I just went to buy my BF his Christmas present. I suck at gift giving, and I don’t really do Christmas anyway, so it is always complicated to find something nice. And usually, I find most cheap presents so annoying that I overcompensate with something super expensive in the end. Or nothing.
This year, I am pretty proud of myself, I spent just over $100 on a coffee grinder and an expresso machine. He loves coffee and has been talking about how he misses a good expresso, and since I don’t drink coffee it will be a gift only for him. Oh, I do that too, you know, getting gifts for people that I would enjoy and totally forget that those people are not me.
Anyway, I thought I’d answer three questions, with my usual Christmas spending. If you feel like it, you can reply too in the comments or a post on your blog!
How much do you spend on your other half?
I saw a few posts with cold calculations factoring the time you have been together multiplied by how much you expect him to spend on you, divided by the degree of involvement that you have in the relationship… To keep it short, it’s complicated.
I am always afraid when starting a relationship, to overdo it. I usually stick to experiences, because the guy should have been paying for a few dates, and I can even things out. Yes, I keep tabs. And yes, a guy should be paying for the first couple of dates. Taking him to a concert or on a romantic excursion is nice for both of us. I don’t have to regret buying him stuff if we don’t last, and memories are worth the money anytime in my books.
If you have a man that doesn’t need anything, and only has expensive tech gadget on his wish list, you can try experiences too. A weekend away will set you back $300 easily. But you could prepare a nice date at home and spend less than $30.
My second favorite gift is something personal. Last year, I made a custom agenda for my BF, with pictures of our motorcycle trip through the US every 10 days. He uses the agenda every day or so, and loved it. It took me time to select the pictures and have them printed and glued, and cost around $30.
My third option is something practical. I first was annoyed when I got practical stuff from my boyfriends, but have to admit that I do use those things every day and wouldn’t like to have useless stuff around. This year’s coffee machine falls into that category.
How much do you spend on family and friends?
I have a limited list of recipients, mother, siblings, niece and BF. And I try to give them things they will remembers, which don’t have to be expensive. This year I sent my niece a letter from Santa from Finland (I asked Santa when I visited this summer to write to my niece), and a little package from Guatemala with handicrafts. My teenage brother is getting clothes and we are doing a common present with my sister for my mum, probably tickets to a musical or something. I usually come around $50 per person.
Pets most certainly don’t need gifts, so if I had one I wouldn’t spend money on it.
How much do you spend on colleagues and employees?
I hated secret Santa at the office. I ended up with stuff I didn’t need and had to spend money on people I didn’t like. Unless the colleague is also a friend, I don’t do gifts, but expect a bonus from my boss, or a token of appreciation like a case of wine, or more wine.
I may give a tip to the guys who deliver our potable water. They always come super late, around 7pm, after a very long day and get my 5 gallon tank down to the house and into the kitchen.
The handyman gets an extra month salary, pro rated for the months he worked here, by law.
We may do a gathering with the contract workers, I would cook and provide soft drinks for them and their family.
That’s it! What about you?