Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Best Christmas Gift

The other night at the cookie exchange, I was reminded of how I really don’t appreciate my husband like I should. I’d like to blame it on 11 years of marriage – too much time passing by. However, the reminder came from Janet Swank whose married years have well surpassed my own.

The question was “What is the best Christmas gift you have ever received?” I’ve been asked this question a lot lately in different e-mail surveys and such. Still, I couldn’t really come up with that “special” gift. That is, until Janet mentioned hers. “Well, I was engaged on Christmas Day,” Janet started. My hand went to my head. How could I possibly forget what a special gift Rod gave me on that Christmas night in 1995? As Janet spoke, I was recounting my own memory and beating myself up for not being more of a romantic.

As I was talking to Rod about it, he assured me that all was well. As a matter of fact, he confessed to not really thinking about that moment anymore either. The justification I’m now giving is that the gift wasn’t actually under the tree or at a party. As a matter of fact, because it wasn’t given to me at a special moment like that, I had decided I wasn’t receiving a ring that day. (Despite the fact that I had accidentally come across the ring in the glove compartment of Rod’s car while looking for a tissue – oops! And despite the fact that we had already received premature congratulations from one of his relatives earlier in the day.)

We were on our way home from all of our Christmas celebrations and I had given up. I allowed myself to go to sleep. (It’s one of my favorite reasons to be a passenger rather than the driver.) When Rod woke me up, we were outside of The Plush Horse Ice Cream Parlor in Palos Park, Illinois. At this point, I knew what was going on because this is where Rod decided our relationship could become more than just friends.

We got out of the car, walked over to the bench where Rod had previously asked me to date him and he got down on one knee. I took the glove off my left hand, but he was adamantly attempting to take my right hand. He told me he had thought of all kinds of wonderful words to say to me at that moment but couldn’t come up with them right then. Would I marry him?

Has it seriously been 12 years since that moment? Why is it life can suck the memories from us? Why is it that after two kids, romance is not all it was cracked up to be in the earlier years? Where did my appreciation for my husband go over time? Honestly, Rod did give me the very best Christmas present that Christmas years ago. I realize with every passing year just how very blessed I am to share my life with Rod.


  1. Wow, Tristi. You got me all choked up with this one. Me and my Rod weren't engaged on Christmas, but your point still drives home very well with me. I especially could relate so well with your statment, "Why is it life can suck the memories away from us?". It seems that with the day to day tasks and responsibilities precious things like remembering the reason why we're walking through life with that man across the table or next to us in the car or sleeping next to us at night can get lost in the shuffle.
    Thanks for rekindling this old romantic and the memories that have not been forgotten, maybe just tucked under a lot of other stuff.

  2. I love this post Tristi. Adam & I were also engaged on a Christmas Eve 9 years ago. I related to everything you said here.

    Thanks so much for the reminder of the wonderful gift we have in our husbands!

  3. Cheryl and Kelly, thanks for your comments and the comfort that others can relate. Marriage truly takes work and it's good to remember to enjoy our spouse! I am going to make my best effort to appreciate Rod this week! It's been a while since I had to specify MY Rod.

  4. I would give my left arm to be married. (I feel like a character in a Jane Austen novel! Though they didnt' do a lot of arm-removing to catch men, did they?) I'm glad you guys are pausing to celebrate the awesome blessings that you have! (I suppose there's a message in there for me to celebrate my own blessings, right! C'mon, God, I'd love to celerate the blessing of a hubby!)

  5. Eva, I can only imagine it must be lonely not to share life with a husband. At the same time, I know a lot of lonely people out there living with a husband. I think about you often with this topic and share your prayer. At the same time, I've told Rod that I hope our girls will realize that their relationship with God is all they need to be complete (hence the title of my blog). A husband cannot fulfill those needs that we long for. Trust me, I try to have those expectations for Rod all the time and realize he just cannot live up to them. Only God can fill that longing in my heart. Praying he can fill your emptiness.