Shopping for your female other half is a task that should be approached with the utmost caution. To avoid spending New Year single, down the pub with your dad again, you need to make sure you get it just right.

But don't fear - we're here to help. We've compiled a list of the most important things to consider when embarking on the hunt for the present that will make you Mr Popular for the whole of 2014.

How long have you been together?

Yes, she may be ‘the one' and the ultimate love of your life, but if you've only been together a month, having her name tattooed onto your face may come across a bit strong (and frankly, a little scary). If it hasn't been too long, think about the sort of impression you want to give her. If you're struggling to choose something for your fairly new girlfriend, maybe opt for something a little more generic, but still thoughtful all the same, such as perfume.

Have you set a budget?

If you turn up with a car whilst she hands over a box of chocolates, you're going to look (and feel) a bit stupid. Likewise, if she gives you a fancy watch and all you've got her are some garage flowers, chances are, she'll be a little cheesed off. Setting a budget before hand is a good way to eliminate those embarrassing gift exchanges, and can also be great if money is a little tight as you can decide on a smaller one.

What are her main interests?

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Earn some brownie points and really put thought into what you choose. Get something that links with one of her interests, such as a CD, DVD, tickets to a show she likes or a book by her favourite author. Going that extra mile will not only show her you care, but it will also show her you listen, occasionally. Even better, why not try and think of something that is a common interest of both of yours? For example, if you both like going out to eat, why not get her restaurant vouchers for the place where you had your first date?

Think outside the box

Don't be afraid to go for something a bit out-there, as long as it's been well thought out. You could even get creative if you value your art attack skills, which if nothing else, will pretty much guarantee a smile at least when you hand it over. DIY gifts don't have to involve papier-mâché either - mix tapes always go down well.

  If all else fails, go for something that will make her laugh

A novelty gift, if done right, can be really funny on Christmas morning. Key things to remember when going for a novelty item is how appropriate is it. Think about it - if she's opening it in front of her Nan on Christmas day, how much trouble are you going to be in? Look for safer ones if you're unsure. There is loads of novelty Christmas presents for girlfriends available here, for some inspiration.