Finding the Perfect Gift: Part 1

The Strokes
Finding presents is hard, as any guy will tell you. You need to know what your partner wants, and also is not expecting. I found this repeatedly as I searched for Valentine’s, birthday and anniversary (well 6 months) gifts this year. It really is a test of how well you know someone. Despite how well I knew Chelsea, the broad term of “a gift” is huge and the possibilities were endless. I had no idea where to begin.So I started with what I knew.
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What did she like? Well, that was a fairly easy question: dogs (dachshunds and beagles in particular), The Strokes, The Vines, jewellery, video games, candles and LDR related items. Okay, so, that is quite a list. But a little random, and still did not give me very much to go on, if I wanted to get something special and unique. Unless I wanted to get a beagle puppy… but that one is still on hold for now.
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Pairing Items Together

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So with that list, I began pairing items together. It took a while, but one of the first pairings I settled on was jewellery and LDR gifts. This seemed like a sweet idea, and would be a little reminder of me wherever Chelsea went. And, fortunately enough, she had even sent me a link to a “build your own charm” website. But it still did not feel personal enough.That is where Etsy came in. Etsy is a great site, like an Amazon or Ebay but for craft and hand made items. And there was plenty of inspiration to be found there. After a little searching, I came across a necklace that, above all, just felt right. I knew Chelsea would love it the moment I saw it. And within 5 minutes it was ordered – a beautiful birthstone necklace with both our names and gems.
A personalised birthstone necklace gift.

A personalised birthstone necklace from Nestled with Love.

The next pairing I thought of, I can’t really take credit for. It was something that caught my eye as I was searching jewellery on Etsy. That said, I still think it was a great (if lucky find). And that pairing was: The Strokes and Dachshunds. It might seem odd at first, but it clicked perfectly in my mind. And before long I was searching for vinyl cut clocks. These are clocks laser cut out of old vinyl records into nearly any shape imaginable.
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Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a shop which would allow vinyl requests, as they were probably a little difficult to come by. But the Dachshund cut vinyl clock was still something I was pretty set on. It was just, again, that feeling, knowing that it was right.
A Dachshund vinyl  clock gift.

A Dachshund cut vinyl clock.

So that was the birthday presents taken care of, but what about Christmas. Chelsea’s birthday falls on January 6th, pretty close to Christmas. So I was searching for the gifts around the same time. In my mind, these two were perfect for her birthday, and were something I wanted to see her open in person, to see the look on her face. Which, being over for New Year’s and the first few weeks of January gave me the perfect opportunity to do.
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Striking a Balance

But that still left the Christmas present. It fell before Chelsea’s birthday, so I didn’t want something that would outshine my plans for her birthday. But it still had to be personal, and something I would be proud to give her. Which led to my next pairing: candles and LDR gifts. Candles were a favourite, Chelsea loved them, her family knew she loved them, and I knew she loved them.But for all the candles she had, there didn’t seem to be any that would remind her of England.
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I’m sure anyone from England or the UK is familiar with the English Rose (or Lavender) garden scent. And I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to give Chelsea something that, while it might not last forever, would give a sensory reminder of our time spent together.And, fortunately for me, Etsy once again obliged. The Jump for Joy shop sold English Rose Garden scented candles complete with gift box and personalised message. It was exactly what I was looking for, a perfect fit. Once again, it was only about 5 minutes and that too was ordered.
A scented candle gift.

The English Rose Garden scented candle.

That was it. Christmas and birthday presents ordered. All I could do now was sit back and wait for them to be delivered, and hope Chelsea wouldn’t guess what they are. That’s the difficult part of gift giving in a LDR, you always have to order it to their house. And customs have a knack of writing exactly what’s contained in the package on the front. But fortunately for me, this was not the case (this time at least).
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So that concludes part one of my (maybe useful) guide to gift giving in a LDR. I hope my thought processes give someone out there an idea of how to connect with their significant other, no matter how far apart you live. Part 2 will be about my search for an anniversary and Valentine’s day gift, when I get round to writing it!
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– Chris
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Chris Martin

Chris is a digital marketing manager for CommonTime, currently living in Nottingham, UK. He met Chelsea when she visited a friend of his in his hometown of Plymouth in 2013.