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If you’re a mom, you already know what mom wants for Christmas – but humor me for a sec (especially if you’re wondering if you’re nuts).
Every year, I ask my husband for the same three things for Christmas: extra-virgin olive oil, real vanilla, and AA batteries.
What does a wife, mom, and homemaker want for Christmas?
This is partly because being a wife, mom, and homemaker is my full-time job: great benefits (love, hugs, I get to raise the future, etc.), but no salary, so our Christmas gift budget is tight. Then there’s the fact that I’m admittedly fussy about what feels like a “gift” to me.
I hate to dust, so I don’t want something that has to be dusted. Our old house has no storage, so I don’t want something I have to store. I have enough mugs to outlast a worldwide pottery shortage, so I don’t want another mug. I like things that can be used and used up in the normal course of daily life.
To hint or not to hint
Which leads me to the main reason I give this same list to my husband every year: I like practical gifts. The oil/extract/battery trifecta of practicality is comprised of things I use every day and am always running out of but hate to buy because I want the good stuff on all three counts and it pains me to spend that kind of money when we have things like college tuition bills and orthodontic assessments with phrases like “strongly recommend” lurking in every mail delivery.
Also, I’ve found I need to be very specific with my husband when it comes to communicating gift ideas, lest we should have a repeat of the year he “branched out” at a charity auction and bought me a rag doll whose eyes were so demonic looking I had to have a crafty friend give her a face transplant. Asking my husband for “a multipack of AA batteries, a jug of cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil, and a bottle of NOT-imitation vanilla” goes a long way toward ensuring we do not have a repeat the demon-doll episode.
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What mom wants for christmas (seriously tho)
But there are other things I want even more for Christmas this year…things that aren’t going to be wrapped and put under the tree. These are things I don’t want to—indeed, can’t, if I want to make the most of the season—wait until December 25th to open.
In fact, these are not “things” at all; they are mindsets and attitudes and decisions and experiences I’ve missed in years past. (I take full responsibility for that.) With decades of Christmases in my mom rearview mirror, I can see that this is what I really want to take hold of between now and the time I crack open my brand-new bottle of olive oil.
1.) I want to NOT wait until everything is “done”—bought, baked, wrapped, cleaned, decorated, and glittered—before I start enjoying the season.
2.) I want to remember that not everything that’s good to do at Christmas is necessarily good to do this Christmas.
3.) I want to say “no” to some ordinary things so I can say “yes” to only-at-Christmas things. (Dusting seems a likely “no” candidate. Isn’t that what “seasonal illumination” is for?)
4.) I want to feel free not to put up every Christmas decoration we have just because we have it. If I can take it or leave it, I want to leave it in the storage bin.
5.) On the other hand, I want to take pleasure in the decorations I do put up and not just look at them as something I’m going to have to take down and pack away in January.
6.) I want to sit in the glider rocker by our Christmas tree some night with all the other lights off and just look at the tree…even though I “don’t have time” to do it.
7.) I want to reject the lie that just because another mom is doing something at Christmas, I should be doing it. Jam-packed holiday schedules, elves on shelves, clever rhyming gift-giving guidelines, gingerbread houses, family pictures in matching pajamas…all absolutely lovely things if they’re right for your family. But just because they’re not right for mine doesn’t make what we do wrong.
8.) I want to be grateful that my husband stands and waits for me under the mistletoe instead of being annoyed that I have to interrupt what I’m doing to meet him there.
9.) I want to enjoy time with the child who still lives at home even as I miss and look forward to the return of the one who’s away at college.
10.) I want to savor the sound of both my children’s voices, talking and laughing together in the same room.
11.) I want family Christmas movie night with the full cast and family game night with all the players.
12.) I want to soak up every minute of Christmas break and the long holiday weekends instead of spending them dreading the return to “real life.”
13.) I want to cherish this Christmas rather than giving it away because I’m worried about how Christmases might change in the future as my children get older and forge their own lives and families and traditions.
14.) I want my people to be happy and content.
15.) I want peace on earth…but also in our house when we’re all trying to get ready for church at the same time on Christmas Sunday morning.
16.) But most of all this Christmas, I want to be ruled by the Prince of Peace. I want to be fully present with Immanuel, the with-us God. And I want to have a child-like faith restored by the child in the manger.
So that’s my list of “what mom wants for Christmas” (seriously tho). Which one of these do you want most?
A regular contributor for RuthieGray.Mom, Elizabeth Spencer is mom to two teenage daughters who regularly dispense love, affection, and brutally honest fashion advice. She writes about faith, food, and family (with some occasional funny thrown in) at Guilty Chocoholic Mama and avoids working on her 100-year-old farmhouse by spending time on Facebook and Twitter.