Sometimes we need a lot as women to feel loved. A gigantic bouquet of flowers, an expensive dinner at a five-star restaurant, diamond ANYTHING! The list can go on and on. But as I get older I realize that what was once important isn’t and what wasn’t that important now is.
I recall chatting with a college professor one time about what he was getting his wife for their anniversary. I was shocked when he said not a thing and that they don’t do many surprise gifts anymore. Christmas gifts for them were more about needs than wants; a new washer and dryer, a muffler for the car, braces for the kid. I was horrified and swore I would never be that boring or lame. After all, presents were what made anniversaries and holidays special! I stuck by that promise for quite a while. My husband and I always did something special for our anniversary and always gave gifts and cards. Pearl necklaces, new clothes, huge bouquets delivered to my office, it all was exactly what I wanted… and frankly expected.
Fast forward to present day. Our anniversary was spent on vacation in MN to visit family. Neither of us had remembered to purchase cards for each other. Although we were celebrating nine years together the day wasn’t spent centered on what we wanted to do as a couple but more about the family, specifically our 2 year old son. We visited the children’s museum not because that’s a place I would have enjoyed but because I wanted to see the smile it would bring to Little Man’s face. Dinner wasn’t at a 5 star restaurant but spent cooking a nice meal at home. My husband, upon returning from buying the groceries to make this family meal, didn’t bring me a huge bouquet eloquently arranged but a single red rose. And you know what? I wouldn’t have changed a thing! It was absolutely perfect and exactly how I wanted to spend our day celebrating the nine years that had brought us this far.
It has surprised me how differently I look at gifts and special celebrations. I don’t seem to need all the things we used to buy for each other before kids came along. The fact that my husband came home with a single perfect red rose meant more to me than any mushy card or jewelry. What meant even more was the fact that he also scoured the grocery store for a dessert he knew would make my eyes light up more than any expensive dinner ever could. And you know what? I don’t feel boring or lame at all.
How has your gift giving changed since the arrival of kids?