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Do You and Your Spouse Exchange Christmas Gifts?

Posted by on Dec. 20, 2013 at 10:15 AM
  • 27 Replies

Why My Husband & I Don't Do Holiday Gifts for Each Other

by Sasha Brown-Worsham 

giftsIt has been at least 10 years since my husband and I have exchanged Christmas or Hanukkah gifts. In those years, we have had 10 trees and 80 candles for Hanukkah. We have celebrated and bought gifts for our families and eventually for our children, but when it came to each other, we decided long ago that we would forgo gifts.

The decision came easily to us. After a couple of holidays where we gave less than stellar gifts, it finally dawned on us that what we REALLY wanted wasn't gifts at all -- anything we wanted we could buy ourselves. It was experiences.

Since then, we have always given experiences. Whether it's a trip to Istanbul (this year's gift) or to Morocco or Amsterdam, we almost always choose a trip, or we choose to get a membership somewhere -- the New York City Ballet, for instance -- where we can benefit from two things: 1) Time alone together and 2) something to look forward to. Quite frankly, diamond earrings or a tank watch just can't compare.

For many friends, Christmas is kind of an upsetting time because their husbands never get them exactly what they want, but we have eliminated that issue by choosing a couple gift. For me, it takes most of the fun out of receiving something (or giving it) when the money is coming from a joint account.

If he bought me something expensive, I would be appalled that he spent the money and vice versa. This way, we decide what we spend the money on and we are free all year to buy the things we need and want for ourselves.

I grew up in a family where "things" equalled love. My father missed a lot of my birthdays while traveling for business, but he always brought home a doll to make up for it. I always had the best clothing and handbags and generally got what I wanted, especially once I had a credit card, but you know what? Material items aren't the same thing as time together and they aren't the same thing as love.

It's not that I am not materialistic. Sadly, a relic of my childhood is that I am, indeed, a lover of shoes and handbags and watches and makeup. I can spend a whole lot of money on myself. But I don't need gifts from my husband.

From him I need time, love, patience, attention, and affection. If I have those things, I really couldn't care less whether he buys me jewelry or flowers. When he does, it's nice, but it means 100 times more when he gives me a book he's already read and asks me to read it so we can discuss it. That tells me he loves and honors me and wants to spend time together.

Even more, at this point, my children are the holiday priority. Between gifts for our families, teachers, babysitters, cleaning people, and the dozen other people we buy for, the last thing I want is the stress of buying another gift.

My only worry sometimes is that the kids don't see us giving gifts to one another and that makes them sad. But they have never said anything, and if it bothers them, I am not sure.

In the end, I think it's best to keep things the way they have been. It's worked for us for 10 years and we are still going strong. This year there's a trip to Istanbul under my tree and it's a lot better than anything else I could hope for.

Do you and your spouse exchange Christmas gifts?

by on Dec. 20, 2013 at 10:15 AM
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Replies (1-10):
atlmom2
by Platinum Member on Dec. 20, 2013 at 11:00 AM
I always get him a Dilbert Calendar and usually a gift card. This year I will get nothing. Well not nothing. We are furnishing a new vacation home in FL in February. That will be $30,000 probably and that will not be the whole house. I bought myself a new purse yesterday and also one of those Rainbow looms yesterday.
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Bmat
by Barb on Dec. 20, 2013 at 11:16 AM
1 mom liked this

Yes we do. It isn't so much about the gift for me as it is for the fact that I know he had to think about me and what I would like and then to make the effort to obtain it.  What is valuable to me is that moment that I know he held me in his mind and heart.

Bmat
by Barb on Dec. 20, 2013 at 11:17 AM

In general this is why I like gift giving at Christmas, it represents that a person is thinking about another person.

eSamsMama
by Member on Dec. 20, 2013 at 11:19 AM
We dont, no real reason. We just don't :/
Momofmenagerie
by Bronze Member on Dec. 20, 2013 at 11:22 AM
Yes, we do. Although dec first , he gets a text in caps that says IT IS NOW DECEMBER. YOU ARE NOT TO GO INTO X OR X STORE AND MAY NOT LOOK AT X, X, OR X WEBSITES. ( you are, however able to drop hints)

We don 'to have ( and won't have for awhile) to do such things as trips.

Besides, I love getting him a couple of things he didn't realize he wanted. Haha!

My birthday is NYE. Typically, we try to go for a simple, child free dinner, this is not easy as every one has plans, but we try.
bmw29
by Bronze Member on Dec. 20, 2013 at 11:23 AM
Yes but I purchase and wrap both of our gifts. It works well for us.
Bmat
by Barb on Dec. 20, 2013 at 11:24 AM

LOL!  Neat about the text.

It is a pleasant idea for you to have the quiet evening on your birthday.


Quoting Momofmenagerie: Yes, we do. Although dec first , he gets a text in caps that says IT IS NOW DECEMBER. YOU ARE NOT TO GO INTO X OR X STORE AND MAY NOT LOOK AT X, X, OR X WEBSITES. ( you are, however able to drop hints)

We don 'to have ( and won't have for awhile) to do such things as trips.

Besides, I love getting him a couple of things he didn't realize he wanted. Haha!

My birthday is NYE. Typically, we try to go for a simple, child free dinner, this is not easy as every one has plans, but we try.


AydensMommy1008
by Member on Dec. 20, 2013 at 11:26 AM

We do. I have NO IDEA what to get him this yr and time is running out ladies .. help!!

Bmat
by Barb on Dec. 20, 2013 at 11:26 AM

This year my husband confessed that he couldn't think of anything for me, so I told him that I had recently bought a pair of slippers and a wand mixer, so I gave him these to wrap for me. LOL!

Quoting bmw29: Yes but I purchase and wrap both of our gifts. It works well for us.


AydensMommy1008
by Member on Dec. 20, 2013 at 11:27 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting bmw29: Yes but I purchase and wrap both of our gifts. It works well for us.

You pick/buy and wrap your gifts too? Well that's no fun! I like the mystery of it, and I like to see what he picks out for me on his own, like what he thinks of me. lol

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