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Four Ways Not to Propose During the Holidays

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By Eric Leech

Surveys suggest about a quarter of all soon-to-be grooms will pop the question between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Let me begin by saying there is nothing wrong with this, provided your idea is something that will be special to your sweetie. However, I find it my duty to warn you that any proposal can backfire if it is ill-planned, and there are certain ideas that can be a little more treacherous than others, such as these four not-so-great ideas. You might be an unhappy groom if you choose to propose…

At the Jewelry Store

Countless women have complained about their boyfriend proposing in the jewelry store. This moment usually comes to a climax with the words, “Wanna wear it?” The problem is a lot of guys don’t know how important this moment is. Most women have dreamed of this ever since they were little girls running around in their pink tutus. They probably imagined their Prince Charming bent on one knee among a forest of fairies and unicorns. Well, you don’t have to do anything as extravagant as this, but do wait until you can surprise her with something a little more romantic than six crying kids, five over-priced rings, four grumpy bachelors, three sobbing wives, two teenage love birds and a mall Santa in a cardboard sleigh!

At the Holiday Party (or Worse, the Office Party)

Tradition says it is a great idea to share your proposal with the entire family. However, under some circumstances, a bride would rather share the moment in private and then tell everybody about it afterward. Asking her on the spot in front of an audience can be a lot of pressure, especially if she is not expecting it. This situation can lead to hard feelings, a false positive and a bad taste in her mouth that will rival your granny’s fruitcake.

On Christmas/Hanukkah Day

This can be a grand slam for women who love the holidays. However, it can also backfire if they see this time of the year as an overly commercialized excuse to go in to debt. Some women want their proposal to be a special day in its own right. They don’t want it to compete with anyone, including the headless horsemen, Saint Nick, Saint Valentine, the Lucky Charms guy or their friend Valerie, whose boyfriend proposed on the same day. Keep in mind that an overwhelming majority of breakups also occur during the holidays, and your chances of joining these statistics increase if your proposal begins with “I couldn’t think of anything else to get you, so I got this ring.” Some women see a Christmas/Hanukkah proposal as an excuse not to buy her that expensive Cuisinart she’s been wanting. Others see it as a way to steal from the magic of the season, to add spark to an otherwise drab proposal. And if you think this sounds petty, you’ve never seen a true bridezilla in action.

On a Sleigh Ride (Snow Pending)

This recommendation is also sometimes known as the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid). Not that you’re stupid, but you may have a few choice words about yourself if you plan an outdoor excursion to deliver the ring at sunset and find yourself trapped by fog and frigid temperatures. She ends up getting frostbit fingertips, particularly the one with her new ring that was too tight because it hadn’t been sized yet. When you’re dealing with the inconsistencies of Mother Nature, her untamed elements and the playful nature of Jack Frost, keep your creativity limited to a white carpet, a comfort – able couch and a cozy December fire. Nothing says proposal failure like an heirloom engagement ring blowing across the prairie like a tumbleweed. Ultimately, the best proposal depends on the girl it is being delivered to. Some may think these four ideas sound just as sweet as can be, while others would have your head on a fruitcake platter. My advice is to know your bride-to-be before you propose. If you aren’t sure how she will react to your best idea, perhaps you don’t know her as well as you should.