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View Poll Results: Do you give gifts to your spouse?
Yes, gift card 2 1.80%
Yes, other than gift card 46 41.44%
Yes, mixture of both 12 10.81%
No 35 31.53%
Some Occasions (Explain) 12 10.81%
Other (Explain) 4 3.60%
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Poll:Do You Give Gifts to Your Spouse?
Old 12-04-2017, 12:22 AM   #1
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Poll:Do You Give Gifts to Your Spouse?

Do you give gifts to your spouse for occasions such as Christmas, birthday, anniversary, etc.?

If so, do you give gift cards or physical items only (or a mixture I guess).

I have put up a poll so would love any explanations as well as weighing in on my situation.

I am trying to decide if I should suggest to DH that we stop doing Christmas presents and birthday presents. (We already stopped anniversary presents, but we do go out for it).

Issues I am having.

1. We often don't really know of anything specific to get as a physical gift. Usually if we really want something we have already bought it. But, occasionally there are exceptions and one of us gives the other a great gift. Last year I got DH a Keurig which was a huge surprise to him and he loves it.

2. I have had some success with giving him a list. For the last couple of years I've created an Amazon shopping list of Kindle books that I want and he looks through it and buys me some. That is fun as it is often books I was interested in but on the fence about buying. We tried doing this for physical items though and it didn't work as well. It was a chore to find items to put on the list.

3. So, we have often gotten gift cards. Of course if I give him an Amazon card and he gives me one that might seem like we didn't really give anything.

However, we usually each year allocate in our budget spending money for each of us. So the gift card does measurably add to that for each of us. And, we don't always give gift cards to the same place. I might give him one to Best Buy and he might give me one to Pandora.

But -- more importantly -- I think I am going to suggest that we get rid of the spending category in our budget. It is time consuming to keep track of and I analyzed it and the spending we do on that category is not so much money that I think it is worthwhile to separate it out in that manner. We can just put books in Entertainment for example.

So, without having a spending money category doing a gift card really is even more useless. If I give him a gift card and he buys books with it. He hasn't really gotten anything since he would have bought the books anyway.

4. I was talking to a friend recently and she and her husband don't exchange gifts. But, they buy themselves something special for the household around Christmas time. That seems reasonable. I could see maybe extending that to birthdays. That is, on my birthday I go out and do something special for myself that I don't ordinarily do, etc.

Does anyone do anything like that?
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:49 AM   #2
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Gift cards verge on a scam in my mind. DW would possibly give me a good punch if I ever gave her a gift card. I don't think that it would please her. Try to give gifts that are well thought out and will have great meaning to her. The truth is that we all have everything we need or the means to acquire it so it is more likely to give an experience or something that is very personal. It is true that you can give a gift card for an experience but I think that there are better ways to do it.
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:10 AM   #3
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Frank and I never give gifts to each other on Christmas.

If one of us has a birthday, always we go to a nice restaurant and the other buys lunch.

Sometimes one of us spontaneously buys the other an inexpensive gift for no reason at all on an impulse, no holiday. This type of gift is usually something that we saw and knew instantly that the other one would absolutely love it. Like, I bought him a reacher/grabber thingie, and he bought me a snuggly teddy bear, but not on any special day or holiday; a total surprise.

We don't buy expensive gifts for each other, or anything on holidays, and we never wrap anything or make a big deal out of it..

I voted "Some occasions".
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Sometimes one of us spontaneously buys the other an inexpensive gift for no reason at all on an impulse, no holiday. This type of gift is usually something that we saw and knew instantly that the other one would absolutely love it.
I think that is a nice idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6miths View Post
Gift cards verge on a scam in my mind. DW would possibly give me a good punch if I ever gave her a gift card.
Well, it depends. For example, a couple of years ago I was pondering making a Pandora bracelet for my WW charms (plus buying some there). I hadn't done it because I was hesitant to spend the money. DH bought me a Pandora gift card. It was a great gift. He had no idea what bracelet or charms to buy me but knew I would love the Pandora bracelet. So we went into the store together and I happily used the card to pick out the specific items I wanted.
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:32 AM   #5
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FWIW, we don't do the gift exchange and haven't for years. We do go out to dinner for our anniversary, bdays, etc. We don't exchange presents at Christmas, either. My family stopped years ago except for the kids, so that also helped.

We tend to get what we need when we need it and if we really want something, we get it ourselves during the year. Now that we are doing perpetual travel, it makes even more sense, because we don't even buy souvenirs - no room! I did find some paua shell jewelry I wanted in NZ this year, and I got it after having DH help me pick it out. We also just ordered a bunch of stuff on Amazon for next year's travels (going back to US for holidays to pick it all up) like a new underwater camera, some new electronics, plus some replacement clothes and things, but that is our clothes and toy shopping for the year.

Our money is all in one pot and we both earned close to each other when we w*rked, so that may also have something to do with it. It is both our money, so neither wants it spent on things we don't need or don't really want. Right now we want very little, except to keep traveling...plus that cool new underwater camera!
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:50 AM   #6
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We go out some place nice to eat with the family for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. DH and I give each other token gifts on Christmas and it us usually something small, consumable or an experience so as not to add clutter, like wine, chocolates, a book, earrings for me, a flowering plant or event tickets.
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:57 AM   #7
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We enjoy giving each other gifts. Many of the gifts we give aren't that valuable, but are small luxuries we might not buy for ourselves or thoughtful little surprises. We always give each other birthday and Christmas gifts. Anniversaries are usually celebrated with cards and a trip to somewhere we both want to go.

We do not give each other gift cards. All of our funds are pooled so it seems silly to do that.
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Old 12-04-2017, 02:47 AM   #8
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We exchange cards for some occasions but stopped exchanging gifts for birthdays, Christmas, etc. years ago. We both decided we had everything we wanted, and if we needed anything else we tended to just buy it when so inclined. Decluttering over the past years only reinforced that, when we found ourselves throwing away things we’d never used, some gifts for the person who has everything - a waste of money & resources. And gift cards or sharing lists doesn’t appeal to either of us, like others our money is “pooled.”

However, we always go out for a extra nice dinner on special occasions, or more. For our anniversary this year we’re seeing Wicked, staying overnight in downtown Chicago and having dinner at a favorite restaurant. On our 35th anniversary DW asked me to upgrade her diamond ring, I happily complied.

And DW has never gone a birthday, anniversary or VD without roses or other flowers for 38 years and counting.
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:21 AM   #9
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We typically get each other gifts, but occasionally we get something that we both want and consider that the gift.
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:28 AM   #10
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We keep to under a $100 a person, and is more of the stocking stuffer, cute little gadget items. This way there isn't this large emotional overhead of getting the "right" gift. We each buy our own hobby/big splurge stuff, since this often tends to be super personal/matter of taste.

I like to have things to open (vestiges of childhood) and hubby knows the "correct" amount of items is 5, one of which should be a toy/craft/something I can play with on Christmas Day. The rest tends to be practical-ish stuff: calendar, book, swiss army knife, USB chair warmer pad.
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:54 AM   #11
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We do give for birthdays and Christmas, and are comfortable with the practice. Our anniversary is usually just a nice dinner out.

I gave DW an Apple watch for her birthday this year. Struggling with ideas for Xmas.

The one I really hate is Valentine's Day - emotional extortion forcing me to buy overpriced flowers and cough up for an overpriced set menu and barf-worthy decor etc. We usually skip and go out a day or two before.
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Old 12-04-2017, 05:00 AM   #12
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No. We don't purchase much 'stuff', but on the rare occasion that one of us wants something we buy it.

Totally in sync, expenditurewise.
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Do You Give Gifts to Your Spouse?
Old 12-04-2017, 05:15 AM   #13
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Do You Give Gifts to Your Spouse?

She buys what she wants and calls it a christmas present. Thank God. One less thing for me to screw up.
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Old 12-04-2017, 05:33 AM   #14
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My wife loves fashion and shopping so for Christmas I got her a couple gift cards for her favorite stores. She is from Thailand and they don’t really do gifts there so gifting is a really big deal for her, I give her something for every occasion
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Old 12-04-2017, 06:17 AM   #15
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DW grew up in a family where they celebrated and gifted every single birthday. I grew up in a family where we only really celebrated "milestone" birthdays and anniversaries. So it took me a little time to get used to gifting her that frequently, but it is worth it. Fortunately she also desires frugal gifts, so it is easy. The two times I got her extravagant (to her) gifts, she was bawling with happiness/guilt for several days.

She has probably a dozen places she likes to shop, so on her birthday, Valentines Day, Mothers Day, our wedding anniversary, and Christmas, I'll get her a card with one or more gift cards to one of her places.

At times she will be savings towards something and I'll surprise her and get it for her as a gift. For example, she wants a new laptop and is saving for it. She is planning to get in in a couple of months, but I'll get it for her for Christmas. She also keeps a "wish list" at Amazon that I'll pick out things on it and give her for Christmas. Then there are also the "gifts for her that are really for me", but I won't say any more on that .

I am tougher to get for since there is nothing I really need, and I prefer to by things for myself... but she knows my big hobby is computers and electronics so will get me gift cards to the places I frequent for those items. I'll also keep a wish list on Amazon that she has access to.

For us it is more about the thought than the amount. It is one way that to show that we are thinking of the other. And we do not burden each other with "try to figure out what I want, If I have to tell you I'll get upset" drama.
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Old 12-04-2017, 06:22 AM   #16
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DH and I did in the beginning but stopped after awhile. As with other couples here, if we wanted something (which was rare) we went out and got it, conferring first if it was something major. We loved traveling together and saved our money for that.

Gift cards, to me, are impersonal. They're a nice "thank you" gift to someone you don't knew all that well, say, a volunteer on a committee, and I LOVE the Starbucks cards I get through the local blood bank rewards program but I wouldn't give them to someone I love.
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Old 12-04-2017, 06:25 AM   #17
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We both hate shopping and buying gifts for gifts' sake so we stopped a few years ago. We also stopped with the pile of gifts for our grown kids although we still gift them funds for trips, etc at times and we get gifts for the grandkids. DW and I will occasionally see something that we think the other (or both of us) will like and get it on a whim. We don't save such gifts up for holidays.
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Old 12-04-2017, 07:16 AM   #18
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The holidays became MUCH less stressful after DW and I agreed not to exchange gifts. As others noted, we each have more than enough crap already, and if we want more we usually just go and buy it (especially after FI). We’ll get a few tokens for the stockings but that’s about it.
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Old 12-04-2017, 07:27 AM   #19
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No. We don't purchase much 'stuff', but on the rare occasion that one of us wants something we buy it.

Totally in sync, expenditurewise.
This.

We don't do anything for each other on anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas, and the like. (Although we recently began going out to dinner on new years eve, which is our anniversary--after 25+ years of not bothering.)

I have, however, bought flowers for the kitchen table 5 or 6 times over the years, if they are on clearance pricing at the grocery store and look nice. Don't know if that qualifies or not.
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Old 12-04-2017, 07:38 AM   #20
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She buys what she wants and calls it a christmas present. Thank God. One less thing for me to screw up.
+1 My household uses the same plan
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