It doesn’t matter what you get because it’s the thought that counts. Yeah right. Buying a gift for a partner is an anxiety attack disguised as a festive process, where you have to figure out what you can get that makes them feel appreciated, but not judge, and is expensive, but not too expensive. It’s a gift box filled with dread.
Sometimes it feels like your relationship is hanging on by the thin piece of ribbon tied around their gift. Is gift giving really important enough to stress-out about?
Relationship coach Michele Christensen says to simmer down because a present isn’t going to make or break anything. “Gift-giving is not super high-stakes, but it is an opportunity to show you care and deepen your connection,” Christensen says. “Go into the process with love and a sense of fun.”
But since it’s a week from Christmas and you don’t really have a lot of time for fun, here’s Christensen’s tips for finding the perfect gift to say you love them.
- What’s Their Favorite Things. Ask yourself what they’d say is the favorite parts of their day, their favorite treats, hobbies and pastimes. Simply start to identify the things that matter most to them, or the things they want more of.
- How Can You Make Them Better? Figure out how you can make their favorite things, even more of their favorite. Try to think of how you can either enhance their activities or reduce any frustrations that come with them.
One last piece of advice if you haven’t shopped for your partner yet. “Look at how they respond to gifts from other people and how much time and energy they put into selecting and giving gifts themselves,” says Christensen. If they’re freaking out over getting great gifts for their holiday party and making a lot of homemade things, godspeed my friend,you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you.