It’s that time of year. The time of year where most people fall into one of two camps: the “I’ve already finished my holiday shopping” camp, or the “What are you talking about, I’ve got a whole month” camp.
All joking aside, the holidays can be stressful, and this year is definitely no exception. Maybe your partner is hard to buy for, or maybe they’re not. Maybe you love the task of finding the perfect gift for them or maybe it’s a struggle. Perhaps money is tight this year, or you just want to do things differently (it’s 2020 after all). Wherever you’re at, here are four “gift” ideas that will strengthen your relationship (and don’t have to cost a lot of money).
Treat yo’ selves.
This doesn’t have to mean splurging on something expensive, although it can be if you so choose. The idea is that it’s something that you normally don’t do and that feels special to you. This could be putting the kids to bed early, getting takeout from your favorite restaurant, and cracking a bottle of wine for an indulgent evening in. Or maybe it’s taking a day off from work together to do whatever you want. These are just examples, and everyone’s situation is different. Whatever you choose, make it something you can enjoy together.
Take an assessment.
Learning more about each other and your relationship is a great way to foster your connection. Consider taking a relationship assessment like Prepare/Enrich or Couple Checkup, which can give you insight into where you’re currently at as a couple. Things may have changed over the last year as you took on new challenges together. Or take individual personality assessments like the Enneagram or MBTI, and come together to discuss your results. You probably already know a lot about each other, but you might be surprised by what you learn! Not up to taking an assessment? No worries! Check out our Discussion Guide for Couples for a face-to-face, no-pressure way to have some great conversations.
Create a special ritual or tradition.
Research shows that your relationship benefits from small daily rituals, such as kissing goodbye. Create a new one to nurture your bond. It could be something that you do only during the holidays, every week, or even every day. It could be a holiday movie countdown the week leading up to Christmas, a daily prayer or meditation, or a drive around town to look at holiday lights, just the two of you. Make a commitment to doing it consistently so that it becomes something you look forward to each year/week/day.
Share a new experience or learn something new.
Experiencing new things together sparks connection and brings you back to the warm fuzzy feelings of when you were dating. We know getting out and about to try new things might not be easy for everyone right now, but you can still research and plan for a time when you can. Or get creative and find things you can do now, like a make-your-own sushi kit. Even if it turns out terrible, you’ll have fun sharing the experience (and have a funny memory to boot.)
So whether you’re looking to do something different this year, or still plan on exchanging traditional gifts, it’s a worthy bonus if your relationship grows as a result. We know you’ll have creative ideas of your own – share in the comments!