T’was the night before Christmas of my 36th one on this planet. Not a cat was stirring, not even a child. I stare at the ceiling of my darkened bedroom. My husband snoring away in his slumber. In my heart, I feel no excitement. I am looking forward to seeing our young daughters enjoy their Santa surprises.
I can’t remember the last Christmas I yearned for. Maybe, I am too old to look forward to Christmas surprises, or even birthday surprises. For years I have either picked out my own gift, or let my husband take over the domestic duties. Rarely do I open a surprise on the special occasions.
My eyes grow heavy and I drift off. I am awakened my anxious three year old wanting to go down a floor. We ramble down the stairs, the four of us, holding back the kiddos until we can feed the cat and start the Christmas morning coffee ( bonus for me!).
The kids tear into what Santa left. Over the course of an excited hour the squeals and delights are still echoing off the walls by the time I open my presents. A book I asked for, accompanied with a favorite wine, make me smile. I did feel a prediction, but it’s still nice I got what I wanted.
When we believe all the gifts are opened, my husband spies another one. It’s an envelope addressed to me. The kids run off playing with their new delights. I open the envelope and find a large gift card to my favorite spa.
I smile at the thought of an afternoon alone getting pampered. Then, the real first surprise of a long time drops. My dear hubby tells me it’s for an appointment he booked me in 3 days!!!! He will still be home for the holidays during that time.
Tears spring to my eyes at the spontaneous surprise. After 16 years of marriage it is not about flowers on Valentine’s Day, it is about taking care of one another when you least expect it.