Gift Giving Strategy for Married Couples

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creditdefaultswaps
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Gift Giving Strategy for Married Couples

Post by creditdefaultswaps » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:06 pm

Every year around this time, my spouse will start pestering for me gift ideas for the holidays and I usually say the same line about how I don't desire any material things much these days and the things that I really want, I want to earn for myself. This is usually returned with eyesrolling because my spouse genuinely wants to do something nice for me.

We're in our mid 30s, no kids, and married 10+ years. We usually spend Christmas alone or with a few friends as our families live far away. We've tried doing nothing on Christmas and treating it like any other day, but we then both really missed the experience and realized how much we really do enjoy the Holidays.

Is there a goto strategy here for other couples in our situation when it comes to gift giving? I'd love to hear the kinds of gifts you exchange (or don't!).

livesoft
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Re: Gift Giving Strategy for Married Couples

Post by livesoft » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:25 pm

What do you regularly buy? Toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, toothpaste. Those make great gifts and don't bust your regular budget.
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sailaway
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Re: Gift Giving Strategy for Married Couples

Post by sailaway » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:38 pm

I give my husband his favorite candy because he never buys it for himself. He does not get me anything. The first few years, I got myself or us something and wrapped it, but now that we have to fly back to family instead of driving, I don't even do that.

More to your situation, when my brothers stopped coming home for Christmas, Mom, Dad and I would take a trip over the holiday. Every year, Mom would say that the trip was enough, then on Christmas Eve she would get sad that there weren't any decorations, so we would go to the Dollar Store, or whatever was open and buy some decorations and wrapping paper. I have wrapped (and unwrapped) candy bars, little puzzles, a half read book, unopened food from the pantry, my old mittens... We would even sneak into each other's luggage and try to find something they wouldn't miss overnight. The sillier, the better. Now my oldest brother brings all his kids to Christmas and it is tons of fun, but Mom and I have very fond memories of those silly Christmases. However, YMMV, as Dad still rolls his eyes whenever we bring it up.

TheHouse7
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Re: Gift Giving Strategy for Married Couples

Post by TheHouse7 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:46 pm

I don't ask for anything, and she finally got the hint this year, is going to buy a nice night out for the both of us (using both our gift money).
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runner3081
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Re: Gift Giving Strategy for Married Couples

Post by runner3081 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:03 pm

My wife and I haven't exchanged gifts for the last 10-years.

delamer
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Re: Gift Giving Strategy for Married Couples

Post by delamer » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:50 pm

Tickets to sport, theatre, etc.?

malabargold
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Re: Gift Giving Strategy for Married Couples

Post by malabargold » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:36 pm

Adopt a pet from a shelter;
Work in a community center together; etc

Make it a meaningful gift to both of you
and someone in need

mega317
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Re: Gift Giving Strategy for Married Couples

Post by mega317 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:48 pm

My wife and I only do when we find something that would be a really good gift. As a result, there have been holidays/anniversaries/birthdays in which one of us got a gift and the other didn't. It has seemed to even out. No big deal.

I would rather get a mediocre gift than have to ask for something. If I could think of it, I'd just buy it for myself any ol' day.

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climber2020
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Re: Gift Giving Strategy for Married Couples

Post by climber2020 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:54 pm

- Couple's massage
- Booze
- Weekend trip somewhere

winterfan
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Re: Gift Giving Strategy for Married Couples

Post by winterfan » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:01 am

I'm in my mid 40s and still love to open presents. I don't want anything expensive necessarily. My husband doesn't need anything he can't buy for himself, but I wrap a few little gifts that he can open. I try to find him one gift he didn't know he needed, but usually they are things like a bottle of liquor, nuts, beef jerky, nice tissues (I'm known for buying cheapo tissues), etc. To me, that's what makes Christmas fun. I would love to receive nice bar soaps, wine, lotion, etc. Consumable things I would buy anyway. Our situation is a little different because we have a child. I don't want her to think Christmas morning is all about her. We open one present at a time and it kind of stretches out Christmas morning.

kd2008
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Re: Gift Giving Strategy for Married Couples

Post by kd2008 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:03 am

As we age, we find gift giving to each other a tad harder. But it also forces us to observe our loved ones even more closely as they go about their life.

One year it was a set measuring cups from williams sonoma. Nothing wrong with the ones we had before. Receiving these really nice ones made me feel appreciated. Every time I use them, it brings joy and a faint smile to my face.

Over the years, numerous items I use daily that feel really nice or special to me have been Christmas gifts. In turn, it made me appreciate my loved ones even more for I know they observe me even when I don't know it. I really value that a lot and do the same for them too.

PS: please do not get a vacuum cleaner, food processor etc it may send a very wrong signal :D

TwstdSista
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Re: Gift Giving Strategy for Married Couples

Post by TwstdSista » Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:40 am

We are not "present" people and we tried to do no gifts, but we found it didn't feel like Christmas without some present opening on Christmas morning (the kid no longer lives at home). So we give ourselves a set amount of money to spend and buy our own presents, plus something small for the other so we each have a surprise or two under our small tree.

I spend my Xmas money on clothes or coffee mugs that I want, and my husband spends his on hobby items. So realistically, it's an allowance bonus and we wrap the items up.

It works for us!

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lthenderson
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Re: Gift Giving Strategy for Married Couples

Post by lthenderson » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:12 am

My wife and I buy something together, usually a bigger ticket item for our home. We've gotten a china hutch, dining room table set, furniture, bedroom set, etc. over the years. This year we are buying an elliptical trainer for our exercise room.

creditdefaultswaps
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Re: Gift Giving Strategy for Married Couples

Post by creditdefaultswaps » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:52 pm

Thanks everyone for your replies. It seems everyone does it a little different and that's A-OK with me. I've got another good 35+ Christmases to go (If I'm lucky) to try and each and every one of these out. :sharebeer

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bengal22
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Re: Gift Giving Strategy for Married Couples

Post by bengal22 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:09 pm

I like giving my wife jewelry and other fun items she would not normally buy for herself. We love going to Christmas Eve service, exchanging gifts the next morning, having a nice dinner with our kids and parents. We love the whole generous experience of Christmas.
Last edited by bengal22 on Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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JBTX
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Re: Gift Giving Strategy for Married Couples

Post by JBTX » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:30 pm

First I’ll say me and DW march to a different drummer then most couples. We are both accountants. We both hate shopping far more than enjoy getting gifts. So we haven’t exchanged gifts in many years.

In terms of what to do perhaps instead take a day or two trip somewhere. Maybe a B&B. Maybe Vegas. Whatever you are into.

aristotelian
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Re: Gift Giving Strategy for Married Couples

Post by aristotelian » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:38 pm

Mid 40s, I am the same way. I guess I am a jerk, but anything we need we already have, and anything unnecessary I just view as a waste. It took 12 years of marriage but my wife finally understands. She finally said she is giving in and just won't buy me anything this year. It gets better.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Gift Giving Strategy for Married Couples

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:44 pm

I buy small surprise gifts separate for fun but go out and get something with big ticket item that we can enjoy together.
Surprise gifts could be warm pajamas. Nothing expensive.
Last edited by DrGoogle2017 on Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Gift Giving Strategy for Married Couples

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:45 pm

We seldom do birthday gifts or Xmas gifts for any child who no longer believes in Santa. The kids were clever enough to figure it out, and feigned belief for a while.

However, we enjoy giving gifts and do so, often, when an opportunity arises. We just don’t like to consider it a calendar-driven obligation.
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goingup
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Re: Gift Giving Strategy for Married Couples

Post by goingup » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:52 pm

I have trained myself to be a better gift giver because it doesn't come naturally to me. I'm not a "stuff" person. However, Christmas gifts are meaningful to my SO and other family members. Therefore, I try to think hard about what will be appreciated and enjoyed. Some years I'm able to elicit delight! That makes everyone happy. :happy

I think it's good for me to work hard at this. Makes me a better partner--27 years and going strong!

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Gift Giving Strategy for Married Couples

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:06 pm

Both spouses open up laptops to Amazon, choose something they want, put it in the cart, ready to order. When both are ready, exchange laptops and both hit the "order" button.

Yes, we do this.
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