Have you ever wondered how much it might cost to buy your husband everything listed in the carol, “The 12 Days of Christmas”? According to the PNC Wealth Management group, for someone who purchased all twelve gifts on the list this year including the partridge and the pear tree, the five gold rings, and the twelve drummers drumming, the price tag would be just under $28,000.
If that number doesn’t quite work with this year’s Christmas budget, don’t worry! There are other ways to share your gratitude and love for your spouse that won’t empty your checking account and can still be priceless. So instead of a one-year-subscription to that sausage and cheese club, why not take the twelve days of Christmas this year to show your husband twelve ways you’re thankful for his love? Here are a few ideas.
On the 1st day of Christmas… notice what he does.
Sometimes we find it easier noticing what hasn’t been done than what our husbands have actually made time to do. Yes, he forgot to take the trash out again – but did he help clear the table after dinner? Did he watch the kids after dinner so you could have that much needed bubble bath time to recharge? Take this day to notice only what your husband does and thank him as you see all of the different ways he helps you and your family. Refrain from telling him what you don’t appreciate.
On the 2nd day of Christmas… do something so he doesn’t have to.
Does he hate taking his car in to get the oil changed? Would he rather go to the dentist than put up Christmas lights? Does his man-cave space (i.e. TV room, garage, bathroom) need some TLC? Take time to do something he doesn’t have time for or doesn’t enjoy doing, and leave a note telling him why you did it. Because you’re thankful for having him in your life.
On the 3rd day of Christmas… warm up his car before he leaves for work.
While he’s getting ready for the day, plan for enough time to start his car so when he’s ready to leave, he’ll have a nice warm ride waiting for him. Add a sticky note on the dash that reminds him how much he warms your heart.
On the 4th day of Christmas… leave him a list of all the things you appreciate.
Over the years, I’ve given lists like this to my husband and I’ve found them later, tucked away in his wallet or top dresser drawer. It’s deeply meaningful to him to hear what qualities you love, whether that’s how he makes you laugh, or how he holds you when you cry. Don’t assume he already knows. Sometimes, it’s nice to be reminded.
On the 5th Day of Christmas… go to bed early and give him a massage from head to toe.
Making time for each other isn’t always easy, especially during a hectic holiday season. Show your husband how thankful you are for him by working out some of his stress knots and sore shoulders and calf muscles. Physical touch – not just sexual in nature– is a great intimacy builder.
On the 6th Day of Christmas… greet him at the end of the day with a big smile.
If you’re often more focused on kids and homework or kitchen or house or work duties (or maybe a combination of all of the above) when your husband arrives home, make a point to change that. Stop whatever you’re doing to give him a smile and a kiss and let him know how glad you are to see him. Ask him how his day was and thank him for what he does to help provide for your family.
On the 7th Day of Christmas… surprise him with his own personal lunch delivery at work.
Bring him takeout from his favorite restaurant in an old-fashioned picnic basket and don’t forget to include a few personal touches with real silverware, cloth napkins, and a note letting him know how grateful you are for him.
On the 8th Day of Christmas… purchase several of his favorite snacks.
Present them to him in a cute festive Christmas gift bag with a couple of candy canes tied to the bag. Include a note thanking him for all the times he’s done special things for you.
On the 9th Day of Christmas… send him several thank-you texts throughout the day.
Say “I appreciate the way you helped with dinner last night” or “I’m grateful for how you always help me see the humor in something.”
On the 10th Day of Christmas… offer to sit together and watch a movie he wants to watch.
Tell him how much you appreciate the times he does things with you that you enjoy.
On the 11th Day of Christmas… ask him what you can do for him to make his day easier.
Take his car to get washed? Run an errand? Make a phone call? Let him know in specific ways that you’re thankful he’s in your life.
On the 12th Day of Christmas… make him a special meal for dinner.
Go all out – thinking about his favorite food, plan an appetizer, main course and dessert. Decorate the table with candles and a beautiful table arrangement, and have it ready for when he comes home. When he asks what the special occasion is, let him know you’re celebrating – you’re celebrating the man he is and how blessed you are to be his wife.
Sara Horn is the founder of Wives of Faith, a ministry for military wives, and a regular Crosswalk.com Marriage contributor. She is also the author of seven books including My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife and her most recent book, How Can I Possibly Forgive? Visit her website at sarahorn.com.