“What do you want for Christmas?” My husband asks me this and I ask him the same at some point each December. And every year we have to rack our brains to come up with something we’d want / like as a gift.
We do our Christmas shopping for family and friends, sometimes with a clearly defined list, sometimes not; occasionally well in advance of the event, mostly horribly late. And whilst trailing round the shops, and fighting through the crowds, we check out all the possible festive gifts for one another, and buy none of them.
Neither of us gets revved up over a gift boxed set of random products or a new winter sweater; but equally neither of us can come up with something that we really, really want for Christmas. Now, this has nothing to do with a lack of imagination; more to do with the fact that there’s very little we need. And always having one essential eye on the family bank balance generally makes those things we’d quite like to have fall into the “non-essential” category, and they tend to stay there un-purchased.
Also, being a family of makers and doers, arts and crafts have always featured strongly in our November and December leisure time; the results of which have been the most amazingly weird and wonderful Christmas gifts over the years. Personally, I like to receive a handmade gift; it warms my heart to think of someone lovingly slaving away just to put a smile on my face.
However, when this year’s request came for my gift ideas, I decided to seriously go for it just for comic value:
1. A January holiday, jetting off to somewhere warm, just the two of us
2. A camera; one which zooms in and out properly and takes video footage
3. A posh expensive dress and a pair of high heeled pointy shoes (even though they’ll make me too tall)
4. A new car; a slinky fast sporty number to replace my battered old box on wheels
I could have gone on, plenty, really I could, but that would have been overkill. I also know that a couple of those requests can be accommodated without too much pain.
And my husband’s response to my question, “What do you want for Christmas?” He said the same thing he’s said for the last 30 or so years,
“I’ll have you stark naked please with a ribbon on for Christmas!”
Well, this wish has never actually been granted to him, what with small children, teenagers, grandparents and all the other manic stuff of Christmas mornings. And no, you really shouldn’t feel sorry for the man of the house, as the only difference between his Christmas morning dream and any other ordinary morning will be the bloody bow.
However, after 30 years of him first asking for me naked with a ribbon on for Christmas, and me never quite managing to get it all wrapped up beautifully and presented properly for first thing Christmas Day, I’ve decided that this year, my lovely midlife husband will get his wish. We have no small children to attend to these days; there’ll be no pressure to perform (Oh God).
I will, of course, make sure he also has a gift or two tucked under the tree for later, even though we both know that the best things in life really are for free. My only worry is, what will he ask for next year?