What not to do:
Do not give her fur when she is a vegetarian, animal loving, PETA member. In fact, you should just dump her. Just kidding...that's heartless and very superficial (and I know half of you reading this, if not more, would have expected me to say something like that). Honestly though, if she has strong stands for or against something, no matter how long you've dated her, don't go against those standards. If it's something she feels very strongly for or against, why even mess within the realms of that area? Use your brain.
DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, give her anything having to do with technology - unless she has specifically requested something of this nature.
Do not give her anything that breathes or anything that she'll need to take care of. No matter how much she begs for that puppy in the window (I know, I too would die over a little black poodle in a bow), unless you are living together and have made a mutual decision to bring something that could be killed into the household, don't pull out the surprises.
Do not give her exercise clothes if she is fat or chocolates if you're worried about her anorexia. Now is not a time to bring up body issues. Wait for after New Years.
Lastly, do not give her anything she already has. Plain and simple...this is just retarded. All a girl wants (on top of everything ridiculously materialistic she won't lay out for you in fear of coming off as superficial) is a little thought put into her present. Giving her something she already has is seriously just shitting on the thought process request.
What to do:
Jewelry is a romantic, practical (yes, I said practical) gift that every woman, no matter what age she is, would adore. Be careful when choosing jewelry, think of what pieces she likes to wear. Don't give her a necklace just because she doesn't have any. Although this is a sweet thought and kudos on noticing what she's missing, she may not wear it as much as maybe a typical statement bangle to add onto her stack. Jewelry is also a great choice "financially" because you can determine how much you want to specifically spend on her and stick to that price range. Remember though, popping $250 is not going to magically buy a Cartier bracelet, but may provide you with a hot YSL cocktail ring in the display case at Barneys that she'll love.
*Footnote: Do not give her anything in a small ring sized box if she is expecting a proposal. Now is not the time to give her beautiful 4 carat diamond earrings in a tiny little box because they will in fact be stabbed through your eyes.
You can't go wrong with giving a handbag. As long as it's not Coach when she's a devil wearing Prada, you should be in the clear. In most cases, you'll be hearing about exactly what handbag she's dying over for at least 2 months prior...you can pick it out with your eyes shut. If she hasn't been killing you over which exact bag she wants, stick with a brand she has a lot of. This may sound boring, but we tend to stick to our same designers. If she's all about L.V., you have tons of options, if she's into Chanel, good luck, and if she owns a Birkin, well, you should just escort yourself out.
*Footnote: Keep your receipt just in case. If she doesn't end up being nuts over the bag, at least go with her to exchange it or try again. You want her wearing the bag, not selling it off on eBay.
If she's obsessed with shoes, give her a damn pair of shoes. It's not creepy and not at all equivalent to the faux pas version of giving you a "mom" gift (i.e. Sweaters, socks, etc. Although, I know plenty of boys who would really appreciate that...girls, take note.) How to find out her size? Don't you dare ask her what size her Shrek feet are. Be sneaky. Sexily take off her shoes after a night out and take a peek inside. If you're not that smooth simply glance in her closet, listen to what size she asks for when you go shoe shopping together, or ask her younger sister.
*Footnote - don't just pick out any pair of shoes to give her, that immediately takes this suggestion into the "what not to do" category. Ask her. She'll tell you. The only case in which you don't need to ask is if they have red soles...all of those are a go.
What to give your girlfriend of a short period of time? Definitely don't go with an empty box. Scarves and fragrance are key choices. They please at any stage of the relationship and there is a huge variety to chose from suitable to your girlfriends taste. From cashmere to Hermes silks, Chanel No. 5 to Black Orchid, all are lovely options. A fun pair of Tom Ford sunglasses, a classic Ferragamo belt, or a matching wallet to her current handbag are also all great choices no matter how long you've been together.