The best Christmas present I ever got.
We had a nice Christmas yesterday, very full of family and food. I was thrilled by my husband, who is a tremendous gift-giver, with my first iPod!
But the best Christmas present I ever got from him came four years ago.
Picture it—Christmas 2004…
I was a new mother, just six weeks out from the delivery of my own firstborn son.
I was a new stay-at-home mom, which was definitely a shock to the system. I never realized how much of my identity was wrapped up in getting dressed in the morning, getting the things done in my day that I wanted to do, sitting down to eat meals instead of grabbing whatever I could get my hands on by 11am, getting to wear my Speech Language Pathologist hat five days a week, etc.
I was enjoying our son, don’t get me wrong, but it was definitely a process where God was remaking me and changing who I was and how I viewed myself.
That Christmas, we had very little money. We had just bought our first house and those mortgage payments were definitely daunting with one income. So Abraham and I decided not to buy gifts for each other that year.
I didn’t obey. I felt horrible not having something for him to open on Christmas morning. I don’t even remember what I bought him—probably something like a shirt or tie—nothing that required too much thought. I just couldn’t deprogram myself from the materialistic aspect of Christmas.
Abraham obeyed. He didn’t buy me anything. On Christmas morning he had me play Hot and Cold. You know, the game. So the game sent me up our staircase (getting warmer and warmer) and into Orison’s bedroom.
By now, I was hot!
As I walked over to the dresser/changing table I was BURNING!! Perplexed, I looked at him and he handed me a simple slip of paper printed from the computer. It said:
When I’m home, I’ll change the diapers.
I remember being glad and thinking, “Aw, that’s really sweet.”
But the magnitude of the gift really hit me as the months and months went on through 2005, when he’d come home at 5pm and, never complaining or shirking, give to me over and over.
I tried not to take advantage of the gift, like letting Orison stay in that messy diaper for just 10 more minutes until the clock struck 5!
I can’t tell you how much that gift changed my experience of being a stay-at-home mom. I was energized by that gift, knowing that Abraham was seeing that there were aspects of my new career that were taking some getting used to. He saw into my struggle and gave me a beautiful gift, from his heart.
Now that he works from home, I don’t hold him to the same standard—the man has to work sometimes! But he still changes more than his fair share. It’s a habit he’s gotten into gladly and it continues to this day.
I know it’s too late for you husband readers to do it for this Christmas, but keep it in your bag of tricks for next year! Or… think of another task you could do for your wife that would bless her socks off. It really is the gift that keeps on giving.