My Wife Still Believes (in Humanity)

In my house, my wife is the Christmas lady. Everything this holiday entails: music, lights, decorations, presents. She’s all in, every year, and she loves it.

I’m more of a Halloween man, myself. Give me rolling fog on a spooky night while you’re holed up in a creepy old house and I’m a happy camper. That probably makes me the darker half of our marriage, but for whatever reason it seems to work.

That being said, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that my wife’s enthusiasm always manages to rub off on me. I may start December in full-on Grinch mode, but by the end of the second week, I’m playing Christmas music and asking about this year’s family ornament.

I think what makes my wife’s holiday spirit so infectious is the sheer joy she gets from shopping for others. She’s one of those weird people who spend more time thinking about the receiver of the gift than the gift itself.

I don’t possess this trait. Nor do I fully understand it.

In years gone by, I have plunged headlong into a crowded mall with a list of people but no corresponding clues as to what I should purchase. If you were on the receiving end of one of those presents, you most likely got some impulse item that seemed cool at the time. The gift might have reminded me of you in some way, but it’s more likely that desperation and fatigue had finally set in and I was ready to go home.

I have never been comfortable with the social construct of gift giving, and like all traits in which we know we fall short, I’ve never made any real effort to improve. That is why I am so very thankful my wife has taken the lead in this area of our life.

If you get a gift from my wife, she wants you to know she understands who you are. Not in a sinister, I-know-how-to-destroy-you kind of way. Her interest is genuine.

My wife values people. (Period. End of sentence.)

She accepts their shortcomings, no matter how unbelievably annoying they may be, and she believes we all have worth and purpose.

(It makes me feel dirty just thinking about it.)

My wife believes in forgiveness and second chances and taking a moment to cool off so you can come back and say you’re sorry. She thinks you should try to understand someone else’s point of view, even if you already know you don’t agree with them. She is patient when people say and do callous things, where I am more apt to lose my mind and start flinging verbal bombs.

My wife is kind when she has absolutely no reason to be, and she restores my faith in humanity, sometimes on a daily basis.

From now until the day I die, my wife will be the first thing I associate with this holiday, because she gets it. Christmas is about letting others know they matter, even if you don’t appreciate their particular contribution.

If you can only manage that for a day, don’t worry. That’ll do for now. My wife’s got us covered through the rest of the year.

Larry Jenkins is an aspiring Word Pimp. Has laptop, will travel. Let's make this happen, people.

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