Romantic Christmas Countdown

Here is a fun way to say “I love you” ten times over this Christmas!

Romantic Countdown

Are you still stuck for an idea of what to give your spouse for Christmas? Or maybe you’ve already bought a gift (or gifts) but you are looking for an extra special way to bless him or her this year.

This romantic countdown is a great way to surprise your spouse every day for 10 days leading up to Christmas.

The Christmas Countdown

As with any romantic idea, you need to adapt it to your spouse’s particular favorite things. Times like this are why I say it is important to be a lifelong student of your spouse and what delights him or her most.

The idea of the Christmas countdown is simple. Pick a number of days until Christmas. If you get on the ball in the next day or tow you can do ten days, as in my example below.  Seven would work too. If you are a traditionalist, you might do the twelve days of Christmas, which technically come after Christmas and would be a great way to extend the holiday festivities.

Here is how it works.  For each day, give him or her a gift representing the number of days remaining until (or following after) Christmas. As an example, here’s the list I did for Jenni a few years ago:

    • 10 – ten pretty fingers (gift card for a manicure) or toes (pedicure)
    • 9 – nine tasty treats (Cella chocolate covered cherries-her favorite)
    • 8 – four pairs of Christmas-themed earrings (she loves these things)
    • 7 – Christmas-themed arrangement of seven red roses
    • 6 – Six string serenade (she picked songs I sang for her)
    • 5 – five-minute kiss
    • 4 – four pairs of pretty panties
    • 3 – a set of three Woodwick candles
    • 2 – a side-by-side framed picture (us on one side and our daughters on the other)
    • 1 – Christmas lingerie (OK this gift was more for me)

The gifts don’t have to be large or expensive. It really is the thought that counts in this particular romantic endeavor! Get creative!

A low budget version would be a set of lists of things you love about your spouse.  Day 10: Ten things I love about our marriage.  Day 9: Nine things I love about your body.  Day 8: Eight things I love about how you parent.  Etc. Etc.

An Added Twist

Part of the fun is deciding a fun way to surprise them with the gift each day. I had a small wooden box with a lock on it. Each day the key would appear in an unexpected way. Jenni would unlock the box to find a note that gave a clue as to where to find the day’s present.

I’m no poet, but I wrote a tacky little poem for each day.  It was fun! For example day eight, the four pairs of earrings, which were placed in some teacups she has on display:

Christmas earrings

What numbers eight, yet comes in twos?
Perhaps I’ll give a few more clues

It is something festive for the season
Given for the best of reasons

‘Tis love that causes me to give
Four gifts that hide where teacups live

If you have no gift for rhyme, do something else that works better for you. Send a text message or email with the clue for the day. Maybe get other family members involved. Leave a note taped to their bathroom mirror. Give the gift first thing each morning or last thing each night. Have fun with it!

If you decide to try the Countdown to Christmas, stop back by and let us know how it worked out and to share your ideas!


Heads-up!!

Do you have trouble coming up with romantic and special ways to bless your spouse but wish you could? Be on the lookout for a new subscription service I’ll be offering soon, called Romance 101. It’s a monthly email service with great step-by-step date night ideas and romantic surprises that are sure to bless your wife or husband and your marriage. Click below to get on the list to get the details when this new feature is available, plus receive a special introductory discount.

You Never Graduate From Spouse School

Be a lifelong student of your spouse

I encourage you to go above and beyond in meeting your spouse’s needs. If you want to create a positive, life-giving environment in your marriage, few things will do it like giving in a way that meets your spouse’s needs “and then some.”

But in order to show love to your husband or wife way beyond the minimum acceptable level, to move into the realm of delighting them, you have to know the things that would give them the most joy and pleasure.

This requires that you become a lifelong student of your spouse’s needs and wants; even more, the things that bring them pleasure and delight.

Do you study your spouse? It’s time to…

Go to Spouse School

One of my favorite marriage bloggers, Lori Byerly, aka The Generous Wife wrote a post called “Study Him.”

If you aren’t sure where to start in studying your spouse, I’d encourage you to check out the comments in The Generous Wife post. In it, Lori opens up the question of “How do you study your husband?” for her readers to answer. There are a lot of really good ideas there, many of which apply to a husband’s study of his wife as well.

Many of the ideas there have to do with being aware and being intentional. You might check out my other posts on “Watchfulness”  to learn about how to build the habit of watchfulness into your marriage.

A couple of other resources I came across recently give you some specific ideas on how to bless and inspire your husband and wife. You’ll need to sift through these to see which would be good for your particular spouse’s preferences, but the lists are a great place to get some ideas for breaking out of the routine interactions you might find your marriage in.

One thing I’d like to remind you of is that it is likely that the things that delight your spouse are not the same things that delight you. So I would encourage you to not make the assumption that just because it’s something you like, it is also something your spouse will like as well.

You Never Graduate

You might be thinking that this idea of studying your spouse is obvious – a real no-brainer. But the truth is that we are creatures of habit. We tend to fall into comfortable routines and patterns, but you never graduate from spouse school! I encourage you to be a lifelong learner in this regard. Don’t let your relationship fall into familiar patterns based solely on past assumptions.

Maybe you are responding to this with, “I already know what my wife likes” or “I know what makes my wife husband happy.” Kudos to you for at least realizing that knowing your spouse’s needs and wants is important. But let me challenge you to grow in your understanding and to take a fresh look at your spouse. You might be surprised to find that their preferences have changed, that they’ve acquired new interested or tastes, or have discovered new delights. It might even be possible to introduce something to your spouse that they didn’t even know they wanted!

Help Your Spouse Delight You

Finally, let me close with this thought. Assume that your spouse is also a student of you and do your best to help educate them.

Let me be clear, this is not an open invitation for you to be selfish and demanding. Rather, think of it as helping your husband or wife love you well. The best way to do this is through thankfulness and expressions of appreciation. When they do something extra nice or something out of the ordinary that just makes you happy, let them know it with specific words of thanks and reciprocal acts of kindness.

Letting them know specifically what they did to make you happy is the best way to get them to do it again!

I encourage you to routinely revisit the question of how to delight your spouse. Or better still, just develop the habit of making a mental note (or writing it down if that helps) when you notice a positive reaction to something you’ve said or done. It really can be just that simple.

 

This post was originally published on my Journey to Surrender Blog in July 2011