Thursday, November 29, 2007

Frugal and Personal Gift-giving: Couple-gift Style

I've already complained at length about Christmas commercials, so I won't go into the whole rant again. I do just have to say, though, that the number of car commercials this year is frightening.

This year, I think that Keith and I are going to try something different. We've talked about getting fewer presents for each other (maybe only three or so, and keep it under a certain dollar amount), and then getting one larger present for "us" instead. In this case, it would mean getting a gas fireplace installed in our living room. As we discovered last year, our fireplace is too small for roaring wooden fires, so we've only been able to burn those fake logs. And that's not the same thing at all.

So if we can't have wood fires, I'd rather go ahead and get a ventless gas fireplace installed that could actually help heat the house a bit. Other benefits include turning it on with a click of a button, and a complete lack of clean-up afterwards. This has been on our house to-do list for probably a year, but of course since it doesn't actually cost us money to NOT do it, we ignore it.

The other week, I was talking to a co-worker about presents and she mentioned that she and her husband (who have been married probably 30 years +) typically get a "house" gift that is pricier, but that they both would enjoy. I was drawn to this idea, but also had some reservations. Sometimes it can be hard to think of several really great gifts that Keith will truly appreciate, and I feel like I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel at the end. On the other hand, I would hate to completely stop buying gifts that are strictly from me to Keith, and are things that he and he alone would enjoy. Things that hopefully convey the sentiment that I think he's a wonderful, intelligent person with many hobbies and interests that should be encouraged.

I'm hoping that the hybrid of a few personal gift and one larger couple gift will be a good mix of both worlds. Personal and thoughtful, yet frugal and simultaneously extravagant. Is it possible for one holiday to contain so many sentiments? We'll find out.

Or I'll call the gas fireplace installation guy, find out the entire process would be 5 times more expensive that we're expecting, and we call the whole thing off. And then I get all of Keith's last-minute gifts at Walgreens around the corner. Which is totally frugal and personal.

2 comments:

Andrea said...

Bob and I often do the personal plus the "house" gift for Christmas. It works out nicely for both of us. Our big problem is with buying gifts for each other because typically if we want something, we just buy it for ourselves. So this year we set a $$ limit for buying for each other and we'll keep money in the bank to save for the next big project around the house. Our house gifts are usually big - new carpet in the family room, new paver patio, suround sound for the big tv, etc. We refuse to spend money on each other just because it's Christmas - that's just silly.

M. Lubbers said...

Andrea, I should have known you and Bob would already be doing this! You're the personal finance gurus. Although I think spending a bit of money on each other *just* because it's Christmas isn't completely silly;)

You'll have to let us know what your big house gift is this year!