My husband, Adam, recently wrote an article during the Black Friday bustle about how he discovered the greatest gift he could give me was the gift of himself. Adam definitely has the right idea here, but I have to admit that one of my favorite things about Christmas is coming up with the perfect gift for my husband.
But, like many couples this Christmas, we don’t have much money to spend on one another, In fact, trying to come up with a Christmas gift for Adam this year reminds me of O. Henry’s short story, “The Gift of the Magi.” In it, a young wife sells her most prized possession, her hair, in order to have enough money to buy a chain for her husband’s most prized possession, an heirloom watch. Little does she know, but he sold his watch to buy her combs for her beautiful hair. It’s a touching story about love, sacrifice, and realizing that the greatest Christmas gift they have is each other.
Adam and I want our gifts to be meaningful, but he is not selling his watch and you better believe I am not selling my hair. Instead, in addition to a small, $20 gift, we decided to exchange “Open When” letters. “Open When” letters can be anything from “Open when you’re mad at me” to “Open when you’ve had a tough day” to “Open when you miss me.” We’ll each write four and will base the topics off of areas where the other person struggles most.
I’m really excited about our letter exchange. Adam and I have a history of exchanging letters, so this gift will be especially meaningful for us. I also can’t wait to see the impact it will have on our relationship.
Our “Open When” letters will truly be a gift from the heart, and my guess is that they’ll do more for us than any TV or diamond necklace will (not that those aren’t lovely gifts!). Taking the time to write our feelings on paper will also remind us that just like the couple in O. Henry’s story, the greatest gift we give one another is the gift of ourselves, our lives.
What about you? What gift will you give your significant other this Christmas? How do you make it meaningful?