Few things are more stressful than finding the perfect Christmas present for the one you call “bae”. While Christmas is SUPPOSED to be about Jesus’ b-day party, we’ve since bought into the commercialized monster that the holiday has become. Every year millions of Americans spend the holiday season maxing out budgets, skipping light bill payments, building debt, and stressing about presents they want to buy for their loved ones. This stress is magnified when the loved one is a significant other. Overspending, underspending, or just shitty gifts in general are notorious for causing issues within relationships and can even lead to break-ups.
Well if you haven’t already drafted your shopping plan, here are a few ways for couples to completely avoid “Christmas Shopping for Bae” anxiety syndrome:
1. be honest.
Before anything is purchased, you and your other half should sit down and have an honest, realistic conversation about Christmas spending. This is a time when you need to talk expectations vs. the reality of your financial situation. If you’re a new couple or an “its complicated” relationship status, you should probably decide whether or not you’re serious enough to even exchange presents at all. Ain’t nothing wrong with a nice, romantic Mahogany Hallmark card.
2. be creative.
Sometimes the best gifts are the ones that require the least amount of money. From homemade Christmas cards to knitted sweaters or even art work, these are all examples of presents that won’t negatively affect your financial standing and will come directly from the heart. Some couples even make “vouchers” or coupons for various things that they don’t do on a regular basis. For example: “one massage” or “one dinner date night, your choice”. I adore the concept of coupons for everything except sex! Sex within a relationship should be consensual and shouldn’t feel transactional. If you’ve gotta throw a coupon on the bed to get your man to bang your back out you should truly reevaluate your life choices.
3. be practical.
Create limitations if needed. Sometimes you both have to be honest and set a price limit as to not make the other partner feel shitty for getting the cheaper gift. Also, if you do set a price limit; STICK TO IT. Don’t try to be the hero who spends the extra money because “you just had to”. This type of behavior might be cute in the beginning but eventually your partner will grow to either resent you or take advantage of your generosity. So have some chill with the bill.
4. be okay with sharing.
Consider purchasing a joint present. One way to avoid the anxiety caused by the fear of your boo not liking their present is to let them pick it out. Rather than spending individual amounts of money on each other, some couples opt to combine their funds and make one large purchase that benefits them both. Whether its something for the house, a vacation getaway, or money placed into a savings account; sometimes joint presents are the smartest way to go.
5. be a little spontaneous.
Set a predetermined contribution amount and purchase a Groupon gift card and spend it throughout the year on random fun things like day trips, dinners, spa packages, or even fitness classes for the low. If you want to keep it really interesting maybe you could each add money to the gift card throughout the year on every holiday.
Listen, at the end of the day nobody wants a broke partner, especially not when they spent the little money they had trying to impress your high-expectation having ass on Christmas. Please keep in mind that it’s only one day out of the year! Instead of focusing on big boxes under the tree you should be thankful that you have someone special to bring in the holiday with. As long as your life is filled with love this holiday season you’ve already got a present that you can’t put a price tag on.