Top of the List

My sister in law, Leah, inspired me this Christmas.

She wrapped every gift with thought and care.  Each one was wrapped in Kraft paper with unique embellishments. You can click here and here and here to see where she got her inspirations.

She hand crafted many gifts like the color quiet book she sewed for Swede or the little toy she made for our nephew.  Here is the link to the color book.

And she put a lot of thought, time and effort into her husband’s gift.  She gave him a date night package with 2 dates a month for the whole year, catered to my brothers interests.  There was  a letter and 12 envelopes with gift cards and coupons and date ideas.  Click here for her inspiration.


I on the other hand used all the mismatched left over scrap wrapping paper I had from years past and labeled the gifts with a black sharpie.  I didn’t even have the decency to use tags.

Besides the hand-me down gifts for cousins, I bought every present.   There was one thoughtful hand made gift I had in mind, but it hasn’t happened yet.

And the only surprise gift I had for my husband was a pair of running gloves I bought on December 22 because the running shop happened to be next to the dry cleaners where I was picking up shirts.

This year Chad and I agreed that I would buy my Christmas presents and he would buy his.  Then we set them out for each other.  I like this method of giving because I am dang picky and would rather have exactly want I want than a surprise in the wrong color.  I got the make-up I needed and the essentials oils I wanted and the right size pants.  He picked out a computer bag for himself and some techno wires and cords that I wouldn’t have had a clue about.  We both said we were fine with our agreement.

And I was fine until I saw Leah’s giving and I remembered how I used to be on Christmas.  I was a good wife once too. I cared.  I thought about Chad months ahead.  I tried to surprise him.  I tried to do something special.  One year I surprised him with a scrapbook from his Bishop days.  Another year I heard him talk about his dream office and I took mental notes.  Then for Christmas I surprised him with office decor.

But this year I was so  consumed making sure I had the right gifts for my kids, kids’ friends, cousins, in-laws, grandmas, teachers, etc. that I didn’t do jack for my husband.  Plus I was juggling sick kids and helping with class parties and a ward party and a neighborhood party.

My husband was last on my list.  And he got the least amount of my energy.

Chad was feeling like a schmuck too as my brother gave Leah a beautiful Willow Tree statue and another brother in law surprised my sister with a unexpected gift.  (He didn’t get me jack either.) We looked at each other and hugged. Chad teased, “Do we still love each other?”  I replied, “I don’t know.  Do we?”

As we witnessed Leah’s thoughtfulness and care on Christmas morning, we thought– “We want to do better.”

Now this doesn’t mean that I am going to wrap gorgeous gifts or make hand crafted gifts next year.  But it does mean that I want to take back the season and make it what I want it to be.  I want to put time into what I think is important not what others tell me is important.  I want to enjoy December, not just see the month as a giant check off list. I want to go out less and sit around my tree more.  I want to shop less and give more thoughtfully.

But most importantly, I want to put my husband at the top of my list like I used too.

Because there is something special to the gesture of gift giving.  It says “Thinking of you. You are important to me.  I know you and what you want and what you like. I’ve listened to you throughout the year. You are my priority.”

And I do still love him.









7 thoughts on “Top of the List”

  1. Agreed. We say it’s about the kids and we spend so much time, effort and money into making it special for the kids and spouses get left in the dust but it is important to put them back on the priority list.

  2. Well, luckily Valentine’s Day is right around the corner…you have time for a re-do. I have vowed to do better next year too. Too much scrambling around. Cute story, I could so relate.

    1. Awww…Marce. I thought I had a whole year before I had to pull it together. Now you’ve reminded me I only have 6 weeks. Thanks a lot 🙂 But you are right. Valentine’s day is a perfect chance to show my hubby he is at the top of my priority list. I better get on it. Feb. 14 will be here before I know it.

  3. Sweet post Tiffy. Glad I could inspire at least one person in my lifetime. 🙂 I really liked the last paragraph – you worded it perfectly.

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