They say the best things in life are free. And if you're not in a place where you can spend a lot of money on your partner — or if you'd just rather avoid consumerism this year — there are plenty of free gifts you can give to your significant other. Even if you're planning an extravagant gift-deluge for your partner, you can still choose from a bevy of sweet and thoughtful presents that cost zero dollars, and often feel more personal and special than a trinket or toy (though we all appreciate and love trinkets and toys, don't get me wrong).
If you're in a healthy, supportive relationship, you don't have to purchase anything for your partner to show how much you love them. And though presents are traditionally exchanged around the holidays, and are always good reminders of our adoration for each other, you don't have to break the bank with an expensive, flowery show of your affection. Instead, it might be worth considering taking a more moderate route this year, still pledging to exchange gifts with your partner — but eschewing anything with a price tag.
Here are eight free gift ideas to show your partner how much you love them without spending a zillion dollars.
1. A Back Massage
Break out the massage oil, light some scented candles, put on your partner's favorite classical music and do a full-body, hourlong massage. Bonus points if you do it once a week for a month.
2. Breakfast In Bed
Even if you're a bad cook, everyone can make eggs. Or pancakes. Or, at very least, everyone can throw some yogurt, granola and fruit in a bowl and brew some tea. If you sneak out of bed 20 minutes early to make breakfast one morning, your partner will seriously appreciate it. And if you can make an elaborate meal, all the better — just set the alarm for a little more than 20 minutes before your partner wakes up.
3. A Day Of Undivided Attention
Ask your partner, "What do you want to do today?" And then do exactly that, without complaint. Whether it's an action-packed day of seeing art at galleries, a long hike in the woods, or just a day in bed watching old movies, you'll do whatever they want to do — and spend no money doing it.
4. Pamper Your Partner
Paint her nails. Or give him a haircut. Or set up a foot soak with bath salts, and give her a foot massage afterward. Or give him a facial. We all love pampering, and you might be surprised how much your partner would enjoy such a simple, thoughtful act.
5. Write A Heartfelt Card
Fill a card — or a letter — with all of the things you love about your partner, and give it to them. Sometimes we can say things in a letter that would be difficult to say aloud; take this opportunity to let it all out, and let your partner know how much you care.
6. Make A Painting, Write A Poem, Record A Song, Choreograph A Dance
If you are an artist of some kind, allow your partner to be your muse and create something one-of-a-kind for them. Whether it is a beautiful oil painting or a love song dedicated to your partner, you can express your love in a way that trumps any store-bought present. Or if you really want to go over the top, write down 365 reasons you love your S.O., put them in a jar, and let them read one every day for the next year, like this guy did.
7. Do Something For Them That They Really Don't Want To Do
Has your partner been dreading going through all of her receipts to find that one from last year that she needs for a tax return? Or maybe there are 20 boxes in the garage that need to be sorted, and your partner can't bear to do it alone. Or perhaps your partner just needs to go through all of his clothes and get rid of things he never wears, and he'll never do it if you don't sit with him for moral support. Whatever the case may be, nominate yourself to help.
Instead of — or in addition to — getting each other presents this year, make a commitment to volunteer as a couple once a week at a local charitable organization close to your hearts. You'll get to help others, and you'll get to do it side by side.
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