Friday, December 19, 2008

Darn It!
Gary (and Santa) have got me beat!

Okay, so the girls are all bought for. I believe that Santa has found all of the perfect gifts for them, and Gary and I have thrown in a few extra things for good measure.

Now the real fun begins, as Gary and I get each other's gifts and start getting them under the tree.

Each year, we give ourselves a budget to spend on each other. It's not an extravagant amount, but it's an amount that's perfect to get one nice, "bigger" item and then a bunch of smaller items. We've experimented with different amounts before, and discovered that it was too little or too much, and how we do it now is pretty much just right.

I know that a lot of husbands and wives don't worry too much about getting each other gifts, but I love to get gifts for Gary and--let me be honest--I love to get gifts from Gary too. And,whether he actually enjoys shopping for them or not (although he pretty much exclusively buys them all online and has them shipped), Gary is an excellent gift-buyer. In fact, I've told him he needs to do a course entitled something like "A Guy's Guide to Buying the Perfect Gifts for the Lady in Your Life."

Gary is really good at it because he usually takes the list I give him...I can come up with tons of ideas for me; I'm incredibly easy to buy for...and gets me several things from it. But then he manages to find me a couple of other gifts that are just right for me. Things that have sentimental meaning (like the time he got me a Thomas Kinkaid print entitled "McKenna's Cottage") or that just fit me perfectly (like the Cowboy snowman, since I love snowmen and love Texas; or the cool wine refrigerator from last year). He really does have the special touch when it comes to buying for me.

One thing, though, that I've always prided myself on is that I usually manage to get him at least one more gift than he's got me. Because, let's face it, I'm the Queen of Good Deals and I can usually stretch my budgeted amount further than he can. Which means that on most Christmas Eves he's got me eight gifts, and I've managed to have him nine.

So, right now I'm pretty mad at him. Because he has me FIFTEEN gifts under the tree and, by my best estimation, I will have him ten!

(I know that this sounds like a huge number of gifts, but it's really not that materialistic and indulgent. Our budgeted amount is pretty small, but we get each other things like books and jewelry and bubble bath. Well, Gary gets me bubble bath.)

I'm hoping that Gary has done something like wrapped me three pairs of socks individually and that he is totally just messing with me. Because now I feel like I am totally Getting Beat and I've got to find a way to buy him like six more gifts...and I'm out of money to do it!! LOL

While I try to figure out a way to wrangle some more gifts for him under the tree, I'm going to be honest. I'm going to totally enjoy each and every one of of these gifts for me.

Because I am a Gift Shaker. Gary knows that he has to get my gifts under the tree with at least two weeks to go until Christmas, because I've got to sit down every night under the tree and shake and rattle and squeeze my gifts. (This is a skill I totally developed from my Mom, who also loves to analyze her gifts beforehand.) Gary quickly learned that this is something I love to do, and he's indulged me from our very first holiday together. So, yes, he's had gifts for me under the tree for a while now and I've been shaking them religiously every night.

I am also a Lover of Little Gifts, meaning he can get me the aforementioned bubble bath and I'm totally happy. I get serious joy out of opening all of those gifts. I guess it could be the five-year-old inside of me still.

While they say that Christmas is for children and I do absolutely agree that kids are what make it so fun and magical (believe me, having a four-year-old in the house is the BEST way to enjoy this season), I also believe that adults can get in on the magic too. And that's why our gift giving to each other is so important to me.

It doesn't matter so much what we spend on each other, or even what we get each other, but the fact that we spend time thinking about what each other likes and wants and that we enjoy the process (the kidding each other about how many gifts we got the other, or tempting the other when a gift arrives in the mail, or wrapping and tagging the gifts with funny little messages to each other, or the moment when we finally unwrap each other's gifts...on Christmas Eve, when all the kids are finally asleep, with a fire going and some wine to enjoy) so very much.

This year, as I think about how I'm going to manage to get Gary a few more gifts under the tree even though I'm over-budget, how about I share with you some of the things I'm hoping are part of the fifteen gifts from Gary that are taunting me from under the tree?

I told him (and Santa too, in just in case!) that I'd love to have some of these fun things...

(because I have become totally addicted that t.v. show and only discovered it in its current, third season)

(because the movie made me laugh until I cried...and Pierce Brosnan is so very easy on the eyes!)

(because I could use some Sunday afternoon NFL-watching attire)

(because I love anything and everything cupcake-related. That first thing, by the way, is a cookie jar. How cute!)

(because these have got to be the cutest perfume bottles ever, and the perfume is wonderfully scented too!).

Until Christmas Eve, I'm imagining what Santa Gary has for me under the tree.

And I'm enjoying the anticipation I see in the girls' faces and hear in their voices.

Christmas is coming very's less than four days until Christmas Eve...and, I for one, am ready for it to get here!


Becky Welch said...

I got Mamma Mia from one of my best friends for Christmas! Damon and I watched it last night. Love it! I actually made a Christmas list this year - a first in a long time! My Damon is good about shopping as well. Hope you get all on your list!

Gretchen said...

I love this post, Cheryl. This honest: yes, momma likes gifts, too! no matter what the size, shape or $. it IS the thought...

Maybe I'll have to tell Big to come over and read it. :)

I'm sure you'll find a way to beat Gary. I mean, isn't that the true meaning of Christmas? LOL! Maybe you could take apart one of his gifts and put it into smaller bags or something. And...there's always "coupons". Think of the cute ones you could create with all your scrapping stuff.


Auburn Kat said...

You two are so cute!

Heather Prins said...

hee hee what a fun post and i can totally relate! This is the first year I have no idea what the bigger item will be for my hubby!!! All about the numbers baby!!!LOL

Maria Hammon said...

I love exchanging gifts with the hubby, too! We give each other presents every year and I love that. Of course, Sabrina is the first we shop for! We are finally almost done with her stuff and I'm pretty sure Santa has finished all of his shopping for her, too. :D

I love Christmas! And yes, the little things, the inexpensive ones, are always the best ones! The more meaningful ones. The ones that say "I know you, and I know you'll love this."

Off to finish wrapping stuff...LOL.

Ms.L said...

hee hee I try and out do my man too! He has me beat this year but I was able to get him everything on his list plus some so it's ok;p

I agree,you two are cute!
real role models for a great marriage:)

Adrienne said...

Ohhhh I love that cupcake cookie jar!

Mom of 3 said...

Cute cupcake stuff and I think that is great what Gary and you do for each other. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

Jenster said...

I can't wait to come back and see what all you got!! I LOVE the cookie jar. Very cute.

We had our Christmas yesterday so we don't have to lug gifts to California tomorrow. I bought my daughter Mamma Mia and we watched it last night. So much fun! But be forewarned. There's one part that will make you cry. (You can read my blog if you want. It doesn't give anything away.)

This was the first year ever that Todd and I didn't give each other gifts. It was so hard not to buy him anything! But we spent a goodly sum on plane tickets so we decided to take what we'd spend on each other and spend it on the kids - still not much. lol I imagine we'll get back to our lists next year. :o)

Heather said...

I hope you get everything you've wished for! I really love the cupcake holder that thing is tooo cool!!!! Merry Christmas!

Gin said...

I cant wait to see what you get. Yes, you and Gary are cute.

Monogram Queen said...

Mommy and Daddy gotta have Santa too! Most definitely! We take care of Madison first and foremost but we buy for each other too. Stacy isn't too bad a gift-giver either. Very rare for a man (in my experience anyway!)