Cliche or Charming: Should You Propose on Christmas?

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

A Christmas proposal sounds so romantic. With your family gathered around the tree, you’re planning to pop the question to squeals of delight and warm congratulations! How charming. Or is it?

I did a quick Google consult before sitting down to write this piece and uncovered a heavily laden raft of Christmas engagement movies. Some of the movies I found were Hallmark movies. I am just saying. 

Is that who you are? Are you a Hallmark Christmas movie engagement type? Have you watched Holiday Engagement or A Christmas Prince? How about How to Ruin Christmas? There’s a clue for you. Christmas engagements aren’t everyone’s bag, so let’s consider the possible fallout of springing an engagement ring on your beloved on Christmas.

All the Cool Kids Are Doing It!

It’s true! Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are the two most popular days of the year in our culture to present your intended with that meaningful bling. Closely followed by New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, there is something about the magical, merry Christmas season that gets people in the “question popping” mood.

But what happens if your beloved says “no”? You have given a ring during a festival of unbridled gifting. Do you get the ring back? Or does your beloved keep the ring? If you ask for it back, is it really a “gift”? And are you going to demand the ring back in front of your family? Oh, my. What a conundrum.

Legally, an engagement ring is a “conditional gift”, the condition being that the receiver accepts the proposal. But engagement rings given on a Holiday like Christmas or Valentine’s have another status, with the ring expected to stay on the finger of the receiver whether it’s a “yes” or a “no”. 

With the cost of engagement rings starting at about $6,000, your Christmas might get pretty costly, both in the wallet and in the “feels”. But check the law in your state, if you’re feeling less than certain.

Know Your People

First and foremost, know your intended spouse. Will your beloved be over the moon about such a public proposal, or will they be embarrassed? Will they feel pressured to respond in the affirmative in the presence of family and friends?

And know your family. Does your family have a high tolerance for surprises like this? A low-key family might not appreciate you highjacking their Christmas, so check in. See what they think. You may learn something about your gene pool you didn’t know before!

Alternatively, you may know that your family loves surprises, so get them involved. Enlist them in the project of keeping your plans secret. Give them jobs to do, like having a camera ready to record your beloved’s joyful response.

Strategies for Proposing

As pointed out above, the deciding factor in determining how you’ll spring the ring and whether you’ll do that on Christmas is the temperament of the one you’re asking to marry. How does your intended spouse respond to surprises?

Your beloved may prefer something more intimate. If you’re absolutely determined to pop the question on Christmas, then choose the right moment. Find a quiet time to take them out for a walk or to a quiet corner in the house for some privacy. Once all’s said and done, the pair of you can let everyone know and celebrate the happy occasion “en famille”.

My advice would be to carefully weigh your options. Grandstanding is a little gauche. And please, don’t hang the ring on the tree (this move could be disastrous). Keep it classy. Keep it romantic. Remember that you’re asking someone to spend the rest of their life with you, so humility is entirely in order. Embrace it!

Maybe Skip Christmas?

While that may sound crazy to some, hear me out. There is no Christmas more special than one spent with your beloved in an exotic location. And the question popping can be your little secret, so the mystery is part of the allure.

This option allows you to have all the fun and cheer of Christmas but it’s just you two, jetting off together to make the biggest promise either of you has ever made. Imagine the endless charm of slipping the ring on that beloved finger, far from the chill of winter on a beach, under a tropical moon. There’s nothing cliche about that! OK. It’s not the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center. It’s undoubtedly better, as there won’t be a procession of couples doing exactly the same thing you are!

Whatever you decide to do, your proposal is a momentous occasion that will stand as a lifelong memory. Make it special. Propose on Christmas. Or get adorably wacky, choosing a different December religious festival

Just understand that your proposal and the presentation of that all-important ring are laden with meaning. So, do the occasion justice, personalizing it to your beloved’s dreams and desires in a meaningful way.

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