Written by contributing writer, Trina Holden.
Chances are this week you’re in the thick of making a list and checking it twice and I’m sure you don’t think you need one more thing to think about. But even while encouraging simplicity this Christmas, I’m gonna throw out a unique challenge.
I’m gonna suggest you add one more thing to your list.
Yes, I know you have him on your list already, and maybe you’ve already found just the right gift to bless him on Christmas Day. But what about today? What about the busy weeks counting down to Christmas, when your time and energy are stretched to fulfill all that this season requires of you as a wife and mother and homemaker? Is there a way you can keep this most important relationship – this man God has given you, in the forefront of your thoughts, maintaining your friendship even in this hectic season?
There is a way you can add a little holiday spice to your marriage. It’s so simple, it’s almost corny. But I’ve been keeping this little tradition with my husband for 6 years and every year he says it’s his favorite part of the whole season.
We call it “Twelve Days” but it has nothing to do with Partridges and Pear Trees. The idea is that I give him a little gift on each of the twelve days leading up to Christmas. The gifts are not big, often just a favorite cookie or candy, but the value of the gift lies in that I’ve thought of him. When he finds 3 envelopes on the ‘Third Day of Christmas’ or a half a dozen of his favorite cookies on Day Six, his eyes light up like a kid at Christmas, and I fall in love with the tradition (and him!) all over again.
If you’d like to start this tradition in your house, it’s not too late! I usually call Dec. 13th our ‘first day’, so you still have time to gather some things from around the house or on your next trip to town. Here’s a list of items to get you started…
Day 1: Any single object – this is where I usually spend a little money and give him something I’d otherwise have tucked under the tree. A hat, tool, piece of masculine jewelry, etc.
Day 2: Think pairs! Socks, gloves, matching mugs for him and her, sunglasses, pants, long underwear, tickets to a concert or a game.
Days 3, 4, 5, and 6: What comes in packs? Golf balls, socks, briefs, favorite candy, guitar picks, favorite beverage, refills for his razor.
Days 7, 8, 9, 10, 11: Higher numbers get a little trickier – just think ‘small’ and you can do it! Cookies, packaged and delivered to work. A CD with 11 songs. Post-it-note love notes hidden through the house.
Day 12: Think ‘by the dozen’ or ’12 months in a year’. A magazine subscription, coupons for a monthly date night or a dozen chicken wings for lunch.
- A book or film with a number in the title
- A series of emails or texts sent to him throughout the day
- A gift certificate or coupons for his favorite meal
- A collection of poems (Haiku is a quick and easy!)
- One year I publicly praised my husband by posting 10 things I loved about him on my blog
- Decorate your bedroom with a number of lit candles
- Love letters — New or old
- A custom CD of your favorite love songs
- Coupons to redeem for a massage — given by you!
Once you’ve collected your little gifts, wrap the items up and stash them away where he won’t find them. I jot down which gift I’m giving him on which day in my day planner so I don’t forget. I also like to plan when and how to present each gift — under his pillow, on his vehicle seat, in his work boots — so I have everything thought out in advance, and I can pull off our little tradition with ease despite the rush of those final days leading up to Christmas.
It takes just a little extra effort on my part to fit this in with everything else, but it is totally worth it for the sparkle it brings to our relationship at a time where it might otherwise suffer. It helps me keep my man my priority even when so many other things call. I look forward to Dec. 13th and eagerly anticipate to the look on his face when he realizes his favorite tradition has begun again.