Guest Blogger--Jennifer Slattery on "What My Husband Wants for Christmas"
Just in time for your holiday giving, I am pleased to share this guest blog on gift ideas for our husbands or other loved ones. Hope you enjoy it, and will check out Jennifer's bio and site listed below for more great info.
My husband is the king of gift giving. I think he makes a game of it, and often he drags our daughter into his fun little plan. The two will look at me, at each other, then explode in a fit of giggles, followed by the familiar phrase, “We have something to do this weekend.” And I play along, feigning ignorance.
This past weekend was my birthday, and as is his way, my husband whisked our daughter off for a day of shopping. They didn’t spend much, albeit more than I would have liked, but their presents were laden with meaning. A leather bound journal for me to take to church so I don’t have to scribble all over the bulletin, three new candles to replace the ones I had burned to a nub, and a beautiful candle holder I casually admired one evening while shopping together.
That night, after spending the afternoon showered in love, I contemplated how I could return the gesture. Christmas will be here in a few short days, and I still haven’t found that “perfect gift” for my husband. What can I give him that will have as much meaning as those special gifts he and our daughter have given to me? Clothes aren’t his thing, nor movies. He’s already got a garage full of tools. I was stumped.
The answer came that night as I watched him recline in his favorite chair, remote in hand. Gifts are great, but there are a few things I believe my husband wants most of all:
1. A retreat to come home to. I’m blessed to work from home. If someone bothers me, I simply delete their email, or don’t answer the phone. My husband doesn’t have that luxury, and his job can get pretty stressful. I may not be able to buy him a home tucked in the hills, but I can give him a few moments each evening of emotional peace.
2. My appreciation. There are so many things my husband does right, yet I don’t thank him near as often as I should. In fact, there are times when I take him for granted. He’s our trash and recycle man. Every Thursday at the crack of dawn, he drags nasty smelling bags and overflowing recycle bins down to the curb. Never forgets. Never complains. He just does it, likely without thinking. And I haven’t changed a light bulb or put new batteries in a smoke detector for as long as I can remember. Each day there are countless little things he does. What if I took the time to notice, then made the effort to thank him?
3. My acceptance. The other day as I listened to someone complain about one of their loved ones, I had a passing thought—would they themselves measure up to the standard they set for others? How often do we raise the bar for our spouse, then lower it a few inches for ourselves? When we’re crabby, we’re over stressed or over tired. When they are, they’re insensitive. This Christmas I’m going to toss out my magnifying glass and put on a pair of rose colored glasses instead.
In the meantime, I’ll keep my eye out for that special gift that will make my husband feel like a treasured king, but I’ll also focus on those little tokens of love that help to build his inner man.
Jennifer Slattery is a novelist, freelance writer and columnist who lives in Kansas City, MO with her husband of fifteen years and their thirteen year old daughter. She’s written for numerous publications and has a weekly column on the Reflections in Hindsight website. She is also the marketing representative for the literary website, Clash of the Titles. You can find out more about her and her writing at http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com