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.

The Advent of Your Marriage

Advent reminds you to expect great things in your marriage, but also to look for your spouse and for God to deliver in unexpected ways.

Advent of Your Marriage

Contrary to the popular notion and the fact that stores have had their halls decked with red and green since October, we are not currently in the season of Christmas.  Technically, until December 25th, we are in the season of Advent. The church calendar observed by many Christians tells us that Advent starts four Sundays before Christmas.

Advent comes from a Latin word that means arrival. The season of Advent is all about expectancy and preparing to celebrate the arrival of Jesus on Christmas.

Advent helps us pause amidst all the shopping and decorating and cookie making to remember what Christmas is really all about: Jesus. In Advent, we stir up our longing for Jesus and remember that he is the ultimate expression of God’s love for us.

Longing, Waiting Yet Completely Missing It

The religious leaders of Jesus’ day had been waiting more than 400 hundred years for the arrival of the Messiah. Yet because they had preconceived notions of the way in which he would come and how he would go about establishing his kingdom, they completely missed the fact that he was standing right before their eyes. Not only did they miss him, they went against him and killed the very one for whom they had been waiting.

Although Jesus came to Earth as a baby, his ultimate goal was to claim for himself an eternal bride. As is so often the case, there is a clear parallel between the spiritual and the marital as we think about Advent.

What are you longing and waiting for more of in your marriage? What preconceived ideas do you have of what that should look like when it comes?

I’ve written before about how expectations in marriage affect what we perceive (See my post Expectations: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly). Expectancy bias can cause you not to see something that’s right in front of you because you aren’t expecting it or are expecting it in a different form.

  • Do you miss your spouse’s expressions of love because you are looking for them to express love the same way you do?
  • Do you miss your spouse’s sexual initiatives because they aren’t as overt as you would like?
  • Do you miss your spouse’s small acts of kindness because you expect them to be grander? Or worse, because you don’t expect him or her to be kind at all?
  • Do you miss small incremental changes in your spouse for the better because you have given up hoping for change or because you want bigger changes?
  • Do you discount efforts your spouse makes to help out with chores or errands because they don’t do it exactly how you would?

I’m not saying you should settle. I’m saying you should look for and be thankful for every step in the right direction. Thankfulness, appreciation, and recognition of the good things in your spouse and marriage will not only encourage your spouse in their efforts but will actually help you see them more easily.

Robyn of Up With Marriage has a great quote in her post this week “Desire to Please

Whether you think positive or negative about your husband, either way you are right.

God Shows Up In Unexpected Ways

Advent and Christmas remind us of the lavish love, generosity, and goodness of God toward us. It also reminds us that sometimes God shows up in ways we don’t expect.

God is for you and for your marriage. But if he answers your prayers in ways you don’t expect, will you miss it?

    • Maybe instead of changing your spouse, he may want to change you?
    • Maybe instead of improving your spouse’s behavior to line up with your expectations, he may want you to grow in showing grace first?
    • Maybe instead of instead of getting your wife to submit, he may want you to get better at selfless love?
    • Maybe instead of causing your husband to lead in the way you think he should, he may want you to acknowledge your husband as head and to honor and respect him just as he is today?
    • Maybe instead of getting your spouse to apologize, he may want you to be the one to reach across the gap between you that was created by your last argument?

One thing Jesus clearly showed us is that the Kingdom of God is often upside down and backward from conventional or popular thinking (be the greatest by being a servant, the last shall be first, foolish things confound the wise, love your enemies, etc.). So when it comes to your marriage, you might just need to be open to some unconventional and even counter-cultural answers from the Lord.

In fact, I’d expect it.

These last days of Advent, consider where you might need to adjust your expectations of your spouse and marriage in ways to allow you to celebrate all that is good in your relationship. 

And as we wait to celebrate God showing up on Christmas, remember that God may also show up in your marriage in ways you don’t expect.