Charlie and I agreed that this would be a "quiet" Christmas for the two of us. Sure, we would buy presents for the children, but we wouldn't go overboard with gift giving between ourselves since we're saving up for a new kitchen, bathrooms, roof and lawn.
I think Charlie's exact words were, "I really don't need anything" and in his mind, that meant he would get nothing for Christmas. But seeing as I'm his wife and I love him very much and we've been together for 20 years, I knew that he needed a few things, so I picked them out, wrapped them up and stuck them under the tree with a bow.
Namely, I bought him some winter socks, woolen mittens, flannel lined jeans, flannel pajamas, cozy slippers, snow boots, a warm jacket that wasn't neon yellow and intended strictly for the ski slopes, a small wallet since his was falling apart, a digital watch and a 2011 Day Planner. I also bought him some deodorant, toothpaste, razors, lotion and a 1-pound bag of Starbucks coffee for his stocking.
See? Very simple and yet very practical gifts.
On Christmas morning, as we sat down with our stockings, I opened my first gift. It was a delightful box of 3-pack underwear. The next gift was a dishtowel. The next gift was Aveeno facial soap and SPF-15 lotion.
Facial soap and lotion that I had actually bought for myself earlier in the week, and had put in the bathroom. Charlie spotted them in their boxes, snatched them, wrapped them up, and put them in my stocking. This totally cracks me up because I had been LOOKING for these things and had no clue my husband was gifting them to me. I thought maybe I had lost my mind and hadn't purchased them, after all?
Seriously. Isn't there a rule against that?
It's very important to interject here that Charlie surprised me by having professionally framed a priceless piece of art that had recently been found in my father's house, by my sister, Beth.
This picture had been painted more than 30 years ago, for me, by my pediatrician, whose practice was in the building next to "My Daddy's Store."
(AKA: My father's pharmacy in downtown Concord, Massachusetts.)
This is a very special painting to me.
I love it and I love that my husband was so thoughtful to have it framed.
Now, fortunately for Charlie, my Love Language isn't Receiving Gifts.
Because later, as we were opening presents from beneath the tree, the children handed me a small package that their father had also given to me. I opened the gift and there was another 3-pack of underwear. The next small package yielded more dishtowels. Then, there were two more boxes of 3-pack underwear. In addition to the beautiful framed picture, I received lotion and soap that I had purchased for myself, 12 pairs of underwear and four new dishtowels.
Granted, I needed new underwear. And dishtowels. So, I'm very thankful that my husband bought me these highly necessary gifts. For Christmas.
It's important to note that Charlie believes I broke the terms of our agreement by purchasing him anything. Which, in my opinion were his terms - not mine.
Nonetheless, last night, as I was carefully opening my four new boxes of underwear (!), I held them up for Charlie to see. My poor husband was feeling very badly that he hadn't bought me anything else for Christmas, so when I held up the first pair his eyes nearly bugged out of his head when I said, "Wow, Honey, these are awesome. They'll totally keep my back warm!"
Where and how did he come up with the size, I do not know.
But oh, how I laughed.
I laughed so hard and am still laughing just as hard, today.
Let's just say it's a good thing I have 12 new pairs of all cotton underwear that will probably fit me for the rest of my life.