My Husband May Get a Lump of Coal This Christmas

My Husband May Get a Lump of Coal This Christmas December 4, 2023

Wise men
The wise men are not responsible for my having to find the perfect Christmas gift every year/Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Where Did the Idea of Christmas Gift-Giving Originate?

I had always believed that the tradition of gift-giving on Christmas originated with the wise men bringing gifts to baby Jesus. Much to my surprise, I discovered that gift-giving actually had pagan origins.  Long before Jesus was born, pagans were giving gifts during Saturnalia, an ancient Roman pagan festival honoring the agricultural god Saturn. The holiday, which occurred near the winter solstice, gave us many of the traditions we now associate with Christmas. It is a relief that I don’t have to blame the wise men for the agony I go through every year trying to find the right gifts for people, particularly my husband.

How Can I Be Expected to Find the Perfect Gift?

Is there anything more frustrating than trying to find the perfect Christmas gift for the man who has everything? Well, perhaps he doesn’t have everything, but he has everything he needs or mostly wants. I suppose this is a good problem compared to living under a bridge and worrying about whether the soup kitchen is open. All things being relative, I shouldn’t stress over finding the perfect gift for the man I’ve celebrated 32 Christmases with. But I still do. There has to be something under the tree for him to unwrap on Christmas morning. But after all this time, what is there left to give him?

I had the perfect gift one year. My husband is forever losing his hat. I can’t count the number of times he has left his hat in restaurants, stores, or under a pile of junk in his truck where he can’t find it. He had a favorite cap with Air Force Command Pilot wings that had gone MIA. I figured since he can never keep track of his hat, I would get him not one, but TWO replacements. That way he could always find one. Then, two days before Christmas, guess what his associate pastor gave him? Yep, you guessed it. My spouse was ecstatic. I was less so, as it made his reaction to my perfect planning fall flat on Christmas morning. But at least he now has THREE hats to lose.

My husband with two hats
My husband now has spare hats for when he loses one/image courtesy of author

Why Do Men Buy Themselves Gifts Before Christmas?

There also seems to be a Y-chromosome-related, irritating trend in our family. My father was the absolute worst person to buy a present for. But, invariably, when I found the perfect Christmas gift—something he needed or wanted—he would inexplicably go out and buy it for himself two weeks before Christmas. This is from a man who never shopped.

Now my husband is doing the same thing. A couple of years ago he wanted a smoker. (To smoke meats, not to light up.) Great! I had a tangible item with which to delight him on Christmas. So, in the spirit of my father, he bought himself one right before Christmas. I had to pray hard that he would not go online and order himself a new hat before Christmas last year. He doesn’t know the stress he puts me through every year with his bone-headed pre-Christmas purchases!

My Husband May Get a Lump of Coal

He has already pulled the same stunt this year when I finally thought of something he needed. Just a couple of weeks ago, while in Walmart, he said, “Oh, while we’re here, why don’t I pick up that XYZ that I need?” I became unglued and ranted, “Sure, go ahead and get it NOW and ruin the ONE AND ONLY THING I CAME UP WITH TO GET YOU FOR CHRISTMAS!” For some reason, he was nonplussed and refused to buy the XYZ. But I’ll be darned if I’m buying it for him now after he spoiled my only semi-good idea. He’ll just have to wait and buy it after Christmas. He may just find a lump of coal in his stocking on Christmas morning. I’ll bet that’s the one thing he won’t have pre-bought for himself.

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