Ah, the week before Christmas — when all through the country, every shopping mall is filled with frenzied creatures, trying to buy all those last-minute gifts while that terrible mix of Christmas music that's been on for the last month continues to play in an endless loop.
I don't mean to sound like Scrooge, but I despise shopping in general, especially during the holidays. This year, as the Yuletide approached, I was feeling stressed out about what I should get for Sweet Pants — and I also found myself worrying that he might blow a lot of money on a present for me. A present that might be an unnecessarily expensive item that I would never wear. A present that he might really, really want me to like — that I might hate. A present like the pair of not-so-sweet pants that my very first boyfriend got me. A present that might not be returnable. But I was also worried that an expensive present would make me feel "owned."
Like, if S.P. — who makes significantly more money than I do — were to buy me fancy jewelry, I might feel uncomfortable. I love unusual rings, bangles, and dangling earrings — and I'd have trouble turning down a nice ruby or an especially sparkling diamond. Nonetheless, I feel like an expensive gift always comes with certain expectations, if not quite strings.
What's your take on this? Am I just being my old commitment-phobic self? How do you handle the question of romantic Christmas gifts?
I Wear Exclusively Neutrals—These 14 Items From Banana Republic's MDW Sale Speak To Me
Live your best life in linen.
By Julia Marzovilla
Kylie Jenner and I Share The Same Favorite Phone Case Brand
The serotonin-boosting case I can't go a day without.
By Gabrielle Ulubay
The 14 Must-Haves Marie Claire Editors Are Buying During Nordstrom's Enormous Sale
Thousands of cult products are discounted during Nordstrom's Half-Yearly Sale—but they're going fast.
By Julia Marzovilla
30 Female-Friendly Porn Websites for Any Mood
All the best websites, right this way.
By Kayleigh Roberts
The 82 Best Cheap Date Ideas for Couples on a Budget
"Love don't cost a thing." —J.Lo
By The Editors
Diary of a Non-Monogamist
Rachel Krantz, author of the new book 'Open,' shares the ups and downs of her journey into the world of open relationships.
By Abigail Pesta
COVID Forced My Polyamorous Marriage to Become Monogamous
For Melanie LaForce, pandemic-induced social distancing guidelines meant she could no longer see men outside of her marriage. But monogamy didn't just change her relationship with her husband—it changed her relationship with herself.
By Melanie LaForce
How the pandemic has mutated our most personal disunions.
By Gretchen Voss
16 At-Home Date Ideas When You're Stuck Indoors
Staying in doesn't have to be boring.
By Katherine J. Igoe
Long Distance Relationship Gift Ideas for Couples Who've Made It This Far
Alexa, play "A Thousand Miles."
By Jaimie Potters
15 Couples on How 2020 Rocked Their Relationship
Couples confessed to Marie Claire how this year's many multi-stressors tested the limits of their love.
By Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW