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Skipping Your Spouse’s Christmas Gift Now Is a Good Way to Hate Each Other Later

by Jeanne Sager on December 17, 2012 at 5:51 PM

gifts under Christmas treeQuick! Want to spend Christmas pissed off at your significant other and hating yourself for it? Agree to a no-present Christmas, and you'll be right on track!

Never heard of such a thing? Count yourself lucky. It's a trend I'm noticing a lot more this year -- maybe because of the recession, maybe because I'm just paying more attention. Couples talk out the holidays and decide that they are going to buy bupkis for one another. Not a stocking stuffer. Not a trinket. NOTHING.

If you are one of those couples, can I offer a word or two? Abort mission! Abort, I say!

Ladies and germs, I have been there. It sounds like a nice, simple way to head off the headache that is trying to find the perfect gift for someone you love. And don't even get me started on the money savings. I'm one of those women who prefers the term frugal over tight-fisted ... for a reason.

But there is nothing more depressing than waking up on Christmas morning, wandering out to the Christmas tree, and not finding a single thing with your name on it.

Some will call the sentiment you feel materialism. I'll dig deeper. Because, let's be honest. Gifts under the tree don't have to cost money, at least not much. Your favorite candy bar is not going to break the bank, but it is going to put one heck of a smile on your face, right? Or maybe a handwritten letter, reminding you that you are truly love and valued?

Even if you agreed to no presents, it's still hard facing the result when someone actually goes through with it!

The weight that settles in your stomach when you wake up to a no-present Christmas is a feeling that no one could be bothered to take a few moments and do something nice for you, that the people you love most were unwilling to give even a little of their time to brighten your holiday.

It may save you money. But it also hurts. And more often than not, it ends up breeding resentment, along with some self-loathing because, hey, you agreed to it, didn't you?

So please, we've got a week left. Do something, anything, to stop this!

If the holidays are really supposed to be about being with the ones we love, why are we willing to forgo showing the people we love just how much?

Do SOMETHING for one another. Write a letter. Set a $10 spending limit. Something!

Would you be able to skip buying Christmas gifts for your significant other? How would you feel if you didn't get something under the tree?

 

Image via futureshape/Flickr

Filed Under: marriage, love

Comments

26
  • Kate
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Kate

    December 17, 2012 at 5:55 PM
    I agree. My hubby and I talked about not getting anything for each other since we buy what we want/need for ourselves, and just getting stuff for the kids. Then I started thinking about it and realized if he gets nothing, if I get nothing, then we've denied our kids the gift of giving! So now we each get 3, one from the two kids, and one from each other. It might be a dvd or a sweater we specifically picked out before hand, but the kids get to see us giving to each other, and get the valuable lesson in giving and not just getting.
  • Karen
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Karen

    December 17, 2012 at 5:58 PM
    My husband and I don't do presents, so I was all prepared to be offended, but really I do agree with your point! We set a small limit and buy each other thoughtful stocking stuffers, and we go big on each others birthdays. It is important to show each other that you care!
  • hello...
    --

    hellokd87

    December 17, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    I agree. Even though I've spent the last month and a half asking my fiancee what he REALLY wants for Christmas yet coming up with no answer, I had to take matters into my own hands. He LOVES collecting Hot Wheels. 57 Chevy Bel Air & 83 Chevy Silverado hot wheels to be exact. So I searched on ebay & amazon for the ones he doesn't already have, are collectibles or are some that he DOES have just not in the package. It cost me no more than $20 & I KNOW he's going to be grinning from ear to ear! You just have to find that one fool-proof inexpensive guilty pleasure and indulge  in it!


  • dirti...
    --

    dirtiekittie

    December 17, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    i'm with you on this one. hubby and i have also talked about it in passing, but it never works. every christmas we give each other a sheepish grin and a "i couldn't help myself" as we exchange gifts. the beauty is, i know even if we do have only a ten dollar limit, he's putting thought into whatever he does for me. and that's the best part. :)


  • purpl...
    --

    purpleflower514

    December 17, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    We don't give christmas gifts to each other generally. I do put a stocking together for him with the kids help but not big gifts under the tree for either of us (unless the kids have asked to buy presents for us). We don't need anything plus our anniversary is less than 2 months later so we do something nice for each other then. Being with my family at christmas is the best gift I can have.


  • linzemae
    --

    linzemae

    December 17, 2012 at 6:37 PM
    We hardly ever give any gifts... Christmas, birthday or anniversary. It's just not our thing. We spend a lot on eachother through the year and we also share banking so it ruins the surprise. If we do have extra funds we will discuss if we want to exchange gifts for a holiday.
  • sasha
    -- Nonmember comment from

    sasha

    December 17, 2012 at 6:57 PM
    We did this last year. Mostly because once again he asked what i wanted, i got upset that still he can't come up with one idea on his own. So i said not to bother that and i feel guilty asking for anything when he pays all the bills. If i ask him what he wants i don't get an answer. He always hates what i get. It just shifts on a shelf or draw. In the past he only has given me a did. It brings tears to my eyes to see/ hear about all the gifts others were given by their significant others.i would be happy with a macaroni
  • Rebec...
    --

    Rebecca7708

    December 17, 2012 at 7:10 PM
    Actually, we do this and it works for us. It's not for everybody, and I do see your point but, I don't think you should generalize like that.
  • Flori...
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    Floridamom96

    December 17, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Really? We've been married nearly 19 years. We have no pact to not buy each other presents. Every now and then when we find something that seems right for the other we'll buy it, but we mostly just find ourselves focusing on our children at Christmas. I don't get a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach "because no one thought" of me, I'm too busy enjoying my kids.


  • Sarah...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Sarah UsedtobeZech Cone

    December 17, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    I agree with Rebecca7708. My husband and I rarely get eachother gifts. We've been happily married for almost 16 yrs.


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