I know this topic is one you would expect to see around Christmas. After all, that is the season of giving. But giving has been on my mind quite a bit lately.
See, my wife has a birthday coming up in a week and a half, and because it’s a milestone birthday, she told me last year that she would like to go somewhere for her birthday.
I told her that I would take care of everything and that she will not know the destination until we get to the airport.
As much as some may want me to, I am not revealing the location in this column. She reads these.
I will say, however, that it is a place she has mentioned before as a place she’d like to visit.
Having had the trip booked since August, this day seems like it has been a long time coming.
Throughout our years of marriage, I have truly come to understand why giving is better than receiving.
I get a lot more joy out of watching someone’s excitement than the excitement of receiving something myself.
For example, a few years ago, when our son had a birthday, we got him something he had desperately been wanting for a long time and something he was determined to raise money for.
He soon found out that he didn’t have to raise money for it because we got it for him.
Knowing he would be incredibly excited about it, I was anticipating his birthday probably more than he was. I remember plotting with my wife that we would give him some of his gifts in the morning and then we would let him open the main gift after he got home from school.
I remember picking him up from school and waiting to see what his reaction would be.
Let’s just say his reaction was better than I could’ve imagined. He started to freak out when he realized what it was. It was pretty awesome.
I anticipate that will be the way my wife will react when she finds out her mystery destination.
I admit, it has been hard to keep it a secret for almost six months, but it will be worth it.
On top of the surprise for the trip itself, there is also a surprise within the surprise. In other words, the destination is only part of the surprise.
The only thing she knows is that it’s going to probably be cold (the forecast calls for temps in the 30s and 40s while we’re there) and that we’re going to have to wake up ridiculously early on her birthday in order to fulfill that second surprise.
I told her there will be clues in her birthday card so she can figure it out before we get there.
Planning these things is fun when you know the other person will enjoy them.
According to one resource I found, surprising your loved one is important.
“It doesn’t only serve to make the other person feel happy. It also shows your forethought and appreciation,” the article read.
The article outlined many benefits to surprising a loved one.
It shows that you’re thoughtful and that you’re not taking them for granted.
You’re willing to go out of your way to plan and determine what will make them happy.
It stimulates the curiosity and refreshes your relationship, making you both more prone to try out new things.
It shows that you’re willing to take risks and step out of your everyday routine, which is of great value for your emotional life.
As I read this article, I saw myself in it and how it will feel to honor my wife in such a way. If the roles were reversed, I know I would be excited. However, being the giver is so much more fun, in my opinion.
I cannot wait to fulfill this surprise for my wife.
By the time the paper publishes next week, we will already be there, living in the moment and not posting our every whereabouts to social media.
We are wheels up in T-minus approximately six days. I can’t wait.
Thaddeus Imerman is editor of the Cove Herald and a Killeen Daily Herald staff writer.
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