Thursday, December 10, 2015

5 Reasons we aren't Giving each other Christmas Gifts

Blogmas Day 10 
Tis the Season for Gift-Giving! 
Thinking up and giving thoughtful gifts is one of my favorite parts of the holidays, which is why it may come as a surprise that Tom and I don't exchange Christmas gifts with each other. No we aren't pulling a Grinch, we have lots of good reasons for doing this. And they have nothing to do with our hearts being two sizes too small. It's a tradition that we started our first year of marriage and it's one that I know we will continue in the future...

It Takes the Pressure Off 
Every year, Husband timidly approaches me to ask if we are giving each other presents. And every year my response is always the same "No, not unless you want to". His reaction is always overwhelming relief. With the holidays, we already have so many friends and family members that we are in search of the perfect present for. Removing ourselves from that equation lightens things a bit and helps to create a stress-free holiday season.   

Saves Money 
We didn't institute this tradition purely to save money, but it has been a nice benefit. The last time Husband and I exchanged Christmas gifts with each other was a few years ago. I spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars. Plus, he spent the same on me. That's over a thousand dollars. Spent on what? Because I can't for the life of me remember what the heck I gave him. And when I asked Husband what he gave me for Christmas all those years ago, his response was a blank stare. I think it's safe to say that he doesn't remember either. It was mostly just us buying crap for the sake of it being Christmas. I wanted him to have lots of gifts to open so I bought lots of things. Things that didn't matter. Things that have been forgotten. Things that were a waste of money! 

We Don't Need Anything 
While I can think of plenty of things that I might want, there is nothing that I actually need. If we need anything throughout the year, we simply buy it. Otherwise, I seem to be functioning just fine with the things I already own. If anything, I could probably let a few items go. Thus, any gift that Husband could give me right now would be an extra. We have big financial goals/plans that we don't want to deviate from. So I 1000% do not want any Christmas gifts from my Husband! Is that weird? 

The Replacement Gift 
Now please don't think that we are total Scrooges when it comes to handing out Christmas gifts. We love gifting! We are still exchanging gifts with family and friends. But when it comes to each other, it didn't make sense for us to take money out of our joint account to spend on each other. It felt very much like we were just shuffling our own money around. Instead of adorning each other with expensive clothes and gadgets we don't need, we put that money towards unique date experiences and trips together. Believe it or not, these trips often cost less then buying each other more STUFF would. Plus they are much more memorable. 

It has made us more Purposeful 
In general, Husband and I are moving away from giving gifts in our relationship. Everyone's situation is different. This is just what works for us. We no longer give each other traditional gifts, but focus on spending time together. We find that it has been much more impactful for our relationship and has really improved the holiday season for us. I will be sharing "Our Christmas Present" soon, but for now here are some past Christmas presents we have given to each other 

Our Christmas Present 2014 
Our Christmas Present 2013

Follow along with Blogmas to see more holiday fun everyday this month


  1. This makes SO MUCH sense. I already ran out of things I want for Christmas, and since we share our money it really is just kind of silly.

    1. Exactly! Sine it's our shared money we just divide it amongst an experience that will enhance our marriage instead of buying each more stuff we don't really need

  2. I love the intentionality behind it - such wonderful thoughts. I'm so glad you wrote a post about this. It's inspiring xx

    1. Thank you! That is probably one of our favorite benefits…being intentional about valuing time together over things

  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Returning the visit. I agree with all your tips. My husband and I have been married for 29 years. Some lean years we didn't give, other times we did. We take it one year at a time depending a lot on finances and if we did plenty during the year on our home. We are beyond the expectation of each other giving gifts. And it is A-OK. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks Michelle, I appreciate your comment. For us it really isn't based on our finances at all. We save for Christmas all year round so that's not an issue. We do give each other a gift, it's just not traditional presents. Instead we put the money we have budgeted throughout the year toward a trip together. In 2013 we put $ towards paying for extra expeditions on our honeymoon and in 2014 we stayed at a nice B&B and attended a bunch of events/dates together. It just so happens that doing this costs us less than when we were buying each other STUFF

  5. Definitely saves money! I love giving Kyle gifts though, I have a bad habit with that. He just does so much, so I love gifting him something small, now I didn't do that this year, because we didn't spend too much on the rest of the gifts (anniversary, father's day, mother's day, birthdays, etc). It does feel weird paying for a gift for Kyle with our joint account haha.

    liz @ sundays with sophie

    1. We still give gifts for birthdays bc those are extra special. But most other things…Christmas, Valentine's Day, Anniversary don't have big gifts associated with it. We do give each other small gifts often though. We do often I think it has a lot to do with the fact that we spent 7 years of our 8 year relationship long distance. So when it comes to the holidays our focus is on being with each other. Either way I'm excited to share what we did this year as our Christmas gift to each other instead of buying one another gifts.

  6. You make some excellent points here! My favorite point is about what you really need...whenever someone asks what I want for Christmas I'm always like, "I have no idea." Haha. Anything I need throughout the year I end up buying on my own. As I get older I see that time spent with loved ones is most important...force giving for the sake of the holiday, however, is not.

    Happy holidays to you and your hubby!

    Janna |