Monday, November 17, 2014

Non Traditional Gift Giving

Now that Halloween is over, my countdown to Christmas has begun! Yes, I know that Thanksgiving comes before Christmas, but since Jake's place of employment is about to completely consume his life, we are in the process of getting all of the holiday planning out of the way now. I've been preparing our advent calendar activities (which I'll likely share in a separate post later), making my shopping lists, and pulling all of the fun recipes I can't wait to whip up over the coming weeks. Since Taylor will be able to participate in the festivities this year, I plan on making this holiday season as much fun as possible!

In an effort to save a little dough (that kitchen remodel wasn't cheap, you know) and add some spontaneity to our marriage, Jake and I have decided not to exchange store bought gifts this year. So, I have come up with a fun and budget-friendly alternative to traditional gift giving (which, of course, absolutely thrilled my husband). This Christmas, instead of going out and buying each other more crap that we don't need (or a duplicate of something we already have hidden in the back of a closet somewhere), we will be doing a gift giving exchange that requires each of us to do kind things for the other. You know, the kind of things that you always wish your spouse would do but, in reality, you know there's no chance in hell they actually will? Yeah, those things.

The plan is as follows: each of us will write down 12 "gifts" we would like to receive from the other person (i.e., back massage, foot massage, shoulder massage - can you tell what I'm trying to get out of this?), fold them up, and stuff them into an envelope. On Christmas morning, we'll exchange the envelopes instead of costly presents.  Then, throughout the year, whenever one of us pulls out a "gift", the other person has to do whatever is written on that piece of paper - no if's, and's, or but's.

Why 12, you ask? Obviously, because there are 12 months in a year, but also because if we do any more than that Jake one of us will grow to hate this idea and refuse to ever do it again. (After being in this relationship for a decade, I have finally learned his limits.) And, like any good game, there will be rules that both of us must follow:

1. Only one gift can be requested per day. The goal is for this to be the gift that keeps on giving all throughout the year, not make one of us into the other's personal slave for a day (which I can totally see happening). No, thank you.

2. The same gift cannot be written down more than once.  Otherwise, Jake would write down the same thing 12 times (and I'm sure many of you can guess what that would be) and have his gifts cashed in by January 5th.

3. The "gift" must be given at the time it is requested. No rain delays here! If the card is pulled, the activity must be completed at that time (or as soon as possible thereafter). I'm sure I'll regret this one eventually, but right now all I can think about is how I'll be able to con a back massage out of Jakeeb whenever I want. I'm obviously drunk with power.

All jokes aside, I hope that by completing these 12 selfless acts for each other, we will continue to do additional acts of kindness even after our "gifts" are used up. With work and Taylor to keep us constantly preoccupied, we need to reset our focus on each other and our marriage, and I think this activity is the perfect start! And - let's be real - I'm sure this is bound to provide some interesting fodder for the blog, so stay tuned!

Happy holidays, everyone!