A year in the making: Husband gives wife a special Christmas present

Some people spend a lot of time preparing Christmas gifts for their loved ones, but this husband took his preparation time to the max: a full year. There aren't many people out there with this much foresight and dedication.

Last year, Japanese Twitter user "Shiro" got two notebooks from her husband for Christmas. On the surface, this may seem a bit boring, but the moment she tweeted a few pictures of the gift, comments starting pouring in. "Impressive!" "Touching!" "Unbelievable!" "So moving." 

What was so special about these notebooks? The secret was what he put in them.

Here they are. They appear perfectly... normal.

"My husband gave me a great present."

The notebooks were so stuffed with paper, they almost didn’t close. When she opened one...

"They’re impossibly thick!"

— 白 (@siro1106) December 24, 2015

She found photographs of the daily bentos (typical Japanese lunchboxes) she had prepared for her husband, each accompanied by a handwritten letter of gratitude.

"Pictures of the bentos I’d made every day, and comments..." 

— 白 (@siro1106) December 24, 2015

The first picture was dated December 24th of the previous year, which meant there were going to be a lot. 

"365 of them, one from every day since last Christmas..."

— 白 (@siro1106) December 24, 2015 

Shiro couldn’t conceal how thrilled she was by this love-filled surprise.

"w… w… wow..."

— 白 (@siro1106) December 24, 2015

The notebooks included not only the bento lunches but also other meals she had made. 

"Even meals on weekends and lunchboxes I made for outings."

— 白 (@siro1106) December 24, 2015  

It’s a lot of work to prepare a lunchbox for someone each and every day. The two notebooks were her husband’s creative and unexpected way of returning her daily labor of love. Below is one of the entries from the book. From his carefully chosen, beautifully handwritten words, it’s impossible not to feel his heartfelt gratitude.

"Rain falls on the world. Good morning.

The meal from last night: it was really delicious. Part of it is in the bento again today. April is ending soon. Time passes so quickly... Just as I thought we were celebrating the new year, spring came, and soon enough, it’ll be summer. Now it seems that we won’t be traveling anywhere far for *GW. The bookings are already full... because we waited for the last minute. Oh, what a pity. 

Thank you for today."

(*The "Golden Week" holiday at the beginning of May.)

The couple had married on Christmas Eve four years ago, so the notebooks were also an anniversary present. They touched Shiro much more than any expensive store bought present ever could. A truly priceless gift. 

What did Shiro — who entertains her Twitter followers with her ironic, unsentimental language — write to her husband in return? Did she react with a sweet smile and tears of joy? Not exactly: her husband is the sweet one! Shiro is a tough cookie with a zany sense of humor, though her husband clearly knows and appreciates her big heart:

"Today we start the fourth year of our marriage. Every day is like a battle and mostly likely, that's how it'll continue to be. Lucky that you're my best opponent when it comes to fighting. We’ve still got a long way to go before we kill each other ;-) I’m counting on you to be at my side!" 

A wife who packs her husband lunch and a husband who takes a snapshot of the lunch and adds a thank you letter — each and every day. This is an extraordinary couple! We could all learn a thing or two, not just from the love they expressed for each other here but from the way they obviously live it in their day-to-day relationship. You have to wonder, what are they going to do for each other next? I'd love to know.

Do you remember a time you made such an effort to express gratitude for a favor or gift? Or when someone else did that for you?

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