So today’s post is a bit different from my other frugal win of the week (FWOTW) posts.
About 5 or 6 years ago, my wife and I decided that we no longer needed to exchange gifts. This applied to various occasions such as Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentine’s Day. I’ve written in the past about my thoughts on gift giving during Christmas here, and I still feel like those comments remain relevant today.
To quote from my previous post:
One of the best decisions that my wife and I have made regarding gifts was to just agree not to shop for surprises for each other. If we really need or want something, we just agree to go and buy it – no need to connect the purchase to a random “gift giving” holiday. We already have almost everything we could possibly want. We are trying to minimize the junk we own. Anything else would just clutter our home.
Sometimes it is hard for people to understand why I don’t buy an anniversary gift for my wife, or why she doesn’t get me anything for my birthday. Our attitudes go against common consumerism culture. Once you are in a committed relationship with your significant other, your finances are linked. You are now saving for financial freedom together. Spending money from our same bank account doesn’t benefit our financial future in any way. Our best gift to each other is sharing the common goal of reaching financial freedom together.
Last week I was in the office lounge eating my homemade food during lunch. One of my coworkers also brought her lunch struck up a conversation by asking me how my Christmas shopping has been going. I explained to her that my wife and I decided years ago just to not worry about getting each other gifts. It was an unnecessary stress that we really didn’t need and our lives were better off without random gifts. She was a bit surprised to hear that we don’t participate in giving gifts to each other. My coworker then started telling me about how difficult it was trying to find the right gift for her husband while having a hard time balancing the budget at the same time. She explained how last Christmas, she was dealing with unemployment and money problems, and the couple decided not to exchange gifts. Christmas came and went without any issues. Since she was working this year, she automatically thought that they were just going to resume the tradition of giving gifts.
Well, this morning my coworker excitedly came to me to share that she had a talk with her husband and they both decided they did NOT need to get each other gifts for Christmas! She told me that she was so relieved after talking this out with her husband. There’s no need to break the budget to follow the trends of society. Christmas is not about giving gifts.
This holiday season, take the time to appreciate everything that you already have. Appreciate your health, your family, and your friendships.