My husband is many great things, gift giver is not one of them.  In our family I do all of the gift giving.  I think about what each teacher, relative, and child would like and I plan and conspire.  Not just for Christmas but for birthdays, anniversaries, and Mother's/Father's Day too.

It's not about how much a gift costs sometimes they don't cost me anything but time.  I compiled all of our family recipes made a beautiful cookbook for my sister for Christmas one year.  This year my niece got her first American Girl doll for Christmas.  To go with this I made aprons (one for my sister, niece, and the doll) and framed some of my grandmother's handwritten recipes for my sister to hang in her kitchen of their new home.

So back to my husband.  Have you read the book the 5 love languages?  I am still trying to figure out what my love language is.  I think it is somewhere between words of affirmation and gifts.  My husbands is acts of service.  Bret shows us that he loves us by working hard and providing for his family.  He feels loved when I fix him meals, and take care of everyday things for him.  If Bret is trying to make me feel loved he puts in extra effort with the kids and around the house.  This is just who he is. 

So during holidays and birthdays and anniversaries I have learned that if I do not want to be disappointed I need to be very clear about my expectations and more specifically tell him what I would like.  Bret waits until the last minute and usually hastily throws together something to hand to me.  It is still a little disappointing since to me the thought and time is what really counts.

This Christmas was one of the few times that when we were talking about gifts for each other and I was going to offer ideas Bret said he already knew what he was going to get me.  I was shocked and very excited that weeks in advance he already had a plan.

Emily, like her mother, loves to give gifts also and is very good at it.  This year she really wanted to get gifts for her brothers.  We decided after hearing the idea from a friend to draw names this year.  It was so fun and the kids took their secret Santa idea very seriously.  Emily asked me what she should get her brother Logan and I helped her get some ideas.  Bret took Emily and Easton shopping and I took the other too boys.  Both Bret and I had drawn names too.  I think that out of all the gifts we opened we all looked forward to these the most.  A few days before Bret and I were talking about taking kids shopping and he needed help with a game plan.  I mentioned that Emily had Logan.  Bret said no I thought she had you.  I corrected him and he let it go.  Turns out Emily did have me and told me she had Logan to throw me off.  Totally worked!

Long story short about Christmas this year.  Bret did get me a gift but it wasn't here by Christmas.  He ordered me floor mats for my car.  I had so many mixed reactions about this gift.  It was very thoughtful and useful.  I do love them in my car.  I was thrilled that he came up with the idea all on his own.  However, I was still a tiny bit disappointed.  We don't usually spend a lot on each other for Christmas.  One year we got each other the same board game on accident.  This was the first time we spent a little more and he got me floor mats.  Just once I wish he would be a little impulsive.  Jewelry or a new purse would have been awesome. 

We talked about it later and I was honest with him.  I also told him I was a little disappointed that there was nothing under the tree.  I had gotten him a new grill, a K-State shirt, shotgun shells, and a bunch of little things for his bar.  He loved it.  Again it's the little things that to me shout "I think about you and love you".  Bret promised to work on it and neither of us let it impact our holiday.  Here's to still trying to make a marriage better and constantly working at things.

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