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With This Ring…Christmas Style

Kathi Caldwell-Hopper - November 19, 2010

For those who think chivalry is dead, take note of this romantic trend: one in four men go down on one knee and ask for their girlfriends’ hand in marriage at the Christmas season. While other holidays also see engagements, there is something romantic and special about getting engaged at Christmas time.

What is it about the holiday that literally brings a guy to his knees in front of the Christmas tree or while dining in a fancy restaurant? Perhaps it is because this is the time when families gather together and feelings are mellowed. While other businesses have felt the pinch of recessionary times, the engagement and wedding business continues to thrive.

Says Sue McCoo, president of Capitol Craftsman/Romance Jewelers in Concord, “People get engaged year round, but we do see a number of holiday engagements. Some men know their girlfriend is expecting a ring, and to show up without popping the question wouldn’t be a good idea. That aside, it’s a nice time to get engaged, especially if the engagement happens a few days before Christmas; then the couple can attend holiday family gatherings and show off the ring and announce their engagement.”

Those men who are coming in to pick out an engagement ring are looking for something that will fit the style of their bride-to-be. “Some people like classic engagement rings, but we also see people who are looking for something unique and special,” adds McCoo.

Some men come to Capitol Craftsman/Romance Jewelers with a family ring they wish to have redesigned or resized to fit their future wife. “We see a lot of that too,” McCoo adds.

The shop also offers handmade items for any taste or budget; McCoo says they have customers who are shopping for a unique Christmas gift for the newly engaged couple. “Pottery is a strong seller, as is glass. I know when I use handmade items that I received as a wedding or shower gift, I still think of the person who gave the item to me. It’s a nice connection.”

McCoo says Valentine’s Day is another huge holiday when men’s thoughts turn to getting engaged. “New Year’s Eve is another time couples get engaged. Not necessarily New Year’s Eve, but on that weekend. We find if it didn’t happen at Christmas, a man may be waiting until New Year’s weekend to pop the question.”

Sawyer’s Jewelry in Laconia has helped men for many years pick out the right engagement ring for their special someone. Susan Quadrozzi, certified gemologist at Sawyer’s, says the shop has new engagement rings, but also estate jewelry which is quite popular. “There are a few peak times of the year for engagements. The Christmas holiday is one such time. Men feel it’s romantic to get engaged at Christmas or New Year’s Eve. Valentine’s Day is also big.

“These are sentimental times of the year; men have a romantic vision in their heads of how it will go. For example, my son-in-law gave my daughter her ring on Christmas Eve. We were all there and it was a surprise. It added to the festivities,” Quadrozzi adds.

Estate jewelry has become very popular with those who want a unique ring. “Some girls love estate rings,” Quadrozzi says. “It’s nice because the rings are unique. A 1/4 carat to a carat seems to be the normal range that men are purchasing.”

Estate jewelry can include vintage, period or antique pieces. Antique jewelry is over 100 years old. Vintage refers to anything that is pre-loved and pre-owned. Period jewelry includes such eras as the Art Deco time. “We often buy and refurbish estate jewelry. People like estate jewelry for its unique look,” Quadrozzi says.

She adds that another category men don’t often think about might be right in front of them. “If a woman has an older diamond engagement ring, we can pop the diamond out and put it into a new setting which gives it a whole new life and look. And, we have some beautiful engagement rings that are new for those who don’t want an estate piece.”

For the man who is thinking of popping the question this holiday season, there are many creative and memorable ways to do so. The best way might be to put the ring in a huge box and have it gift-wrapped. Your girlfriend will think she’s getting a gift that is physically huge. When she opens it, the man should be ready to go down on one knee or have a note in the box with the ring asking her to marry him. This is memorable because most likely family will be there and this unusual proposal will be the topic of conversation for many Christmases to come!

Romantic horse and carriage rides are popular in the winter and no time is more special for this than the Christmas season. What a memorable time to ask her to marry as you snuggle together under a warm robe while on a carriage ride!

If your special someone loves to look at Christmas lights, plan to propose while on a tour of holiday lights. How about a special dinner followed by a trek to see the lights on Edwards Street in Laconia, which are always decked out famously for the holidays? You might park the car and walk down the street. Then you can stop somewhere no the street and propose.

Another romantic and beautiful location is Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth, NH. The historic site offers candlelight tours that are famous all over the country. You can take an evening stroll to see the candlelit historic village and propose anywhere along the way. The stroll takes place Dec. 4-5, 11-12 and 18-19. Tickets can be purchased online at

Or what about the most romantic spot of all? How about a marriage proposal while attending the Christmas at the Castle Tour scheduled for Nov. 26-28 and Dec. 3-4?

The bottom line is the holidays present the perfect time for an engagement. The proposal can be as unique as you wish; it only takes your imagination and a little help from some of the most beautiful spots in the Lakes Region decked out in their holiday finery.

“I think it’s a good time to give a ring,” Quadrozzi concludes. “A lot of families are together and it’s a beautiful time of year for a proposal.” 

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