from mixing up your holidays.

You need to realize that in a gal's mind, each time you give her a gift, it's really a ritual. This means that, depending on the holiday/occasion, she'll be hoping that her gift contains some of the traditional elements of that day. These elements include the gift itself and how you celebrate the day.

At the heart of it, what your gal truly wants is an emotional moment with you when she unwraps her gift. As long as you "play your part" in this ritual, then you'll have your basic gift taken care of. Then, you can decide whether or not you want to go above and beyond, by applying some of our other tactics to her gift.

Valentine's Day
Sentiment - romance
Required gifts - small romantic flower arrangement (like roses), plus one optional gift
Optional gifts - candy, her favorite perfume, jewelry
Required celebration - dinner
Optional celebration - weekend getaway

Mother's Day
Sentiment - gratitude
Required gifts - non-romantic flower bouquet (not red roses), something hearfelt (like a personalized memento/decoration/photo)
Optional gifts - anything nice
Required celebration - special meal (at her favorite restaurant is best, but at home is okay if you have to)
Optional celebration - a family outing

Sentiment - fun
Required gifts - anything nice
Optional gifts - anything (a joke gift is okay, as long as you get her something nice as well)
Required celebrations - meal, cake, candles, and a song
Optional celebration - tickets to her favorite type of event

Sentiment - togetherness
Required gifts - a gift in her stocking plus at least two main gifts from different categories (like something sentimental, fun, comforting, lovely, and so on)
Optional gifts - useful items (that she needs upgraded or that she doesn't have), an early gift on Christmas eve, a late gift on Christmas night
Required celebration - relax and enjoy the whole day together (if you're working on Christmas, then pick another date to spend the entire day together)
Optional celebrations - invent some new traditions

Sentiment - lasting and growing relationship/love
Required gifts - medium or large romantic flower arrangement, plus the biggest gift of the year (something "expensive" if you can afford it or "extra special" in another way if funds are low)
Optional gifts - jewelry, her favorite perfume
Required celebrations - dinner, plus one event for the two of you
Optional celebrations - weekend getaway

Just because
Sentiment - surprise
Required gifts - anything nice
Optional gifts - anything nice
Required celebrations - none
Optional celebrations - anything

Loose rules
You should largely follow these rules, but you don't have to follow them all of the time. Instead, think of them more like general guidelines for making your gift finding job easier.

Start by using the traditional suggestions we've laid out to zero in on a small range of good gifts. Then consider your particular gal's "likes" to refine your choices, before making a final decision. You know her best after all, so you should have a good feel for where to bend the traditions.

Last thought
Remember that to a gal, a gift is far more than the thing inside the wrapping paper. It's the ritual she's looking forward to, so go along with the program by getting her something appropriate for the occasion. Then give her your time by being in the moment with her as you celebrate together.

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Alec, James, Richard
and our army of gals