I’m Not Spending a Penny On My Wife For Christmas, and She’s Going To Love It

christmas-1510388_1280I’m not spending a penny on my wife for Christmas this year, and she’s going to absolutely be thrilled about it. With the holidays approaching, conversations of gift ideas are being had between spouses, family members and friends.

My wife and I were having a discussion about tasks that needed to be done yet to prepare for hosting Thanksgiving at our home. She got a little off topic, listing other less Thanksgiving critical tasks she wanted to have done. Sensing I was about to go into my usual speech about prioritization and doing only the things absolutely needing completion by Thanksgiving, she paused and blurted out what she wanted from me for Christmas.

“Can I have a Honey-Do list for Christmas?”

She started listing things she wanted done around our home. I tried my best to look only half interested as my brain popped into overtime trying to remember everything she was saying, while at the same time recalling other small tasks she had listed in recent weeks and months. I didn’t want her to know I was paying close attention. I wanted this to be one of those presents that when given, she would be surprised that I had paid attention and followed through with it. This idea was gold, I just had to work out some of the details.

Here are some of the things my wife suggested for her Christmas present list:

  • Paint master bathroom
  • Clean out and organize laundry room
  • Clean out and organize downstairs closet
  • Call insurance company and have nick in van windshield fixed

Things she has also mentioned in the last few months I would add to the list:

  • Fix small hole in bedroom wall and paint
  • Install organizers for master bedroom closet
  • Get tires rotated on van
  • paint basement

Making a list, printing it on fancy paper of some sort, and giving it to my wife for Christmas is the easy part. There are two slight caveats in my plan to give my wife this list of tasks she wants completed:

Not Free

While the list itself has no cost associated with it, some of the items on the list will require the purchase of supplies to complete. We’ll have to work together to prioritize and budget for the items needed for some of the tasks.


The biggest obstacle to completing many of these tasks is time. With kids, jobs, and other life commitments, time to do extra cleaning, organizing and painting is hard to come by. The good news here is that I have a secret weapon: I have a lot of vacation that I need to take by the end of the year. I plan to take the last two weeks of the year off, and dive into this Honey-Do list.

I might have to give her this present early so she knows what I’m doing, OR I might just keep quiet and give her the list with some of the items already checked off.

In either case, it’s a present my wife will certainly appreciate, and we will both reap the benefits from.

Have you ever given a Honey-Do list as a gift? What would be on the list if you did?

About Travis

13 Responses to “I’m Not Spending a Penny On My Wife For Christmas, and She’s Going To Love It”

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  1. Elle says:

    This is such a fantastic gift idea! I am sure there are many wives who would love to get this as a gift.

  2. Sassy Mamaw says:

    I love the idea! I have never given a list as a gift, but I did paint the basement once as a surprise to my husband. He doesn’t go down there very often, and he worked nights. It took a couple days, and I did it in the morning while he was asleep. He had no idea until I was finished. Fun!

    A couple things to consider 1) I don’t know how you normally do your holiday budget for each others gifts – but we already have that budgeted at our house, so the funds for the honey-do would come out of that money. 2) I might think about giving a small, token gift along with the list, just so you have something pretty under the tree. Perhaps a box of chocolates, or some bubble bath? Anyhow, that’s a thing at our house, maybe it’s different at yours.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Travis and thanks for all the great ideas!

  3. J. Money says:

    HAH! Love this!! (And secretly hope my wife doesn’t read this too or I’m in trouble :))

  4. dana says:

    Thinking you should add something sweet (or saucy) in there too. Like a surprise handcrafted picnic on a hill at sunset ..etc 🙂

  5. Great idea! We have been doing “activity gifts” for a while like a day skiing or at the spa but this is a great idea.

  6. Paul says:

    Great idea. The fact that you paid attention and acted will be well received. All the best. As for usual xmas presents, we don’t give gifts, we often organize little day trips or events etc instead to spend time with one another and create memories. Have a wonderful xmas.

  7. Lake Girl says:

    What a great idea! Thanks for sharing it. I may make this a suggestion to my honey!

  8. I love ideas like this that don’t involve buying big expensive gifts that you hope the other person will like. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Mrs Heller says:

    I absolutely love the idea! We are still paying off our student loans and live in a tiny apartment so I’m moving away from giving gifts this year to giving experiences. Our daugther (2) will get some gifts but also tickets to the zoo. I asked my husband to organize a babysitter and suprise me with a date night. Stuff just means more cleaning to me. I’m over it.

  10. Vee says:

    My favorite gift from my husband this year was new bathroom fixtures (which I’ve been wanting forever), and of course, he’ll be installing them. Not cheap (I think he spent 90 dollars) but I REALLY wanted them and it would be easy for us to justify not getting them for years.

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