My fingers rubbed the leather back and forth as I pondered the memory. I had wanted a new chair for our new living room in the home that was new to us. From my part time nannying job, I had saved up some money with a purpose. I was tempted to use the money to buy the furniture I wanted, but never tempted for long enough. Christmas had rolled around and my plan had prospered to this point. I had slowly saved up my spending money so that my hubby would never have any idea of the gift I had wrapped under the tree for him. It was by far the coolest thing that I have ever done as a wife. The incident is captured on video but, as I write this, it plays clear as day in my head. I know my husband’s love language. I had purchased him the gun that he had been admiring for quite a while now. You should have seen me with a two year old baby girl on my hip and the two of us in a gun store knowing exactly what I wanted and laying down the cash. At least ten other men stood taking their time admiring guns but I was in and out of there in a flash. They watched me with big eyes and open mouths wondering what in the hell I was up to. James had his own Christmas trick up his sleeve. And now, I sat rubbing the leather with my fingers on the chair that he bought me that year for Christmas, which is much better than anything my money could have purchased.
The brown leather chair sits beside our Christmas tree. When we sit in the decorated living room, someone always comments that it is the best tree that we have ever gotten. After twelve years of marriage, this is our thirteenth Christmas together. This is Madison’s eighth Christmas. I have finally accumulated worthy ornaments to fill the tree and red and green have filled the house without cluttering anything.
Now, here I am, in my favorite chair, beside my favorite tree, all trimmed for Christmas. Already, toys are wrapped and under the tree. Lighted garland lines the mantle and three stockings hang waiting for midnight after Christmas Eve. The fireplace is glowing and casting shadows around the room on an appropriately rainy, cold day. Cuddled in a warm blanket, I glance up from my lunchtime reading. I want it to last forever. This is how I will always remember Christmas. I love Christmas morning. I love the crazy shopping. I love holiday baking. I love the family, and the lights, and all the crazy festivities. But sitting here, just me and God, quietly soaking in the peace of the season, this is how I will always remember Christmas.