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I married him for the Christmas lights.

Okay, not really. But hear me out.

It feels as though lately the internet is flooded with essays about the ideal husband, as grateful wives boast about their perfect partners. Maybe he preps dinner, cleans the bathrooms, folds socks. Maybe there is no eye-rolling when kids demand another book, no arguing when they ask to play pretend, no hesitation to give another push on the swing.

I didn’t marry that man.

RELATED: Marry the Man Who Is a Helper

Absolutely, my husband of almost 10 years has me in stitches on the regular, with a healthy balance of genuine kindness and patience that is unmatched. He’s a man of few words, but shows his affection in the subtlest of ways, like an impromptu sugary treat to share or putting on a movie he knows I’ve been wanting to watch.

I doubt he considers our Christmas lights one of those subtle displays of love, but I do.

Every winter, his creativity shines through as he contemplates the Christmas display. It’s not just another task on his list, but rather a tradition. Often in freezing temperatures, he stands in silence staring at our house. Meticulously he plans where to string each strand of lights, his mind surely swirling with color combinations.

As he uses up the last of our lights, he invites us to the street to take in this year’s masterpiece. And while we don’t partake in a Griswold family drumroll, the anticipation is tangible and the pride glowing brighter than any of the bulbs in front of us.

RELATED: Marriage Comes Down To the Little Things

It was a few years ago that I went out to admire his handiwork, and noticed he had incorporated the kids’ outdoor playhouse. That simple little plastic house out back was adorned with multicolored twinkling lights, so our kids would have some Christmas cheer of their very own.

Sure, I don’t have the husband who rubs my back every night without me asking or the one who can fix whatever breaks at home. But I can count on him to whip up a little Christmas magic, and that’s enough miracle for me.

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Rachel Schuehle

Rachel resides in Minnesota with her family. Her three boys keep her busy and her house messy. Any snippets of free time she finds, she enjoys amateur gardening, easy puzzles, and listening to live music.

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