Whether you’ve just started dating or you’ve been married for 25 years, buying a gift for your significant other can be tricky. Wrap up the trendy Hot Pot that’s on her wish list, and you risk sending the message that you expect her in the kitchen. She might say she’d like an Instant Pot, but trust us, she doesn’t want it from you. Leave that to her mother or sister or a friend.
On the other hand, if your S.O. is artsy and says she wants a sliding compound miter saw? Get it for her. Doesn’t sound romantic, but it feeds her passion. Lesson No. 1: Context and perspective matter.
Follow our handy guide to select a gift that will keep you off the naughty list. Or consult our list of curated items that are sure to bring her joy.
Do pay attention. Your S.O. is dropping hints about what she wants under the tree from you, even if she isn’t intending to. She’s had a stressful month at work. Buy her a gift card for a massage. She says she has nothing to wear to an upcoming event. Buy her a gift card to her favorite boutique. You’ve recently moved and there’s no furniture on your porch. Buy her a rocking chair and a bottle wine she can drink while relaxing in it. Still uncertain? There’s no rule that says you can’t ask her what she wants.
Don’t worry if the gift is not a surprise. If your significant other offers you gift suggestions, thank her for making your life easier and go buy her something from her list. If you were hoping to surprise her, you can also buy a smaller gift.
Do give it a little thought and some research, if necessary. What does your S.O. love to do? Does she take lots of photos with her iPhone? Consider giving her a digital camera so she can hone her skills. Does she find cooking relaxing? Fine. Go ahead and give her the handcrafted cast-iron skillet. Considering clothes or jewelry? Make sure you know her sizes and whether she prefers silver or gold.
Don’t wait until Christmas Eve. Everything is picked over and all the salespeople just want to go home and be with their families.
Do make it special. Take the time to wrap it. Attach a personal note and tell her how much you appreciate her.
Don’t spend more money than you can afford. Just make it thoughtful and personal. A framed photo of the two of you says you love her company. Or give her your time and attention. Cook dinner for her. Arrange for her to sleep late.
Still stumped? We scouted some of our favorite stores for items that many women love, including handbags, jewelry, shoes and champagne!
Candy Shop Vintage Kelly Green Rice Beads, $65, available at Candy Shop Vintage, 9 Cannon St.
* $20 from the purchase of each green necklace goes to MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital
Ann Paige Designs Tassel and red tassel and gold half circle earrings, $33.75, available at Henry & Eva, 628 Coleman Blvd.
Parisa Wang Addicted Bracelet Bag, $175, available at Shoes on King, 335 King St.
Whitley V Hematite Crystal Earrings with Crystal Quartz Stones, $40, available at Copper Penny, 280 W. Coleman Blvd., 1128 Belk Drive or 311 King St.
Emmy London’s Cilla in black and gold, $815, available exclusively in South Carolina at Mason Hosker, 17 State St.
Lizzie Fortunato Crater Earrings in metallic, $185, available at Hampden Clothing, 314 King St.
Jahde Made Atlantic Cuff, $100, available at Jahde Leather Atelier, 68 Queen St.
Jahde Made Columbus Collar, $180, available at Jahde Leather Atelier, 68 Queen St.
Barracuda Moon Necklace made with hammered 14 karat gold crescent piece and tumbled Labradorite stone, $122, available at barracudamoon.com
Yoloha Cork Yoga Wheel, $119, available at yolohayoga.com
32-ounce Healthy Human Cruiser in mirage, $39.99, available healthyhumanlife.com
White Gold Ring with 1.21 Carat Emerald, $8,750, available exclusively at Croghan’s Jewel Box, 308 King St.
Club Bracelet, $6,300, available exclusively at Croghan’s Jewel Box, 308 King St.
* Can be engraved
Charlotte Olympia and Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame Gift Set, $175, available at Wine & Company, 441 Meeting St.
Brackish Feather Earrings, $95, available at the Preservation Society of Charleston Shop, 147 King St.