"Why do you still give each other anniversary gifts?" My friends as me. "I mean, seriously. You've passed the stage where you need to impress each other, and it's not like you're married!"
It may seem a little strange to some of you. Why force yourself to buy each other gifts? Wouldn't it be more financially responsible to just enjoy each others company? What is this commercialized world coming to?!
Back up a bit. My boyfriend and I are both the kind of people that love giving gifts. We love seeing a person's face light up with joy when they open a gift that really makes them happy. We love how even little gifts can make someone so happy. It's no surprise then that we love to give each other gifts. Heck, we'd be randomly springing little gifts on each other all the time if we could.
And therein lies the rub. Endless random gifts, much as we would love to give them, equal an endless hemorrhage of money from the bank account. Simply put, neither of us can afford the constant gift-giving we want to engage in. We came to a bit of an unspoken agreement that we would try to keep the majority of our gifting tendencies tethered to "excuse days" like Giftmas, birthdays, Valentine's Day, and anniversaries. It lets us save up for one or two really nice gifts each year (the Kindle he got me; the PSP I got him), without also blowing a hole in our wallets with all sorts of "just because" presents.
That doesn't mean they don't happen - they do. The "just because" presents are usually fewer and farther between now; they're usually less expensive. (say, a box of silly Pac Man candies instead of a hardback book or a pretty shirt; doesn't seem like much, but trust me, they add up...) Neither of us feels guilty now when the other brings a little gift. There's no more worrying about "matching" or "topping" the other's gift, either. It takes a lot of the stress back out of gifting, and lets us just enjoy it.
And isn't that what gifting is supposed to be about?