Most of my gifts for Kevin and Jed were experiential this year, delivered in the form of print-outs of the items, folded into paper airplanes and clipped to the tree at the last minute. I was originally going to wrap them in boxes, but this was much easier, less wasteful of wrapping paper, etc., and at least as charming, I think.
Jed’s are mostly things for us to do in the next few days — I’m taking him to see Little Women this afternoon, and we’re going to see a local play and go with the family to a Forest Park escape room (I’ve never done an escape room, so this will be interesting for me too). It’s tricky buying gifts for someone who has enough money that he can generally buy himself any regular items he wants, and who is persnickety in his tastes.
Jed, Kevin, and Anand are all in the category of ‘if you can’t get me the specific kind of thing I really like, I’d honestly rather not get a gift at all,’ which can be challenging for those of us who have gift-giving as one of our primary love languages. But we will rise to the challenge, damn it, even if it means they can’t be delighted by cute little tchotchkes the way we are.
Kevin’s gifts are a little different. I’m going to try to institute a weekly date night on Fridays I’m in town, for one. This may be overly ambitious, as one of last year’s Christmas presents was monthly date night, and we didn’t even manage that. But last year was officially TOO BUSY WITH WORK, and I am determined to change that in 2020, even if it means slowing down what I can accomplish professionally and with my non-profit. Sorry, folks — I don’t get enough time with my boo, and I want to fix that. (I promised him that we don’t actually have to leave the house for date night if he doesn’t feel like it. Picnic in the bedroom.
Similarly, I want to be more intentional (you’re going to see me talking about intentionality a lot in the next month, as I’m a little obsessed with it right now) about time with family, because I haven’t gotten enough of that either this last year. The kids are getting older so fast — Kavi will be leaving us in just FIVE YEARS for college. I can’t even.
So also on the tree for the family was Saturday game night every week I’m in town. It’ll be a little flexible, in that if there’s something else we all want to do together, that’s fine, like going out. And sometimes it’ll include other people — I’m thinking once a month, we do our standard board game potluck? I’m going to look at the calendar for 2020 and pick a Saturday (i.e., first Saturdays of the month), and let local friends know, so they can put it in their calendars too. But the other Saturdays, we’ll do it with just us, and Anand and I have plans to alternate running RPGs through the year. It’s going to be fun.
And finally, I’m instituting Sunday dinner (or possibly big Sunday lunch), which is something Kevin has wanted since we first had kids, and just wasn’t something I was ready to commit to. Really, he would have preferred we sit down to dinner together every night, which I’ve just never been into. But maybe we can ease into that with the Sunday thing. I like the idea of us picking a nice meal to make on Sundays, and either he or I work with the kids to make it, teaching them cooking in the process, and then sit down together to eat.
It’s so easy right now to miss each other, without meaning to. Between the fact that I’m planning to be on the road at least once long weekend a month for work in 2020, with 2 two-week stretches when I’m away as well, and the way in which electronics (shows, games, ebooks, etc.) can so easily send us into our separate worlds, I want to be intentional about structuring time with these people I adore. Wish me luck!