Yesterday was my husband’s 40th birthday. Over the past few months, I considered throwing him a surprise party, but I eventually succumbed to the fact that surprises aren’t his style. I remember when I was pregnant with my oldest that I had three separate *SURPRISE* baby showers. Sometimes it’s fun to get surprised, and other times you get surprised while wearing whatever stained maternity top feels comfortable that day when you are eight months pregnant in 105 degree summer heat. SURPRISE!
I thought long and hard about his gift as I have deemed this year “the year of NO PHYSICAL GIFTS.” He doesn’t need anything, and that makes it hard. Most people don’t need anything either, but we’ve turned into an army of rabid zombies in search of the perfectly advertised gift of commercialism. Do you feel guilty when you show up without a gift? Do you feel left out when you don’t receive a gift on a special occasion? Don’t. Appreciate the gift of presence instead of a gift of presents. Spend time with people who appreciate the same as well.
Although I have spent a good amount of time unsubscribing from advertising emails, one showed up in my inbox from Ancestry.com last month. Their DNA kits were $20 off. I’ve been interested in learning more about my heritage as most of what I knew from my last name and mother’s maiden name said I was German, Irish, British, and Russian (now the Ukraine). After several hours of clicking the green leaves on Ancestry.com, I found out that my Ukrainian ancestors immigrated from France. I’m French, and I had no idea.
My husband said he knew some of his ancestors knew Jesse James, and one of them named his great-grandfather after him. He also said he was descended from the McCoy side of the infamous Hatfield and McCoy feud. Actually, those two were directly related. Jessie James Cosper married Jettie Pearl McCoy. During my research, I was able to confirm these tales about my husband somewhat shady family history. I even found that one of his great grandfathers served in the Civil War. He had no idea about that either.
So, I gave my husband a gift of nothing: a DNA test. He didn’t seem as excited about it as I was, but maybe he will warm up to it when the results come in. I believe more times often than not, a gift of nothing can really be something.