Random Acts of Giftitude


I was reading Bob’s Top 5 post on Valentine’s Day, where he gives the typical male perspective on Valentine’s day.


Before I go on, I’ll let the 2% of you who don’t know the male perspective on Valentine’s day spend some time reading his response.


I share his attitude towards Valentine’s day, but rather than complain about the expectations of popular culture, I’ve taken a different tact.


I practice random acts of giftitude.


Rather than following some calendar-based approach, I give my wife gifts at random intervals, and of random sizes.


Now, I don’t suggest that you go cold turkey and totally abandon such biggies as birthdays, or any major family holidays. I don’t think that’s a healthy thing to do. But you can reduce their size.


There are some big benefits to this approach:



  • Random gifts == no expectations of gifts. Your love isn’t guided by the whim of an advertising executive. Your love is original

  • You get much more credit. Any slob can pick up some flowers on valentines day. But how many can pick up a single rose on April 8th?

  • There’s no expectation of the size of gift on a random day.

  • There’s no chance of forgetting to get a present.

Two caveats:



  1. It may not be a good idea to disclose this approach to the giftee

  2. At least initially, you will probably need to increase the gift amount, and it’s a good idea to “accidentally” come home with something a few days before one of the traditional dates.


Comments (7)

  1. jesam says:

    In theory, this sounds OK.  But I think the reason these artificial celebration days have such a succes is that if guarantees that at least on those occasions there is a gift from one person to another.  When practicing random gifts, with our busy and stressful lifes we could easily forget gifts and the net result would be that (almost) no gifts are exchanged bewteen loved ones.  And when random gifts amount to less than Valentines Day + Birthday + Christmass, I think a male is in serious trouble …

  2. AlfredTh says:

    A long the same lines, I have found that sending flowers to my wife while she is at work seems to be even more appreciated. I read once that many women like it when other women see them get gifts. I like to send my wife flowers on random days early in the week. That way she can keep them at work for a few days and bring them home on the weekend.

    Also, giving gifts as an attempt to get out of trouble generally backfires.

    A few lessons learned from a 29 year old marriage. 🙂 Your mileage may vary.

  3. Wife PhC says:

    Well…his secret is out.  As the recipient of Eric’s random gifts I can honestly say I like this method better.  We joked yesterday that the other advantage to random gift sending is that it is harder for giftee to know whether he is giving it because he is guilty of something. "he never asks for seconds of my coffee!"  

    I also think it is much more thoughtful…any idiot can be reminded on V-Day to buy flowers…it takes someone who really thinks about me to send me something on a random day.

    Oh and this is something that is lasting…we are approaching 20 years of marriage in June and just passed our 25 years together and I get just as excited about these random gifts as ever.

  4. This is why I call you "mack daddy".

  5. As you get on in years, you feel the need to pass on your accumulated wisdom to the younger generation,…

  6. As you get on in years, you feel the need to pass on your accumulated wisdom to the younger generation,…

  7. I was reading Bob’s Top 5 post on Valentine’s Day , where he gives the typical male perspective on Valentine’s day. Before I go on, I’ll let the 2% of you who don’t know the male perspective on Valentine’s day spend some time reading his response. I shar