Most girls and women appreciate gifts from their significant others. There are a few "big ticket" gift-giving occasions, such as the presentation of an engagement ring, when only the best will do. However, a gift need not be expensive to be treasured. When you give a present to your girlfriend, the thought really is what counts. Small, creative "thinking of you" gifts will show her your love, make her feel treasured and show your romantic side--without breaking the bank.
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If you think ahead, you can "plant" gifts for your girlfriend to find that will cost next to nothing but be treasured for the memories they evoke. If you're going to the beach, write a love letter and seal it inside a bottle; when she's not looking, drop the bottle in shallow water for her to find. Find a heart-shaped rock and write or paint your initials on one side; when you're walking together stealthily drop it face-down on the path and point it out to her. She'll pick it up, turn it over—and see your message. If you go skiing together, pull a cozy pair of gloves out of your pocket that "happen" to be just her size.
It doesn't cost much to design a calendar and have it printed at a copy shop, so give her one featuring a full-color photo of the two of you on every page. Mark one day a month "Special Date Night" so she'll have something to look forward to. Get a copy of one of your girlfriend's baby photos; buy a locket and put that photo on one side and a baby photo of you on the other to show that you were meant for each other from the very beginning. Make her a mix CD of all the songs that are special to the two of you; she'll think of you every time she plays it.
One Perfect Thing
Even if you can afford a five-pound box of chocolates, sometimes it's more meaningful to give one succulent truffle nestled in pink tissue paper. A single rose is a classic gift that doesn't scream "cheap." If the two of you are saving for a future together, give her "token" gifts that represent what you hope to give her one day: a miniature version of a BMW convertible, a dashboard hula-dancer to remind her of the tropical vacation you'll take one day, or gumball-machine bling in place of future diamonds. Even the smallest gifts—if given with love and a sentimental card or speech—will bring the two of you closer.