Are you a gift person? Is your spouse a gift person? How do you make it work?

posted 2 years ago in Holidays
  • poll: Are you and your spouse big gifters?

    I'm a big gifter, my spouse is not

    My spouse is a big gifter, I am not

    Neither of us are big gifters

    We are both big gifters

  • Post # 2
    916 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2017

    My family is a lot like yours, $25 per person. Parents are whatever we can come up with, which usually means gifts for mom ($100 total from all of us, 3 sisters, 2 spouses) and nothing for dad (bc when he wants something, he just buys it). Our gifts from my parents are modest as well, 5-6 items.

    DH’s family is a bit more. We don’t exchange with his siblings and their spouses, but we do spend about $25 on his niece. His parents tend to spend a lot more than mine, and it’s weird.

    and between gifts for each other, I try to keep to the $25 budget as well. We own a home so most of our money goes into that. I could claim that the drill he just bought was a present. LOL.

    Post # 3
    2541 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2018

    I suck at picking out gifts, my husband isn’t great at it with other people but he’s gotten me some really amazing and thoughtful gifts.

    I don’t see my extended family, so it’s just my mom, my sister and I. We always do gifts but nothing crazy, maybe like $50-75 gifts and only buying for two people certainly makes it easy.

    My husband has a large family that he’s close with, so this year have like 12 people that we’re buying for and we’ve spent probably over a thousand dollars all together. I’m not too happy about this,I would prefer that we do a secret santa type thing because getting gifts for that many adults seems crazy to me but I just have to suck it up and deal.

    Post # 4
    8265 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    Neither of our families are big gifters, which I really appreciate. My husbands family never really celebrated xmas (muslim), and I know growing up they’d only give the kids 1 small gift each so they didn’t feel left out (basically an action figure or whatever). I grew up with a single mom and we were pretty poor, so again, not a huge thing about gifts. My mom STILL gives us stockings filled with the same as your fam, and sometimes smaller “experience” gifts (mani/pedi, hot shave, etc). 

    I hate that xmas is so materialistic, so I really don’t mind that we don’t do gifts. Both of our families are more on the “lets spend time together” train for that. It’s a lot less pressure too! 

    eta – neither of us are really big gifters either. We prefer to spend money on bigger things throughout the year (usually travel!). So we don’t even do birthday or anniversary gifts. Although, we do sometimes do more intangible gifts. Like for his birthday I will do a deep clean of the house (he is the clean freak). For my birthday or anniversaries he will make a beef wellington or other fancy type meal. 

    Post # 5
    465 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2019 - York, ME

    As my family grew we moved away from getting everone a gift. The children always get presents, but the adults draw names for one or two people and give a gift with a $50 limit. It works out well, I’m a big gifter so I do an extra small gift for each couple, this year I’m giving board games that we can all play. My fiance is a part of the name draw and buys his own gift. When our finances are totally combined we’ll pay for it out of the joint account.  We don’t normally send gifts to his family since they are far away.  If he has a good idea for a gift though he will buy and send it with his own money.

    Post # 6
    2412 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    I looove giving gifts, if I think it’s something someone will genuinely love. I HATE giving gifts when I am only doing it as a social custom, like when we wound up swapping gift cards with my husband’s siblings one Christmas. Or when I have to pick out gifts for my sister in law’s kids, who have virtually every freaking toy, outfit, movie or book you can think of.


    At this point, my parents have said not to give them any gifts, because they are trying to declutter. I have no siblings. My husband still buys for his parents. We don’t exchange with siblings anymore, and only give nieces and nephews gifts if we happen to be spending Christmas with them (which only happens like every 3rd holiday due to my sister in law’s work schedule). My husband and I don’t really exchange gifts but we might buy each other something small so we have one thing to open.  And his mother usually just wants money. So generally, the only gifts I have to buy are for my kids.

    Post # 7
    535 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2018

    When we first started dating giving each other gifts for Christmas was super exciting. I really got into it because I knew his family never really gave him gifts. We’re not really into it now because we’ve been working towards big things and not really spending on ourselves. Last year we were putting money towards the wedding and this year we’re saving for a house. We just kind of find it silly to get each other nice gifts when we know we need that money towards something more important.  

    Post # 8
    415 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2019

    I come from a family of big gift-givers — my mom would buy a mountain of presents for me and my siblings every Christmas when we were growing up. Ironically, “gifts” scores as my least important love language. I LOVE picking out gifts for other people, but I don’t necessarily care if I get a lot of gifts or anything back in return. 

    My fiance comes from the opposite situation — he never got a lot of gifts for Christmas growing up, his mom stopped buying him Christmas presents after he was 13 or 14, even his ex-wife didn’t ever really get him anything for Christmas, so as a result, “gifts” is the most important love language for him because it’s something that he’s never really gotten even from important people in his life. 

    He and I spend a few hundred dollars on each other for Christmas, because it’s how he expresses his love for me, and I love seeing him get excited and enjoy a holiday that he used to hate.

    As for our families, my family is still very generous — my parents will spend at least a couple hundred dollars each on me, my fiance, and both of my siblings. (Neither my siblings nor I have children yet, so this may be subject to change in the coming years.) My siblings and I tend to go in together to buy stuff for our parents and each other, so when you add up our contributions, we spend a combined total of $300 on each parent and $100 on each sibling.

    In FH’s family, his siblings are all older and already have children, so we all just buy for the nieces and nephews (this year he and I are spending ~$20 on each toddler and ~$50-60 on each older child). FH and I are the only ones on his side who don’t have children yet, so his siblings and his mom each get us a gift card or something small instead of buying for our non-existent children lol.  

    Post # 9
    2487 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2018

    I guess neither of us are.

    My parents give cash. We only buy gifts for our nieces and nephews. My siblings and I do a joint gift for my parents. I usually spend around 25-50 per niece/nephew (4). 

    My husbands family does a gift exhange with a $50 spend limit. We both draw names so we buy 2 gifts ($100). All the family buys for the kids similar to my family, but there’s less kids. 

    We have a 4 year old and probably spent about $125 on gifts for him this year from santa and us combined. I feel like this is pretty low compared to a lot of people I know who will spend $125+ on just one gift for their kids. But he gets a lot from my husband and I’s families so I think $125 is plenty especially given his age. 

    My husband and I aren’t exchanging gifts this year, which is the same as what we’ve done in the past. We might exchange gifts next year but we have joint accounts so really I don’t see a huge point lol 

    Post # 10
    497 posts
    Helper bee

    View original reply
    sboom :  my fiancé’s family is like that too. I remember the first Christmas I was with him we were only together maybe 5 months and I decided to bring flowers and bake some cookies for his parents. They thought it was sweet but then I opened my present from them and it was at least $250. I felt awkward. 

    Ive come to terms with that’s how they want to spend and what I do is buy really thoughtful gifts that tug on their heart strings. 

    My fiancé isn’t a huge gift giver himself so I don’t have to deal with that. It’s just his family. 

    Post # 11
    1502 posts
    Bumble bee

    Lol my situation is the exact opposite of yours OP! My family would have a mountain of presents Xmas morning, varying of costs. But I’m kind of an only child so my mom has always gone all out, and there is at least 1 big present. She now does the 1 big present and smaller multiple ones for my husband too, or one big present for the both of us.

    My husbands family is totally opposite. Each person gets 1 or 2 presents max, and a stocking filled with candy. It was really awkward our first Christmas together when I went all out on multiple, quality presents for his parents, and in return we each got 1 gift. I got a small lotion and body wash set. It was a huge eye opener as to how different our christmas are of each other, but we have adapted well and it works for us. I’ve learned his family is just totally opposite of what I knew!

    I’m totally a gift person and find joy in giving a good gift, whereas my husband gave me a pack of 6 lent rollers one year, unwrapped in an amazon box. He’s learned since then! 

    Post # 12
    1611 posts
    Bumble bee

    My FH has a hard time with xmas as that is when his mother died  she always hosted xmas. Before me he hadn’t had xmas in 10 years. That was hard for me as xmas is a big deal. 

    He allows me to put up a tree and we do a private dinner. I fill all the stockings.


    He has a hard time shopping for gifts and waits until the last minute.  He tries to backup by offering to just take ne shopping by insist he pick something out even if it is a flower. Lol. 

    It took alot of adjusting for me.

    Post # 13
    706 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: City, State

    My fiancé is more of a gift giver than me. I prefer to get one good gift usually an experience gift rather than stuff to clutter up the house. But he likes things to open. A few years ago I suggested as his birthday is soon after Christmas, I could pay for us to go on holiday as his present. He thought this was a great idea, until his birthday came around and he had nothing to open. He was a bit gutted even though he enjoyed being on holiday for his birthday. 

    He always gets me about ten things to open that he’s been buying throughout the year in preparation for Christmas. I don’t see the point, most of them are just little token presents that sit around gathering dust. I’d rather have one thing I really want than a few that I don’t just so there’s more to open.

    This year he asked for a new watch. I showed him one that was pretty much all of my budget for him for Christmas. He looked at it, said it was nice but would prefer for me to get him a cheaper one so I could get a few other things for him to open too. 

    Post # 14
    2801 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 2015 - City, State

    I’m a big gift giver and my spouse is not. It can be a point of contention between us around this time of year. No one in my husband’s family does gifts. His parents give us cash but that’s it. I love buying people gifts and finding the perfect gift for my family & my husband’s family. My love language is gifts!

    Post # 15
    434 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    We are both big gift givers, but his family is not, and my family is. It’s only 5 of them, and they spend 50 bucks a piece on each other. My family gives much more extravagant gifts. Last year, I got a Burberry coat, Tory Burch boots, Ted Baker clothes…For each other we go all out.

    This year is the first year with our baby, and people are already sending her gifts. My husband and I have also focused less on each other and we’ve been excitedly buying her gifts(like she cares. She’ll play with the box the toy came in and toss the toy. Last year, we said we would get each other one big gift and stocking stuffers. I thought I wanted a LV bag, but when we went to go look at some to get an idea, I had no desire for one. He thought he wanted a fancy watch, and he lost the desire too. We decided to just get each other stocking stuffers under 200 for all. We decided to just take a trip instead with the money. Honestly, the older I get the less I desire material things. I have no idea what Christmas will look like in the next few years. 

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