This year we didn’t buy Christmas presents–at all. That seems so strange…and it’s my family! We haven’t ever spent a lot of money on Christmas presents, but we usually get each of the kids one gift spending around $20 per child. Sometimes Jason and I will buy gifts for each other and some times we don’t, not the typical American family.
I really love gifts. I love to give them and receive them. Though Jason enjoys receiving gifts he, in a way, doesn’t really notice if he doesn’t receive anything. I guess some would say that it’s not one of his love languages. Giving gifts and expecting gifts from my husband was something I just had to let go of.
It wasn’t always that way. I remember when we moved from Sioux City, IA to Texas. My husband’s new job was paying for the moving van, but we had a limit. In an effort to make sure we stayed within the limit Jason began getting rid of everything he thought we didn’t need or didn’t use. He told me he thought we should get rid of my treadmill. I had purchased it used for $75 and was extremely happy with it. I loved it and used it faithfully. “I’ll buy you a new one after we move,” he promised. I tried to talk him out of it, but he insisted.
We moved at the end of October and sure enough he went to Sam’s Club and picked out a super duper nice treadmill and had it shipped to our new house. Since he had just started his job when the holidays rolled around he didn’t have any vacation time, so it was our first Christmas together without any extended family. Christmas morning came and it was time to open presents, just the three of us. Faith who was only two at the time opened her gifts. Jason opened his, and there was one more gift under the tree. It was for me. I opened it to find a bottle of Chai tea. That was it. “You mean you really didn’t get me a gift for Christmas?” I asked Jason.
“Yeah I did, I got you that treadmill.” Now you know why I like Tim Hawkins so much. His song about the things you don’t say to your wife…he must know my husband! Ha ha! At the time I was not happy about it at all, but it was about this time that I realized I wasn’t going to change my husband. I had a choice. I could be resentful my whole life over what he was not going to do or be or I could let it go and be thankful to God for all the wonderful things that my husband does do and is. Changing my expectations did not happen overnight, but nine years later I can honestly say that it no longer hurts my feelings when I don’t receive a gift from my husband and when he does do something for me it’s just super fun!
So back to present day, life has been crazy, fun, but crazy. When we arrived home from our Florida/Bahamas vacation it was already December. We had not even three weeks before leaving to visit family for Christmas. My van ended up being in the shop for almost two of those weeks! So although we didn’t plan to do absolutely no gifts for Christmas, that’s how things ended up. And you know what? Our kids were fine with it. It has also been our tradition to put up a tree and exchange gifts on Valentine’s Day so they have something to look forward to.
I’m linked with Gratituesday.