Meeting the Parents: How to Make Your First Holiday Visit Stress-Free

For most people, the holiday season means plenty of family time, which can bring laughter and closeness or tension and uneasiness—sometimes both in the span of just one visit. This is especially true if you’re spending the holidays with a significant other and meeting the parents for the first time.

Surviving the Holidays as a Fabulous Singleton

There are certain times of the year when there is more of a focus on whether you’re in a relationship or not. If we can put aside the dreaded Valentine’s day for now, then Christmas has got to be top of the list.

An endless stream of romantic comedies fills the TV schedule, and all of them seem to end with a happily-ever-after-beginning kiss, timed perfectly with the arrival of much-loved snow.

Back in reality, a lot of us are watching the credits roll from our singly occupied bed, wondering why we still haven’t had that perfect movie finish.

How to Handle the Stress That Comes With Holiday Dating

Holidays are stressful for almost everyone. However, when you’re with a significant other, the holidays can bring up a lot of questions. New couples may wonder if they should buy a present and long-term couples may begin to feel the heat of more personalized presents (like a ring!).

The dating world is often a muddled mix of rules—both spoken and unspoken. But when gifts are concerned, the situation often turns into a tangled web of frustration, confusion…and sometimes disappointment. During the most festive and wonderful time of the year, those in the midst of a new (or more established) relationship might be stressed out and desperately seeking Santa!

Stocking Stuffers for Your Sweetie

So we’ve uncovered the top gift ideas for your Boo with the Ultimate Gift Guide For Bae, but some of you are still left with one last to-do – STOCKING STUFFERS! Don’t worry, you’re in luck, because stocking stuffers are my forte.

gifts

All these items are fairly inexpensive but still thoughtful – You will be amazed with what you can get for $15 and under:

Manitea Infuser  – Not only is this little guy the cutest tea infuser ever made, it’s silicone material makes for an easy clean!

Silly Socks – Themed socks for the bacon lover, mustache grower, beer drinker and much more.

7 Year Pen – For the busy worker bee who isn’t taking too much time off this holiday. Now they can write an average of 5.5 feet per day – score!

ColourPop Cosmetics – Your one stop shop for wallet friendly lipsticks. Not sure what colour to get guys? Take a peak in your gf’s makeup bag!

Cute Pocket Mirror – The perfect accessory for every woman on the go.

New Year, New Notebook  – Everyone wants a fresh start to the New Year and it starts with a recycled paper, screen print notebook, does it not?

Apothecary Travel Set – Travel in style with these elegantly designed bottles, jars, and labels.

Slipper Socks – Not quite slippers and not quite socks, but what are they!? Slipper Socks! This hybrid will make for the coziest of Xmas mornings.

Muddler and Mixing Spoon – Mojitos coming right up!

Custom Apron – Bon Appetit

Starbucks Gift Card – We all need to stay warm this winter with a cup of joe.

Scratch and Wins – You never know, it could be your lucky day.

Netflix Membership – Now you can finally chill.

Bath Bomb – Sizzle in the bath with your sweetheart on Xmas Eve.

Personalized Nutella  – Not just any jar of Nutella, for your partner’s sweet tooth, but one with their name on it. Awe, now that’s love.

Massage Candle – Yes that’s right – the warm wax blend is just a few degrees above body temperature so you can pour it on the skin immediately and enjoy.

Beard Oil – The grooming essential for all mustached men.

Vintage Candies – Fun Dip, Baby Bottle Pops, Tart n Tinys, Push Pop, you name it; there’s nothing like taking a trip down memory lane.

Novelty Ice Tray – Whether you’re a cat lover or whiskey connoisseur there is a novelty ice tray made just for you.

Simple Jewelry – Jewelry doesn’t always have to break the bank.

“What I Love About You” Book – You buy the book and fill in the blanks with all the things you love about your Boo. Adorable!

maybe-i-should-start-xmas-shopping

Holiday Shopping For Your New SO Made Easier

Spending the holidays with a new significant other is romantic and exciting. You can make new memories and establish your own holiday traditions. Gift giving in a recently-established relationship, however, is not so simple.

It’s difficult to determine how much to spend and to find a gift that sends the right message—I like you, but I’m not rushing into this. If you’re stressed about gift giving, don’t worry, we have the tips and gift ideas you need to make shopping for your significant other a little bit easier.

Talk About It

While it may be tempting to find a sweet holiday surprise for your new S.O., it can be awkward if one person gives a gift but the other does not. Bring it up casually in conversation, like: “I really love exchanging Christmas gifts and was planning to get you something, is that OK?”

It may seem awkward to bring this up but it’s better to get it out in the open to avoid an uncomfortable situation. Not to mention, you can find out how your new boyfriend or girlfriend feels about holiday shopping, while setting some gift-giving criteria like a pre-determined price range. If he or she isn’t into gift exchanges or is too overwhelmed with holiday shopping, agree to not to do gifts this year or wait for another occasion like a birthday or Valentine’s Day.

Go the DIY Route

Do-it-yourself gifts are smart for new S.O.s because they require thought and effort but can still be inexpensive. For example, you could make a holiday survival kit if your boyfriend or girlfriend is headed home for the holidays. Not feeling inspired? Choose from this list of 20 ideas, put together by Dwelling in Happiness.

If you’re both pretty crafty, challenge each other to come up with the best DIY gift. You can even go to the craft store together and choose your materials for a fun holiday date night; don’t forget the hot coco and holiday movie when you get home.

Remember: Simple Can be Meaningful

Some of the simplest gifts are the most meaningful, especially in a new relationship when you’re learning so much about one another. Here are a few simple ideas that will go a long way:

  • Playlist: Because some ideas never go out of style— this is the digital version of the classic mix tape. Make a compilation of songs you think they’d like, based on what you’ve learned so far. Or, create them a playlist of your all-time favorite songs so they can learn a little more about you while relaxing to good music.
  • Framed photo: If your new S.O. has an especially important family member, consider finding an old photo of them together and framing it. If they’ve lost a parent or grandparent, this can be a touching gift. Better yet, frame a photo of the two of you on your first date, as a way to remember where it all began.
  • A piece of home: If your new boyfriend or girlfriend lives far from home, buy something related to their hometown. Nostalgia goes a long way, even if it’s not a memory the two of you share.

Attend an Event or Plan an Outing

Instead of stressing over what to buy, plan an activity or outing you can both enjoy. If you want to keep it local, check out a calendar of events in your area. There are so many holiday-themed activities and festivals that make the perfect festive date night, like ice skating, Christmas tree lighting, and traditional holiday shows like the Nutcracker.

If you’d prefer to do something that’s just the two of you, plan a mini-getaway instead. According to a 2016 holiday survey, travel is the most popular gift on Americans’ holiday wish lists this year and you don’t have to plan an expensive vacation to take advantage. Take a weekend road trip, plan a picnic, or plan a staycation and buy tickets to see every tourist thing in town.

Cook, Don’t Shop

Between work, family obligations, travel, and shopping, the holidays can be stressful. So instead of shopping, cook—your sweetie will be grateful for a cozy night in, and you can impress him or her with your culinary skills.

Try to cook a meal you think they’d love, based on what you learned about them, or re-create the dinner you had on your first date to add a sentimental touch. Don’t forget to set the scene with holiday candles, nice plates and a good bottle of red wine or champagne.

Turn it Into a Game

If you’ve agreed to exchange gifts, turn it into a fun event rather than a stressful one. Set a price range and time limit, go to your local mall or shopping center, and see what kind of gems you can find within your price range and time limit. Exchange right then and there, or keep them a secret, wrap everything up and exchange later.

If you’re still stumped, check out even more fun gift ideas we have for you. Just remember, you don’t have to spend or plan a lot to give a memorable gift to your new S.O. A simple DIY basket or custom playlist goes a long way in showing that you care.

 

Online Daters Are About To Break The Internet

Fueled by the weight of new resolutions and prying family questions around the dinner table, singles will flock to online dating sites on Sunday, January 3rd 2016.

Just as we’ve come to accept other seasonal traditions as inevitable, PlentyOfFish can now predict the exact time every year (down to the hour in fact), when single people everywhere collectively decide they’ve had enough – this year will be the year for them to find love.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the date doesn’t fluctuate much every year. The holidays have a way of constantly reminding single people of their relationship status with an unrelenting stream of love-based messaging. First you notice every other commercial seems to be for De Beers, then the mistletoe shows up at the Christmas parties, and when enough people have asked you about your New Year’s Eve kiss come January 1st… your online dating profile is basically halfway filled out.

It’s the perfect holiday cocktail for love (perhaps with a dash of exasperation), and it comes to a head on January 3rd, specifically at 3pm PST, the moment you’re quickly coming down from the last spiked eggnog of the season. Signups to PlentyOfFish will jump by a whopping 24% over 24 hours.

And it’s not just a one-day affair, either. The winter days are short and cold, social lives usually aren’t at an all-time high, and even solo Netflix marathons start to seem less fulfilling – so the signups continue. Historically, peak period in online dating starts the day after Christmas, and runs straight through after Valentine’s day, resulting in a permanent increase in signups of over 20%.

Further, these impressive numbers are set to pay off for hopeful singles. More signups mean more traffic, resulting in more conversations being started and eventually more matches being made. Users who sign up in the first week of January find their partner an average of two weeks faster than those who sign up later, an average of 10 weeks compared to an average of 12 weeks throughout the rest of the year.

So there you have it, time is on your side when it comes to online dating this winter. And with over 2 million singles predicted to sign up to PlentyOfFish in January alone, you’ll be in good company.