Christmas gift for girlfriend to buy now
November 5, 2012 12:10 PM   Subscribe

I need a unique Christmas gift for my girlfriend that I can purchase now (and have it mailed closer to the time). Help?

Anyone have any good ideas? She likes normal female stuff, and is in her 30's. We live in the US.
posted by RaynDrops to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (16 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
normal female stuff

I am a woman, and I am honestly baffled by this. Could you be more specific?
posted by ocherdraco at 12:15 PM on November 5, 2012 [14 favorites]

Response by poster: @ocherdraco : Jewelry, bath stuff, clothing, makeup...she's relatively girly.
posted by RaynDrops at 12:17 PM on November 5, 2012

I discovered Olive and Cocoa recently, and the person on the receiving end of a gift I ordered, absolutely loved it. They have a mix of things - food, flowers, jewelry, home decor. Somewhat on the pricey end, but good quality and variety of unique gifts. It seems to be a small company (I received a hand written thank you card for ordering), so I bet you could contact them about ordering now, but delaying shipment.
posted by raztaj at 12:22 PM on November 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think it's really hard for people to find "unique gifts" for someone who likes "normal female stuff". It's much easier to find unique gifts for specific interests/hobbies.

You also didn't give a price range.

Things I and my friends like (20s and 30s women). I consider us to be pretty girly (dress up, like nice dates, etc)...
  • fresh flowers, delivered, with vase
  • power tools
  • lumber / electronics to build things with
  • bath stuff, if you know the smells she likes
  • chocolate (but be careful it won't melt during transport)
  • gift card to local vintage-inspired clothes shop
  • gift card to Zappos (online shoe store)
  • nice clothing on Etsy (or other nice things on Etsy)
  • knitting/crochet supplies
  • stuff for my pets (fish and cats)
  • pretty bed pillows/sheets, throw pillows, curtains, table cloth, other home stuff that you KNOW she'll like (nothing worse than having to display something you hate to not hurt feelings)
  • framed art (see note for above)
  • "estate jewelry", which is very nice, antique/vintage stuff
  • kitchen stuff (cutlery, cookware, pot drying rack, stand mixer, etc)
  • espresso machine (a nice, i.e. $400+ one)
  • netflix/apple/amazon credit
  • interesting books/movies/music

  • posted by ethidda at 12:24 PM on November 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

    Could you give a little bit more description of what makes her unique, and her particularities and idiosyncrasies of taste, personality, and character? In my experience, I've found that the best gifts often rely on intimate knowledge of what sets a person apart from other people. The category of gift (sweater, clothing, make-up, etc.) is often less important than why exactly it was chosen for that specific person. The best gifts that I've been given have been chosen by careful attention to things I've said or hunches that that person had about me and my tastes based on careful observation. It's consequently very difficult for us to help with this, given that we don't know her at all. Could you provide anything more specific for us to work from? What are characteristics about her and her tastes that set her apart from others? What in-jokes do you have? What things has she mentioned liking, or what foods has she mentioned trying, or what books/magazines has she mentioned wanting to read or take out a subscription to but hasn't gotten around to it?
    posted by UniversityNomad at 12:24 PM on November 5, 2012

    Response by poster: Thanks for your answers so far. I guess the other thing to add is that I'd like to buy it online, within the next couple week. The reason is that I won't be with her for Christmas or really able to do much shopping in December but still want her to get something nice
    posted by RaynDrops at 12:26 PM on November 5, 2012

    Response by poster: Ok yes she's really into cooking, 80's movies, dogs, and works as a market researcher (so she has a desk job). We met online a couple of years ago but always make up really crazy unrealistic fake "how we met" stories, so perhaps that would be a good inside-joke type thing.
    posted by RaynDrops at 12:28 PM on November 5, 2012

    Response by poster: Oh and my spending limit is about $150
    posted by RaynDrops at 12:28 PM on November 5, 2012

    I just bought a vintage compact on Etsy. I bet most Etsy sellers would be willing to accept payment now, and ship later, whenever you want them too - just message & ask.

    If you won't be around over the holidays, I think sending flowers would be nice. Again, you can probably contact florists and ask if you can order this far in advance - I bet most would let you do that.
    posted by insectosaurus at 12:33 PM on November 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

    In short, what I was saying above is that often what makes the best gifts into the best gifts is not some objective quality of whatever is being given, but how it comments on the relationship between the giver and the receiver. For instance, my grandpa a couple of years ago got me a turquoise necklace for my birthday. It's a beautiful necklace, but what made it such a special present was far more than that - it was how he noticed that I like and often wear turquoise jewelry, it was his statement that he saw it and thought of my eyes, and it was the anecdotal letter he wrote telling me of the circumstances around which he saw it and thought of me and bought it.

    What does your girlfriend like most? What would she love to buy for herself but would be too much of a frivolous indulgence for her ever to do so? Has she dropped any hints, even inadvertently? What in particular reminds you of her? Is there a particular type of jewelry she loves? Or does she like vintage things, for instance? Or kitsch? Do you guys have couple in-jokes that center around anything in particular, that you could riff off of? Does she often like particular things that you do for her (say, baking for her, or massaging her)? If so, you could turn these things into personalizing presents.
    posted by UniversityNomad at 12:34 PM on November 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

    If she's into kitchen stuff, maybe you can help her start/complete her knife set. (Every good chef I know loves their knife set.) Most people I know use Wusthof, Henkels, or Shun knives. And they usually start with a che'f knife, paring, and bread knife. Sometimes a butcher knife. Depending on the brand and knife, it can be under $150. Or maybe get her a honing steel.

    If she's a baker, maybe get her a corning ware set that matches the rest of her dishes? They're probably way under your budget though.

    You can also get her a coupon to a lesson/experience that she might've wanted to try but never has. (Maybe something she mentioned once in a conversation with you.) Double points if you would want to try it out with her.
    posted by ethidda at 12:40 PM on November 5, 2012

    Since you mentioned she likes to cook, Zingermans lets you select an arrive-by date when you place an order.
    posted by bettafish at 12:41 PM on November 5, 2012

    I like gift cards, I LOVE Amazon gift cards because I can buy all kinds of neat stuff with them.

    It doesn't sound very romantic, but frankly, I'm a practical girly, girl and I really like to pick out fragrances, kitchen items, etc. I know what I want.

    I don't like jewelry, I think it's a waste of money. I'm allergic to a lot of flowers. I'm kind of a nightmare to shop for.

    Perhaps arrange for a weekend stay at a B&B or similar, romantic getaway for when your return?
    posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:58 PM on November 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

    Response by poster: Good comments! I like the idea of some bakery stuff, perhaps I'll look into some kind of handmade item and see if the creator will wait to mail it until closer to Christmas.

    Funnily enough, it was my girlfriend who told me to ask the question on this site, as she wanted it to be a surprise and thought you guys would come up with something good.
    posted by RaynDrops at 1:03 PM on November 5, 2012

    she... thought you guys would come up with something good.

    Aw, shucks. That's nice of her.
    posted by ocherdraco at 1:27 PM on November 5, 2012

    We met online a couple of years ago but always make up really crazy unrealistic fake "how we met" stories, so perhaps that would be a good inside-joke type thing.

    My housemate and his girlfriend were like this in the beginning. For their first anniversary, I helped him to make an album of photos of all their 'first meetings' - on a train, in a library, in Red Square, on the moon, in the trenches, etc. It was a lot of fun, although possibly more work than you are able to put in, I don't know.
    posted by Acheman at 6:33 AM on November 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

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