If you're doing the long distance thing, and won't be together for the holidays, getting a personalized gift makes up for your absence. Note: Gift certificates, although perfect for mailing, are as impersonal as it gets. When you're thinking about what type of gift would suits her best, getting as creative—and practical—as you can make it will show how much you care about her.
Depending on how long you've been dating, the amount of money you spend will vary. Dating for over a year? Try sending her the newest iPod. Even if she already has one, Apple updates its gadgets so often that the newest iPod may be something she wouldn't buy for herself. Before you ship this one out, load it up with all her favorite songs, fun playlists for her morning runs, and soundtracks from some of the movies you've seen together.
Hold up—make her a card. Think back to elementary school and get out those markers and crayons, complete with a photo of the two of you so she can show it off on her nightstand. Inside the card, list reasons for each playlist, album, or song on her new iPod. This will bring back feelings of those special times spent together and it'll make the distance seem less of a struggle during the holidays.
If buying an iPod is out of your budget, check out something like Real Dogs Wine or Real Cats Wine (adogslife.net). You can upload photos of her pet onto her favorite bottle of vino! Mention in your card to save this for the next night you're in town.
If you've only been on a few dates, this time of the year can be tricky for you. Although it depends on the seriousness and quality of the time spent together, if you both haven't discussed feelings yet—or you don't know where the relationship stands—getting a gift can make things complicated, or even awkward.
She may like you a lot and you may feel the same way, but getting a pricey gift like a camera, perfume, or even—gasp!—jewelry, could definitely come off all wrong. You wouldn't want to seem like a show off or put too much pressure on money so early in the game-even if you think she's "the one."
If she does mean that much to you (or maybe you just really like her so far) surprise her with an "adventure" date. Mention that for the holidays you thought learning how to rock-climb together would be fun. If she likes to dance, sign up for a salsa class. Or if you share a favorite band, pick up tickets to a concert in the near future.
If you're just getting to know each other, you've certainly had plenty of discussions about your likes and dislikes and what hobbies you share; so picking an activity you both like and giving it as a gift—along with dinner, a card, or flowers perhaps—will be totally thoughtful, and endearing this holiday season.
Maybe you don't plan on being with her forever, but you're liking her at the moment, doing nothing or forgetting to acknowledge the holiday, is sure to kill anything you've got going on with her.