Christmas already feels far away. I would be remiss if I didn’t reassure you that I got my holiday wish for time to relax and enjoy my family.

But the gift that keeps on giving is the extension cord Santa placed in my Christmas stocking.

On Christmas morning, I held it up with a puzzled look on my face as my family burst into fits of laughter. There was no explanation given. Nothing in the stocking required electricity.

The joke was on me and the punch line was yet to come.

As the presents were handed out, I grew suspicious as I opened sweaters, pajamas and books. I tried to maintain composure; as if I totally got the joke my family was playing on me. I wasn’t convincing.

The kids and Carpenter were finding the whole mystery quite amusing.

At first I thought my spouse was trying to be all-metaphorical like; you know, the power cord was a gift to keep me charged up for the craziness of our life together. I may have given him too much credit. Metaphors aren’t his style.

Yet every year the Carpenter presents me with one gift that has a deeper meaning, something personal for the Kelly who isn’t a wife or mother, but the person he fell in love with before either of those titles existed. He’s thoughtful that way.

The big reveal didn’t happen until near the end of the gifts, when the kids pulled out a large gift bag with my name on it. My family stopped to watch my expression as I sifted through the tissue paper to find the treasure: an electric heated blanket.

This was a perfect gift for me two reasons: first, I always wanted one, and second, I needed it.

I am notoriously cold. In fact, many romantic encounters have been thwarted by the screams of the Carpenter, who reaches over to snuggle his wife, only to find a flannel-clad iceberg (it’s a sexy image, right?).

I come by the nickname polar bear honestly. Somehow the expression “cold hands, warm heart” doesn’t apply in these intimate moments. Apparently it’s a turn off.

My new blanket would fix that. With two heat controllers, I could warm up the bed before I jumped in and then snuggle up in the warmth all night long, with temperatures under my control. This was a self-indulgent dream come true.

And the Carpenter couldn’t complain about the temperature if it worked in his favour. Giggle.

The extension cord was the part I didn’t understand. There is a plug right next to my bed for my reading lamp. And then it hit me. The Carpenter’s symphonic snoring ranges in the scales of operatic, and more times than I care to admit, I end up on the couch, which happens to be in the coldest room in the house.

A heated blanket and an extension cord to reach to the far away outlet means I better get used to the couch. Yep. This was a gift of convenience and practicality wrapped up in an apology for the fact that the couch is my alternate sleeping arrangement.

This gift really turned me on. I’m kind of charged up about it. I’m going to crank this blanket up all the way to the five on the dial.

Compromise is hot.

And now, so am I.


Kelly Waterhouse