Episode #36: (MINI) Yes, I Buy All My Own Gifts!

Hi hi! So, I mentioned in one of last week’s episodes that I buy all my own gifts and you all wanted to hear more about this. So here’s a full (mini!) episode about how that started and why it works for us!

You can stream the episode here on the blog or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayTuneInPocket Casts, and Stitcher. You can find the podcast posts archive here.

Show notes:
So, this episode is about how I buy all my own gifts, and even wrap them and write “to: Elsie from: Jeremy” and then act surprised and give him credit when I open them. Haha … I know it probably sounds insane to some, but I love it. In this episode, we also talk generally about great gifts, so these show notes will be a lot of links to our favorite things … a gold mine of gifting!

Best gifts I have bought myself:

-Engraved name rings for our girls. These are the ones I have for our girls. I got them when we were matched with each girl, but then didn’t put them on until after our family day (a-little-sticious).

And this is my other favorite Etsy ring—perfect for shorter names, and maybe better alone than in a stack.


These are a few of my favorite brands (and the prettiest that make great gifts!).
Leahlani (the ultimate!)

Youth To The People
Roller skates. They come in so many beautiful colors.

-Books, especially extra large art or design books.

-Ceramics. I LOVE ceramics. These are the Australian mugs I was talking about getting for Mother’s Day … which OOPS, they are not even based in Australia. Must have got them mixed up.

I also just bought this mug from Etsy.

And I love this shop!

-Shout out to Thistle Farms candles, especially the Christmas tree one (you all know by now I use all the fir needle and spruce essential oils year round!). But I think you have to stock up during the holidays. Do you all think I’m insane that I want my home to smell like Christmas trees year round?

-Here’s a link to Emma’s robot vacuum cleaner.

My favorite gifts (for myself or to give!!!)

-handmade mugs


-vinyl records

-beautiful stationery

-adding to a collection

-art and art prints

-cute stuff from Etsy

Happy Monday! Thank you so much for listening to our podcast! xx

  • GIRL! Our family has a custom for gift giving where you send “idea lists” typically with associated links. Sometimes there will be a general request like “herbal lotions” etc. But typically the list has the item/size/color and link directly-especially for spots my family wouldn’t normally shop. I’m not sure when it officially started, but over a decade for sure. I’m always surprised when it comes up and someone is shocked by it, but after explaining they are onboard too. It simplifies the process, and makes it so no one is wasting money and/or feeling bad about keeping a gift they truly do not want. Also, it helps when you have new people added. When we were first dating my now husband was thrilled, it took so much of the stress off gift giving. Let’s face it, no one feels good about getting a not-your-color sweater that is two sizes too small!

  • my husband and i RARELY surprise each other with gifts. most years we talk about what we want and buy them together. occasionally we might surprise with something small on the side (like last year i got him a shirt to go with the expensive fishing gear we ordered him just because). we both hate when people waste money on us so we would much rather know going in that it’s exactly what the other wants.

  • I must say surprises have lots of benefits. Until adulthood, my godmother always offered me gifts for my birthday and christmas, that I did not expect and would have never asked for. She offered me jazz CDs, art film DVDs, clothes & accessories that weren’t my initial style… And guess what? She offered me a way greater gift than filling a desire, or a need I had, she opened new doors for me and new fields of interest. My boyfriend confirms the rule as well. For example, last christmas, he offered me a board game I would have never picked it in a shop (I was a bit disappointed when I opened it but he had put a lot of thought into it and told me why he chose it for me) and after playing it with him, I just love it! So I think the presents I can offer myself, I simply buy it, I even like to ask it to be wrapped in shops and unpack it home. But for sure, when it’s time for presents from other people, I definitely ask for a surprise, other people’s choices and universe make me way richer.

  • I love hearing about differences in how we all give gifts. I buy all of my own gifts too but for a totally different reason. I get so much anxiety trying to pick things out for others! My husband and I agreed that we would stop picking things out for each other on holidays (all holidays- Christmas, Mother’s Day, our anniversary, birthdays) to ease up on my mental stress. Around the holidays, I don’t participate in any gift swaps, secret santa’s, etc. because then I can just celebrate the time of year and not spend time worrying that someone won’t like my gift. We all have to do what works for us! Thanks for sharing!

  • This episode was so refreshing and kind of released a burden I didn’t even realize I had! As a single mom, I want to teach my kiddo to be a thoughtful gift giver and they always wants to do something nice for holidays for me, but it’s not realistic to do so and surprise me (let alone get the things I really want, ☺️). I’ve been buying my own gifts for years (single people, I highly recommend this), but I never fully embraced it until we recently started a tradition of having a “treat yo’ self” shopping session together where we browse my wish lists and pick out the best ideas together, then I make the final choice and they encourage me to go through with it (it’s sometimes hard to prioritize yourself as a single parent and hit that final “complete order” button So we always celebrate that part). It really does feel like a true treat and buying it for myself doesn’t diminish it at all, and it was nice to hear another no-shame perspective in this episode!

      • It’s certainly easier for your partner if you buy your own gifts, especially considering the overwhelming number of gift giving holidays each year (birthday, valentines, Mother’s Day, anniversary and Christmas! Ridiculous)!
        I will say though, some of the surprise gifts I’ve gotten in my life, where I have been truly shocked and felt so seen and delighted and cherished by the gift giver? Those memories, and the warm feeling of happiness that accompany them, just don’t fade.

  • I love surprises at Christmas and my husband hates shopping so I usually get money. 🙁 my mother once told me to stop letting that spoil my holiday, to just buy my own present early, wrap and place under the tree as if from him so I would have something to unwrap on Christmas morning. Some times I do and sometimes I don’t because I actually hate shopping too!!

    • I should have mentioned, I usually give my husband $$ or let him pick out his own because he’s extremely hard to buy for / surprise / please !! LOL

  • I’m torn. Most holidays, I buy my own gifts. My husband works a ton and just doesn’t have the time/headspace to think about gift giving. I’m fine with it because similar to you, I’m picky, so it’s a way for me to essentially splurge on something I want but might be too much money to buy any other day. I’m also trying to simplify and reduce how much we have so this is a way I can make sure what I bring into our home is something I truly love and will enjoy or use. Where I’m torn is that there are times when my husband finds an amazing gift that I would not have thought to get myself. Some of my most cherishes pieces of jewelry are ones my husband picked out. If I always bought my own gifts I would have missed out on some of my most cherished pieces. I think going forward I’ll have to do what you mentioned and just discuss ahead of time whether he wants me to buy my own gift or whether he has something in mind.

  • I love love love this podcast!! My first Christmas with my boyfriend at the time (now spouse), I got all the gifts for stuffing the stockings for both him and his children, even bought new matching stockings. And for the most part, I bought all the gifts for him and the kids (he helped in picking out a few things). On Christmas Eve, while the children were sleeping, we placed the gifts out by the tree and I started to stuff the stockings, as I was almost finished (my stocking hanging untouched) he then realized he was suppose to get stuff for my stocking. When Christmas morning comes, his little girl asks why my stocking had nothing, so I explained that Santa must have filled my stocking at my parents house (as I was still living there technically). Lucky to my surprise, my mother indeed had a stocking filled for me to open when we all got there. Fast forward through the rest of our Christmas’ and I know to just get my own stuff. I will give him credit this past year he surprised me with a gift I love, and that I didn’t ask for. He even noticed that it was the first year I loved something he gifted 🙂

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.