Why Oprah Winfrey No Longer Exchanges Christmas Gifts with Her Longtime Partner Stedman Graham

Oprah Winfrey isn’t just a media mogul — she’s also the queen of gifting.

Winfrey is known for showering her fans, friends, and family with presents all year round. But during the holiday season, she goes all out.

For Christmas 2019, Winfrey will likely gift her loved ones with all kinds of lavish, high-priced goods. But she won’t be exchanging presents with her longtime partner, Stedman Graham. Here’s why.

Oprah Winfrey at an event in 2019
Oprah Winfrey at an event in 2019 | Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Statue Of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation

The reason Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham don’t exchange gifts

The television star made the revelation in the Dec. 4 episode of OprahMag.com’s web series, The OG Chronicles. During the episode, she and Gayle King gave advice to fans on how to navigate the holiday season.

When one woman asked how to tell her husband that he’s a “terrible” gift-giver, Winfrey offered some advice that she used in a similar situation.

Without saying any names, Winfrey said she resolved the issue by coming to an agreement that she and her partner would no longer swap gifts.

“You say, ‘Honey, I think we’ve reached a point where we have everything we need, and we really don’t have to exchange gifts anymore,'” she advised.

“That’s what we did in our house,” Winfrey continued. ”Cause I had the same issue. We came to an agreement that gifts [are] not what we do.”

Watch the moment around the 4:43 mark

How long have Oprah and Stedman Graham been together?

Oprah and Graham started dating in 1986 after meeting at a charity event the same year. They got engaged in 1992 but ultimately decided to call off the wedding. Both have said that they realized marriage is not for them and that they have no regrets about not taking that step.

Winfrey told People in October that she believes their relationship would have taken a negative turn had they tied the knot.

She said: “I used to think about this all the time, that I was working these 17-hour days, and so were my producers, and then I go home and I have my two dogs and I have Stedman, who’s letting me be who I need to be in the world. He’s never demanding anything from me like, ‘Where’s my breakfast? Where’s my dinner?’ Never any of that, which I believed would have changed had we married.”

She also talked about their decision not to have kids. Though she toyed with the idea of motherhood during the early years of their relationship, Winfrey said the years she spent hosting The Oprah Winfrey Show gave her a deeper understanding of “the depth of responsibility and sacrifice that is actually required to be a mother.” 

“I realized, ‘Whoa, I’m talking to a lot of messed-up people, and they are messed up because they had mothers and fathers who were not aware of how serious that job is,'” she explained. “I don’t have the ability to compartmentalize the way I see other women do. It is why, throughout my years, I have had the highest regard for women who choose to be at home [with] their kids, because I don’t know how you do that all day long. Nobody gives women the credit they deserve.”

Plus, no kids means fewer gifts.