Dear Diary,


When my friends and I were in high school, we wanted to be single in the summer.  Why?  Just close your eyes and picture pool parties and backyard barbeques.  Concentrate hard enough and you might even hear Will Smith’s “Summertime” lyrics blaring in the background. When winter rolled around, the weather changed and so did our status.  We watched movies (in VHS players) and cuddled with our new boos in front of the fireplace with our parents playing cards in the next room.  If you didn’t settle down by December, Santa or Cupid wouldn’t visit you in home room with little trinkets, flowers or candygrams.  And if you weren’t coupled up by January, you would count down to the New Year without a kiss.  My birthday also fell in February, so strategically speaking, winter was the ideal time of the year to enter into a relationship. Of course, my friends and I didn’t date just for presents.  As a matter of fact, my parents wouldn’t let me accept gifts from guys, other than something small!


More than a decade later as the first snowflakes fell from the sky this morning, the same feeling rose up inside me.  It’s still nice to have someone stop by–this time with a bottle of wine and take-out–to watch a pay-per-view movie.  And it is wonderful when someone scrapes the ice off your windshield, heats up your car or drops you off at the front door when you can see your breath blowing circles in ths air. I smile at the thought of a seasonal significant other.  At this stage in my life, I wouldn’t dump the person when a summer breeze blows in.  Instead, I’m even thinking about what types of gifts are appropriate to give someone you just start to date.  And I need your help selecting something.


Here’s my gift giving guide.  What option would you choose?


A. Give a Gift That Keeps on Giving

Is there a concert or play coming to town?  Or is the person you date a sports fan?  Is scoring tickets for two a great way to guarantee another date or a tad bit selfish, since you are benefiting (and assuming you should be the plus one)?


B. Take a Class

Is your date interested in the arts?  Several cities offer classes where you can bring a bottle and paint a picture.  You don’t have to be a Picasso to sign up.  Or, if he/she likes sushi, there are lots of restaurants opening up their kitchen and teaching amateurs how to roll up fresh fish.  Is this cheesy or creative?


C. Buy a Book or Album

Is your date an avid reader or a music lover?  Is there a used bookstore with hidden gems like first edition prints or signed concert posters?  Does your date like to eat a certain type of food?  Perhaps purchase a Thai cookbook and promise to prepare a few dishes of his/her choice.  Is this a good way to make a present personal?


D.  Make a “It’s the Thought That Counts” Present

Should you create a coupon book that the person can cash in on things such as hugs, the remote control or a car wash?  Does your date need help organizing a closet, assembling furniture or painting a spare room?  Will this prove that money won’t buy you love, but maybe a grand gesture will?


After you buy the gift, would you:


A. Give the gift to the recipient regardless if he/she bought something for you in return.


B. Put it under your bed and have a Sex in the City moment (i.e. When Carrie pulled out a Lois Vuitton handbag for her assistant played by Jennifer Hudson).  You’ll have something on hand if your unsure a gift exchange is in your friend’s holiday plans.  


Hey DFTM, what gift would you give?  And what’s the best give you ever received?

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.