If you haven’t yet figured out what to get your spouse for Christmas, it’s not too late to do something creative and thoughtful that will bless their socks off.
How about 12 days of Christmas gifts, one each day leading up to Christmas?! (Or perhaps a few days into the New Year, for those of us procrastinators who are usually late getting started? No judgment. Our husbands will probably appreciate getting gifts well past Christmas anyway.)
There’s no better way to tell someone “I love you” than to show that you’ve thought about them enough to plan a series of surprises specifically tailored to their likes and needs. Your list will look different from mine, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Send love texts. Your words have the power to breathe life into your spouse. Bless your husband with a text that lists 5 things you love about him. Send him a smooch emoticon and tell him you can’t wait for him to get home. Or thank him for something that usually goes unappreciated (like car maintenance or taking care of the bills). If you’re drawing a blank and looking for some inspiration, the Dating Divas have put together a list of love texts to get your creative ideas flowing. You can check them out here.
- Plan a Christmas picnic. Who says picnics are only for summertime? Find a sitter for the evening and transform your living room into a cozy winter wonderland. Spread a blanket on the floor and fill a basket with your spouse’s favorite Christmas foods.
- Pray for him/her outloud. Many of us feel uncomfortable praying out loud, but it can be a powerful and intimate experience. Recently I prayed for my husband on his birthday when it was just the two of us, and we both got teary-eyed. There’s something special about bringing our Lord into our relationship in such a forefront way, and prayer can allow you to express your gratitude in ways that may otherwise feel awkward. If praying outloud still makes you feel wierd, consider writing out your prayer beforehand and reading it out loud. No one says it has to be spontaneous to be heartfelt.
- Give cuddles and snuggles. Let’s face it: if you’re a wife planning a surprise for your husband, few things will make him happier than a night of physical affection. But if you’re one of the men reading this blog, know that many wives would also be thrilled by a night of romance. Lock the door, light some candles, and woo your spouse with a relaxing massage.
- Duty-free day. Give your spouse the day off by taking over their chores for a day. Think ahead and anticipate what tasks they usually do that you can do for them. Make their breakfast, pack their lunch, warm their car, fill the tank, take out the trash, walk the dog… you get the idea. Give them a break and you may even realize how much more you have to be thankful for!
- Hot chocolate and movie night. Plan a hot date night with cocoa and a movie in bed. You can get all fancy with different flavor syrups (raspberry is my favorite!), toppings (marshmallows, chocolate shavings, sprinkles), and stir-sticks (chocolate-covered spoons, anyone?). Or just keep it simple and make hot chocolate from a box. My husband prefers Nestle Hot Cocolate (I’ll never understand why), but I’m a Swiss Miss fan myself.
- Love notes. I don’t know about you, but I could probably fill an entire book with all the love notes my husband and I wrote each other when we were dating. Maybe even a short series of books. But once we got married, those notes trickled to the occassional card now and them. Surprise your spouse with lucious love notes hidden all over the place. Stash them in their lunch bag, on their dashboard, in their wallet, and even in their pant pockets if you’re sly enough. Bombard your loved one with words of affirmation that will make them smile long after the words are read.
- Stuff a stocking. Fill his stocking with more than the usual chocolates and giftcards. Think love notes, love dares, and even a few love items. You can find TONS more creative ideas (and cute printables!) here.
- Framed photo. Go through all those digital photos that are hibernating on your drive and pick one that brings back memories of a fun date or an unusual experience you shared together. Print it for a few cents, pick up a frame at the dollar store, and frame it for an inexpensive but thoughtful gift.
- Clean and wash the car. This is seriously one of the most loving things my husband does for me. I’m not very good at keeping my car clean, but I DO appreciate a clean car. If you’re in a similar situation, consider turning the tables and returning the favor for your spouse. Even better, plan to execute your surprise in the middle of the workday, so that your unsuspecting spouse returns to the parking lot to find the car they left their magically transformed while they were sitting at a desk. Bonus points if you leave their favorite candy bar on the seat.
- Apologize and commit. Sometimes the most thoughtful gift is also the simplest. And the hardest. Invite your spouse to share with you openly and honestly what you can do to better love them. Ask them what things you do that hurt them or annoy them. Ask them how you can serve them and express love in ways they understand and appreciate. Apologize for ways that you’ve wronged them, and commit to making one little change that will improve your relationship.
- Coupon book. Always a classic, the good ol’ coupon book is the gift that keeps on giving. You can make this yourself or you can find ideas on Pinterest. If you can afford it, try to buy a few gift cards for date nights ahead of time and plan them out over the next year to alleviate some of the pressure if your spouse is usually responsible for planning date nights. Or simply write out coupons for your spouse’s favorite breakfast, a night out with the guys, or whatever he enjoys doing that you don’t. This way you carry on the fun of 12 Days of Christmas Gifts into the rest of the year (find more fun ideas at The Unveiled Wife here).
At the end of the day, the point isn’t to wow your spouse with your creativity or your planning skills. The point is to make them feel loved. Keep this as simple or make it as jazzed up as you like, but look for ways to communicate love and affection to your spouse this Christmas. Your deepened relationship will last long after the hype of Christmas morning passes, and you’ll both be grateful for it.