A few months ago my wife and I had a serious discussion about Christmas.
We decided . . . once again . . . that we would not purchase gifts for each other. We decided that it was the responsible thing to do because we were travelling just before Christmas and there was no reason to spend money on each other when it is really about the kids and our family. We agreed. We nodded at each other and basked in our responsibility and maturity. We would let the boys get us a few things from them just so we could have some boxes to open, but that would be it.
We make this agreement every year and once again I fell for it hook, line and sinker.
So now as I sit here plying my trade my wife and her mother are wrapping presents. I went in to help and was physically pushed out of the room. I asked why and my wife told me, "None of your business." I grew suspicious. My suspicions were confirmed when I checked the name tags on the presents our tree has seemingly belched forth.
My wife is a dirty rotten liar. She said she wasn't getting me any presents and under the tree sit stacks of boxes with my name on them. Some of them are 'from' Charlie and Eli, but I know the truth. She got me again.
Maybe, just maybe I should know by now. I kind of do. This happens just about every year. We make an agreement and then goes and breaks it and stuff.
I started to grow suspicious last week after my mother-in-law got here. We were out shopping and I was scouting out likely gifts for Santa to put in my wife's stocking when I just got that feeling. Stockings are different. Stop it . . . they just are. So I might have made a purchase or two . . . you know . . . small things. Well small enough to not raise concerns on the credit card bill but large enough to be actual presents in the event I was betrayed. I also might have ordered something for her that she hinted at. No . . . No that is not cheating. If she sends me a hint that counts as asking me to pick something up for her and ordering it for her is technically like picking up bread or milk or those dental flossy things at the store. So none of that really counts.
OK . . . OK . . . so maybe I am not as faithful to our agreement as I could be. But it is almost impossible to keep an agreement not to buy presents for her. Christmas is about giving and the person I enjoy giving to more than anyone else is her. There is something about the look that she gets on her face when she opens a present that is simply gorgeous. She is one of those people who smiles with everything she has when she is happy. It's hard to pass up a chance to have one or two of those smiles directed at me.
Don't get me wrong. It doesn't take a present to get one of those smiles. I get them for lots of things. I get them holding open a door or remembering to empty the dishwasher or putting away the laundry. Charlie and Eli get those smiles a lot as well, but Christmas present smiles are special. I guess the opportunity to see those smiles isn't something that should be negotiated away.
The ridiculous part is that every year I find myself way behind in breaking our agreement. I am not sure why we even make the agreement or why I go to the trouble to actually believe her. Now that I think about it, it seems preposterous that the most generous and giving person that I know would ever seriously agree not to be generous and giving. It seems silly as I sit here now. Maybe I have learned my lesson . . . but probably not.
She just smirked as she walked upstairs with another armload of presents. It's on. I need to go shopping.