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Over the five years of our relationship, Joe and I have done a lot of gift giving, and I'd like to think that the gifts we give each other get more thoughtful with every occasion. Some gifts that I've given are better than others, but as we start to spend less money on individual gifts for each other every year and splurge on something that we want or need as a couple with the rest of our Christmas budget, I've tried to be more intentional about my gift giving. This Christmas, we're saving our money to go toward the purchase of a new bed, but I still plan on having a few gifts under the tree and in Joe's stocking this year.
Because I'm a Christmas gift procrastinator, it's my goal this month to think of, find deals for and purchase meaningful gifts for Joe. When I think back on the last five years, I remember a lot of the gifts that Joe has given me. Christmas 2010, two months after we started dating, he gave me Gilmore Girls on DVD, a present that has gotten a lot of use, and that he may regret giving me the most ;)! On my 23rd birthday Joe got me a Kitchenaid, but because I knew it was coming, he had his mom help him pull off a little prank to surprise me. For our one year anniversary, he had my car windows tinted and the way he was able to keep it a secret from me was my favorite part of all. And last Christmas we got a new hot cocoa maker and he filled my stocking with a few cans of our favorite brand of hot chocolate.
The best kind of gifts are the gifts that have meaning, no matter how extravagant or simple they are. No matter your budget this year, I know you can find a way to be intentional with your gifts and give something that your spouse will remember for years to come.
I love looking back and reminiscing on past experiences in our marriage. I've put together a scrapbook online for each year of our marriage and I have them printed for our anniversary. I'm not quite finished with the books from the last two years of our marriage, but I plan to have them done in time for our five year anniversary this summer. You can make a book online or by hand. I like to add paragraphs of text to each page so that when our future kids and grandkids look through our books, they'll know all of the details and what made the moments so memorable.
If putting together elaborate books overwhelms you, but you still want to give the gift of a memory, check out the Adventure Book; Marriage Journal or I Love Us book from The Dating Divas. They're all thought out and created for you with cute graphics and pages, you just have to fill in the details!
Our tradition for Valentine's, our anniversary, and the month of our birthday is to spend a night or two away at a fancy hotel. We loved our weekend away at Zermatt Resort recently, and we always love our getaways to The Anniversary Inn. Deal sites always have fun getaways for pretty much any location you could ever want to go, whether it's close to home, or somewhere exotic and far away. I know a few couples who gift each other with once in a lifetime experiences and vacations.
Kelsey and her husband Tim toured almost all of Europe between last month and this month and if I remember right, one or both of those trips were gifts to her for her birthday earlier in the year. Chelsea and her husband Ryan decided to 'dream big' and set a goal to travel to every continent in 2015. They just completed their goal by spending Thanksgiving in Antarctica! Or, you can keep it a little more low key by planning a staycation at home and enjoy activities in your area.
A Date Night
I always see fun ideas while I'm browsing Pinterest for gifting your spouse with a year of date nights. Camille from Friday We're in Love put together the most amazing scrapbook style book to gift her husband with a year of dates for Christmas last year. I was seriously inspired and it's my goal to be more prepared and put something similar together for Joe next year.
Last year I gave Joe a Year of Dates Binder from The Dating Divas. It's a little less time intensive than doing one completely on your own. All of the dates are thought out for you, any instructions or printables that you need are included. You just have to plan and prepare the dates each month and you're good to go!
For those people who don't have as much time to plan and prepare dates, or don't feel like they are creative enough with their date night activities, check out Datelivery! Each month a date is delivered to your door, already planned and prepared, you just have to open the box and enjoy! Each date is fun and unique and can be enjoyed at home. It's perfect for any schedule and any budget. Check out this post for more information!
Other date nights that you could gift might include; tickets to a concert, play, musical, sports game, etc., gift cards to your favorite restaurants, a board game that the two of you can play together, or anything you can think of that would contribute to future date nights!
How will you gift more intentionally this year?