Men and Christmas
I cannot write a post that neglects to mention Christmas: the magic of twinkling lights and pretty presents, the rigors of shopping and the giddy smell of pine, the tasty treats and the hot apple cider. I love Christmas; probably because I am a traditionalist and Christmas is chock full of tradition. So, naturally, I was surprised to learn that my husband does not share the same intense feelings about Christmas that I do.
The other night as we were drifting off to sleep, I sat up and said, “Honey, we need to decide on a Christmas budget… And that includes décor.”
“Décor?” Adam says.
“Yes, décor. All we have is a wreath and a cookie jar,” I reason. I throw a dollar amount out there for him to ponder. (Believe me, it was practical.)
“That’s the budget for décor?!” Adam exclaims.
“Well, I guess it can include the tree,” I say.
“Fine, but it’s coming out of your Christmas gifts.”
And that my friends, is the extent of my husband’s Christmas spirit. Granted, he does want an Advent calendar. I am happy to oblige him. But Adam could really care less about decorating the tree. (I have to lure him with spiked cider or hot toddies.) He doesn’t seem to mind if we have stockings or not, but he did help me pick them out. And without a doubt, he cannot comprehend why the table has to look pretty at all times during the holidays with Christmas-themed linens.
As I reflect on these differences that are coming to light, I feel all right that Adam does not connect with me on this level. If he did, I would be worried. I cannot picture us arguing over napkin rings or the Christmas tree’s color scheme. What I appreciate is the fact that he’s trying. If I need help deciding on stockings or what kind of tinsel to buy, Adam helps me make the decision. When I force him to go holiday shopping, he groans but he jumps right in and is an enormous help. Tonight, he’ll bear the main burden of the tree: on top of his car and carrying it up 3 flights of stairs to our apartment. He’ll clean up the kitchen after I have a holiday baking extravaganza. And I do hope he’ll help me wrap all those Christmas presents.
What I’ve learned is that he may not tear up like I do when the holiday Publix commercials come on the TV; and he may not agonize over our Christmas mantel. That wreath that’s propped up against the wall still waiting to be hung – he’s probably reading this going, “What wreath?” But he does care about making me happy. If lugging an eight foot tree up three flights of stairs in 40-degree weather will make me happy (and it will), Adam will do it. That is a Merry Christmas to me, even if all my presents this year are wreaths, garlands, and stockings.