While I was out and about this morning... being a domestic goddess, running errands and doing laundry, I remembered something from the second Christmas I was married to husband #1, Mr. B. Our first Christmas was stressful as he was in Toms River, NJ going to C-school in the navy and I was back home in Weed, CA at the time. He did come home for 2 weeks, and let's just say that his Mom did most of his shopping for him. (I won't go into the hell he put me through for the next 6 months.)
After the 6 months of hell... we moved to Virginia... Norfolk to be exact. When we moved, we could fit everything that we owned into the back of a Chevy LUV pick up with a canopy. We lived in a 3rd floor walk-up apartment in an old Victorian house. 1 bedroom and an attic living room and a quaint kitchen with an area for a little dining table. Our kitchen had attic ceilings too... no real cabinets to speak of, and I remember hanging my pots and pans and utensils from hooks we put into the ceiling.
I don't even think we had a real Christmas tree that year, because they were so expensive. I remember decorating our Norfolk pine tree with very simple satin bulbs that were very light weight and inexpensive from the exchange. I went to the exchange with my little budget and list of what I was going to give to my then husband and being excited about wrapping it all up. My then husband, Mr. B had his own budget and I thought he had a list. I remember he came home and made me stay in the living room while he wrapped his gifts for me. I was so excited... and one gift was in a rather large box... and we played 20 questions... animal, vegetable or mineral? Is it bigger than a bread box? He wouldn't tell me where he had shopped... he said he went to the mall and to the exchange... and he wouldn't answer any of my questions when I tried to figure out what he had bought me for our first Christmas alone together.
We continued to play the 20 questions game... and every time I asked if it was bigger than a bread box... the answer was "Keep Guessing!" Finally Christmas eve came... and in my family, we open gifts on Christmas eve. So we began to open our gifts. I remember that I bought some nice pj's for Mr. B and a couple of polo shirts, and some good cologne and some fishing gear. When it came time for my gifts... I opened some dollar store trinkets, some really cheap cologne, (Tabu... yuck!) and the biggest gift of all... a bread box! I looked inside, thinking that he had wrapped something else in the breadbox... but there wasn't anything else. I asked him if he was shopping for his mom and got the gifts mixed up. I later found out (like 20+ years, after we were divorced) that he had taken the money that was saved up for Christmas and went out with the guys for a night of ill repute.
It took a few years for him to overcome the "breadbox Christmas" and he did learn to purchase more appropriate gifts for me. But in the end... what ended our marriage was his little habit of having a night of ill repute with the guys on the ship.
All this to say... I don't care anymore about breadbox Christmases and it's such a gift to know that I have a wonderful husband who is so open and honest and shares his thoughts and feelings and his hurts and concerns. It's nice to lay that breadbox memory to rest and to know that I won't ever have to endure that again!
Thanks for reading... ~Be Blessed!