I am one of those wives everyone warns husbands about. When Mike asked me what I wanted for Christmas a few weeks back, I told him I didn’t really need anything.

“I don’t want to get you something you need, I want to get you something you want,” he explained. Wise man, that Mike.

Still, I couldn’t think of a blessed thing I wanted that could fit under our tree on December 25. I am fortunate enough to own my own piano. Mike gave me an old computer that works perfectly, and I bought a new phone just before getting laid off. I have a closet full of clothes for three different women – skinny Natalie, medium Natalie, and grande Natalie. I should donate two of these wardrobes, but I’m not ready to let go of the hope that I will one day fit back into my favorite pair of jeans. Besides, buying a whole new wardrobe every two years – about how often I change sizes – is getting old.

I have everything I want, in terms of “stuff.”

“There has to be something you want!” he pointed out.

“Well, yeah,” I relented, “but it’s all too expensive. I know it’s not realistic.”

He prodded, “Such as?”

“Well … I’d like lasiks. I hate wearing glasses. And I kind of need a new car. You know, my car is getting old and leaking oil. But I know that’s way too much,” I backpedaled, “and I don’t need those things. It would just be nice.”

He just looked at me, and I thought for another minute. “Actually, I mostly just want to go to Italy.” For the sake of truth-telling, I should have amended that to say “I’d like to sell everything we own and live in Italy or France for a year and travel the world,” but that’s more within the realm of “life goal,” not “Christmas present.”

He shook his head. “Yeah. All that stuff is too expensive. I mean, I want to do that for you, but …”

Bless his heart.

“No, no, no!” I interrupted him. “I don’t expect that, not at all. But see what I mean? I don’t want anything for Christmas. I don’t want stuff. I just want to save for things I really want. Can we save for those things? Not do gifts?”

I’m sure at this point Mike feared he was being trapped in some sort of high-stakes Christmas game where losing meant a disappointed wife, but I did my best to assure him of my sincerity.

Because no, I don’t want stuff. At this time in my life I’m more interested in experiences. I want adventures, not appliances.

Unless it’s an espresso machine so I can start making my own cappuccinos at home. But those are expensive, too, and given the choice, I’d rather be able to toss my glasses or spend two weeks in Florence.

“I can’t not get you anything for Christmas,” Mike insisted.

“Well, I’ve been wanting to go to the ballet…” I suggested.

I know. I am the worst.

Travel

See, you could wrap this, right?

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Comments

Christmas Gift Ideas — 18 Comments

  1. What do you hope you’ll get? Car or Lasik eye surgery,so you can get rid of your glasses.Whatever it is I hope you will have a very merry Christmas and a happy, ‘New Year’.
    Ranu

  2. My husband and I stopped exchanging presents years ago. We have too much stuff. Last year, he replaced my car wiper blades for me (at my request). Women I work with were appalled at how un-romantic that was, but not having to deal with that chore was exactly what I wanted. I think you should put the money you would have spent on each other into an Italy fund. 🙂
    Marcy recently posted…Playing the bodhran, an Irish frame drumMy Profile

  3. I agree with the others, an fund for Italy. It’s final, we’ve voted and that is what you shall have 🙂 I think it’s so loving and kind that Mike ‘wants’ you to have something, that in itself is a gift. You should share with him it is the experiences you want. Do you have a little Italy type of place near you? We have the North End in Boston. Loads of Italian restaurants and Italian speaking community with some cultural sights. Do you speak Italian? If not maybe you ask for a language class or however people learn other languages these days?? Italian cooking class? Book on Italy ? You could go so many places with this theme.
    Kim @ WampumHome recently posted…Unopened GiftMy Profile

  4. We are just as bad. I “bought” my husband a book he wanted, which he already ordered online and paid for it himself (I’ll transfer him the money later) and he bought me a new winter coat after Thanksgiving because I was whining about how the stains in my down jacket wouldn’t come out. Really romantic, huh? But my birthday present from him was totally unexpected and inspired (he rented a little Fiat for me for five days since I love them but we could never afford one) so I really don’t care.
    Ellen recently posted…The Main EventMy Profile

  5. My husband and I are the same way. There is nothing that I really want that I won’t go get for myself. However, a new car or a international trip would be devine…but not Christmas present worthy. I think we are avoiding getting each other gifts this year.

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