The holidays can create a lot of anxiety in a relationship because of gifts’ hidden and sometimes unintended meanings as interpreted by the receiver. Plus, with our holiday lasting for eight days instead of just one, Jewish daters often wonder if they need to acknowledge their love every night they light that romantic Hanukkah candle. Whether you’re in a brand new relationship or you’re headed towards being a JDate Success Story, there are some simple guidelines to follow to insure that you earn that New Year’s Eve kiss by the end of the month.
My top three tips overall are:
1. Emotional Trumps Expensive
Emotional value always trumps monetary value. Get them something that shows you’ve been listening, rather than something that shows you waited until the last minute and just plunked down a wad of cash instead of taking the time to choose something she would specifically want.
2. Talk and Listen
Many times women think they’re dropping hints about what they want for weeks before. Most of the time, men are oblivious to these hints. So, if you think you missed the message, try just asking what she wants! Even if it’s direct, it will show her that you care about her and want to get her something she would like.
3. What She Wants Most is YOU
Quality time is one of the most valuable things you can give your lady. Take a moment this holiday season to treat her like a princess. Take the reigns in the kitchen and cook for her tonight. Offer a foot massage at the end of a long day. These gestures will mean more than anything that comes in a box.
For The New Girl:
Regardless of how far along you are in the relationship (from benign dating to almost boyfriend/girlfriend status), get her something for Hanukkah. You don’t have to overthink this gift and you should probably not spend a lot of money, but all relationships—even new ones—do warrant some sort of acknowledgment this season. Unless you are trying to set a precedent of what’s to come, you’ll likely want to avoid jewelry, trips, or other big-ticket items.
As noted above, it’s better to get her something that shows you’ve been listening to what she likes, rather than something that makes a promise about how things are progressing. So, say yes to the new book from their favorite author—and say no to an iPad mini.
For the Long-Time Girlfriend:
Sometimes a girlfriend can feel taken for granted after a few months (or years), so this is your time to remind her how special she is to you. Most ladies love jewelry so if you’re not ready to pop the question (which I don’t usually recommend doing during the holidays), try a lovely necklace instead. The box will not be misleading to her. There’s nothing worse than thinking you’re getting an engagement ring and ending up with a pair of earrings.
It’s always appreciated if you do something to acknowledge every night of Hanukkah, but usually not expected. You have the opportunity to be clever though and build each gift upon the last. Perhaps you order candy hearts made that spell out a special message across the eight nights. Or, give her some chocolate Hanukkah gelt nightly and then give her a guide illustrating how the number of coins corresponds to different gifts of her choice on the eighth evening. You can give her a variety of options and let her decide how she wants to spend her gelt. That will give you points for being cute and creative, but also ensure your lovely lady gets exactly what she wants.
Whatever you do this season, it’s a good idea to talk about how you like to spend the holidays in advance to make sure you’re on the same page about how and when you’re observing the Festival of Lights. And don’t forget to ask her out for New Year’s Eve if you want to be with her to ring in the New Year. My mother always told me the superstition that “what you’re doing on NYE is what you’ll be doing the rest of your year,” so make sure that this New Year’s, the fireworks are not only in the sky!