I LOVE Christmas. Then I worked for a company that hosts a Christmas Festival lasting for the month between Thanksgiving and Dec 23rd. My Christmas Spirit slowly died of overwhelming consumerism and triviality and despair in Christmas making people kind or happy…I dealt with too many grinches. I still work for that company, but I work on the festival from afar, and do not have it blasted in my face for 55+ hours a week. (it’s an absolutely wonderful festival!! Just not at saturation levels)
So my Christmas spirit revived and decided that it was a fun season after all. The carols, church services, tree hunting in the mountains, decorating, baking, the smell of pine, Joy in Christ’s birth, a manageable gift list, time to sing in the choir, it all became wonderful again. Especially after reading this kind of blog post.
Ryan likes Christmas, but in a much more relaxed, yeah-I’m-excited-can-I-have-more-cookies-now-please kind of way. He spent a number of Christmases in the period between childhood and married away from family and friends, so lost some taste for it. So my mission to make it exciting again.
Since I didn’t have one large gift I wanted to give Ryan this year, I decided to make it into twelve days building to Christmas. Not the twelve days of Christmas ending on January 6th when traditionally the Three Wise Men arrived to worship baby Jesus. Instead, I did it by finding ways to surprise and bless Ryan in the days leading up to Christmas when we are both crazy at work and a leetle bit stressed out. All 25 days of December was too much, so 12 was the perfect compromise.
I planned it around what could be accomplished on each specific day, weekdays versus weekends, busy evenings vs time at home. I was so careful about packing my lunch and not buying coffee drinks this past month to make sure it all fit in the budget. The gifts were wrapped and left for him to find, and the notes/activities I taped to his steering wheel or phone or put in his lunch bag. When it worked, I coordinated the numbers of the day with the plan.
Thursday, 13th: On the First Day of Christmas – One cozy sweater (after he went to bed the night before I put it on top of his work shoes)
Friday, 14th: On the Second Day of Christmas - Dinner for two. (I made one of his favorites and the wine was open and the candles lit when he got home)
Saturday, 15th: On the Third Day of Christmas - Three fresh cinnamon rolls for you. (I froze them ahead, and then just let them thaw overnight and popped them in the oven that morning.)
Sunday, 16th: On the Fourth Day of Christmas – Three Fourths of an inch Pipe Clamp Fixture for my handy husband. (Wrapped and waiting on his chair at breakfast)
Monday, 17th: On the Fifth Day of Christmas - Five and twenty feet of a left-handed tape measure. (Wrapped and waiting for him to get home from work)
Tuesday, 18th: On the Sixth Day of Christmas - Your choice six cookies or other dessert! (Tuesdays I often have time to bake after work, I instructed him to text me during the day with his choice)
Wednesday, 19th: On the Seventh Day of Christmas - Give your wife Seven kisses under the mistletoe (the number of completion, like a perfectly completing marriage)
Thursday, 20th: On the Eighth Day of Christmas - Eight clamp pads [to go with day four's gift] (Wrapped where he would find them when I left for choir rehearsal that evening)
Friday, 21st: On the ninth Day of Christmas – Nine dollar coffee gift card.
Saturday, 22nd: On the Tenth Day of Christmas - Ten – …We love being married and this day is edited for PG rated publication on the world wide web.
Sunday, 23rd: On the Eleventh Day of Christmas – Trace Bundy album with Eleven tracks.
Monday, 24th: On the Twelfth Day of Christmas - A written note of Twelve things I love and respect about him. We both had to work Christmas Eve, so I tucked the note into his lunch for him to find in the middle of the day.