Don't give your spouse another sweater this holiday season - Give a gift that will make you both happy and work to strengthen your relationship!
I've always felt awkward giving a gift to my husband Dale when the money I use to pay for it comes from the communal pot. Doesn't that make it half a gift? And just between you and me, if it weren't for scarves, my husband wouldn't know what to do. Sure, he picks nice ones but my scarf drawer runneth over. So hubby Dale and I have given up on the gift exchange. Instead we do something together, for us and for our relationship. And thus began a tradition of creating intimate moments to live over and again.
The first year we bought bicycles. We headed for South Lake Tahoe where, courtesy of friends, we had a place to stay. We were so eager to ride, we hopped on our bikes the minute we got there. We tried holding hands while riding. I lost my balance, toppled over, and I ended up with a black eye. Not fun! Here's the good part. We rousted out early the next morning, filled a thermos with hot chocolate, and pedaled to where we could watch the sun come up. Holding hands this time was far more successful. An intimate moment, cuddled together to ward off the chill, sipping coffee and watching the sun rise.
You don't have to spend a lot. One holiday we bought martini shaker and glasses, less than $100. We spent the next year working our way from Appletini (which I recommend) to Wasabi Martini (which I do not recommend). Each time we pull it out of the cabinet, it inspires a hey-remember-when story about friends coming to dinner or celebrating an important event.
Take a trip together. It can be a weekend trip to a B & B, a camping trip, or a splurge. We've done them all. Our splurge was a trip to Patagonia where Dale's (in)famous meltdown occurred. We spent New Year's Eve on a ferry that took us down the coast of Chile to Patagonia. We sat in our not-at-all-luxury cabin, popped the cork on a bottle of champagne we thought to buy at the last minute, toasted, kissed, took and sip and then spit it out! Literally. It was dreadful. So dreadful it went down the drain. But who needs champagne to celebrate New Year? We didn't. After going out on deck where the crew shot off fireworks, we headed back to our cabin to snuggle up and celebrate in the best way possible. We have many, many remember-when stories from that trip, but New Year's never rolls around without our reliving that special New Year's Eve we celebrated on a ferry, heading south along the Chilean coast to Patagonia.
Remember, you don't have to spend a lot to create a memory. Maybe you have a black-tie dinner for two (consider wearing only black ties!), or you write a poem together, or, well, use your imagination. It's shared memories that are the glue that binds a couple. A shirt is long forgotten. The memory of an intimate moment is the gift that keeps on giving. Try it. I think you'll like it.