I'm going to be honest with you all, my husband and I are NOT good gift-givers!

When it came to passing out that love language, we must have been in the back of the line!

Our typical birthday doesn't usually involve presents (we even forget cards sometimes!), and we usually pick Christmas gifts out together.

(Now, I should add a disclaimer that my husband is super sweet about bringing me flowers every so often and we have given each other some very nice gifts over the past couple of years.)

It's just not really on our radars as much as it is for others.

I think part of this might be because we share bank accounts, which makes it hard to hide what you buy for each other! We also are very blessed and don't really feel like we need very much, making gift ideas difficult!

Recently we've been talking about our goals as a couple and considering working on this area of our marriage. Even though neither of us care a ton about gifts, they can be a creative way to surprise each other and show that we appreciate each other.

With Christmas coming up, we've got a perfect opportunity to practice our gift giving skills!

Since we're both dedicated to simple living, we don't want to get each other something that will just clutter up the house or sit around. We're looking for gifts that will bless each other, and even better, build our marriage!

If you're looking for a gift for your spouse this season, here are a few gift ideas I've come up with that are meaningful and will help you both grow closer together!

1. 12 months of dates

Every couple should go on regular dates, but sometimes it's hard to think of a good date idea. Take some of the work out of it for your spouse and give them a fun little jar full of date ideas for the coming year. You can include going on a hike, going to a movie, or maybe a fancy restaurant.

As you think of date ideas, keep the various seasons in mind. Could you go ice skating in January? Pick pumpkins in October? Is there something local that you've been meaning to go see or do? This could be the perfect way!

My husband and I have a favorite used bookstore that we like to go to near where we got engaged. Since I'm always reading, a trip to the bookstore is super fun and helps me add to my to-read list while having a great time with my husband! We can talk about our favorite kinds of books, have fun looking through comics, and then grab a coffee or dinner.

These dates don't have to be complicated, just find something you both enjoy!

Just a tip on this one, you'll want to make sure you follow through with it. It's not much of a gift if you think up all of these date ideas and then never do them! Try scheduling each date about a month or so before, otherwise it probably won't happen! I say this from experience, we didn't go hiking nearly as much as we wanted to this past year because it never made it on the calendar. Treat your date like a goal from your to-do list, and you'll guarantee it actually happens.

2. Fancy dinner at home

Working on spending less? No problem. Find a night, preferably a weekend, where you can get a baby-sitter or family member to watch the kiddos. Instead of dressing up to go out to dinner, dress up and stay in! You can cook a meal together, or go for take-out if it's in your budget.

You can make this meal as fancy as you like by adding candles, a white tablecloth, your favorite wine, etc. We did this last Valentine's Day, and loved avoiding the crowds that you'll see at most restaurants!

3. Go to a concert or a football game

This is one of my personal favorites, because although I love music, I don't like spending money on concert tickets! Christmas is a great time to go see a concert, and it doesn't necessarily have to break the bank! There are many free concerts if you are trying to stay at a lower budget, and if not, check out the nearest city to you and see what they are showing. Don't forget to check local colleges and universities, they often have excellent concerts, often at a lower rate!

I included the idea for a football (or any other sport) game here, because I'm sure that a lot of the guys (and ladies too!) would enjoy it. Now " I wouldn't personally care to go to football game, but that doesn't mean it's not a good date idea!

4. Massage

Need to relax amidst all of the holiday craziness? Try doing a couples massage! This can be a great way for you and your spouse to relax and just chill out. You can also do this at home and give each other massages; throw some candles and relaxing music in and you've got a pretty sweet date night!

Don't forget though, if you give each other massages, make sure you use good lotion or oil, it makes all of the difference!

5. Learn something together

I think it's always important for couples to continue to learn about each other and how to have fun with each other. One great way of doing this is to learn a new skill together! Maybe you can gift each other a dance class or a cooking class, whatever sounds fun to you!

Don't have time to schedule, then drive somewhere for a class? No worries! Through Craftsy, you can take all kinds of classes for much less than you would spend attending a class. They have cooking classes, painting classes, even woodworking classes (so your hubby will be happy!) The classes are broken up into lessons, so you may have enough for a few dates! Find one that looks fun for you two and have at it!

Now, it's important to emphasize the word: FUN. Whatever you decide to learn together needs to sound like fun for both of you. It's also important to have a lighthearted attitude towards whatever activity you are learning. Be okay with being awful at it and laughing at yourself. Otherwise you're just asking for an argument, and that's definitely NOT the way to spend your date!

So there you have it, five great ways to build your marriage this Christmas! Have fun!

What kinds of gifts do you like to get for your spouse? How can you build your marriage through gifts?

Editor's note: This article was originally published on Seeing the Lovely. It has been republished here with permission.

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