I have a December birthday. Everyone who has a December birthday knows what that means . . . combo birthday/Christmas presents.

Normally, this is NOT something to be preferred. My niece’s birthday is one week before Christmas and she fully expects to celebrate BOTH holidays without anyone trying to roll them into one.

But as I’ve gotten older, there are times when a combo gift isn’t so bad. Like, for example, THIS year. Sometime over the fall I walked into our home office and looked at the two ladder-style shelving units in a nook there. I spread my arms and said, “I wish this whole wall were a bookshelf.”

Because I have books EVERYWHERE. Books on shelves, books on tables, books on my bedside stand and desk and in the closet and piled on the floor . . . No books in the laundry room, but I think that’s it. So a wall of shelves is something to be desired.

And my husband was listening.

And so, last week, the oak bookcase he commissioned arrived and was installed. I then spent a blissful evening gathering up my wayward books and giving them a new home. It’s PERFECT.

And yes, I’ll keep rearranging the books. And adding new ones and even letting a few go now and again. But what makes that bookcase one of the best presents ever, is the way it shows how well my husband listens to me. And how he knows what will delight my heart and soul.

Happy birthday. Merry Christmas.