#3. DISCUSS EXPECTATIONS
Skeels Cygan recommends bringing up the gift issue with people you typically exchange gifts with. Seriously, does your dad need another sweater? Probably not. Suggest doing something together, like a LivingSocial deal for dinner at a decent restaurant. With your girlfriend, you’re not going to get off that easy.
So ask her what she wants. If you can’t deliver, consider owning up to that and requesting something that fits into your budget. Do you risk seeming like you’re a shitty provider? Absolutely. But you’re also using good communication skills and being honest — and she’ll appreciate that.