With Christmas just around the corner, finding just the right gift for your spouse can be fraught. A gift voucher is an easy solution, but they’re impersonal and a lazy way of gift giving, right?
Everyone knows the best presents are thoughtful ones. And guess what? There’s no reason why vouchers can’t be thoughtful! In fact, I would argue that they’re often even more thoughtful than, say, a new sweater in a questionable color or the latest iPad.
The people that hate on gift vouchers have a bunch of arguments. Have you ever heard these?
“It’s like money, but less useful.”
“You’re basically saying you’ve given up on finding an actual present.”
“What kind of present requires work on behalf of the recipient?”
As far as I can tell, the biggest barrier to couples bestowing gift vouchers on each other is that it’s widely considered an impersonal present to give your spouse or lover come Christmas, Valentine’s Day or Birthdays.
I mean sure, I agree that simply slapping $50 onto a department store card without really thinking it through is positively slothful.
But – done right – gift vouchers can make for some of the most touching and beautiful presents you’ll ever give, or receive.
That comes with a few caveats though. Just hear me out.
There’s the right way and the wrong way to give a gift voucher. Here’s how to make gift vouchers romantic – my definitive guide. (Make sure you read the last point, it’s the one crucial step that brings everything together):
1. Thoughtfulness is Everything*
A voucher for the hardware store, however practical, is not going to get anyone’s pulse racing.
If you’re going down the gift voucher route, you need to make it über-tailored.
Start by thinking very hard about what’s going on in your partner’s life right now.
Have they just taken up yoga? Get them a voucher to a high-end exercise gear store.
Are they known for saving all their pennies to spend on the kids and house? Get them a voucher to a clothing store you know they love (check the labels in their closet!) so they have to spoil themselves.
Are they doing up a vintage car? How about a voucher for some antique car parts?
2. Gift an Experience*
It’s a consumer world; we already buy most material possessions we want for ourselves and there’s a new trend away from material possessions with the introduction of the minimalist thinkers around the internet.
By far, one of the most significant gifts you can give in this day and age is an experience you know your partner will love. Something that impacts them in a different way.
Again, gifting experiences requires the same careful thinking I just spoke about – a voucher for a bungee jump won’t go down well with someone who has an intense fear of heights, for example (just ask my husband who turned a lovely shade of beetroot-rage and deathly pale at all once when he was given him a skydiving voucher for his 30th).
Is your partner really into gourmet cooking? How about a cooking class for a cuisine they haven’t mastered yet?
Are they stressed and tired lately from work? What about a pampering session at a day spa (trust me, men love this as much as women do, they just generally don’t know it yet)?
Do they spend a lot of time at the driving range? How about an hour with a pro perfecting their swing?
3. Gift an Experience You Can Do Together*
Here’s where the romance factor starts to skyrocket.
There is simply no substitute for spending time with your sweetie, and we already know that science has proven doing new things together as a couple is ridiculously good for your relationship. It floods your system with happy hormones that keep you bonded and happy.
For that reason, gifting a gorgeous experience that the two of you can look forward to doing together is – in my opinion – king of all gift voucher giving and really ups the romance ante on your gift giving.
Perhaps a weekend away, language classes, or a hot air balloon ride. We obviously love our very own Melt: Massage for Couples video courses where you can get your hands all over each other in your own home night after night – it really is the gift that keeps on giving.
Whatever you choose, know that you’re doing something wonderful for your relationship. It may even seem like too much fun to be a good thing, but trust me… you can never make too many joyful memories as a couple.
*The Clincher: Wrap Something Up
This is the important part and it applies to all the points above. In order to make a gift voucher the perfect gift, you need to gift them along with something to unwrap. Otherwise it really is just a piece of paper or a plastic card that will sometime in the future take on its proper meaning.
A simple solution is to give something tangible along with the voucher as a little appetizer for the upcoming experience they are going to enjoy. It’s a delicious way to build anticipation and makes the gift voucher much more real immediately.
Let’s go back over some of the examples I’ve already used:
A Moroccan Cooking Class would go perfectly with some gourmet spices and a tagine pot.
A golf lesson will pair beautifully with a new leather monogrammed glove.
Give them a head start on their exercise gear voucher with a new gym bag.
When people gift our Melt: Massage for Couples vouchers to their spouse or to another couple, we encourage them to purchase a few massage essentials to package with the gift – a scented candle, a bottle of massage oil, a blindfold and a soft hand towel is everything you need (and more) to start massaging right away.
You then have the added benefit of being able to start that very night.
So there you have it – the next time you’re looking for an incredibly personal and romantic gift, look no further than a gift voucher.
If you’re looking for something special to gift your spouse this Christmas, I really do recommend the Melt: Massage for Couples gift vouchers. We’re offering Simple Marriage readers 50% off our lifetime memberships for a limited time only – that’s just $49 for a lifetime of massage (usually $99).
Package the voucher with massage oil, a scented candle and a soft hand towel for a romantic gift.