As much as any of us enjoy giving carefully selected Christmas gifts that convey all the love and warmth we feel in our hearts this holiday season, the one person I no longer exchange Christmas gifts with is my husband.
While it might seem strange to deliberately overlook the one person who means so much, we decided long ago that presents weren’t an important part of our Christmas experience.
And not to sound super corny or anything, but I gave this man my heart long ago, so when it comes to celebrating the true meaning of the holiday and love among family at Christmas, no wool blend sweater, power drill, or set of free weights could ever begin to mean as much.
Present-free Christmas 1 of 8
It's been at least 5 years since my husband and I exchanged Christmas presents — click on through to find out why.
We both get it wrong 2 of 8
For the first 10 years of our marriage, my husband and I exchanged Christmas gifts ... that pretty much sucked. One Christmas early on, I spent nearly everything we had on a banjo my husband was sure to love. Only he didn't. And then there was that Christmas that my husband bought me the exact same necklace I'd been wearing for an entire year (I mean, I never took it off - like, not even to shower) because he said it "looked like me." After a decade of gift fails, we decided that instead of giving gifts to each other, we'd give them to...
Our house 3 of 8
Gifting the house instead of each other seemed like a stellar idea. After all, the house always needed something and Christmas was as good of an excuse as any. One year we gifted our house the IKEA bookcases above. Another year we got a new coffee maker. Then there was that other year the family room windows got new fake wood blinds. Super fun, right? Yeah, we didn't think so either.
We have everything 4 of 8
Truthfully, we don't want to have to wait until Christmas to outfit our home or ourselves with the things we want (within budget). Since we pretty much have everything we need, we just don't see the point of some pressure-filled declaration of gifting love to each other on Christmas morning.
Christmas presents are for kids 5 of 8
Our extended families decided only to give Christmas gifts to the kids because the holidays are expensive and exhaustive enough without having to buy for every distant aunt and second cousin. It seemed only logical to adopt this gifting philosophy within our immediate family; my husband and I get just as much joy out of giving to our kids as receiving from each other.
We’re wildy practical 6 of 8
We just decided we'd rather spend half as much on something we really want for ourselves when we really want it, than spend too much on the wrong gifts that we have to wait until Christmas to receive. And they say romance is dead.
We still get a little something to open 7 of 8
We may not receive gifts from each other, but we still get the pleasure of unwrapping handmade gifts and trinkets from our kids that are far more precious than anything we could purchase for each other.
We’re not missing anything 8 of 8
My husband and I enjoy the idea of celebrating Christmas without an abundance of expensive gifts under the tree. Striving to create a Christmas based on experiences rather than things, we make the most of Christmas traditions and simple holiday joys.
Do you exchange Christmas presents with your spouse?