My wife and I have never really bought gifts for each other – Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries – nothing. It’s not because we don’t love each other – because we really do. I guess I can’t speak for her, but really…what’s not to love. Our kids, on the other hand, get more than they should. In other words – we don’t get each other stuff because our kids get it all and then we are broke.
What they don’t realize is that we are setting the bar high for them. We take pictures every year of the gifts they receive and the huge mess of wrapping paper that comes with it. Why? Not because we want them to have everything their little hearts’ desire. If that was the case we’d be wheeling around town on hover-boards today. (I wanted to get them hover-boards, but my wife said no. “Our daughter cannot afford to have another concussion during track & field season – blah, blah, blah,” she said. I probably shouldn’t have put the blah, blah, blah in quotes. She actually said something, but I didn’t hear it because my heart was sinking with disappointment.)
The reason we do what we do is not because we love them, which we do. It’s because we want them to have something to live up to. My mom and dad did it with me and my brothers. When I was a kid, the gifts under our tree were stacked and packed. Those memories are vivid for me and I want the same for my kids. Of course, I want my kids to pass it on to their kids.
My kids seem to be grateful for what they get and don’t complain if they didn’t get something they wanted. Of course, they are usually with my wife when she buys it. If they don’t like what they get it’s their fault – they picked it out.
I did get my wife something this year and she about bit my head off when I told her. “How much did you spend? We don’t get each other gifts. Blah, blah, blah,” she said. Again, the blah, blah, blah probably shouldn’t be in the quotation marks, but I quit listening when she was still talking.
I thought I set it up pretty good. I went to my girls and told them what I wanted to do. We have season passes to Kings Island and I wanted pictures of them with their mother under the beautiful Christmas lights there. The kids almost gave it away because my oldest asked her mom to be in pictures with her and my youngest couldn’t keep a straight face when her mom asked why they wanted pictures with her. My wife looked dazed every time my oldest grabbed her and asked to be in a picture. My oldest usually cringes whenever my wife tries to do a selfie with her – so yes, it was a little conspicuous for her to want to be a in a picture with her mom.
I look back on that day and think how blessed I am to have had all four of us together laughing and having a great time.
I purchased some pictures frames and put pictures from that day in those frames as my wife’s Christmas gift. As she was unwrapping her gift, she was still complaining about me spending money.
After I put the pictures on the wall, she looked at me and said, “I’d like to have another set of those frames. I’ve got a lot more pictures I would like to put in them.” Who knows their wife and knows what she likes? This guy right here. And yes, I did get her a second set of frames.