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Why Do We Feel We Have To Give Gifts For Valentines Day?

Updated on February 6, 2010

No Really, Why Do We Have To Give Gifts?

Call me un-romantic or cynical or even lucky if you are on my side, but my wife and I don't understand why we should feel pressure to give each other gifts on Valentines Day or any other "holiday" for that matter.

As I have stated many times in my Hubs, I have been with my beautiful wife since I was 14 years old. Of the 31 total years we have been together, 21 of them have been as a married couple but we lived together for about 5 years before that. I know this perfect, naturally beautiful, 44 year old lady better than anyone in the world and she knows me.

Very early in our relationship, we realized that it was not in our best financial interest to put out the extra money to give each other gifts for every holiday, especially the ones that someone makes up, but even for birthdays. As a married couple, we make pretty good money and have a very good life. We can buy almost anything we want within reason. So when holidays and birthdays come around, why should we spend the extra money on gifts we don't really need or particularly want? In the twenty one years we've been married, nobody had given us a good answer. Is it going to make her fall in love with me even more? No. Is it going to show her a caring or giving side of me she doesn't know? No. Why? Because if she really wants something, she will buy it herself. If we need something for the house, we buy it. So you see it just doesn't matter to either of us if we get presents for holidays and birthdays. Instead we buy and get presents and gifts all year. Things we truly need. 

Alternatives To Giving Each Other Gifts For Holidays And Birthdays

Instead of giving each other gifts for holidays and birthdays, I have a couple of possible ideas you can do that will still make both of you feel good.

  • The obvious and maybe not unique is just to have a night alone, no kids, and enjoy each others company. Valentines Day is supposed to be a day of romance. It doesn't have to be romantic but the time alone will do wonders for you both.
  • Instead of giving gifts to each other, find a local charity or church you can give a small donation or gift to.
  • If you must buy something to make yourself feel better, try to find something the whole family needs or has wanted for a long time. A new TV or computer perhaps or even gym memberships for the family or amusement park passes. These are the types of gifts you can use to keep your family bond strong. You know, a family that plays together...

Another thing my wife and I do that is kind of cute is instead of buying a greeting card for each other, we pick ones out that we would buy for each other and read them in the store. All the sentiment, no cost, no extra paper to go in the recycle bin at home. This technique also works great for cars and jewelry as well. She will tell me "That's the car I would buy you if we bought gifts for each other" or I would say to her "That ring would look so good on your finger if you accepted birthday gifts from me". Funny huh? Yeah well it works for us, what can I say?

Look guys, everyone wants to have nice things even me. So I have a lot of nice stuff. But when do you have enough stuff or too much stuff? Like I said earlier, I make a decent living and I can afford to buy nice stuff. I have two houses and a boat and a toy hauler with quads stuffed in it. I regret ever buying my second house and my toy hauler and quads because for the most part they all sit unused for most of the year. I love to go out and do it all but who's got the time? It's a big waste of my money. I would rather have that money to buy my daughter a book for her college class and save the rest for something I'll use.

So in conclusion, I'd like to quote the old cliche "it's better to give than to receive" and I agree with that. But give all year long. Not just on special occasions. Stop letting holidays dictate if you need to buy a gift for someone special. Buy gifts when you want to buy gifts, not because someone else tells you its that time of year again.  And tell them you love them everyday.  That's the only thing most people want anyway.  It's all I want from my wife and It's all she wants from me.

Jim B


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    • Jim Batuyong profile image

      Jim Batuyong 3 years ago from Anaheim, CA

      Happy Valentines Day to you too EpiVictimsMom.

      My mom is kind of the same way so I totally understand where you are coming from. I don't think you need a psychologist though. You obviously love your family very much. And to be honest, they would probably feel like something was wrong if you didn't go all out so you probably feel a little responsible to keep the tradition going.

      As long as you know who you are and why you're doing it then more power to you. Keep loving on those people as much as you can and I'm sure you'll feel the love pouring back onto you. Enjoy your day and Happy belated birthday to your husband.

    • profile image

      EpiVictimsMom 3 years ago

      I'm heading off to wrap Valentine gifts for my two grandsons, my grown son, daughter-in-love, her mother (who's out visiting from another state), & my two boys who still live at home I've already mailed countless cards (one with a check to my daughter who lives out-of-town), in addition to giving two gifts to my mother. All of the cards were selected days ago and will have a personal note written inside in addition to a passage of Scripture from I Corinthians chapter 13 (a chapter devoted to 'love'). Why do I do this? Good question! Perhaps, I need my head examined. Maybe I was lacking something as a child. Yes, a good psychologist could probably have lots of fun with me! Every year I say I'm going to, "Keep it simple." Do I? No! It starts with a trip to the Dollar Tree. "I'll just pick up a few helium balloons for the little guys," I think to myself. I'm currently looking at no less than NINE Valentine balloons for 2 small boys. They're cool balloons, though! One looks like a monkey, another a teddy bear. . . you get the idea. Then, there's the candy. Gotta buy candy. . . and caramel apples! Don't forget a toy or two. Sheesh! It's like a mini-Christmas!!! I know myself well enough to say I'll probably never change, but I did get a kick out of your ideas. My husband and I ARE keeping it simple by heading out to dinner, though I wouldn't be upset if he brought me flowers. I picked out a lovely card for him and will write something special. We just celebrated his birthday last week and went whole-hog, so I'm a little worn out from celebrating on the home-front. Thanks for sharing, though, and HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!

    • Jim Batuyong profile image

      Jim Batuyong 8 years ago from Anaheim, CA

      Thank you VioletSun for understanding the message. I am very happy for you and your mate because you get how important it is to show each other love everyday. I really don't care about the gifts, I was just making a point. Whatever makes you both happy. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • VioletSun profile image

      VioletSun 8 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Jim: Each couple is different, with unique dynamics between them; what may work for you and your wife, may cause discord with another couple who are more materialistic. My mate and I spend 7 days a week together as we work from home, and yet we walk in the park to have quality time, which is funny considering we see each other all day; we start each day with a hug, its addictive, LOL!, so we do express our friendship and love everyday, but have a little celebration with dinner or an inexpensive gift during special occasions to add that extra touch. Admittedly, he does it for me, as he is not into gift giving,  but he is a good sport and enjoys. it.

      Thumbs up! I understand your message that being loving should be an everyday thing, and I agree with this. 

    • Jim Batuyong profile image

      Jim Batuyong 8 years ago from Anaheim, CA

      Thank you for your comment deccasandy. I guess my point is that we should be making our loved ones feel special every day and not rely on holidays to remind us how special they are. They are special every day so they should be told every day. Thanks again for your input.

    • deccasandy profile image

      deccasandy 8 years ago from Belmont

      You two have been together for so long that you dont need to gift eachother. Cheers to your wonderful relationship.

      Valentine's Day is like just another day. But its more like a chance to make your loved ones feel special. To say things which you dont usualy say in your hectic schedule of daily life.

      So together you can give gifts to your children, parents or friends. Expressing your love makes the bonding even stronger.