The Christmas after hubby graduated from college, and two and half years after he retired from the military (yes, he finished a four-year course in 2.5 years. I am married to a highly intelligent go-getter. Wonder what he is doing with me?) , hubby came in from work bearing a beautifully wrapped gift and a card.
I was amazed he had started his Christmas shopping since it was nowhere near the 24th of December at 3 p.m.. I was in the kitchen fixing dinner and stopped long enough to greet him in his sharp suit and tie, his uniform now that he was in the civilian sector. I looked at the gift he was holding and looked at him. He walked over and handed me the gift.
I asked what he wanted me to do with it. He laughed and told me to open it. Now, I actually cannot remember what the gift was. I was stunned to receive it to be honest. What I do remember is that the card told me he was going to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas.
I thought he was joking, actually. I figured it was a fluke and that if I did get gifts from that point through Christmas they would be maybe a candy bar or a promise of something to come. I thanked him for the gift and oohed and aahed over it and went back to finishing dinner.
The next day after work, he came in looking handsome and again, there was an equally beautiful gift in his hand. I was amazed!
For the next 12 days, true to form, hubby arrived home with gifts. Each gift came with a card with a loving note written in it. Each gift came from one of my favorite stores. Each of these gifts were things that I loved and still do. I received a tea-pot for one, a writing desk, stationery, nice pens, art supplies and actually, I cannot remember what all I received. The cards were all so nice, some humorous, some funny and some, well, the kind that makes you look at the giver and say, ‘really?’ .
After the overwhelming supply of gifts I received before Christmas, I was certain that I would not have anything to open on Christmas morning. That did not bother me, as I had never received such things like I had during the 12 days of Christmas. Hubby outdid himself that year though, come Christmas morning, it looked like he had bought out my favorite store. There were several silver boxes under the tree with lovely gold bows on them. I was awe-struck. Thinking about it, I am still awe-struck.
Hubby is not very talkative. Most of the time he waits for me to start conversations. If the topic of cars comes up, then he will talk way over my head and I am lost. He has never met a stranger and will carry on conversations with others easily. With me, though, he is quiet. I see him as the fixer of things, the frustrated one who likes to have things done his way, the business man who can manage and produce things I don’t understand at all, the Christian who will pray with people and counsel people, and the father who loves his daughters so dearly. The thing I don’t always see is the romantic. I know he is. He has always been that way, it just doesn’t come out often.
The year of the 12 days, the romantic came out. He smiled more and he was excited to give me the gifts he picked out. The gifts were all wonderful, but the gift I most appreciated was him. Emerging from a grueling finish in two and a half years of a four-year program, I saw the man I married once more. The stress of accomplishing this, for both of us, was over.
Today, I am remembering a Christmas that was different from all others. In thinking of Christmases, I am seeing that each one is different and unique. We may decorate the same way, do the same thing, eat the same treats and be with the same people, but each Christmas is different and special in its own way. I am grateful for this today. Thanks for stopping by, DAF