Ever since Jeremiah and I got married, "super secret gifts" for birthdays, anniversaries, or Christmas have been pretty non-existent. Call me boring, but we're both content with telling the other what we'd like, and then going out and buying it. Usually it's hard to even think of ideas for gifts around holidays because we tend to buy the things we want at the time we first desire it. (No, we don't have kids. Yes, we have disposable income). In addition, all of our financial accounts are intertwined, so there's really no such thing as a secret purchase. I keep up with all the bills, balances, payments, etc, so I see all the activity that takes place. If a charge came through to Zales a few days before my birthday, that would give me a heads-up of an upcoming jewelry receipt! I'm perfectly fine with this arrangement, because I don't really need to be surprised. My joy comes from giving and receiving gifts, with no regard for whether I or the other person knew it was coming.
Jeremiah threw me for a loop this past year, however, when it came to my birthday. He plays in a poker game every other week, which requires a regular cash withdrawal from our account. He usually withdraws a little more than necessary for the buy-in, and uses the excess or any winnings to cover trivial expenses throughout the week. Unbeknown to me, Jeremiah had been storing away the excess in a secret place for months leading up to my birthday. On the day of, he handed me a wad of cash and said, "Happy birthday. Go shopping." That was cool because he had thought about my birthday far in advance, and found a way to sneak money for its purpose without alerting me. Besides doing that, though, how do you keep gifts secret from a spouse? I'm sure it's easier for wives to buy gifts for their husbands because more than likely they keep up with the finances. What do husbands in this situation do? (Or vice versa if the roles are reversed?)
This year, like all others, we discussed the top items we wanted to buy around Christmas. Luggage, a Chi, a backpack, a suit, etc. So over the past couple of weeks, we went together and bought - you guessed it - luggage, a Chi, a backpack, a suit etc. No surprises there, and we both came out with the items we desired. For some reason though, over the past week, I decided I wanted to do something a little different. Jer's favorite football team is the 49ers, and I started thinking about how cool it would be to get him tickets to a game. Living in Dallas, the 49ers are hardly ever televised here. He's never specifically asked for tickets, but I knew he'd enjoy watching a game in person. So I worked my magic and found awesome seats on the 3rd row on the 45 yard line for the game against St. Louis in a couple weeks. I went on Southwest and booked us some cheap flights to Missouri. Boom! Super secret gift achieved! Jer had no idea I was planning on doing this (heck, I had no idea until 5 minutes before I did it). It's not a box on Christmas he gets to open with awe-filled surprise, but it was a phone call he received that started with, "Can I do something crazy, which would require us to take a day trip?" Haha. So there was an element of surprise, and there certainly was an element of joy on both of our parts. I'm fine with going back to our normal routine next year, but this year I let my wild streak take hold for a few minutes. :)