Determined to get what you want from your man this holiday season? Unless it comes in the form of a gift card, don't rely on him to connect the dots without some serious help. 'Tis the season for hint dropping, so choose your approach wisely. While some boyfriends may require a brightly lit sign, others aren't into having everything explicitly spelled out. Here's a quick tip guide to help you get what you want through the power of suggestion:

Subtle Suggestions: Raising the bar on his gift-o-meter

Osmosis
This might be crazy, but we're talking about something important: gifts. Print out a picture of the stuff you want, give it a kiss, and tuck it ever so gently under your boyfriend's pillow. Sure, "learning by osmosis" is an old wives tale, but if this works you can be sure you and your man are telepathically connected. Or at least that he changes his pillowcase.

Ask him what he wants
"Popping the question" seems like a dead giveaway, but this method has legs. Guys really are that clueless. Simply ask your mate what he'd like to receive, and wait for him to ask the obligatory question in return.

You can tell a lot by his reaction. Does he look relieved that you broached the subject and pull out his phone to take notes? Or does he say, "I'd ask you, but I've already got it covered." Maybe you're one of the lucky ones who's found a guy who likes to surprise his lady. Either way, this basic question gets you answers on both fronts.

Lie
Got your eye on some fancy new underwear? Tell him there's an in-store model promotion the next day at Victoria's Secret. Dying for a couples getaway? Tell him the unveiling of "Call Of Duty 4" takes place at a Bahamas resort. This strategy is a little scuzzy, but he'll never know the difference. Who cares about morals on Christmas, anyway?

Obvious Suggestions: You Know He Hasn't Gotten the Hint, and Those Denim Leggings Are About to Sell Out

Use social networking sites (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
It's lame, but it gets the message across. The trick is to mix it up and post a suggestion or two every day for a week. Give the man some options. To be sure you get what you want the most, play with the wording. Maybe the other items get a standard "This is cool!", and the denim leggings get a "Holy Mother of God I MUST HAVE THESE!!!" You could even add "if only I had the money" for woe-is-me emphasis, if you're into the victim thing.

Beer treasure
This is almost too easy. Buy your wonderful boyfriend a six-pack of his favorite beer. Tape a printed picture of what you want onto each of the beers. (He'll notice at least one of them.) Have a laugh, and toast to success.

Write it on the bathroom mirror
Step 1: Take a hot shower. Step 2: Write "I Love Denim Leggings and Want Them for Christmas" on the foggy mirror. Step 3: Wait five minutes and tell him he needs to take a shower (even if he doesn't). This will result in him mocking you and possibly calling you pathetic, but hey, you'll accomplish your goal.


Painfully Blatant: Stopping Short of Skywriting

Give him a list ... in July
Do you hate the element of surprise and enjoy being extra organized? Maybe you have a weird phobia about opening mystery gifts in front of people. If these traits sound familiar, keep things easy and make your Christmas wish list in July.

Your boyfriend will appreciate the forethought, if not the color-coded Excel spreadsheet outlining your holiday wishes. You'll appreciate the on-point presents and sense of control.

Tell his best friend
Your boyfriend and his best friend are likethis, so you know whatever you tell one will get back to the other. Make sure your S.O. gets the message by spilling your wish list to his BFF on the sly. You can pass the info along when your boyfriend hits the bathroom at a party, or even by sending an email with the subject 'Super Secret Christmas List.' Works like a charm.

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