I’m Not Buying My Husband A Christmas Gift….

That’s right, he’s been a bad boy. No gift for him! I kid.

My husband and I flip-flop every year on what to do for each other for gifts. I mean we live together, have combined finances and are at the point that if we want or need something we just buy it (or save up for it). Gone are the early wooing days of pretty small boxes and endless hours of picking out the perfect gift.

We have everything we want or need. In the past few years when it comes to Christmas gifts for each other, we have done everything from set a $100 budget to not getting each other anything and instead put the money towards our wedding/vacation/house. This year we’ve decided to put our Christmas budget money towards an experience instead of gifts. Our experience will be a well overdue date night and sleep.

Since having our daughter 18 months ago, two things haven’t happened:

1) A real date night, alone.

2) Sleep.

We decided that this year for our gift to each other we would get a hotel room for the night, have an honest-to-God date and sleep the eff in! My sister will be babysitting for the night and we got a wicked hotel deal online ($105 for a nice suite with breakfast, though I plan on sleeping until lunch). Our plans include some shopping for a few things we need spending the rest of our budget money, as well as hopefully knocking off some Christmas shopping since we haven’t finished (but have a list completed).

Oh, did I mention I plan on going into a coma to make up for the lack of sleep-ins in the last 18 months?! It will be glorious.

We’ve been pretty tight with our money in the last few years when it comes to buying anything for ourselves. We’ve worked hard this year and though I dare say we deserve it, know what? We do! Every now and then we need to enjoy our money. This is a budgeted event but it’s needed. I need it for my sanity. I need it for my marriage. I need it to keep my financial resentment at bay.

It will be the best gift we’ve given to each other in a long time…as long as I remember how to sleep without the hum of the baby monitor beside my head or internal clock waking if I’m not woken by 7am.

Do you and spouse always exchange gifts?



  1. I think that sounds wonderful! We are doing something similar (Christmas money will go towards our long trip instead since we don’t “need” anything). We ALWAYS buy something for each other for Christmas, so it will definitely be different for us.
    Michelle recently posted..Making The Decision To Leave Your JobMy Profile

  2. Good for y’all! I think that sounds like an excellent gift to give each other. My wife and I exchange gifts most years, but we’ve brought the spending limit WAY down since we were newlyweds. :-)
    FI Pilgrim recently posted..Never Forget To Pay A Bill Again – A Manilla ReviewMy Profile

  3. We aren’t buying for this year either. We just don’t need anything. I will probably write him a Christmas letter or something though. He’s pretty cheesy and usually saves stuff like that forever =)
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted..Squashing Vacation EnvyMy Profile

  4. Sounds like a great gift idea! We’re the same way as you guys – my husband and I really do have everything we want and would rather put money we would have bought on gifts toward savings or an upcoming trip. But we do usually exchange one or two small things, just because we both like surprising each other! It’s always low-key and inexpensive stuff, though (and we usually balance out the expense by doing gifts in exchange for eating out or something like that).
    Kali @ CommonSenseMillennial recently posted..Millennials Who Break Negative GenY StereotypesMy Profile

  5. My wife and I have done the same thing on more than one occasion, not just Christmas. The idea of going out and searching for a gift for your spouse just for the sake of giving a gift — because if you don’t, you must not love them haha — is kind of annoying to me. I do like to surprise my wife with flowers or an occasional gift for no reason or holiday, but it’s usually something she really wants — like a heated blanket.

    I know married people who would lose it if they didn’t get a gift from their spouse.

    I definitely like the idea of instead doing a date night. With three little ones myself I can relate to the fact that these nights happen far too irregularly.

    Have a Merry Christmas! :D
    Brad Chaffee recently posted..Will the Real Brad Chaffee Please Stand Up?My Profile

    • Thanks for the comment!

      Agreed about buying a gift for the sake of buying, I just don’t get it!

      Three kiddo’s is a lot to handle, sneak in those dates!

  6. This is a great idea Catherine! I think my wife and I are going to be moving to something like this from here on out. We’re exchanging this year, but it was such a chore to think of things I wanted and it was largely the same for my wife. If we want or need something then we go buy it or save for it. Something like this is much more valuable in my opinion and he sleep alone (not to mention not having food thrown at you for a meal or two) is well worth the money spent.
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..Has Holiday Gift Giving at the Office Gotten Out of ControlMy Profile

  7. We often give experiences as gifts. My birthday this year was attending a film festival! It’s a great way to share the event with the person you love and produces less clutter, too!
    Mrs PoP @ Planting Our Pennies recently posted..He Said She Said: How Big A Cash Buffer?My Profile

  8. You definitely need time for yourself and time alone with your hubby. I don’t have any baby yet, but I can imagine how hard it is. Hope you get to rest and enjoy your hubby’s company without interruption.
    Michelle’s Finance Journal recently posted..November Goal RecapMy Profile

  9. Sounds like an excellent plan! Giving the gift of an experience is a great idea, especially when the experience is one you don’t get the chance to have very often!

    We are only doing stocking stuffers for each other this year, with a very small maximum. It’s fun to have something to open on Christmas but it doesn’t need to be an expensive item.
    This Life On Purpose recently posted..Trimming the Tree while Trimming your CostsMy Profile

  10. You kids have fun now!
    Virginia recently posted..A Walk down Memory Lane from my La-Z-BoyMy Profile

  11. My husband and I have never exchanged gifts…we don’t really celebrate many holidays. It might be different if we had kids, but the days off on holidays are enough of a gift! I might make some cookies for my husband this year. He usually looks forward to the cookies my mom sends every year but she’s got some health problems this year and might not be able to make any cookies.
    Kasey @ Debt Perception recently posted..PurgingMy Profile

  12. Jaime Brown says:

    You do deserve it, so have a blast sleeping:). My hubby and I have been together for 21 years met when we were 16 on a blind date, we only have bought for each other for one Christmas, and then had our kids early first at 18 then our second was at 21. So after the kids were born we only buy for our kids at Christmas.
    Oh and you will sleep again in what will seem like weeks but will be years lol, they grow so fast, even it seems like I just brought my oldest home not too long ago but she is turning 19 on Dec. 28th, wow time flies so enjoy as much as possible:)

  13. I remember those days. ;) A good night’s sleep is worth a bazillion Christmas presents. Just try to remember….your baby is fine. Yes, just fine. Stop thinking about her. Really, just stop. don’t call, don’t text, nothing. :)
    Travis @Debtchronicles recently posted..Are Your Holiday Expectations Holding You Hostage?My Profile

    • Catherine says:

      Haha yeah I’ll try…I know she’ll be fine because she’ll be with my sister, I just hope I’m able to sleep knowing my cell phone might ring at any moment!

  14. I think it makes total sense Catherine. And after 18 month of no sleep I’d say hell yeah you deserve that!
    Budget and the Beach recently posted..Finding The Right Car for Your Road TripMy Profile

  15. Instead of getting each other different gifts, we talk about what we could get for the both of us to use. I love the idea though of getting away for a night. As parents, we need those every once in awhile to recharge and connect with our spouse.
    Brian @ Luke1428 recently posted..My 8 Step Method for Writing a Blog PostMy Profile

    • Catherine says:

      Yeah we’ve also done that, bought something for the house or for ”us”. I’, quite excited for our gift this year though :)

  16. My husband and I are both thrilled with getting “needs” instead of “wants” for Christmas. I’m getting him white dress shirts and ties for Christmas (what he wears M-F and Sunday) and I know he will genuinely be excited. Shhh… don’t tell!
    Stephanie @ Six Figures Under recently posted..Why We Decided Against a “Baby Emergency Fund” (and what we have instead)My Profile

  17. What a great idea for new parents! Last year, my husband and I bought each other our wedding rings instead of gifts. It was a pretty special holiday even without traditional gifts!
    Michelle @fitnpoor.com recently posted..Diet Like Beyonce, Spend Like Mom- Vegan Diet On a BudgetMy Profile

  18. I think it’s a fantastic idea, sounds like you both really need it, too! My boyfriend and I have never gone overboard with gifts…we’re just not into it. If either of us really wants/needs something around this time of the year, we’ll ask my family for it instead. In the future I would love to do a little weekend getaway as a present.
    E.M. recently posted..Holiday TraditionsMy Profile

  19. I love experience gifts vs material gifts.We are going to Las Vegas this year for our birhtdays. Should be fun. Enjoy your night.. That sounds really nice. I hope you and your hubby will be able to relax and catch up on the zzz’s and not be too worried about your kid!

  20. That is so awesome! I’m happy you will get to sleep in and have some alone time. It’s so important. My partner and I don’t exchange gifts — we typically like to spend it on a date night, or romantic time somewhere. We really don’t like things, or need things, and prefer to spend it on experiences. It works out great for both of us!
    Dear Debt recently posted..Dear Debt Letter from Little Miss MoneyMy Profile

  21. Love experience gifts! My parents once got hubby and I and my brother and sister-in-law a winter weekend at a cabin in Muskoka. We had a blast and made so many wonderful memories! As a thank you, we took a picture of the four of us and framed it for my folks :)

  22. My spouse and I rarely buy each other gifts. I think we will forgo gifts this year so that we can go on a trip instead. Well, we’ll go on the trip regardless, haha, but at least by not buying each other gifts we can save some money.
    Tushar @ Everything Finance recently posted..Accomplish Your Goals for Next Year a Quarter at a TimeMy Profile

  23. My wife and I are the same way. We get gifts for each other sometimes, but nothing extravagant and not for all occasions. We’ve been contemplating not giving gifts also. Others find it odd, but like you guys, we share finances, we just had a baby and are looking to purchase a place. Do we really need to exchange gifts? I like the idea of getting a hotel room and perhaps going out on a date as a gift. Even before kids, we’d just go out and do something fun, rather exchange gifts. Experiences are more memorable than gifts anyway.
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted..Save Money While Holiday ShoppingMy Profile

  24. Oh, that sounds lovely. I have a 18 month myself who has been waking up at 5AM this week so I know how coveted sleep is. I hope you have the most wonderful and restful time with your husband.

    My husband and I always exchange gifts. We’re gift giving people and it’s always a surprise; it’s our family tradition, and we love it.
    Emily @ Urban Departures recently posted..Is the US-Canada Price Gap Getting Smaller?My Profile

  25. Hey Catherine, I’m seeing this a lot more these days. The truth is, there’s no need for Christmas gifts if you share finances. My fiance and I are doing the same thing. We want it, we buy it. On Christmas, there’s nothing to buy, but all the time to spend. It’s a great way to go!
    J @ CNA Finance recently posted..I’m Back! Did You Miss Me?My Profile

  26. that sounds like a great idea! We do gifts in that I email my husband a link with what I want, and he tells me what he wants. It’s not thrilling but it works for us : ) We don’t do anniversary gifts though–we prefer to spend the money on going out for the night

  27. We don’t bother with gifts, either – we already have everything we need, and everything we truly want, too! No reason to add clutter back to the house with trying to buy gifts for each other out of the same budget.
    Laura @ RichmondSavers.com recently posted..Lending Club Update December 2013My Profile

  28. If only everyone could take off once a year for a Christmas present, then there wold be a lot less stress and anxiety at home and in the office.

    Thanks for your words of wisdom.

    Happy Holidays!
    David recently posted..Carnival of Financial Planning November 21, 2013My Profile

  29. New parents need time away and with one another. You will be so happy-and rested!! Enjoy :)
    Michelle@ShopMyClosetProject recently posted..Exploding Pants-Epic Weight Loss Fail :( My Profile

  30. That’s so funny, my boyfriend and I are doing the exact same thing – not buying each other gifts and using the money on an experience. We plan to spend a weekend together out of the city and possibly go to a spa. I’d rather spend time with him than get some item that I will forget about in years to come. If he wants something, he’d just buy it himself and vice versa.
    iou recently posted..The cost of…attending a weddingMy Profile

  31. I think that’s the best plan. You need to take a break and have time for each other. Enjoy!

  32. I think this is a great idea! It’ll be a break well earned. I totally understand about the sleeping thing too, one night with my nieces and nephews and I’m ready to crawl in bed and never come out again.
    Jordann recently posted..That Time I Almost Bought a HouseMy Profile


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