Posted by: itneverrainsinseattle | December 13, 2010

The Perfect Gift

Everything remains civil between Penny and me for the time being, and with some luck and some hard work, will hopefully remain so. But what to do about Christmas this year?

We have not yet told the kids. We have not yet started moving into our respective new homes (although I pick up the keys for mine tomorrow. Penny has an application submitted, but hasn’t heard back yet.). We are getting along, and we remain each other’s co-parent to our children. So… do we get each other something? Nothing? And if something, how much something(s)?

As usual, I’m much too busy right now trying to wrap up some projects at work (in between coughing fits) and at my side job — and getting new place, etc., etc. — to be spending much time on Christmas shopping. It’s an issue I will have to figure out.

In the meantime, however, there was one thing that crossed my mind that I decided I just had to pick up for her as a Christmas gift.

For Christmas, I’m getting Penny a new husband.

Her previous husband was a hideous, lime green corduroy. She used it all the time… well, not all the time, but she used it often when she was in bed, just like most people do. You know,  to lean on while reading or using her laptop on the breakfast tray I’d bought her some years ago. (Back when I still had some romance in my soul, I bought the breakfast tray so as to bring her fresh cinnamon rolls for breakfast in bed.) Those days are gone, of course, and well… so is her husband. That hideous, lime green corduroy husband. She didn’t finally get rid of it until it was so threadbare that the stuffing was leaking out in several places. All over our bed. Our bed… which was never really used for much other than sleeping. And, of course, reading. Or using the laptop.

Yeah. So, in the spirit of giving, I’ve decided to get Penny a new husband. It has already arrived. It looks so much better than its predecessor. All nice and neat and fresh and new. And perfect for her full enjoyment of her king-size bed, which she has alllll to herself.

And it’s not a hideous, lime green:

Penny's future husband

Other than that, though, yeah… I have no idea what (if anything) else I should get the mother of my children; my soon-to-be-ex-wife.



  1. oof. that’s a really, really good point. i hadn’t even thought about how to handle our first christmas as exes. we’ll be apart geographically… but what to say? what to do? how to handle it?

    i have no answers.

  2. Haha, I think this is a perfect (and comical) gift for a soon-to-be ex wife. It’s not nothing, but it’s nothing extravagant either. I think it’s perfect. 🙂

  3. I’ve been thinking about getting one for myself, inris. My old one was blue and somehow wound up in the shed, getting eaten by mice. Seriously.

    This Christmas will be our first divorced Christmas (we have had two separated Christmases). While we did not do anything extravagent, we did exchange gifts in the previous years, and gave each other little lists this year. We are getting along well. And we don’t want to forget that we have been friends for almost 30 years – very dear friends. Even that first year, we were bitter, but we still remembered that we loved each other, just not in the way you need to to be married.

  4. That’s simply priceless and perfect. I think there should be something else –something nominal to open in front of the children. Nothing that could be construed as romantic though (this behemoth certainly fits *that* description). You know there are gifts exchanged at weddings, and now there are push prizes (you’d think the kid would be it. I think I’m TOO feminist ’cause I think this is a little… prissy); however, I digress.

    I know it sounds sick, but what about a coupon book for the area? You’ll both be dealing with decreased incomes and taking care of two homes. Maybe a little 2-for-1 coupon for when going out with the kids, a friend, or at some point, a romantic intention?

    You’re right, I suck at this. 🙂 Good luck.

  5. I’ve been wrestling with the same question. We’re in a trail separation, so we’re technically supposed to be working on our marriage, so things might work out or not. I do know that I wouldn’t want to give him a lame oh-you-got-me-something-here-let-me-regrift, like the last girlfriend he had before me did when they were on again/off again. And of course, there are the kids. So my first idea was to let all the gifts be from them. I’m still playing around with that idea. And I volunteered to fill his stocking, so my mom wouldn’t have to because it would be mighty tempting for her to fill it with coal. I’ll admit it’s tempting for me too, but I have the boys to think of. So yeah, right now, it’s gifts from the boys.

  6. Hmmm…What did you get her last year? For what it’s worth, I think the “new husband” is fine, all by itself. Nothing more needed.

  7. Hey, I’d love “the husband”, be it from my own hubby or an ex. It’ll be something she appreciates and it’s thoughtful, but not romantic. Nice call!

  8. This post made me laugh! My ex-husband and I will also be facing our first Christmas as exes. I too have been struggling with the “do I” or “don’t I” buy him a gift. I have decided against is, although my situation is entirely different from yours. A – no kids. B – he really wants to try again and I don’t. So I feel he may take a gift giving gesture as a sign that I may be willing to re-consider things. So I have decided instead to spoil the dog and buy more gifts for her!

  9. okay, that’s hysterical. at least you still have your sense of humor 😉 My ex and I didn’t get each other gifts for Christmas, and we were only technically separated for a month beforehand. It actually never crossed my mind. Is that weird? So, I would say, no gift. But that’s just me.

  10. I think that’s a really sweet idea! You may be almost an ex, but you’re still going to be a part of her life. This is a small but nice token to show that.

  11. It looks to me like you’re ahead of the game. Very thoughtful gift.


    Regarding the children… I have no words of advice.

  12. I wasn’t so sure that buying a present at all was such a good idea until you explained what a “husband” is. Then I decided that you made an excellent choice. It’s something that she already has used in the past, and the name of it works symbolically for you as well. A+!

    But buying her anything else? I’m torn. If you know of something that she will definitely need, and you still feel like giving her something, I’d go with that. But as any of the traditional gift ideas are out (IMHO), save your shekels. You are going to need them.

    As for the kids, save that big announcement for after Christmas. They are too young to be as cynical over the holiday as people like me are, and the news that their parents are splitting – even if they suspect already, which they do! – is likely to cause the elimination of the enjoyment of the holiday. Do what you have to to keep these two events separate in your kids’ memories.

  13. I got separated at the end of November, the then stbx got nothing under the tree…

  14. Regarding the kids…you should tell them. It’s likely they already know something serious is going on. I guess you could wait until after Christmas…but don’t wait too long. The Ex and I got nothing for each other. I took the kids to get gifts for their dad, and he took them to get something for me, but we got nothing for each other. We lived in separate houses while we were separated. I like your gift though. Perfect!

  15. My ex and I have been divorced for three years now and do usually get something for each other – he got me a couple of CDs last year. It’s not expected but I think the sentiment goes with keeping our relationship civil.

    I think the gift you’ve got Penny is perfect and I don’t think you need to get anything else. Now if you have previously done a family gift exchange in front of the kids, the kids might be wondering this year why dad/mom are being so stingy to each other but since they know your house is up for sale, it’s easily explainable.

    Congrats for being a good and thoughtful shopper!

  16. Wow. And I thought ‘body pillow.’ I was so wrong! (And yet still on the same page.)

    Thinking of you!

  17. Real life intrudes to offer an example of how the holiday can be ruined for someone.

    I was just notified last night that my father-in-law is dying. It isn’t clear how long he will last, but my wife is headed off to his bedside so as not to miss a last visit. I cannot go due to work commitments, so I expect that I will get the “You weren’t there for me” speech in the future – even though going now would cost me my job. And at every Christmas from now on, she will be haunted by a family ghost of Christmas Past. I lost Christmas a long time ago, so I’m not concerned about this connection for me even though I will get to relive her loss with her every year. Such are the wages of marriage.

    I only raise this personal tragedy as another warning about not announcing your divorce to your kids until the holiday passes. They are much younger than I, and aren’t as likely to be able to keep things separated. You will be doing them a favor if you separate these events for them. Wait a couple of weeks until all the holiday reminders are themselves memories.

  18. […] to buy your soon-to-be-ex a gift and if so, what. INRIS at It Never Rains In Seattle found the perfect gift to his dilemma. I loved this post – it stirred a lot of memories because I won a […]

  19. My ex and I don’t get each other Christmas gifts. However, Emilee gets us each something. WINK WINK.

  20. Two years ago I got an iPhone from my ex. This year it was only a blanket (I have a wardrobe full of blankets anyway). I guess I’m falling down in his books. Or his girlfriend is going up! 😀

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