Archives December, 2016

23 December
Chris Arends

What to get your wife for Christmas is an age-old question. From the Gift of the Magi to A Christmas Story, men have been getting it wrong. Even when we listen to our wives we still manage to screw it up. My wife is great about not wanting stuff. Never really has. She always says we have too much stuff, not enough storage or she won’t really use what I think might be a good gift.

The reason I am not getting my wife anything for Christmas is she doesn’t want any thing. And its not that I don’t want to get her anything. Heck she deserves whatever she wants for putting up with my and the boys. It just seems that I never can get her the right thing. Wrong size, wrong color, wrong model, wrong thoughtful idea. No matter what I find a way to mess things up. So what she started doing is asking me to do things for her. Build this, fix that, help the kid’s type of things. Now that sounds sweet and like a bonus for me in that I don’t have to battle the malls or hope that Amazon can get it here on time but the reality is she is asking for one of the hardest things in the world.

Now, I will do my best to get as many of them done over the holidays and fortunately, my company shuts down over the holidays so you would think this would be no problem. The funny thing is between visiting family, watching football (doesn’t that count as family time?) and getting in an end of the year ride or two (she wouldn’t want me getting fat and dying early?). Add in then the kids work schedule, the weather or some other random event and suddenly it is time to go back to work and our regular schedule and low and behold I have failed to get my wife anything for Christmas.

So this year I am setting the bar low. I am not going to set any false expectations. While what my wife wants is one of the hardest things to give and what she deserves, making promises and not keeping them is worse than getting her nothing makes her frustrated and me feeling like a heel.
The goal is to not disappoint her this year. I am going to promise her my time but in ways that she can enjoy and that I can deliver.


6 December
Chris Arends

I have been reading “Tuesdays with Morrie” which was left behind by Nick when he went off to college this fall. In it he talks about living as if today were the day were your last. As this is the Christmas season it got me thinking about the future. With Nick and Christine still dating and Robert thinking of the military as an option for next year this could be our last Christmas together with two special people that could very loosely be regarded as children in the house.

With Robert at almost 6’7″ it is hard to call him a child but he is still our little boy. He doesn’t have the responsibilities of being an adult yet but is quickly making some of those transitions. Nick is off at college so we don’t see or talk to him as much already and he is moving quickly towards going his own way.

While at the request of my Wife and Mother-in-law I have made a Christmas list, what I really want for Christmas this year is for the boys to take time to enjoy the season. This could be the last chance to have a Christmas season where all they have to do is go along for the ride. I want them to think about what it means to be Home. Giving their Mother the “gift” of doing their laundry, making the food they like and of course her baking. I want them to b engaged with the activities that are going on around with both their friends and family. Don’t spend too much time playing video games and share what is going on with those you care about. Before they know it they will have other distractions in the holiday season. As they get older, work, travel, eventually their own families and other distractions that will get in the way of truly enjoying the season.

I know this wish may be as elusive as flying reindeer but I am optimistic.