Triple gift-giving conundrum
June 25, 2015 11:27 AM   Subscribe

Hi AskMe! Can you help me give a gift to my boyfriend and maybe his parents?

I have been dating a wonderful guy (turning 30 next week) for about 5 months and everything has been awesome, even through various trials in our lives. This past week he's been waiting on me hand and foot while I've been incapacitated with illness, and I want to get him a gift to show my appreciation! I've just spent a lot on his birthday gift (scotch + cigars, fwiw) so I'd prefer something kind of small/cute and inexpensive. He's a nerdy guy, works in tech, likes Marvel (Iron Man is his favorite) comics, running, his dog, drinking beer, and food (mexican, thai, indian, everything spicy).

The third gift in question is because his parents are also coming to town this weekend and I'm not sure if it's appropriate or necessary to get them something? If I were going to their house I would of course bring wine or flowers or something, but they (and his siblings) are staying in a hotel and I'll only see them for one day where we'll mostly be doing things out in the city. All I know about his parents is that they are relatively conservative, Catholic, from the south, and enjoy drinking.

Any help y'all can provide with either of these would be great, thanks! I have searched previous questions but nothing stood out to me. I'd prefer something that can be bought in person - I have access to most all major stores here.
posted by jouir to Human Relations (6 answers total)
What are you doing in the city? I would probably opt to 1) bring something nice to drink to dinner if it's BYOB, or 2) buy them something neat and local (a treat of some kind) in a shop while you're out looking around. If you have very strict/structured plans that don't allow for either option, I would maybe send something in the mail after they return home with a card saying "thanks for visiting!" or something like that.
posted by easter queen at 11:36 AM on June 25, 2015

Not sure about a gift for him though you might like to try Think Geek as they have a lot of nice little "nerdy" gifts.

For his parents, if your town has say a really nice local chocolate shop, or if you know what they drink something unique to your town, a little souvenir type gift could be a nice touch, but I don't feel it's entirely needed.
posted by wwax at 11:37 AM on June 25, 2015 [4 favorites]

I think a nice homemade meal for your bf would be nice in this situation. Since you're thanking him for his time and effort, it feels more right if you spent some time and effort in return cooking a really nice meal and got him some craft beers to go with it. That will mean more than just going by the store and getting him a comic book or something.
posted by monologish at 11:41 AM on June 25, 2015 [4 favorites]

I don't think it's necessary to get anything for his parents--unless you were staying at their house, like you mentioned. But visiting your city and meeting for the first time isn't a gift-giving occasion. Just be extra-sweet and polite, and when you do eventually visit their home, take a bottle of wine.

As far as for your boyfriend, if it's a gift to show your appreciation, I think an extra-special date night out would be really nice. In that vein, you could also get tickets for both of you to see a show or a game. Cute/small/inexpensive also leads me to think about dog treats and toys. This list has some delightful-looking suggestions.
posted by witchen at 1:52 PM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

Giving gifts is nice, of course, and I know you're coming from a very kind place, but I think you should reconsider these gifts. Buying gifts, even small ones, should I think be kept to traditional occasions, like birthday, xmas/hanukkah, anniversaries, etc. Gifts given for a non-traditional reason often give the impression of desired reciprocity, and it would make me feel a little tense if someone was buying me things for occasions that don't obviously merit gifts.

For your boyfriend:
--home-cooked meal
--sexual favors

For his parents:
Nothing, please. You've been dating for five months. Show up looking your best, be attentive and kind to them and their son, show your personality. They will likely want to take *you* out for dinner. A gift from you is over the top and IMO is a little off at this stage. If you go to visit them in their home, definitely get a hostess gift, but it's not traditional to get someone a gift who is coming to visit you and stays in a hotel... and you don't know them.
posted by tk at 2:29 PM on June 26, 2015

A heartfelt handwritten 'thank you' card would be great for him. Maybe you can reciprocate in the future if he gets sick.

A southern conservative Catholic family? A nice (not large/gaudy) corsage for the mom.
(ask him about her taste in flowers)

Nothing for the rest of the family. You don't know them yet, they won't be expecting anything, and that's cool.
posted by donaken at 5:57 PM on June 27, 2015

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