Holiday season has snuck upon me again. I’ve been consumed in my work and barely realized the lights and trees being decorated around the city and shining for weeks now. I love giving gifts, to see another person happy and to give them something to show my appreciation. However, I hate having to figure out what to give. What if they don’t like it, already have it or just flat out hate it? Some people are easy, my mom has been dropping hints about the things she’s been wanting. A new pair of slippers, small jewelry box and more of a tea I brought back from London over the summer. The problem is when they don’t drop hints like Vincent. What do you get someone who says that want nothing or has what they want already? You cannot actually get nothing because you’d be a terrible person. People who agree to get each other nothing, almost always get each other something no matter how small.
I leave work to a shopping mall nearby and browse the watches, clothes, funny gifts and nothing is quite perfect enough for him. He’s not picky and would probably love anything I got him even if it was a from one of those machines you put a quarter in and get out some ridiculous toy. I’m getting the feeling only a homemade gift will really do the trick but I’m not creative enough for that. Will he even like it or think it’s weird? No one talks about the anxiety during this time of the year. So much goes into a gift and so much subtext is behind a gift. For example, the common Christmas gift card is an easy way out and shows you didn’t have the time to actually pick out a gift yourself. Christmas is in two days. How did I push this off this much?
I go home to see Vincent with two mugs of hot cocoa and a movie ready for me.
"Iron Man 3, your favorite Christmas movie" he informs me.
“I don’t deserve you”.
“Shh stop that. How did shopping go?”.
“Ugh honestly terrible. I got everyone but you”.
“Hey, you got it all basically done though that’s great! Plus, you don’t need to get me anything. As cheesy as it is, you’re the only thing I need and I think I got you already”.
“Yeah, you got me” I snuggle up to him as he plays the movie. I think to myself, without saying it out loud “but that couldn’t be enough”.
While Vince sleeps, I get to work on my idea. I gather string, construction paper, printed out photos, glitter, colorful tapes and stickers and get to work. Keeping all this craft material from over the years has really payed off. I have decided to make a little memory book or scrapbook of sorts to commemorate our good times together. Giving the gift of memories. I add the finishing touches and BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! Vincent’s alarm goes off. 5 am already? How is that even possible? I frantically get all my supplies cleaned up and hide the finished product so he can’t find it. He comes to the table where I’ve been working.
“Where’d you sleep last night?”.
“I didn’t. I’m going to sleep now”.
“Darling, you only have two hours until you have to get ready for work!”.
“I know. I was busy working on something. Time just flew by”, I yawn. “Go to bed. I’ll make some extra black tea and put it in the fridge” he kisses my forehead and I shuffle to my bed, plopping down and instantly dozing off. I wake up two hours feeling incredibly tired, groggy but accomplished.
Christmas Eves comes quick. We both are off of work and have the day to spend together and with family. “Do you want your gift tonight? That’s how my family usually does it, half at night and half in the morning” he tells me. “You don’t have more than one gift for me do you?” I ask worried as he nods yes. “I have a few for you but there isn’t a competition to give the most and you don’t have to give me three presents because I’m giving you three”. “No, I know. I hate feeling like I don’t give you enough” I say defeated as he walks away to grab one of the gifts. He gets down on one knee and presents me with a small box wrapped up in blue and silver paper. My eyes open wide and I am unable to form any words as he starts to speak “You’re my best friend, the best girlfriend anyone could ask for and the sweetest person I know. You coming into my life was the greatest gift I could ask for and I am constantly thanking my lucky stars for you. I can’t imagine a future without you in it” he opens the box and appears the diamond ring. Elegant but simple. “Wanna get married?”. All I can do is nod “When did my life become a Hallmark movie?” I ask as he places the ring on my finger. The ring looks perfect and completely me, as if it’s been there on my finger forever. Vincent laughs “It’s something about Christmas time that truly has this magic to it” he pauses for a minute “I wanna see what you got me”. “In the morning, I can’t compete with a proposal” he reminds me it isn’t a competition and reassures me. I sigh, agree and hand him the wrapped up homemade scrapbook. He unwraps it carefully and smiles at the sight. He turns each construction paper page and has a look of joy on his face. “Aw this picture is one of my favorites” and makes comments at how nice the decorations are. I stare at him looking through the book not fully paying attention to what he is pointing out but rather hooked on his reactions. “This is the best gift. I was honestly worried about the proposal, it seemed cliché and an easy way out of something creative like this scrapbook. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve known for a while now I wanted to marry you but doing it for Christmas is a bit overdone” he admits. “I thought it was perfect”. “I’m glad. So future wife, how about we go watch a sappy Christmas rom com and drink some mint tea?”, “I wouldn’t want anything more”.