The "First Gift" topic required some serious thought.
You'd think the "first" gift would be the most unforgettable, right?
My husband's first gift was. And after sifting through countless memories created by 23 years of marriage (this month, in fact!), four daughters, one grandson, and every life experience in between, I realized why I'd missed the quiet beauty and perfection behind his gesture.
Like a lot of couples, we married young...right out of high school practically. With college on the horizon and a baby on the way (oh, yeah, I'd gotten pregnant right off the bat!), Hamburger Helper was too expensive for our budget. Add to that, the Christmas holiday was fast approaching.
Hubby's boss had given every employee a Christmas tree (his brother owned a Christmas tree farm), and the smell of fresh pine filled our small apartment. I made popcorn garlands for decoration because, well, that's all we could afford.
A week before Christmas, I came home to find our Christmas tree decked out in beautiful Hallmark ornaments. I squealed in delight, and my husband smiled shyly. "I did extra work on a remodeling job, and they gave me this box filled with ornaments. I'm sorry none of the dates are right."
He was right. Not one ornament had a relevant date. Didn't matter. They were perfect. The thoughtfulness behind his gesture humbled me. The love they represented filled my soul.
We started a tradition that first Christmas together, one we've followed every year since: hanging those mismatched ornaments on the Christmas tree next to others we've collected over the years. They all have special meaning, but some of them-a select few-I cherish with all my heart.