Holigay Gift Guide: What to Give Your Gal Pal No Matter How Long You’ve Been Together

Totally stuck on what gift to get your gal pal? We’ve got you.

Gal Pal Gift Giving Guidelines

  1. Pay attention when she speaks. If she says she wants a thing, write it down. Six months later when you give it to her to celebrate her winter holiday(s) of choice, birthday, anniversary, dog’s birthday, whatever, you get to look like the most amazing and attentive gal pal ever and you don’t have to spend six months thinking thoughts like “I bet she’d like those dinosaur cufflinks.”
  2. Be earnest. You know what’s boring? Pretending to not care when you care, or pretending you care way more than you actually do. Be respectful both of your gal pal and yourself, but if you fucked epically and knew instantly that you’d want to be together forever, it’s okay to get a little sparkly.
  3. If you see it and it looks like them, follow that arrow. Don’t overthink it.

This guide is arbitrarily sorted by how long you’ve been together, but think more about psychic time than actual time. You can have a tinder date that lasts a year and you can meet someone for a second and feel like you’ve known them your entire life. Follow your heart.

A Few Weeks

Very early in dating or hanging out or fucking with feelings or whatever you’re calling it who needs labels, gifts in any context can feel a little dicey. If you can’t hit “we had a very specific conversation about this one thing and here is a gift related to that conversation,” the note to strike is “I’m into you and was thinking about you” but also “we don’t know each other super well yet and I respect that even though we’re queers and have possibly already secretly considered uhauling.” Where this line falls is different for everyone, so good luck. Think small, interesting, and rooted what little knowledge of them you have, but also not loaded with personal baggage or expectations.

3–6 Months

You’re still pretty early into getting to know each other. Aim to say “I like you and want to keep hanging out with you, and I pay attention when you speak about your interests” and also “I know how to respect your boundaries and my own.” Get a little more personal with something that fits a little more into her daily life, but stay away from things that require ongoing care (like plants) or deeper knowledge of their personal style, which you probably haven’t been paying attention to because it’s hard to wear clothes when you’re having that much sex.

7 Months to 1 Year

You’ve been listening when they talk and taking notes and paying attention to themes and repeat mentions, but there’s still a lot to learn. If something she’s coveting isn’t jumping out at you, “small but extra” is a good place to start.

1 to 3 Years

You’re doing it. Remember to treat your gal pal like an autonomous individual with her own taste and style. While also giving her the chance to signal to the world that she’s a gal who might have a pal or two with subtle flagging.

4 to 12 Years

You love her and you like her. What does the life you’re building look like? (If you’re living together, remember to value your autonomous styles instead of just getting her something that’s also kinda really for you because let’s get real about who’s into that pastel blue toaster at the end of the day.)

12 Years to Forever

Your love is an inspiration. She keeps you warm. Just like Autostraddle’s gal pal sweatshirt.

Thinking of buying gifts from the Autostraddle Store?

To get your deliveries in time for the holidays make sure to place your order by

Dec 13th—UPS First Class*
Dec 15th—USPS Priority Mail/UPS Ground*

*These dates are for domestic orders–we have no guarantee for international orders, so get ‘em in early heartstrings! ♡

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!

Ryan Yates

Ryan Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for Autostraddle.com, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, The Daily Beast, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

Ryan has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. “we don’t know each other super well yet and I respect that even though we’re queers and have possibly already secretly considered uhauling.”

    Oh geez, thanks for the shout-out, Carolyn. But still pretty solid gifting advice.

  2. Wow it is almost concerning how perfectly catered to my tastes this whole list is. I either already own or have on my wishlist at least 1/3 of these items! Thank you Carolyn!!

  3. Every time my GF asks what I want for Christmas I tell her Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. And ever time she tells me there is no more room for books. :(

    • I’m pretty sure that unless you are physically being crushed by a giant stack of books, there is always room for more books….

    • I got Salt, Fat, etc when it first came out and I love it so much. It’s the best “cookbook” I have. Literally, the best.

      My heart skipped a beat when I saw it on this list.

  4. Apparently 4-12 year gifts are our zone even though we’re not quite at 4 yet lol – my wife is getting me that exact weighted blanket for Christmas, and she got me a Kindle for my birthday after like 1 month of dating lol. She’s the best!

  5. Everywhere I look I see people recommending weighted blankets. They make me think of Max from Parenthood and how his sister gave him a weighted blanket before going away for college…

Comments are closed.