By David Wygant

You’re in love. You’re thinking, because of all the Zale’s diamond commercials on television, that this would be a great time to pop the question to your girl. You’re wondering whether you should get her a gift-wrapped Lexus, a red Mercedes, or that sparkly diamond.

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I love how the commercials make you feel like you have to buy her something expensive if you want to be romantic; if you don’t spend a fortune on her, she’ll reject you. But here’s the thing: This time of year is a great time to be engaged, but if you do it wrong, you’ll end up looking like a huge cliché.

So if you’re planning a holiday proposal, here are a few new ideas to help you blow her away and give her a proposal she’ll be telling everyone about for decades!

1. Make sure she’s ready. This is the worst time of year to propose if she’s not prepared for it. She won’t want to break your heart over Christmas, but if she’s not ready to say yes, she may end up breaking up with you simply because she doesn’t know exactly what to do next.

If you’re going to propose over the holidays, be 100 percent sure that your relationship is on solid ground before you ask. Make sure you’ve both discussed getting married and that you’ve heard her talk enthusiastically about becoming your wife. Don’t propose to her at this time of year because you think it will save a rocky relationship or stop her from leaving you — I can guarantee that it won’t work.

2. Wrap the ring imaginatively. I love the whole idea of gift wrapping a ring, but don’t wrap it in something predictable. Instead, make the special present part of a fun day. Maybe go ice skating or check out a local Christmas market, and at the end of the date, say, “I have a great gift for you.” Instead of handing her a small box, wrap the ring in a child’s toy. Put it in a barrel of monkeys or around the collar of a cuddly toy and wait until she discovers it.

Tell her it’s an early Christmas present. Just imagine her face when she opens a fluffy teddy bear with a ring hidden in its neck fur. She will absolutely melt because you’re bringing back the little girl inside her, the girl who always felt protected and cared for.

3. Avoid the Jumbotron. Don’t do anything at a sports game. Don’t plan a crazy night. I think the most romantic holiday proposal is right under your own Christmas tree. Make her feel beautiful. Have Christmas music playing in the background and a fire burning in the fireplace. Cook her favorite meal and enjoy a holiday cocktail together. Just talk, have fun, hang out. And when it feels right, pop the question. A special night in with just the two of you is a perfect way to propose.

Related Link: Don’t Settle: Get Him to Commit

4. Ask Santa. If you’re really daring, here’s a great idea. Plan a trip to visit Santa together. Have a quiet word with the man in the red suit beforehand and ask him to give your girlfriend the ring. When you get there, make her sit on his lap. Get down on one knee and ask, “Santa, can I marry her for Christmas?”

Santa, of course, will say yes and hand her the ring. Then, ask her to marry you. People will be taking photos. It’s original, it’s cute, and it’s memorable. Hopefully, this will be the first and last time you get married, so you want to make the proposal special.

Best of luck! Happy holidays!

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