On Christmas Eve, I gave Ginny an envelope. It has become a tradition for me to list twelve things and hide them around the house for her to find. Each one also has a clue to where the next note is hidden and contained a scratch lottery ticket.
The first year I did this, I listed twelve reasons I loved her. This year, I listed the twelve most memorable moments with her in 2010.
In her envelope this year was the following:
Tonight I give you the twelve most memorable moments of 2010. Your first clue is John 3:16.
Off she went, searching the house. In our room, she spotted my Bible on the side of the sofa. Her eyes lit up. She picked it up and opened it to John 3:16 and found this note.
1. Our night at the Anniversary Inn. Our night—away from all worries, in each other’s arms.
Your next clue is “A Family of fish eaters.”
She thought about it for a few seconds and ran from the room, walking right by the spot I hid her note. Fifteen minutes later she was back, “Okay! What the heck is a family of fish eaters?”
I laughed. “Think, Hun! Think!”
She looked at our Christmas tree, walked closer and began to inspect it. From behind an ornament of a family of penguins, she plucked her next note. It said:
2. A beautiful night in Stanley, Idaho. Our anniversary—a free dog to play with, a running river, snow-capped mountains, and you.
Your next clue is, “You make me want to shout!”
“I know this one!” She ran across the room to a stuffed dog, one of her customers gave her. If you press his paw, he dances and sings, “You make me want to shout, kick my heels up and shout …”
She lifted the stuffed dog and read …
3. Our Thanksgiving night in the hotel in Boise and seeing the Parade of Christmas trees (Thanks to Heather) and being alone with you.
Your next clue is, “Near Ohio”
This one she found hidden behind an Ohio State football ornament on our tree.
4. Our weekend at Matt’s house in the mountains. A warm fire kept our bodies warm. Our love kept our hearts warm. I woke you at 1 a.m. to stare at the stars. The Milky Way a strand of pearls in the sky.
Your next clue is, “He comes once a year.”
She found the next note under a Santa ornament on the entertainment center.
5. Driving in the car with you. We see Volkswagens, yell “Slug bug!” before we punch the other, and laughlike kids.
Your next clue is, “Blow! Blow! Blow!”
Ginny found the note under a box of Kleenex
6. The many Ohio State football games we watched together with the alumni at the pub. We’ve made good friends there and had many great laughs.
Your next clue is, “Brrrrrrr!”
She found it in the ice container in the freezer
7. We went through the hassle of a move, but we got our own space. We could cuddle and watch our shows again, cuddle and …
Your next clue is, “Advent”
It was behind the advent calendar on the wall. The kids took turns moving a tiny mouse from pocket-to-pocket to mark the days till Christmas.
8. Driving in the car with you and Brandon (her son). Seeing his face when he saw those snow capped mountains in July.
Your next clue is, “Empty now but soon filled.”
The note was hidden inside one of the Christmas stockings hanging from the mantle.
9. Thanksgiving weekend in Boise. Strolling around downtown, stopping for a bowl of soup and donating money to receive a free handmade bowl.
Your next clue is, “Under the Candy Striper”
It was hidden under a red-and-white present near the Christmas tree.
10. Elizabeth’s dances on the patio.
Your next clue is, “Life changing!”
She found this in a book called, Thin Threads: Real Stories of Life Changing Moments. The note was in the pages of my story that was in this book.
11. My Nerf gun and the great battle in the backyard. (Ginny got me a Nerf gun for my birthday. The grandkids and I had a big battle and lots of laughs for my birthday.) See the video here.
Your next clue is, “I see you! You see me!”
She found the note behind a mirror in the living room.
12. The number one moment of 2010 is the evening at the kid’s ball game when your wonderful son surprised you on your birthday. See the video here:
See this moment here. I cry every time I watch it.
I love you, Ginny and look forward to more than wonderful moments with you in 2011
Merry Christmas, Sweetie.