I blew it…

This year, Rob and I decided not to give each other Christmas gifts. Instead of trying to find that something special for someone who, let’s face it, usually acquires the things he really, really wants, I decided to focus on others instead of my spouse.

You may not know this about me, but I really, REALLY like to give gifts! I start Christmas shopping early, pouring over online shopping sites, and by the end of August you will find my Christmas idea list on Amazon for that year.  I spend lots of time there, looking, and thinking, and adding and subtracting as I ponder the wants, needs, and wishes of each of my children. I ask questions like these…

Who are they this year? What are they really, really interested in? Have they developed any new hobbies? Have they hit a different stage in their growth and development? Are they in a new relationship that is significant? What do they NEED, and maybe even not know that they need it?

You know, it takes time to ask and answer these questions- hours and hours!… and I dwell there for weeks, as I work to get my Christmas purchases- three for each child- made and stored at the North Pole (Dad’s basement!) by Thanksgiving. It’s an artificial goal, I know, but one I try to meet each year to avoid the stress of the last minute shopping spree.

And I just now – yes, in February!- realized that by agreeing to not purchase gifts for my dear husband, I. Missed. Out.  I didn’t get to spend that same time and energy thinking about the person that is the most important to me- my partner in life for the last 25 years, and hopefully the next 25 too!

I blew it, friends.  I missed out on asking the questions, and listening to the “it would be nice to have” and “I sure could use” and “hmm, that’s pretty cool!” statements made in passing conversations here and there. I missed out on the opportunities to PAY ATTENTION to the one most dear to me…

This isn’t about giving someone an extravagant gift, because we really don’t do that around here. Three gifts per child, remember? We started that when Daniel was just a babe, and it is orderly, and fair, and fiscally responsible for us. (it’s a little expensive, granted, but only because we have six kids- now seven with the addition of a future son-in-law!) The gifts are often small, a game, or a book, or a sweatshirt, but they are always bought thoughtfully and carefully, especially for that one…

So this year, I am publishing my intention right here, right now, Rob WILL get a gift from me, chosen just for him, this Christmas! It may be small, it may be silly, but it will be thoughtful, and hopefully tell him once again how very, very much I appreciate him and the life we have together.

And even better? I can start paying attention and asking the questions and listening now, and maybe not even wait until Christmas to give him a gift! It might be a favorite candy bar, or an invitation to go to lunch with me. It might be a new book that I see that makes me think of him. It might be making his favorite foods once in a while- a real gift, since I really, really don’t like to cook! The gift is a token, you see. The paying attention, that’s the real gift…

Who needs to receive that gift from you?

Still pondering,

3 thoughts on “I blew it…

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