My husband and I have never been big on exchanging gifts. I can’t tell you how many holidays, birthday’s, mother’s and father’s days and anniversary’s that we’ve looked at each other the night before and said “Um, I don’t have anything for you. Is that okay?”. The response is always a “ditto!” and a high five. In the beginning I felt a bit ashamed about our lack of gifting, like we were failing at relationship 101. Our culture has brainwashed us to believe that stuff like that is crucial. But I’ve grown to love the fact that we’ve never needed those consumerist expressions to affirm our relationships, and I love that we’ve gotten creative about how we give to each other.
Here are some gift alternatives for the minimalist in your life:
~Fill a box with your own items to donate. Let your partner unwrap it and check out how much you were able to part with, then take it to the donation center.
~Plan a day of low-spend activities. A favorite movie marathon. A picnic. A sunset hike.
~Fix or repair something around the house.
~Wash and Detail their car. Maybe service the A/C or something not working properly.
~Create a fundraiser in their honor.
~Grab a cheap journal and use it to write notes to each other.
~Put a dry erase marker in the bathroom medicine cabinet and start leaving notes and drawings on the mirror.
~Food! A care package of their favorite snacks and beverages.
~Candles, incense or other consumable if you know for sure they use them.
~An outdoor or potted plant, if they are into gardening.
~Replace, repair or upgrade something they have and use regularly.
~If you are artistic (and if you know your partner wouldn’t feel like it’s clutter) some handmade art makes a great gift.
~Write a love letter!
Gifts aren’t a requisite of romance. Express your feelings without a price tag. It might feel weird at first but I promise, after a while you will see how rewarding it is to give without purchasing anything!