Ask a Bougie Chick: Do I have to buy (him/her) a gift?


You all are killing me with the "Gift Etiquette in Relationship" emails, especially the fellas. The number of "Hey Chele, do I really have to buy a Christmas gift for this chick?" questions are legion. Let me give you all a peak at the emails I'm getting:
a. From a 28 y.o. man in DC:
Hey Chele, just started dating this girl in early November. Not sure if it's serious yet, do I have to buy a gift?
b. From a 32 y.o woman in Detriot:
OneChele, what's the rule on buying Christmas gifts for the cuddle boo? 
c. From a 30 y.o. man in Las Vegas:
Is it cliche to propose at Christmas? And if it's not, the ring is enough of a gift, right? 
d. From a 26 y.o. man in Phoenix:
Okay, third date is next Friday. Christmas is the week after that. Too early for a gift but some sort of acknowledgment. Any ideas?
Good people, I know the mainstream media has you twisted up in the game but the truth of the matter is that Christmas gift exchanging is not a requirement, it's a suggestion or a tradition or an option. Here are my rules when it comes to gift exchange:

1. Give without expectation of getting - You may the sort of person who loves to give gifts. God bless you. Not everyone feels that way. If you're only giving with the expectation of receiving, skip it.

2. Give only what you feel is appropriate - Think on this. Ladies, if you all aren't serious like that - don't break off the Xbox/HD Package. Unless you're applying to be his sugar mama. Yes, this actually happened. Girl had been dating guy for less than a month and bought him a Xbox, TV and home theater system. No. Ma'am.

3. Give only what you can afford to give - Christmas is one day, a year has 364 others to think about. Don't go broke trying to impress folks. Debt is not the reason for the season. Sometimes a heartfelt card, a candy cane and picnic in front of the fireplace are gift enough.

4. Think about what your gift is going to mean to the person getting it - Dude, if you just started dating girlie and you break off jewelry or lingerie... that says something. Be sure that's what you meant to say.

5. Think about what may happen if a) you don't buy that special person a gift or b) you buy the wrong darn gift. Okay, now you know if you're booed up and your s.o. is expecting something - do the right thing. I'm saying this because I know of a gent who made the massive mistake of buying his wife a vacuum cleaner for Christmas when she was expecting jewelry. So what if it was a $400 Dyson - you don't buy a vacuum cleaner for Christmas. I mean it. Oh and ladies, do better than drawers and socks.

Now that we have that established - Can you answer the questions from our four emails above? Any Christmas gift rules to share? The floor is yours.