No partridges, or calling birds or French hens, but on the first day of Christmas her true love gave her a dozen roses.
David was Amanda’s “true love”. She had loved him since they were in the five-year-olds class at church. In fact, Amanda’s mom, Dora, remembers the exact night her daughter fell in love. Amanda came home from church with her eyes aglow over “the nice boy in the bow tie” who let her use his blue crayon during craft time. (Yes, I did dress my little boy in a bow tie.)
Amanda says she liked him because he was nice. As David’s mom I feel particularly blessed by this. When David was growing up he had a few heartbreaking years of dealing with “cool” boys who were mean to him. I always told him “It’s better to be nice than to be cool.”
I must have told him that a couple of hundred times. We laugh about that now.
The niceness paid off.
So Amanda loved him from afar – too shy to even look straight at him, or speak to him. And although David was nice to her when their paths crossed at church, he never really noticed her. One of Dora’s favorite stories is when Amanda came home from junior high youth group and excitedly told her that David had said “Hi” to her. “Well, did you say hi back?” her mom asked. “NO!” an embarrassed Amanda buried her head in her pillow.
Things changed dramatically one fateful evening in 2003. Our families had begun to get to know each other, and the Nuttings invited us over for dinner.
We were sitting around the table talking. Most of us were talking, that is – Amanda was still painfully shy. Then for some reason, to make some point, David burst out singing a line from Weird Al’s “Albuquerque” song. And – wonder of wonders – Amanda joined in! They both knew every word of the 11 minute 13 second song, and they sang it together in perfect harmony!
“I like her!” David enthused, as we were driving home. “She’s really cool!”
He found out just how cool she was about a week later when our families went to a Modesto Nuts Baseball game together. He found out she loved to read, she was a walking encyclopedia about all things relating to animals, she was good at video games …and best of all, she liked baseball!
But David says that was the first time in his life he went to a baseball game and didn’t pay attention to the game.
Amanda was 15 and David was 17 when they began to “like each other” officially; and when Amanda was old enough, they began to call it dating.
Amanda discovered that David really enjoyed chick flicks, and when David took her up in the hills deer hunting he discovered that Amanda was a better rifle shot than he.
When our family went on a llama pack trip with some friends, Amanda came along.
When Amanda’s entire extended family went to Hawaii to celebrate her grandparents’ 50th anniversary, David was invited to join them. They had been dating for a year when they called us from Maui to tell us they had kissed for the first time on the beach at sunset.
And so, on December 13th, David’s Twelve Days of Christmas began, as he gave Amanda a dozen red roses.
The following day, the 11th day of Christmas, he gave her 11 sappy love notes.
On the 10th day of Christmas he gave her a $10 gift certificate for a local bookstore.
On the 9th day of Christmas he gave her 9 bath oil beads
Amanda loves V8, so on the 8th day of Christmas he gave her 8 cans of V8.
On the 7th day of Christmas he took her to the Orient House for dinner. We all love the Orient House and we always get the same thing. When the employees see us come in they know what we order. They always laugh and say “Two Number Sevens?”
On the 6th day of Christmas he gave her a multiple picture frame he made with 6 pictures of the two of them.
On the 5th day of Christmas he gave her 5 chocolate truffles.
On the 4th day of Christmas he gave her 4 soft socks.
David and his two longtime best friends, Kyle and Shane have always called themselves “The Fab Three” …and so it was natural that the third day of Christmas would involve The Fab Three. Amanda’s mom let the boys sneak into their house very early in the morning to make Amanda a “Fab-Three-Breakfast-in-Bed”
On the 2nd day of Christmas he gave her 2 compilation CD’s of country music.
By this time Amanda had begun to see a pattern. What would her true love give her on Christmas Eve – the first day of Christmas?
On that 1st day of Christmas he gave her a package with a big #1 on it. Inside was a scarf he had knitted himself. (Complete with puff balls!)
When the scarf was warmly in place around her neck he told her that they were going to the snow. And after an day of playing in the snow he said he had one more gift for the first day of Christmas.
Out of his backpack David pulled a box with stenciled letters that read, “The Amanda Box.” In this box he had kept a keepsake from every date they had ever been on. Amanda had found the box once before, and David told her that the only time she would ever be able to open it would be if they got married. Now she was wondering what was going on! She eagerly opened the box and found a large river rock inside. A note said, “I told you, you have to wait!” Amanda looked up curiously, and there was David on his knee in the snow. He was holding his real gift for the First Day of Christmas – an engagement ring. He was asking her to marry him.
Nope…no partridges or calling birds or French hens or swimming swans or laying geese…just sweet lovebirds. They are now in their third year of marriage – with a coopful of chickens in their back yard, and a baby in their arms, and a song in their heart!