We don't recommend breaking up with your significant other around the holidays. Don't break up with them right before Christmas, right after Christmas, and definitely not on the actual day of Christmas. The same goes for Hannukkah, Kwanzaa, and any other holiday you may be celebrating this December — including New Year's Eve. It is, simply put, a dick move. So let's assume you're gonna be in this thing 'til January, which means you'll be half-assing things it for a bit. And in the process of faking your dedication to the relationship, you'll likely have to buy the poor soul a gift. Herewith, some ideas for what to give your unbeloved this year.
A Quality Pair Of Headphones
If we're going to be honest with ourselves, we can all admit that listening to music is a part of every breakup. First, you're listening to The Smiths on repeat as you sob yourself to sleep. But you'll move forward, seguing into the reflective Rilo Kiley/"Silver Lining" stage, then the Gloria Gaynor/"I Will Survive" stage, and finally into the Nicki Minaj/"I'm The Best" stage. Any dumpee could use a good pair of headphones to get through it all. It would only be considerate to purchase a pair for your soon-to-be ex.
Urbanears headphones, $60 at Urban Outfitters.
It's wintertime, it's cold, and everyone can use an extra blanket around the house. A quilt says to your significant other, "Oooh, look at the cute quilt! How thoughtful!" But really, you're saying "Here is something to keep you warm at night, because pretty soon it's not going to be me."
Wildfield Quilt, $168 at Anthropologie.
Food, Delicious Food
We recommend you should give your soon-to-be-ex something edible for two reasons. The first is that it's very possible your significant other will head down oh-so-familiar path of "eating their feelings" when you cut the cord, as people sometimes do. (There's no shame in eating ones feelings — it's one of my all-time favorite pastimes!) Secondly, food is the perfect gift because once its been eaten, it's gone — no pesky reminders of the relationship you once had.
Holiday Tower of Chocolates, $70 by Harry and David.
Booze And/Or Boozy Accoutrements
This is similar to the aforementioned bonus in giving food — once the stuff is gone, it's gone. And it's only a matter of how long a bottle of the good stuff can last. But if you'd rather not give a standard-issue bottle of wine or vodka, you can always spring from accessories: wine glasses, shot glasses, mixers, shakers, and the lot. We figure after you break things off there may be a certain inclination to nurse wounds through the through firewater, and they might as well be drinking out of something nice.
Seven-piece Vodka set, $44.95 at Crate and Barrel.
Plants And Herbs
You know what they say about gardening, "To plant a garden is to believe in the future." So with that in mind, figure this gift kills two birds with one stone: 1. When you finally peace out, this will give the ex something to nurture and love; 2. Oh boy, a brand new hobby! You can head to your local plant store and buy any seeds you like for mere cents, or you can buy a pre-packaged set like this one here. You can also go for a fully grown potted plant and go crazy with the selections — but my only suggestion is not to buy them a Bleeding Heart plant, for obvious implications.
If when you read "herbs" you thought I meant, marijuana, I didn't. But if anything can cheer a pal up on a dreary day, it's that. (DON'T DO DRUGS, kids!)
Image from Diana Taliun/Shutterstock.
Cookware And Recipe Books
As we mentioned in regards to plants, everybody needs a hobby — why not cooking? It'll give your soon-to-be ex something to focus on, and it's a great release of stress and emotions. Cook away your frustrations, eat your emotions, or throw a dinner party — either way, it's pretty much a win-win. But beware! If you purchase a beginners cookbook to someone who's a pretty good chef, it pretty much says, "Your lasagna has always sucked."
Better Crocker Cooking Basics, $17 at Amazon.com.
A Gift that Screams "I Don't Even Know You"
Something I can say with certainty is that when you get a gift from a boyfriend that you would never in a million years even think about asking for, it's a red flag. I'm not talking about your broke-ass boyfriend who could only afford to get you a teddy bear and a heartfelt card. I'm talking about your employed boyfriend who purchased you the box set of Law & Order: SVU, even though you fucking hate that show. The box of chocolates, even though you're lactose intolerant. The pet hamster even though you sneeze any time you're within a 25-foot radius of animal fur. These are all bad. Now take this idea, apply it to your significant other's likes, dislikes, and allergies, and run with it. It'll help to ease the blow that's a'coming.
The "I'm Breaking Up With You" Gift
You fucking asshole. I can't think of many worse ways to be broken up with than excitedly picking up a gift from your loved one, unwrapping it, and seeing a message that you've been dumped. Did we not just say that you should wait until after the holidays? How are you even considering this as an option? Unless your significant other is truly a bastard that deserves this kind of treatment, you should probably chill out — this is a little too cruel. But if the cockles of your heart are really into this, and your significant other truly deserves such treatment, we're not going to hold you back.
"I Hate You" Rude Conversation Heart Necklace, $6 at Etsy.
Nothing At All
"You horrific asshole! I can't believe you didn't even buy me a Christmas present! After all I've done for you? That's it, we're through!" Yup, exactly. The oldest break-up trick in the book is to slyly persuade the other person to break up with you first — and if you're in an honest-to-god relationship, not getting the poor sap even the tiniest holiday gift is a surefire way down that road. Of course, it could backfire in a multitude of ways, the most obvious being that you have just acted like a jerk, and they go on and forgive you. That's not going to help you come January break-up time. But if you're feeling like passive-aggression is the best option, an empty-handed holiday may help you in that regard.