Shortly after I met Dan he happened to mention that he was more of a gift giving on random days kind of guy than a gift giving on traditional holidays kind of guy. It’s not that he doesn’t appreciate birthday, anniversary, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day gifts, it’s just that they don’t hold the same value for him as random acts of kindness and love. To his way of thinking, everyone gives gifts on those days, it’s the surprises that speak of his affection for me the loudest.
I was actually heartened to hear this admission because the first part of recovery is acknowledging your failings and weaknesses. (Wink, wink.)
My sweet liberal dad likes to joke that he’s always known that I would become conservative as an adult because I savor tradition so. Few things delight me more than watching how with each passing year the roots of our family traditions grow deeper and stronger. Those holidays that come round as reliably as the changing of the seasons — and the tokens of affection that come with them — are the treats that I savor the most.
Over the years, though, as our life has grown richer–but also busier–I have come to see that perhaps my husband was onto something with his belief that unexpected gifts and acts of love are treasures–treasures whose worth only increases as we journey farther into the heart and madness of marriage. I can’t tell you how much it means to me when he surprises me with some little lagniappe when I am least expecting it. To know that he was thinking about me as we each went about our busy days makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
And actually, it goes beyond simply delighting me. It lifts me up and strengthens me. It reminds me that I don’t have to face any darkness alone because I have someone who wants me to be happy, healthy, and whole; someone who cares about my being well.
If I’m going to be honest, I have to acknowledge that perhaps his preferences for gift giving leave a little bit more room for God to move in our marriage. It may seem silly to some to talk about the movement of God in the middle of a reflection on gift giving. But how many times has a loved one unexpectedly done something sweet for you on a day that you really needed a pick-me-up? I can’t help but think that such kindnesses are often an answer to a prompting from God.
All this is not to say that I was wrong and he was right, mind you, but that perhaps we were both right. Holiday love is grand but so is the love that bubbles up and expresses itself in the most unexpected times and places.
My sweet husband — knowing how important holiday gift giving is to me — has always made an effort to express his love for me on such days so I want to make an effort to surprise him with gestures of love more often.
Here are a few easy ways in which I plan to shower my husband with love:
- By giving him gifts wrapped up with all the passion that I bring to wrapping gifts on holidays. Nothing huge, just little things that remind me of him.
- By baking him desserts. You know how they say that the way to a man’s heart is through him stomach? Pie is the gateway to my husband’s heart so pie he shall have.
- By bringing a little extra spice to our marriage. We’re both already very passionate people so I’ll have to be clever, but the expression of physical love seems almost guaranteed to delight.
- By penning love notes and then tucking them into his briefcase, sock drawer, or other spot where he’ll just happen to stumble upon it.
- By providing him time to do the things that he doesn’t often get to do as the father of many. Maybe it’s simply going to the movies alone or perhaps it’s helping him to pursue his passions but time is a hot commodity around here and I suspect he’d be very grateful indeed.
- By completing this 14-day love challenge again.
- By making it a point to be extra encouraging.
Won’t you brainstorm with me, girls? What are other ways in which we wives can surprise our husbands with random acts of affection?