My spouse and I buy gifts for ourselves instead of each other. It's made the holiday season much more enjoyable.

Couple in shop
The author and her husband are not pictured.Johner Images/Getty Images
  • My husband and I have been together for 14 years.

  • Neither of us likes giving gives or receiving them.

  • For the holidays, we just get ourselves the things we want instead.

  • This article is part of "Better Holidays," a series highlighting different ways to make holiday celebrations easier and memorable.

My love language is not giving gifts — or receiving them, for that matter. Neither is my husband's. Luckily, we found each other.

This will be our 14th Christmas together, and after much fumbling around when getting each other gifts, we've found something that works for us: getting ourselves gifts.

We have done different things throughout the years

We've done gift giving a few different ways over the years, but we've always gotten a little creative with it. We began as any other couple would and bought things to surprise the other — but those things were usually wrapped in tin foil or the bag they came in because neither of us had thought to buy wrapping paper.

One year, we were going on a 10-hour road trip to my parents' house for Christmas, and to ease any gift-giving stress and save a few bucks, we bought each other snacks for the road and some reading material.

Another year, after agonizing for weeks about what to get him, on the day we were going to exchange gifts, we drove to the store, and I told him to walk around and show me some things he liked.

Then, I told him to please go wait in the car while I conducted some business. It was very clear to both of us that I had dropped the ball, but he played along, and we exchanged gifts when we got home. He had a very thoughtful gift waiting for me under the tree already.

We are pretty frugal

When he's getting me gifts, my husband's frequent lament is: "What do you get the girl who wants nothing?" When I'm getting my husband gifts, he wants specific things that I would not be able to guess. We're pretty frugal, so if we're going to spend money, we want to spend it on something that the other person will love, enjoy, and get a lot of use out of.

Couple posing for a photo at a mall
The author and her husband.Courtesy of the author

Our relationship has always been easy and stress-free, and it quickly became clear that figuring out what the other person wanted would be fairly stressful. So why not just tell each other exactly what we want or, better yet, buy it ourselves?

Here's how we get gifts when the holidays roll around

Send each other links

To make sure we get exactly what the other person wants, we'll often send the link to the thing we'd like for Christmas. That makes it easy to technically buy each other a gift without the pressure of starting from scratch.

We get something we want for ourselves

This happens mostly with books, a frequent gift in our home. If there's a book that I've wanted for a while or vice versa, we'll get it for the other person, and then we both get to read it. This is also a great way to generate more conversations about what we're reading.

Buy one larger item for both of us

Christmas is a great time to get something that you've been eyeing for a while but never got around to getting or an item for which you've had difficulty justifying the expense. Some years, we've gotten one larger item (one year it was a blender) that we'll both use. This way we get to pick it out together.

Go shopping together

We have three kids, so our date nights are few and far between. Christmas shopping is a good excuse to go out together and sneak in a dinner date, too. When we do Christmas shopping together, we'll either just go ahead and pick out our gifts, or we'll point out what we want to each other so we can grab it later and wrap it as a "surprise."

Our approach may not work for everyone. Some people love to buy each other gifts or live for surprises under the Christmas tree, but if you don't, then it's a lot more fun and enjoyable to figure out what works for you.

Read the original article on Business Insider