Where’s The Christmas Spirit?

I don’t really ever write about issues I’m having with Huib, but this one is a bit of a constant one, so I’m hoping that by writing it out, maybe it will stop bothering me so much.

Christmas has always been an exciting holiday for me. I love shopping for that “perfect” gift and then the anticipation of waiting to present it to the particular friend or family member.

I remember Christmas shopping with Mom when I was old enough to understand that Santa Claus was not real. She would have a list of things to buy for this person and that person – often multiple pages long. Dad would drop us off at the front door of the mall and I’d push her from this store to that store, as we searched high and low for the items on her list. Even though I knew Santa wasn’t real, Mom never asked me to pick up my own gifts, she’d leave those items on a separate list for when she’d shop with her friend.

Dad was never one to enjoy shopping, but he’d always take the plunge at Christmas to surprise Mom with something special.

When we were young, Brandi and I used to wake up early Christmas morning, so that we could open our gifts from Santa. Dad would make his usual breakfast of French toast and Mom would patiently listen to us babble about how excited we were about this or that gift. We’d show her all the various features of the new toys and put on a bit of a fashion show so she could “feel” how our new clothes fit. After breakfast, we’d all put on something new and then Dad would start piling presents into the car so that we could begin our three hour drive to visit Granny and enjoy our family dinner.

Now that Mom and Granny have passed away, we no longer have the big family dinners, but Huib and I still get together with Dad and Brandi during the holidays.

Huib has never been overly fond of Christmas. He has always been a bit of a Scrooge. We seem to always get into arguments during the holidays over this. I love shopping for people, he hates the expectation of having to shop and give gifts. I have tried, over the years, to explain how I feel about Christmas and how sad his behaviour makes me, but no matter what, he always seems to ruin the holidays for me.

Being married is a balancing act. Spouses sometimes need to make sacrifices for the other. I feel as though our marriage has been a little too one sided lately in the sacrifice making. I moved away from friends and a place I felt comfortable so that Huib could gain experience working in a small hospital. I spend multiple days a week alone with just the dogs and cats for company, so Huib can get as much work experience as possible through working part-time in two units, instead of full-time in one. And, even though I agreed to move here under the expectation that we would continue to go “down south” every six weeks, I have been patient about the lack of trips we’ve had since he switched from full-time to part-time.

In return….I’ve asked for very little.

I’ve asked him to help me train Rogue and get her into public places when he is not working – something that is not happening nearly as much as I’d like.

I’ve asked him to become more involved in the training I do with the dogs, in an effort to keep things a little more consistent – something he’s said he’d start doing, but has still not done.

And I’ve asked him to stop making promises that he cannot keep – a continued struggle.

Now that it is Christmas time…

I have asked him to help me shop for the dogs, my Dad and sister. I’ve drastically cut down our usual “shopping for” list in an effort to make things a little less stressful for him, but we’re still arguing.

He actually seems even worse this year than previous ones.

I know he doesn’t like shopping for gifts. I know he doesn’t like receiving gifts. And I know he doesn’t like the whole idea of Christmas overall.

But, I wish he’d make a sacrifice for me.

Humour me for once.

I wish he’d embrace Christmas. I wish we could have fun decorating the house together. I wish I could have fun looking for that “perfect” Christmas gift to give him and others, without having him make it really frustrating to do so. I wish it wasn’t such a struggle to get him to help me fill out and send Christmas cards. And, I wish he’d surprise me with a special gift at Christmas, not just buy me stuff whenever he sees I like it. It’s the whole thought behind it that I want, not the gift itself.

I wish he’d be more like my friends’ significant others and just embrace the fact that I like to do things he does not.

Most of all, I wish he would stop being such a Scrooge and ruining Christmas for me.

Huib is honestly the most amazing man in the world, but this is one area I wish he’d attempt to improve.


  1. HEAR HEAR! y other half is a Scrooge too. I miss making Gingerbread houses and trimming the tree. I miss posing for family Christmas picture and watching Christmas movies. I miss decorating and baking and feeling…festive. After 7 years of doing it all alone, the thought of facing another holiday without a partner to really share it with was too much and I’ve done barely anything for the holiday this year, but I tell you – it sucks and it really sticks in my throat that he can’t suck it up a few weeks a year just because it’s important to me. I wasn’t really any help – but, I feel your pain, for sure!

  2. Oh, I know you’re frustrated. Mr. K can be a bit of a scrooge too, but I think he’s actually making more of an effort as of late. You’re right, it’s all a balancing act.
    Maybe instead of buying things for people you and Huib could make things? I know you both like to bake-maybe you could make gift baskets for Brandy and your dad? They are usually cheaper and very thoughtful gifts. Gift baskets are not quite the same for dogs and your dogs-and mine-are kind of like our kids. So, I can see buying them gifts, but maybe making something together could bring the Christmas spirit to your house. Put some Christmas tunes on and be creative-you both are quite crafty. 🙂

  3. Hi Brooke,
    I hope you were able to figure things out in your mind. I hope things get better for you.
    Merry early Christmas from Spark and Me.

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