I want to explain why Becky and I don’t buy each other Christmas gifts. You see, every year, Becky and I do something special for Christmas… instead of buying a gift for each other, we ‘gift ourselves’, so to say. We talk about one big-ticket item that we want, like a new camera or video recorder, that we can use for our family. We then go together, to the store, and we buy it.
Becky and I have been together for so long… since she was 13 and I was 14. We have been through many gifts together (many gifts!). From awful sweaters in high school (that we each wore, to save any hurt feelings), to Music CD’s in college (to help us with our 4 hour commute to one another every weekend) to jewelry as an engaged couple, to a Golf Club and Steam Cleaners for our first gifts in our new house.
However, we’ve come to learn that we just do better when we shop together for something that we both want, instead of spending money on something that the other might like. Becky’s not really into expensive jewelry (her favorite pieces have such special meaning (her grandmother’s ring and her great-grandmother’s ring, her wedding band, the earrings that I bought her on our wedding day) and she never takes them off, so that doesn’t leave room for much more), so buying something that she really wants is so much better. She does, however, love when I make her a card. I guess you are never too old for a hand-made card. (Here we are in high school)…
We actually started doing this nine years ago, when our oldest son was born, and we haven’t looked back.
Here is how it works:
- We both write down three things that we think we need for our family.
This year, Becky’s list included:
1. Swapping out the sofa and chairs for a sectional.
2. New wicker chairs for the kitchen
3. A new dishwasher.
My list included:
1. Garage organization shelves.
2. A new dishwasher.
3. A video camera for our trip this year.
- We looked through the list together and we write down how much each thing will cost.
- We check how many reward points we have and compare to the list.
- This year, we decided to get the dishwasher. We are going to get it from Lowes, because they had the best deals and because we can pay with most of our points. The remaining balance that we are stuck paying for gives us the greatest amount cash back towards other purchases.
Since starting our “buying together” Christmas gift idea, many of our friends have family have adopted it. One of our friends uses their points to buy things that will be used on vacation. Becky’s brother and his wife bought a camera with extra lenses for their gift to themselves (and the family). It started because we realized that it was hard to find something that each other wanted that they hadn’t bought themselves, so we decided to get ourselves something that we wouldn’t buy ourselves (because of the cost). It has worked well for us. Hopefully it works for you, too.