Can't think of what to get her for Christmas? Find out how to buy her what she actually wants this year, so your gifts really hit the mark on Christmas Day.
If you've asked your partner what she'd like for Christmas, and you've got a few ideas, then great you're halfway there. If you've asked her what she wants for Christmas and you've been given that well-known reply of "surprise me", there's still help at hand.
"Ask her friends and family what she'd like," says Kate Taylor, resident relationship expert at www.match.com. "It's not cheating; 'surprise me' generally means 'make an effort', and researching for ideas definitely scores points. If friends and family are equally blank, then buy something luxurious and feminine, that she'd never buy herself."
"Don't buy anything practical," advises Kate. "If it comes with a plug and belongs in the kitchen, we don't want to open it on Christmas morning. In fact, research from match.com's LoveGeist Report 2011-12 revealed that household items are one of the least popular. Instead, buy things that make us feel beautiful and adored."
Think about it
If you buy anyone a gift in a rush, chances are you won't get them something they actually want. Even if you take just 10 minutes to really think about what you could buy the woman in your life, your purchase will be more considered, and more likely to hit the mark.
Planning & timing
Okay, if you're reading this and it's 24 December, you've probably left things too late. A little bit of planning goes a long way and this applies to online shopping too. Be aware of the cut-off dates for items that you've purchased online, so you're not left empty-handed on Christmas Day.
Ideas for presents
Aside from asking your partner what she wants for Christmas, there are probably clues all around you if you look for them. Whether she's mad about motorbikes, knitting, shopping or travelling, her hobbies are all helpful inspiration if you don't know what to get her. It doesn't have to break the bank either.
"[Our] research shows that thoughtful presents rank much higher than extravagant ones," says Kate Taylor.
If you know that your wife or girlfriend loves make-up, clothes or lingerie but you haven't a clue which brands or items to buy, taking a more general route can be a clever option:
If she loves clothes, an annual subscription to her favourite fashion magazine would be a great idea. You don't have the tricky task of buying her clothing, and a subscription means she gets new issues to read throughout the whole year instead of one present on Christmas Day.
If she loves her make-up and buying new products, you could buy her an experience rather than make-up items. Based in the United Kingdom, celebrity make-up artist Nadira Persaud runs her own bespoke make-up sessions for women, and her Nadira Make Up Mistress sessions make it easy for men to buy something make-up related for their partners, without having to purchase any products themselves.
"Let's face it, it's no easy task buying Christmas presents for anyone, let alone the woman in your life," says Nadira. "If anything, there is so much choice and ample chance to get it very wrong. Gift vouchers can often seem impersonal and thoughtless but something like a make-up session can do the job without causing offence!
If you want to ensure your lady is wearing a perfectly fitting set of lingerie this Christmas, indulge her in a spot of window shopping by taking her to your local lingerie department or boutique to get fitted," says Suzanne Pentland, fitting expert at Freya Lingerie. "It may give the game away, but you would rather that than a poorly fitting bra. Once you know the perfectly fitting size, you can surprise her with a stunning stylish collection."
Suzanne's top tips:
A woman wants to feel confident, sexy and supported when wearing lingerie. Women want classic designs with a flirty twist which they feel amazing in whether they wear it underneath their work dress or on its own. Freya Lingerie polled their Facebook fans and found that when they were wearing a perfectly fitting bra it evoked many emotions the fans felt "sexy", "amazing", "womanly" and "very happy".
Perfectly fitting lingerie doesn't have to be boring. Choose styles which reflect your loved one with bright bold prints, bow trims or a colour which compliments her complexion or eyes. You can always vamp up a stunning set with a suspender belt or plunging bra shape.
Do your research when it comes to bra sizes and brief sizes too. You don't want to offend the woman in your life by buying a size too big or too small! If you've left Christmas shopping to the last minute, a rummage through her lingerie drawer is a good way to find out her bra size.
Red lingerie is a cliche. Choose an on-trend colour such as sorbet pink, grape or turquoise to wow her.
Investment pieces such as corsets, chemises and luxury collections are always a great way to a woman's heart.
If the idea of buying her the perfect gift usually has you breaking into a cold sweat, use our tips above to find her a thoughtfully chosen gift that she'll really love.
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