My husband and I don’t buy each other Christmas presents

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With the holidays fast approaching, I try to find time to think. Before the kids, my husband and I were more focused on each other. We used to delight in giving each other gifts and often opened them early just because we could. The number of presents I had to open mattered, and I was always sad when this Christmas party was over. Somehow, the magic I associated with the holidays disappeared when there were no more presents to open.

This feeling continued into the early years of our marriage. Giving each other Christmas presents was fun and meaningful. Then we had kids and everything changes when you have kids.

When we split up, suddenly giving each other gifts didn’t seem to matter so much. As our priorities changed, trying to impress each other by spending a lot of money no longer made much sense to us. It wasn’t just that I didn’t think he needed a gift from me… Honestly, I didn’t want a gift either. If I needed something, I’ve probably already bought it. Same for him.

Our conversations about not getting anything material happened in passing. He was telling me how hard I was to buy because I really didn’t want anything. I would tell him that he already bought himself something that should matter. Since we had already spent money on new things, we thought that we had already received a present together. Spending more money just to have something to open didn’t make sense. We both thought it would just throw it away.

By spending less time worrying about buying presents for each other, we free ourselves to really think about what to get the kids and enjoy the holidays more.

That said, the things I want to are not available for purchase in store. I want more time. Pause. More sleep. More time together as a family to create memories. To keep my babies small, just a little longer. I just don’t want anything for nothing anymore.

When I tell my husband stuff like that, he knows he doesn’t have the power to grant some of those wishes, but he’s quick to give me a break when he sees me wearing myself out. Honestly, sometimes he knows before I do. I’m not good at hiding my emotions, so it’s pretty obvious. After 14 years of marriage, I don’t even try anymore. He is also quick to accept whenever I tell him I have to get out of the house. He knows that when I reach this point, I really need it.

By spending less time worrying about buying presents for each other, we free ourselves to really think about what to get the kids and enjoy the holidays more. We’re not as worried about blowing our budget. I would much rather buy ingredients to make special Christmas treats or crafts with the kids anyway.

Instead of buying things for each other, we focus more on the holiday experiences we share with our kids, like having cookies for breakfast, having a Christmas pajama dance party, and hanging out. time playing games. Because, truly, I now know that the greatest gift is the opportunity to create family memories.

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