The holidays are upon us, and you’re wondering if you should give your significant other a gift.  If you are, you might be trying to decide between a piece of jewelry, tickets to a show, or a card signed “XOXO.”

My friend and I both started dating great guys a few months ago.  My girlfriend sees her guy three to four times a week.  Due to busy schedules, my guy and I see each other once or twice a week.  Our relationships are progressing at different rates.  The level of progression can help you determine the kind of gift you might want to give.

Knowing my girlfriend and how quickly their relationship has progressed, an appropriate gift for her might be a nice necklace.  Probably a thin chain with a small pendant on it.  Unless there are special circumstances at play, I feel gem stones are not appropriate at this stage of the relationship.  But that’s just me.  A weekend out of town together is always a great bonding gift.  Something she might consider getting her boyfriend would be a nice button-up shirt or something appropriate to his style.  I feel clothing is a personal preference and so, if you aren’t at this level in your relationship, and if your significant other didn’t say they specifically like something, I’d veer away from clothing gifts.

What to get that special someone if you haven’t spent quite as much time together as my friend?  I would recommend thinking about your significant other’s hobbies and interests.  Do they have pets?  One of the most appreciated gifts I’ve received were two stuffed paw-shaped stockings for my dogs.  If someone likes castles and old houses, maybe a dinner out at one of the old mansions-turned-restaurants like The Lark or The English Inn.  Do they like theater?  Tickets to a show at the Wharton Center or the Fox Theater might rock their world.  Maybe they’re sporty?  Great seats at a Pistons or MSU Spartans game might be your ticket.  If they have a sweet tooth, you could either make them Christmas cookies or spring for a box of Godiva chocolates.

My point is that a gift that you put some thought into is going to be much more memorable than just purchasing what you think every gal or guy likes and putting it into a box with a bow on it.  Something you can do or learn together is always a great way to bond and build memories.  No matter what the level of your relationship, unless it’s your litte sister, don’t send the card signed “XOXO.”