What Guys Really Think … Of Your Holiday Wish List

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couple exchanging gift
Guys get real about your holiday presents, their go-to gifts & the pressure around getting it right.

'Tis the season to go crazy on your holiday shopping — but what does your guy really think of buying you all those gifts? For women, it's easier to pick out — and pick up — thoughtful surprises for your partner, but when the shoes on the other foot, do guys think it’s just as simple?

From how they feel about buying you clothes to their top five gifts to fall back on to, guys shared how they get through the most wonderful time of the year unscathed.

We love you! But it's just too much pressure:
"Shopping for a gift for my girlfriend around the holidays is really hard," admits Jake, 27. "She has a really simple style and I want to get her things that she likes and will actually use, but I just think there's way too much pressure on guy’s to buy the 'right' and 'perfect' gift. Like, if I buy her the toaster that she's been begging for — I'll be that as*hole that bought her a toaster."

"Here's my number one rule when it comes to shopping for the women in my life — girlfriends, moms, sisters, aunts: I'll get you whatever you want, just not clothes," admits Daniel, 23. "You want to talk about too much pressure? Imagine being the guy who gets his mom a large when she really wears a medium, or gets his girlfriend a small when she’s really one size bigger. There is nothing worse than buying someone you love something in the wrong size — no matter what your intention is, you’re just the jerk that thinks she's too big."

Raphael, 27, says that he never knows what to get his girlfriend. "She knows what she likes — and she buys it for herself if she wants it. And when the holidays roll around, am I supposed to read her mind and buy her something absolutely amazing? Like, how do I even know where to begin? Girls are complicated! Guys are not this difficult."

"I always get a ton questions from friends and my girlfriend's friends about what I'm going to buy for my girlfriend. It's nonstop," says Ryan, 30. "So it's not just pressure to buy the person that you love a good gift — you have to buy a gift that's good enough to tell people — and that will satisfy them. I can't just buy her tickets to a movie anymore and call it 'Date Night'; now I need to rent out the whole damn theater to make sure everyone's happy."

Just a suggestion, but more hints would be nice:
"I make my girlfriend make a list of everything she wants for the holidays," says Henry, 29. "She has to put things on there that'd she like me to get her —but there have to be options. This way, I am getting her something that she actually wants and it's still a surprise. This way, we both win."

To state the obvious, Mark, 26, says: "We are guys, okay? Not rocket scientists, not mind readers. We are just dudes trying to get through this time of year without offending you and buying you the wrong thing. So a little extra help? It’s seriously welcomed."

When in doubt, here are the five gifts guys fall back on:
"A perfume she’ll wear only around me. It's sexy, intimate and thoughtful," says Joey, 28.

"Spa treatments. Sounds cliché, but have you ever met a woman who has said no to a day at the spa? Didn't think so," adds Tommy, 25.

"Jewelry — something flashy and beautiful. This way every time she looks at it she'll think of you (aw!) and remember how much you didn't screw it up this year!" Tyler, 24, says.

"Sexy lingerie — and just a suggestion: Have her open this gift when you two are alone and not with family," says Josh, 27, who learned that lesson the hard way.

"Something she can wear. Maybe clothes, a coat, a sweater, a dress, something that she’ll put on and feel great in — and something that will remind her of you," says Mike, 24. "It takes a lot of planning — and you'll have to sneak a few peeks at what size she is while she’s not looking, but I've always gotten my girlfriend something that she can wear and usually, it goes pretty well."

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