Battle of the Sexes: Holiday Gifts

Sean says: The holiday season can be stressful for everyone. Finding the perfect gift for your man doesn’t need to contribute to the seasonal psychosis. The key is shopping with practicality in mind.

For example, my father isn’t exactly a handyman and as a result, our garage is disheveled and decent tools are in short supply. I like to pretend to know how to fix things, so last year, he bought me an SK tool set – a handy item to have around the dorm that I use frequently.

I find the best gifts combine practicality with sentimentality.

A few years ago, my family was going through rough times. My mother was sick with breast cancer and unemployed. I was in high school trying to balance my classes, sports and the part-time job I worked to try and lessen my financial burden. I had little money and I was in desperate need of a winter coat.

While out holiday shopping with my girlfriend, we stopped in J.Crew where I tried on a jacket. It fit perfectly, but was too expensive. I left the store while she was still browsing.

When we got back to her house, she called me up to her room where she handed me a bag containing the jacket. This was the best gift anyone’s ever gotten me. It was exactly what I needed and was given straight from the heart.

If you’re still perplexed about what to get your man, ask yourself, “What does he really need?” I’m sure you’re creative enough to meld practicality with sentimentality. I’m also sure you know your boyfriend well enough to know his needs.

Casey says: If you’re stumped about what to get for the special girl in your life, there are a few options you can consider before resorting to stuffed animals or impersonal gift cards.

This year, instead of stressing over what to get each other, my boyfriend and I agreed to go shopping together for new boots. Although it does take the surprise out of gift giving, picking out gifts together guarantees your girlfriend is going to be happy with your selection.

Going to the store with some idea of what the two of you want also will prevent a three-hour shopping trip most guys loathe.

If you’re following the more traditional route by exchanging presents, there is a helpful resource in the form of your girl’s best friend. Think about it: A girl’s closest friend likely knows everything from her shirt size to jewelry preference, to what shade of green she looks best in.

For girls, the best gift comes with sincerity and sentimentality. If your girl knows there is thought behind your present, she’ll appreciate it more.