The Gift of Not Giving


I’m going to lay it out on the line here: Manly Man and I haven’t done gift giving in like 3 years now. I think when we were planning for our wedding we decided it didn’t make any sense, our wedding and honeymoon in Ireland was all the gifts we needed that year. After the honeymoon Manly Man got laid off and doing gifts just didn’t make any sense, why would we celebrate anything by spending money when we had so little?

Granted, we’re still in bad financial straights, they get worse every month but despite that I think we just came to realize the whole expectations of gift giving loses the whole point. We like to give gifts when we come across something the other person would like or if one of us just needs a pick-me-up.

One thing I can say about us is that we’ve always preferred giving gifts from the heart instead of just buying stuff the other person could just buy themselves. We are always doing love notes and having silly little dates.

I’d honestly recommend every couple, hell every family, take one year to not buy any gifts for holidays. You can do gifts whenever you want, you just can’t do it on holidays. Also, try going the more personal route and do things that really mean something. Go on a picnic, write a love letter or play a board game.

I think we all forget to really enjoy each other and with the way the world is lately we need that more than ever.


  1. Avitable

    November 10, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    I don’t like receiving gifts but I enjoy trying to find something that someone would really like and giving it to them.

    1. Robin

      November 12, 2010 at 4:17 pm

      I do enjoy that, a lot, I just don’t like the pressure and how people end up getting stuff they would never want or gift cards.

  2. Anonymous

    November 10, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    We do lots of stuff like picnics and board games… but I like getting presents. For example, Mike bought me a fancy coffee pot I would never have bought for myself for my birthday.

    1. Robin

      November 12, 2010 at 4:17 pm

      That’s awesome =) I love presents, I just hate holidays.

  3. Grant

    November 10, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Not feeling obligated to buy presents during the Hannukwanzaramadamas season sounds like the devil’s business to me. I suspect communism is involved.

  4. Pauline

    November 10, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    “Also, try going the more personal route and do things that really mean something. Go on a picnic, write a love letter or play a board game.”

    That’s a good idea. The holidays are fun, but the whole rush to consume, consume, consume is ridiculous! Donating some money to a worthy cause in your partner’s name could be another romantic gift that benefits others as well! πŸ™‚

    1. Robin

      November 12, 2010 at 4:18 pm

      We donated money for our wedding instead of favors, I was so glad we did!

  5. Anonymous

    November 11, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    We don’t really give each other gifts, either. Like you said – if there’s something that one of us wants & we can afford it, we just buy it.

    If it’s close to a holiday or birthday, we’ll have the other person wrap it up as a gift from the kids, to help them learn about the joy of giving from the heart.

    But, we don’t agonize over obligatory gifts to each other. Our relationship exists because of who we are to each other, how we treat each other every day – not what we buy for each other.

    Of course, for some people, that ‘knowing just what I want in my heart & then giving it to me’ is a symbol of that love, and a sign that they are loved. And, that’s OK, too.

    1. Robin

      November 12, 2010 at 4:19 pm

      Sometimes a gift giving experience can be wonderful, I think the art of it has been lost for the most part though.

  6. The Absence of Alternatives

    November 16, 2010 at 3:30 am

    My husb and I do not give each other gifts either. BUT we do not have what you have: silly dates and the thoughtfulness of actually taking time out and making an effort to find something, even small things, that the other person may enjoy or get a chuckle. What you have here is, for the lack of a non-cliche expression, priceless. πŸ™‚

    1. Robin

      November 16, 2010 at 1:44 pm

      Well I’m sure it has a lot to do with us both being goofballs and not dealing with children everyday.

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