I remember the first Christmas Hubs and I were married. We got married in October so we were still very much in the getting use to each other stage in December. I had been saving money so that I could buy my love special Christmas tokens. I put the weight of showing love in areas it shouldn't be, and I felt that spending money and buying things was the key to showing my love.
I had the excitement of a six year old as I wondered what my new husband would buy me. In my naiveté I somehow thought all newly married brides could count how much their husbands loved them by the gift(s) he gave. Of course you know how much fallacy is in that kind of thinking. I now know different and to look back all those years ago makes me shudder at my behavior.
Christmas approached closer and closer. Still, I didn't see any presents appear for me under our tree. My heart got heavy.... Did he not love me? If he loved me he would certainly be putting a lot of thought and time into picking out a gift for me, right? Didn't all new brides get earrings, bracelets, necklaces???? Well, didn't they? So, I waited. I cried to my mom... Her wisdom told me to not worry and to trust my husband.
On Christmas morning I awoke, like a small child, and wondered if "Santa" had brought me anything. Surely during the night Hubs had hidden a gift. He smilingly seen my search and remarked, "maybe you should check the stockings." I did. It was nearly empty, but when tipped upside down two watches fell out into my lap. Now, you might be thinking I should have been ecstatic... I wasn't. I was in tears. My husband's face fell. Right before my eyes his face crumbled with he sound of my sobs.
The watches he gave me were his mothers. He quietly explained to me that he had saved them to give to me. He tried to hold me as he told me how he had new batteries put in at the jewelry store, had them cleaned, and lovingly thought of me wearing them. He thought I would be pleased. I wasn't. I felt cheated. I was stupid and juvenile.
I ruined our first Christmas together by putting the weight of our love for each other on things. I was already feeling like I was living in the shadow of my MIL. Hubs giving me her jewelry was the straw that broke the camels back. But it was also the straw that brought about both of us making some changes and understanding even more about each other.
Looking back, I wonder how I could have been so idiotic and immature. You can't gage the love someone has for you by what they will buy or give you.
The ultimate gift has already been given to each of us, all we have to do is open it and have belief, faith, repentance, and then take on the covering of Christ through baptism. All other gifts are just things that have no real meaning. Most of the gifts we will receive under the tree this year will be forgotten, lost, or broken before next Christmas, but the gift God gave is everlasting throughout all the ages.
Yes, all those years ago I didn't understand the gift God had given me. I didn't understand that things amount to very little in this life. What really matters has no price tag. I understand it now. The older I get the more I realize that the things I really want and need can't be bought.