Janna and I aren’t big on formal gift giving. We have a saying that is frequently expressed in our marriage: “Every day is your birthday.” That doesn’t mean we’re wild spenders — or that giving a “gift” to each other requires spending money — but it does change our perspective on the “Mandatory Holidays” that drive greeting card sales and generate increased prices for dining out while lowering prices on consumer goods like clothing.
Why pay 20% more for a fancy restaurant dinner on February 14th instead of the regular price on February 15th? I know dating and courting requires such monetary tomfoolery, but when you’ve been married for awhile, you begin to see the grift in the holidays scam.
Sure, sometimes we play along, but more often than not, we take a pass on the big advertisers telling us how and why and when we need to express our love for each other.
We don’t live our love by the calendar. We are spontaneous. When the moment strikes for a “gift” — we go for it — and we enjoy the results of the sharing.
We were delighted to read about others who share our open giving mandate:
Regularly scheduled giving, then, is not necessarily a mark of successful marriages. Charlie Turpin and his wife, Jewell, of Minneapolis have been married 56 years. Mr. Turpin describes traditional gift-giving as something they have outgrown.
“It really is liberating,” he said, noting the stress that came from needing to read one another’s mind on command because of a mark on the calendar. “Early in life, presents and occasions are important, but as you get older, you have everything you want.” Now, he and his wife channel much of their generosity toward their family.
Love each other — and don’t measure your love by a price tag or a day on a calendar. Find new ways to share intimate thoughts and deep-welling yearnings, and then make them happen. The greatest gift is not in the giving or the getting — it is found in the understanding.