Gift Giving Tips to Show Your Love

Tips to Make Sure They Know You Care

Gift in Hands
 artursfoto / Getty Images

Do you throw your hands up in the air in frustration when it comes to giving your spouse a gift?

Throughout your married years together, there will be certain times that you probably expect to receive a gift from your spouse and your spouse will expect a gift from you. If birthdays, wedding anniversaries, Valentine's Day, or the winter holiday season pass by unremembered, your feelings and your spouse's feelings will probably be hurt. Gift giving can be a challenge, but it is a good way to show your love to your significant other. 

Give What Your Spouse Wants - Not What You Want to Give

Even when the occasion is remembered, the type of gift you receive can still cause disappointment and strife.

I remember feeling very upset with my husband on our first Christmas together because he gave me a sewing machine. He knew I didn't like to sew. He knew I wasn't very good at sewing. Yet because he had this expectation of a happy little wife sewing homemade clothes, drapes, and slipcovers, he bought me a sewing machine.

I still have that sewing machine. Fifty years later, it is in like new condition because I still hate to sew.

Gifts That are Remembered

The types of gifts that truly touch someone most often are the gifts that come from your heart. Your spouse will always remember the hours you put into making a mini rose garden because she adores flowers or that you baked from scratch his favorite cake. 

Throughout the year, pay attention to comments your spouse makes about items and notice when shopping together what items your spouse looks at. With today's smartphones, it is easy to quickly snap a quick picture of the item or put the idea in a program like Google Keep or Evernote.

Ideas for Alternative Gifts

  • The Gift of Your Talents. You can make something, grow something, design something, draw something, fix something and so on.
  • The Gift of Your Time and Energy. This can include making time for a walk in a soft rain together, a back rub, a sensual massage, painting a room, cooking a meal, etc. Ask your partner what he or she wants to do for the day and offer to go along with whatever plans suggested. 
  • The Gift of a Promise. Are there things that you know your spouse has wanted you to do, but they haven't been high on your priority list? Create and print out a coupon promising to get those things accomplished. A promise of a day free of chores or child care would be enjoyed by many spouses.
  • Write a Heartfelt Letter or Poem. Your spouse will appreciate your kind and thoughtful words about how you feel about him or her and your special relationship. 
  • Create a Scavenger Hunt or some other game you spouse must do to get your gift. This will add some novelty and excitement to the gift-giving process.  
  • Try a Gift That "Repeats." For example, you cook his favorite meals every Sunday, you have flowers delivered to her office every Monday or you wash her car weekly. Continue these efforts for a month, a year or whatever time you choose.  

Note that many of these gift ideas are great for the person who seems impossible to buy for, has everything already or can afford to just go buy everything on their own. Thinking outside the box (and into your partner's head) is the way to go!

Hopefully, as you grow closer and learn more about one another, your gifts to each other will be more creative and sensitive. Gifts do not have to be elaborate or expensive. It is often the simple, spontaneous gifts that are the most memorable.