The ThursDater: Holiday Gift Guide

Well, we’re in the final stretch for holiday shopping. Assuming you’ve already taken care of the fruitcakes and snowglobes for your family and friends, it’s time to focus on the gifts that make a difference. We know you want to catch the attention of your friend’s cute friend, or maybe even DTR with someone you’ve been casually seeing. Start by asking your mutual friends what they might like. Or what they’d hate. Or what their ex got them last year so you can completely one-up that loser and show them how awesomely intuitive you are to their every interest and desire.

For extra assistance, Hinge has organized a guide to common gift ideas. We’ve found that certain items can say much more than you anticipated, so educate yourself and thank us later.

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Jewelry. When girls receive jewelry too soon, it either totally freaks them out or sets up some kind of creepy (and wallet-clearing) sugar daddy thing. When guys receive jewelry ever, it says the girl who gave it to them thinks Criss Angel and Bret Michaels are stylish gents worth emulating. So if you accept her gift of bling, know that she might have a life-long dream of prowling the Vegas strip in an Ed Hardy bus, looking for white trash tourists who will shell out cash for photos with D-list celebrities. No comment if that’s your thing.

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Food. Finding out their dream dinner from a friend and cooking it for them? Triple score holiday jackpot. Surprising them at home with baked goods or a nice fruit basket? Generic, but it’ll do. Banging on their front window, blackout drunk with a bag of Cheetos, a single banana, and a now half-empty jug of Carlo Rossi at 3am? Hey, it didn’t work for us last year, but never say never. Holiday spirit can go a long way.

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Clothes. Clothes can say a number of things. One of them is “Oh, you’re a Medium? I thought you were an XL and now I have knit proof of it.” Another one is “I am already trying to dress you, because I’m a stage 5 clinger and want to own your life forever.” Either way, do some size and style research through your mutual friends beforehand. And if you can’t do that, everyone is in the market for a flowing, unisex cape, right?

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A puppy/kitten. “Here’s a baby substitute that you didn’t seek out for yourself and are now forced to take care of in your 1-bedroom apartment.” Absolutely not. No, no, a thousand times no.

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iPhone 5. Actually, this is something we’d like. Just thought we’d just slip it in here as a suggestion. Come on, you’ll already be shopping…

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So, since you got us that new iPhone, we can’t wait to use it to showcase our awesome gift to YOU: a brand-new Hinge mobile app!

The new Hinge will be an entirely new experience, with a more functional interface and a gorgeous redesign. You’ll be able to rate your friends-of-friends right from your mobile device, and if there is mutual interest we’ll introduce you. The new version of Hinge won’t be released until early February, but we are major believers that something great is worth waiting for. Plus, it’ll be just in time to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your future boyfriend/girlfriend! (See how effective our gift advice is?)

Sign up for the new Hinge and get a sneak peek at the redesign at Hinge.co. We’ll contact you as soon as the new Hinge is live in the app store!

We’re thrilled to give you a fabulous new Hinge, and we’d wager to say your new-found knowledge of gifting would impress even the three wise men. Although, just as an FYI, don’t take gift ideas from the Magi either… unless you want your date to smell like they just got back from Bonnaroo. Save the gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh for your Phish friend, because after following them on tour all summer and fall, he or she will probably be flat broke and in desperate need of something to disguise that unshowered musk.

In closing, may the retail gods provide you with the perfect holiday gift ideas, and ultimately, a real spark with that special someone. Happy Holidays!

ThursDater: Fun for the Holidaze

It’s almost December, and holiday party invites are piling up like DUIs in the Lohan household. Time to attack this stack, because you’re going to hit as many of these suckers as possible. Some of them, like your friend’s ugly sweater party, will be filled with joyful merriment and hot, new love interests. Others, like your mandatory holiday work party, are obligatory nightmares. Unfortunately this year, these two fall on the same night.

As a genius of seasonal socials, you are not worried. Your friend’s party will be the perfect excuse to leave the work function early for “family stuff,” and it’ll simultaneously limit your time trapped with Coffee-breath McGee and the weird accounts guy with the chinstrap beard.

When you get there, you sling a few vodka sodas to pass the time during the painful white elephant gift exchange. Once everyone is playing with their crappy gift, you recognize your chance to slip out, unnoticed. Your boss is busy guzzling Glenlivet; everyone else is in a state of horror/delight because one of the temps has a nip slip while she screams the lyrics to “All I Want For Christmas Is You” into her beer-bottle microphone. It’s time to get out of here and get your game on…and by game, we mean a shirt covered in snowmen made of pom-poms.

You dart out of there like the Ghost of Christmas Past with your white elephant gift in tow: a blow-up doll with a $10 Starbucks gift card taped to her chest. Good one, Jerry. You’re still the creepiest guy in the office. As soon as you leave the bar–a.k.a. the turbo club where the HR girl’s boyfriend sometimes DJs/plays his iPod–a cab appears and whisks you away to a tacky holiday wonderland.

ImageYou arrive at your friends’ house and enter a scene that looks like a seasonal craft show hosted by drunk, midwestern moms: jingle-bell earrings, reindeer-antler headbands, menorah tiaras, and necklaces made out of fake Christmas lights– all decorating a sea of joyful, familiar faces tucked into Goodwill turtlenecks and holiday Cosby sweaters. Welcome home.

Spirits are bright. You sip mulled wine and boozy cider. You make a toast in a jolly elf voice every time you open a bottle of celebratory champers…and there are many. One of your amateur friends is sticking to the extra-thick spiked nog. As an experienced veteran of the December Bender, you know that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Say no to nog. His creamy mustache and spastic dance moves are entertaining now, but we all know he’ll be puking in the fireplace later.

You wander away from the nog-aholics and spot a gorgeous guest standing alone near some expertly-placed mistletoe. It’s a holiday miracle. You lean over and ask your friend for an introduction, and she happily obliges–after all, what are friends for? Thankfully you’ve concocted the perfect recipe for holiday seduction: comparing and contrasting your hideous attire while recalling many excellent quotes from both Elf and Home Alone. You’ve obviously sealed the deal. Success. Mazel Tov. Hallelujah.

The party winds down, and you hail a cab with your ugly sweater lover. You are trapped in a snow globe of emotion: Pride that you expertly navigated both soirees. Gratitude that your friend helped you meet someone great. And most of all, relief that you didn’t get so drunk on hard cider that you ripped the garland off the doorframe, wrapped it around yourself, seized the Christmas tree and started dancing with it–claiming you were its “evergreen lover”–and then passed out in the driveway where you traumatized a group of young carolers. No need to repeat December ‘07.ImageNo matter how many parties you crash, the holidays can be awfully chilly without a special someone to keep you warm. Don’t die of lonely-person frostbite: play Hinge and give yourself the beautiful gift of friend-of-friend romance. In the spirit of meeting that perfect holiday companion–and because we just love parties–Hinge would like to cordially invite you to our own fabulous holiday bash!

Join us for the first annual Glover Park Crush Party at Town Hall on Thursday, December 6th. RSVP and play Hinge over the next few days, and we’ll secretly invite anyone you save. You’ll mingle while sipping free bubbly from 7-9, and once you’ve had enough to grow some jingle balls, throw some of our other holiday drink specials on your crush’s tab: $3 beer, $4 wine and $5 cocktails all night long.

 Anyway, let’s rage… it’s gonna be magical.