How 8 Millennial couples do Christmas gifts
Whether dating 10 minutes or 10 years, what rules do you live by? And how much do you spend?
The festive lights are on, prawn prices peaking, and your swimsuit returned to high rotation. Christmas in Australian has come to town again.
And with the spontaneity of late night beach swims and cheeseboards for dinner, comes some impulsive last-minute panic present buying, too.
According to the latest Commonwealth Bank's Consumer Spending Survey, as a country, we’ll spend an eye-watering $11 billion on Christmas presents.
While witnessing the sheer joy on your partner’s face when unwrapping your gift can give you all the warm fuzzy feels, working out exactly what that present will be, can be a less rewarding (and let's be real, more anxiety-inducing task).
We asked 8 real couples to share how they do Christmas gifts in their house – and it's no surprise, everyone does the big day their own way.
Jenna-Lea and Luke Williams, together 11 years, married one
“Christmas is such an expensive time of year so we don’t go too crazy when it comes to gifts for each other. We normally say around $100 each. We would usually figure out if there’s something that we each really need or want. Well to be honest, I have a wishlist of shoes, makeup, new wardrobe items, but have to beg Luke for his! The thought of going shopping causes him anxiety, especially around Christmas time. In my opinion, online shopping is one of the best things ever invented.
There was one year that we decided not to do gifts – we had just moved into our townhouse and realised the cost of living out of home #adultlife but it did feel a little strange not having something for each other to open on Christmas Day. With our lives being so busy over the past couple of years, instead of buying things that we don’t necessarily need, we now prefer to do something nice together. This year we’re treating ourselves to a couples massage at our favourite Thai massage place. It’s just something small, but it’s so good for the soul and a real ‘time out’ treat for us.”
Alan Parker and Nick Rose, together 10 years, married eight
"Christmas has changed a lot over the years mainly due to the new location of our life. The first seven were spent back home in my home in Manchester in the UK, and we would travel back from London on Christmas eve will suitcases full of gifts along with full range of Christmas jumpers.
Our first hot summer changed everything except for the meal prep and Nick's Christmas morning hangover. But Christmas Down Under does not feel the same. We have made new Christmas traditions that include our annual Love Actually film day complete with Christmas jumpers. It’s still spent with family and friends but I do miss the magic of going home for cold Christmas.
As for presents, Nick is the worst at buying any kind of gift so I take control of all the Christmas gifts for friends and family. I don’t really set a budget as I feel it’s the one time of year that you can spoil people for the right reason. As for myself and Nick, we have stopped buying each other presents at Christmas as we get treats all year round."
Sarah Munday and Nima Ahmadi, together eight years, engaged
“We LOVE Christmas in our house, so it’s always a really fun time of year for us. We do each year differently. Some years we might splurge on an item either of us has been coveting (a girl can never have enough handbags, right?!) and other years we might write a list of wants/needs and let the other person pick a few things so there’s still a bit of a surprise on Christmas day.
Lauren Watson and Glenn Howard, together 12 years
“Anyone who has met Glenn knows Christmas is always a surprise. We don't really have a 'thing' – some years nothing, some years Miu Miu, some years PJs – and there is no rhyme or reason. In 12 years, we’ve never actually discussed it. He is always last minute and hits/misses but normally hits. I’m fairly certain he stalks my google drive, email and phone for ideas to be honest.”
Kate Pegg and Andrew Wilkins, together 10 years
“We are like an old married couple. We know each other so well Christmas shopping isn’t too tough. We don’t put a price range on our gifts but we don’t go OTT, especially as I am an eternal poor uni student. A lot of thought is put into gifts, something practical but also something we wouldn’t buy ourselves.
“Andy knows my love for Notorious BIG as well as my fat ginger cat, Teddy, he surprised me last year with a portrait of Teddy as Notorious BIG. Unique and thoughtful, a gift I’ll treasure forever.”
Sarah Newey and Jon Shally, together four years
“I think we both get great joy with gift giving. We are way too OTT each year, maybe we will rein it in soon? Jon always nails the gift – a leather jacket, a sewing machine, a fancy blender (much better than I do), he’s always thoughtful, even if it’s last minute. I also have the benefit of having a partner who lives away from his family, so he doesn’t have many Christmas outgoings."
Elise and Jarred Dubbelman, together 10 years, married three
“This will be our 11th Christmas together so we have had tonnes of practice at the art of gifting! We usually have a limit but it changes from year to year. In the weeks leading up to Christmas I am constantly tagging Jarred in Instagram pics of cute Zimmermann dresses and sending him screen shots of Gucci T-shirts on Net-a-Porter (I like to dream big!).
“We usually go shopping together for him and he always wants something practical. This year it’s a briefcase. Boring! Whatever we end up buying each other we always throw in a surprise, so it’s really special when we exchange gifts on Xmas eve. Lucky for me a married a man who loves all things skincare and grooming, so the Aesop pack I buy him is a gift for me, too. Bonus!”
Lauren and Christian McGill, together 10 years, married six
“Opposites attract, even at Christmas! I’m married to the Grinch. My favourite time of the year is Christmas…..his is not. I love putting up the tree while listening to carols and having a glass of wine, he’d rather play PlayStation.
We don’t really have any rules. He’s pretty easy going and wouldn’t care if he got nothing, I on the other hand love giving, but I also love receiving….what girl doesn’t?! We don’t really set a limit for each other but I’d say most of the time we’d spend about $200- $300 on each other. Normally that involves me telling him what I want (he went rogue a few times and nailed it). I like to surprise him with what I think are well thought out gifts when all he really wants is a boring old voucher. I hate giving vouchers at Christmas, so impersonal.”
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