If ever my husband should question whether I really love him, I would cutely point out that I am still married to him even though he doesn’t believe in buying me Christmas presents. (And the crowd goes gasp!)
I mean, one would think that he’d catch a hint after years of me giving him a death stare when he proudly retorts that HE is, in fact, my Christmas present. (It wasn’t funny 5 years ago, and it’s not funny now) But alas, here I sit, a grown woman, hinting really hard that I’d like to unwrap more than just the gammon and salt beef this Christmas. (I’m talking about festive meats, get your head out of the gutter, Sheila!)
Seriously though, I’m a sucker for all things Christmas. You guys know that when 1 December hits, I’m all about decking the halls with bells of holly. (Fala lala laaaaa) And, to be honest, I’m here for all the gift buying and presents wrapping. I think I enjoy giving Christmas gifts more than receiving them. (I know, what madness is this?!)
But, the other day, while planning my festive shopping list, I realised that Hubstopher and I are so consumed with making sure that our kids have the best Christmas, that we kinda forget about each other.
I mean, knowing my Hubstopher, he will pretend (or not really pretend, let’s be honest, the guy’s dramatic sometimes) to be so blown away by the specially wrapped socks and hand drawn card that Kari will give to him. (Yeah, it’s socks again this year, sorry babe).
And, knowing my Hubstopher, he would probably have forgotten to make sure that there’s something cute/silly under the tree for my kids to give to me. I mean, I’m sure the guy loves me (cough cough) but, truth be told, we have a lot going on.
Having children kinda changes Christmas for you. Sure, everything is just better because you get to experience Christmas through the eyes of your kid (hint: magicalness guaranteed). But, your focus changes. Your priorities shift. And suddenly YOU are not the the most important thing in your world.
Christmas changes a little bit more, with each new addition to our family. It’s as if you become a little bit more selfless with each whole new person that you have to look after.
We have FIVE children, you guys. Life right now kinda resembles living as if you’re on a post-Apocalyptic Earth… you know, reserving your energy and resources for important things. Five children means five gifts to buy and five whole other bodies to herd, as we motor from one family member’s home to another. Five is a lot. Five is overwhelming.
So, if my Hubstopher is doing a great job at giving all five kids a great Christmas then I forgive him for not getting me a Christmas gift.
The real present is his presence… getting to give each other an excited smile, as we watch the kids at the tree on Christmas morning. The gift is in the togetherness, when we show Kari how to use her toy for the first time. Or when we hear what Kyle wants to spend his “Christmas money” on. (Because money is a gift nowadays, did you know?)
The gift is going to the Christmas service, at church, together and hearing the kids sing the Christmas hymns and carols really loudly… and then going to visit our parents, where our smallies get to enjoy time with their cousins as our older boys put their screens aside, to play a new board game together.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that family is the real gift. And getting to spend another Christmas with my husband and kids is the only gift I want.
But, like, don’t tell my husband that.