In a recent article for DivorcedMoms.com, I stated my preferred “No Shower, No Gifts” policy to go into effect in the event that I get married again. I’m a grown woman with a house full of stuff, and I imagine I’d marry a man of similar description. Why would we need gifts? Ok, maybe something silly like face socks, but certainly nothing of great substance.
A friend argued against my suggestion. “Presents are always appropriate,” Missy insisted.
Several days later, I asked Missy how she feels about the idea of giving gifts for a divorce.
“I’d do it for a close friend who needed support,” she told me. I peppered her with more inquiries to clarify her thoughts on the issue: She would give a card and flowers to ease a broken heart, or silly face socks for a Secret Santa at work, but she wouldn’t present a present in the spirit of celebration.
“Did you get gifts when you got divorced?” She asked.
As a matter of fact, I didn’t receive any gifts when I separated from my husband. At the time, I didn’t think twice about it. I didn’t consider the concept of Divorce Gifts until…
Many moons ago, I was in a grocery store, on my way to the checkout with a big beautiful butternut squash in my hand. I was happy and hungry until I realized, due to my recent separation, I no longer owned a knife capable of cutting through my prized produce.
Since then, I’ve wondered why Divorce Gifts aren’t part of our culture. Society at large gives gifts for graduations, new homes, new babies and new spouses…. Why aren’t friends, neighbors and coworkers willing to send a smartly-wrapped spatula or small appliance to the newly-separated?
The reality is that divorced people need more than just legal advice. For instance, they’ll need a second set of beds/bedding for their children. Someone will be without pots, pans, dishes, or silverware. One might need a new vacuum cleaner while the other needs a toaster oven. And someone will be without a basic set of tools. Even if you just want to get someone something small, they will probably be too busy buying all these things and forget about treating themselves during such a hard time. So why not buy them something small yet meaningful like a pair of comfy, fluffy slippers or even a name necklace with their children or even your name on it just to show them that they are still loved and deserve to be happy. In fact anything personalised is sentimental. After all, you are spending a lot of intimate time with that person, so to just brush it off is too hard to do. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture, something small and thoughtful would suffice – like a Personalised Camera Roll Keyring for example. Something to let them know you still care for them.
A few weeks ago, I emailed a major US retailer and suggested they offer the option of a “Support Registry.” I’d love to see more Wish List options for people to communicate their material needs. Such an alternative could be utilized by anyone needing to start over, for any reason.
Maybe this idea will catch on after more families opt for a Divorce Ceremony. What do you think?
Should Divorce Gifts Be a Thing?
Posted in divorce and tagged divorce, divorce gifts, moving on, starting over.