Last week I posted this picture on Facebook and told everyone what I wanted for Christmas. I knew it was impossible, but the dream was to cuddle with my hubby on a cold winter's night, in front of a roaring fireplace, in mountain cabin. I love the mountains, and have always wanted to own a cabin where we could vacation as a family, or where I could go to write. Some place where things were simple and life could slow down. No phones, no internet, no television. Just somewhere I could breathe.
This year, the economy has hit us harder than usual (as it has with most people) and we knew the Christmas budget was going to be tight. In order to make sure our son had plenty of presents under the tree, my husband and I decided not to exchange gifts this year. No big deal, we told ourselves. We felt the desire to get back to basics and simplify our lives anyway and this was exactly what our family needed.
Now this doesn't mean we went all out with Joshua, quite the opposite. We were very selective, purchased clothing items he needed and then a few choice fun things we felt he would enjoy.
Come Christmas Eve, as always, we allowed Joshua to open one gift before going to bed. The one he picked was a very small package and ended up being a plastic snakes and insects we picked up at the dollar store. You would have thought it cost hundreds of dollors by the reaction we got. He loves those things and I truly think we could have taken all the other gifts back and he would have been perfectly satisfied with just having that one gift. He went to bed a very happy boy.
Completely satisfied, I told my husband I was headed to bed as well, knowing Joshua would be up at the crack of dawn to see what else he'd received. However, my husband had other ideas. He made me go to my office like a little kid being sent to her room for bad behavior. I was told to stay there until he said I could come out. Several minutes passed until he came to get me with instructions to enter the living room with my eyes closed. I was more than anxious to see what he had planned, for this was not something my husband had ever done before. He's a bit of a no nonsense kind of guy, never thinking ahead and planning, but heading out at the last minute to get a quick gift.
Once in the living room, I was allowed to open my eyes. He'd turned off all the lights except for the Christmas tree, and the TV, where he'd put on a DVD of a roaring fire in a fireplace. I was completely overcome by my emotions, grabbed him in a huge hug and bawled like a little baby. I hadn't even told him about my Christmas wish, he'd just seen it on Facebook and taken it upon himself to get me as close as he could to the real thing. For over an hour, we snuggled on the couch, watching the flames and listening to the crackle of the fire. It didn't take much imagination to wisk us away to that mountain cabin. As far as I was concerned, we were there.
After 23 years of marriage and hundreds of gifts exchanged for all occassions, I have to say that this one single gift meant more to me than all the others put together. It came from his heart in a time when he knew I needed something positive and uplifting in my life. Nothing else could ever top it, not even if we get that real cabin in the mountains some day. It will only be a close second to this past Christmas Eve.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed your family and the true meaning of Christmas. Thanks for letting me share mine with you.