I’m glad that’s over.

Not a sentiment shared by many, but truly I could skip from Thanksgiving and slide right into the New Year without a blink. My oldest sister calls me a Grinch, which is not entirely without merit.  However, I do decorate and bake cookies and send cards and play carols and shop and wrap and fa-la-la with the best of them, but I could skip it and not really miss it. I have no little children in my house; it is just the two of us adults. Well, that’s misleading because on any given day either one or both of us will become child-like – as in silly not whiny.

A tea tin complete with life instructions.

A tea tin complete with life instructions.

Which is why I awoke at 5 a.m. Christmas morning slipped downstairs, turned on the tree, had my tea, read both newspapers and then quietly waited until 8 a.m. to run upstairs and announce “SANTA BROUGHT PRESENTS!” – fortunately, my sweetie was close to consciousness so it didn’t startle him too badly.

With his coffee in hand and Christmas carols playing in the background we opened our gifts. Each of us had a theme for the other. I bought him things to encourage his tennis habit. He got me things to keep me calm and relaxed. We gave a little bit of ourselves to the other. I am the more active – some may say frenetic – partner and he is absolutely the more languid member of our marriage.

Years ago, for our first Christmas, which arrived after we had been dating a few months, he got me something wonderfully romantic. Though frankly, it took me a while to understand that.

 I was hoping for an inconsequential piece of jewelry or a lovely bottle of perfume that I could coyly announce was from my boyfriend. (Keep in mind that I was way past 15 at the time but still dopey in love.) Instead he arrived with a gift certificate for a remote car starter.  Not the kind of thing that you can show off to your colleagues at the office, but it was heaven sent on those frigid ice crusted days when I could quickly clear the car and safely head out.

That first gift showed that he truly understood me. He wanted me to know that while I was always taking care of others he was looking out for me. Even when he couldn’t be there.  And every time I hit that clicker to start the car, I felt his presence.

I am still grateful for that gift.