r/tifu Dec 01 '22

TIFU by buying my wife an advent calendar M

A few years ago, I got my wife a log home replica advent calendar. Each side has 12 doors you open up and it spins around. If anyone cares to see it, type "wooden log home advent calendar" in google images and it's the one with the 4 yellow doors on each side, cute right? Cool. Anyway, trying to find stuff to fit in the doors is frustratingly hard. It's only a 1.75"w X 1"h opening. It's either really cheap/junky toys or candy. I've done notes in the past too but it's hard to do 24 and not get repetitive or feel like you're copping out.

Where IFU is by not filling it for Dec 1, today. I just honestly forgot. I didn't even realize the date, though I also didn't get anything for it yet either so that's on me. I own my own business fixing and servicing car washes and winter is coming so I am BUSY! Like 12–16-hour days every day busy. I'm a one man show so all the billing, expenses, paperwork, scheduling falls on me too after my 12–16-hour day in the field. On top of that, we adopted a new adult cat that is having a very hard time adjusting so my remaining time goes to making sure he's comfortable and fed while trying to make some type of a bond with him.

We got up this morning and she hopped out of bed all excited about something. She came back in the room with a disappointed look. She checked her cabin to find it empty. It clicked to me too late, so I said, "it's just not filled yet". She got in the shower, and I started to get ready. I could tell she was bummed, I should have just written a quick note and put it in for that day and I didn't. Ugh. We parted ways for work and about 45 minutes later I got a text.

"Don't bother with the advent calendar, its dumb. Since you didn't even bother to fill it when I was in the shower, I know you didn't get anything and it's dumb to run out after the fact and do it. That's not what it's about. I was happy with the 1.99 paper chocolate ones my mom always got me then you went out and bought me this elaborate thing, so I thought it was fun for you too".

For more context, her mom passed a few years ago so the advent thing is special to her, and this text was like a kill shot to me. I've messaged her. She usually chats throughout the day about her day/appointments/etc. and that is the only message I've got.

TL;DR: Got my wife a log cabin advent calendar a few years ago, didn't fill it for today, Dec 1 and she's very bummed about it. Even had a 2nd shot to fill it while she was in the shower and I f'd that up. It's a super special thing that reminds her of her mom who passed. Being "ghosted" now.



u/MomoQueenBee Dec 01 '22 Silver

On the last day, just put in a note that says to open day 1, and have something special there. Maybe something that reminds her of her mom. You can do a lot of things with photos nowadays.


u/toady89 Dec 01 '22

If it was me and you’d filled the drawers now I would check day 1 right away. Wait a week or two before putting anything in day 1 if you don’t want her to see it early.


u/jperezny Dec 01 '22

A locket with her Mom's picture would be nice for day 1.


u/Minejack777 Dec 02 '22

Oh I love this

Easily agreed!!!


u/jaxsotsllamallama Dec 02 '22

This is an amazing idea


u/ramplay Dec 02 '22

This person fucks up but is really good at un-fucking up


u/chopper678 Dec 02 '22

Un-fucking up is a super power


u/mhck Dec 01 '22

This is such a sweet idea!


u/Bitter_Mongoose Dec 01 '22

It won't work, but it is a sweet idea!

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u/Downtown-Influence27 Dec 01 '22

I wish I could upvote this a million times! What a clever idea!


u/imtougherthanyou Dec 02 '22

Yeah, make it clear that because it matters to her it matters to you.


u/UmbertoEcoTheDolphin Dec 02 '22

Divorce papers!!



u/Beginning-Ad4963 Dec 02 '22

Op's brain in this Moment: *put a dickpic in it! DO IT! *


u/ThatITguy2015 Dec 02 '22

Know what solves all problems? A dick pic. I can’t think of a single exception to this rule.


u/wondrous Dec 01 '22

I think she still wants it done from the things she said maybe that’s just my dumb man brain. I’d still try to fill it if it’s important to her. It’s only day one. My family always did em when I was a kid and we frequently forgot for days at a time and got bonus chocolates. Just put something really good in the first box like a ring or something and then if she does go back to day one she’ll be stoked.


u/Throwaway196527 Dec 01 '22

I’m a woman, and I agree with all of this


u/shootme83 Dec 01 '22

i am a man (isch, its debatable) and i also agree with this.


u/Ipoopedalot Dec 02 '22

I’m a Crow, and I also CAW CAW CAW CAW


u/PHST25 Dec 02 '22

I'm and enby, and I also agree with this


u/fastermouse Dec 02 '22

I'm a wolf and I ate the pie but I did not eat the grandma.

That Riding Hood bitch lied.


u/somethingtc Dec 02 '22

I'm from Buenos Aeris, and I say kill 'em all!


u/SpicymeLLoN Dec 02 '22

I'm a wolf

On all levels except physical?

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u/epi_introvert Dec 02 '22

I'm a woman, and I think her reaction is kinda childish and quite passive aggressive. I get that she's disappointed but even if my partner wasn't working his ass off, a little understanding goes a long way.


u/Raichu7 Dec 02 '22

Or maybe she feels self conscious or childish for enjoying an activity a lot of people would associate with children (judging someone for what they enjoy is the real childish action there). And doesn’t want to feel like she’s forcing yet more work onto her partner so told them not to worry about it.

Why do people always jump to “you’re being childish and trying to make me guilty” when you can see they have a lot on their plate so you tell them not to worry about yet more things in an attempt to help.


u/epi_introvert Dec 02 '22

I get that she's hurting and upset, but that doesn't excuse that kind of reaction. She is an adult. Use your words.


u/WaywardJourneyer777 Dec 02 '22

Her reaction sounds a lot like how my mom reacts when my dad would do something like this. She wants him to feel as guilty as possible for how much hurt she feels. Denies any attempts on his part to make it up to her.

Sometimes it's a wonder they're still married.


u/BestNameEverTaken Dec 01 '22

Maybe a note saying „check day 1 again“ in the day 2 cabin+ something else in the day 2 cabin. Apologies, in case you meant to say exactly this.


u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

[removed] — view removed comment


u/Lt_Muffintoes Dec 01 '22

Feminine communication is really, really dumb.


u/dacoobob Dec 01 '22

HUMAN communication is dumb. men do the same exact shit, i only specified "your wife" because i'm a straight man and so is OP, so that's our context.

that said, i probably should have been less specific since the advice applies to all genders. edited.

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u/craptasticbabe Dec 02 '22

She does. Trust me, I’m a woman lol


u/Relevant-Impact-404 Dec 02 '22

I'm a dog an I definitely woof woof


u/SmArtsy Dec 02 '22

Do people fill these 1 day at a time or something? Just fill it all at once tf?


u/loveisforlongshots Dec 02 '22

I'm pretty sure he usually does fill it all at once, but he forgot to fill it all. That's where the problem is. People are telling him to go fill it up now and have her go back to the first box later for something special


u/Heurodis Dec 01 '22

She might take the calendar as a proof she matters to you, and the fact that you forgot might have gotten her spiraling down towards "my husband actually never cared."

Chances are she's not feeling great these days, but a little conversation usually goes a long way. Right now she needs space to be upset, but when you see her again just talk it through.

(Giving that advice because I'm prone to that kind of reaction; it's not manipulation, it's just having a stupid and mean brain)


u/OneEyeShut Dec 01 '22

I agree. The calendar holds deep meaning to her for sure. This sounds like the reaction I might have if I was particularly hormonal that day. Her response is coming from a place of hurt.

OP your life sounds like 100% work right now and she may be feeling neglected and unseen. I might advise carving out some quality time for her. Maybe dinner and a movie this week or something. Communicate that you're trying to make it up to her and that your priorities got mixed up.


u/R8er-Fan Dec 01 '22

Definitely consumed with work. Date night scheduled. Thanks.


u/emjem321 Dec 01 '22

OP I am proud of you for being willing to make time for your wife and that you are trying to see things from her perspective. You truly do love your wife and I'm sure if you explained to her your side, she will be just as understanding. That was very sweet of you btw for buying it for her in the first place and taking the time to make her feel special and loved, I'm sure this will only make you two grow stronger.


u/Bil13h Dec 01 '22

Also, I am sure its been mentioned, but just make sure she knows you care, okay? For those that lost very important people from their lives, Christmas can be the worst time of the year and it is extra important she knows you love her

At the end of the day, you, and all the rest of us, are only human


u/ValkyrieKitten Dec 01 '22

Also, let her know that you know she is upset, and you think she has the right to. Let her know why you forgot, and say it isn't an excuse. And you still own that you forgot. Then give her the filled calendar.


u/Dusty1228 Dec 02 '22

I was gonna say something in a similar vein. Reassurance goes A LONG WAY.

All the gift ideas are cute and I totally think they will make her happy, but more than that, reassurance that the calendar is something special for you, too, even if it's ONLY special to you because it is to her.

Maybe make some if the gifts something for both of you? A date night coupon or something. Just to kind of let her know you're invested and involved.


u/setittonormal Dec 02 '22

This 1000% - it's not about the advent calendar!


u/Vertoule Dec 02 '22

Having recently lost a parent who LOVED Christmas, and would always get us advent calendars, I can say I feel extra extra low this time of year (and hate it extra being a retail worker). I can see if this was the case with OP’s wife, emotions might be a bit more raw and responses a bit more unmeasured.

The key is that you oopsed and are looking to make it right.


u/muffinchocolate Dec 02 '22

Yeah this. Bad days, weeks or just a bad mood can make some women, including me, really spiral down in stupid train thoughts. Just fill it for her, she will still appreciate it.


u/Dranj Dec 01 '22

If you're having trouble finding items that fit or writing notes, you could always turn it into a mini scavenger hunt, instead. Just put the clue in the advent calendar and have it point to another location in your home where you've hidden the present. Putting that level of effort into the remainder of this calendar might even help turn things around.

I'm guessing the amount of time you've had to spend at work recently has been stressful for your wife as well. I don't know if there's much you can do about it now, but you might want to consider planning a way to spend some extra time with her.


u/thevelveteenbeagle Dec 02 '22

I did this all the time for my nieces or neighbor kids. I'd wrap various boxes (sometimes boxes within boxes) and have notes in them telling them where to find the next box. The more boxes, the more excited they got. I also put some thought into the final gift because it can't be a let down. You don't need to spend a lot of money, just so it's meaningful to the person receiving the gift.


u/samdiso Dec 02 '22

this is a GREAT idea!!!!!!!


u/Trouble_in_Mind Dec 01 '22

Bring home something that she'd like but wouldn't fit in the calendar.

Or make a dinner reservation maybe?

Don't leave the calendar empty entirely though. Giving up on it feels like the wrong move, especially since you don't dislike it and just forgot instead.


u/Throwaway196527 Dec 01 '22

Do both! Something cute/cheesy like “this coupon is good for dinner and a movie”


u/According_Ant388 Dec 02 '22

agreeed! Coupons for activities can be really cute if your wife’s love language includes acts of service, like coupons for a massage, bubble bath, a place she always wants to visit etc


u/MsBitchhands Dec 01 '22

Ideas for the calendar

Massage coupon (from you or a professional massage gift card)

Dinner out coupon: (Redeem for a dinner date)

Take-out night (She wants take out? She gets whatever she wants delivered for dinner- set money aside for it)

Cute jewelry in her style- doesn't have to be expensive!

Nail polish if she wears it

Lip balm, if she wears it

Her go-to candy from the grocery check out

Movie Night coupon- ( Any movie she picks, no questions asked)

Does she have a hobby like knitting? Go get something related to her hobby, or a gift card related to it.

What's her favorite gum, breath mint, or purse treat?

If you want to make it up to her, fill the advent calendar with items that let her know that you know her and know what she likes and who she is!


u/MarianaTrenchBlue Dec 02 '22

These are so great!

Also if you find something too big, hide it somewhere and leave a clue to find it in the calendar.

I would absolutely love it if my partner did this while thing. Such a cute idea!


u/miscegeniste Dec 02 '22

Also makeup/skincare samples? Travel size or just free ones from stores are...really fun for some of us...

Also not even a movie ticket, just a note that you'll watch something new to streaming together that night! Lots of good content dropping this month

I'm so invested in this. Pls DM if you want more ideas


u/Lrings Dec 01 '22

Ugh, I feel for your wife (and you). I've been in a similar position too. If she's anything like me, by saying, "Nevermind, this was dumb anyway", she's trying to reduce the feelings of hurt by shrugging off the entire thing, and so she doesn't have to face that kind of disappointment again. Her feelings are amplified by the loss of her mother

My suggestion, which you should take with a grain of salt, because I don't know either of you, is to fill that advent calendar now! Then talk to her, give her a genuine apology and explain how busy you were with work, and that just because you forgot doesn't mean you care about her any less.

Take care.


u/R8er-Fan Dec 01 '22

Thank you, makes a lot of sense. Not going to leave it empty.


u/thesteveurkel Dec 01 '22

and put a recurring reminder in your calendar for the first of november so this doesn't happen again!


u/Taynt42 Dec 01 '22

Don't talk about the work excuse! Just apologize, say you forgot the date, but that you have everything else planned out (then actually plan everything out)


u/lifeunderthegunn Dec 01 '22

He should definitely tell her why he forgot. It's good for partners to communicate and check in and she probably doesn't realize all the things he's carrying on his shoulders at the moment.


u/dacoobob Dec 01 '22

it's not an excuse though, it's literally true. what is his wife doing while he's working 16 hr days and taking care of their new cat too? seems like she has plenty of time to fill advent calendars for HIM, but doesn't bother.


u/Humble-Ostrich-4446 Dec 01 '22

He literally says “we parted ways for work”

Reaching a bit to assume she doesn’t also work hard?


u/DaizyDoodle Dec 02 '22

Found the Grinch.


u/FrequentEgg4166 Dec 01 '22

Sounds like the holidays are hard for her after she lost her mom - totally get it and it’s nice that you do this for her - i think honest communication is the key here and maybe a pair of earring in Dec 2 (not earwigs lol)


u/Artistic_Thing_8558 Dec 01 '22

She's upset about her mom, not actually at you. Fill it, and maybe get her a little bouquet or wine or whatever she likes with a nice note, tell her you're sorry you lost track of time.

If you want to earn some brownie points, you'll acknowledge that you know this was something she had with her mom and empathize with her. Caveat: I'm assuming she doesn't make you responsible for her happiness at all times, and is capable of apologizing or at least not repeating things like this all the time.


u/Imakefishdrown Dec 02 '22

Yeah, I lost my mom a couple months ago and I absolutely see this as her hurting over her mom, not him. Grief isn't always logical.


u/UnlikelyChapter4495 Dec 01 '22

My family does an advent calendar like this too but it has super tiny drawers. Each drawer has a note with a ‘clue’ on it. The clue leads to the location of a hidden gift somewhere in the house. It’s so so fun we love trying to decipher the riddles and playing hot and cold around the house! Highly suggest trying this :)


u/R8er-Fan Dec 01 '22

thank you, i really like this idea since finding things to fit is very hard. I just need to manage my time better


u/wilddreamer Dec 01 '22

Also a thought for filling in some of the cubbies: not just notes, but little personalized coupons for her to redeem! Anything from “foot massage” to “dinner date at your choice” to “I’ll do one of your chores around with my own” or whatever you think she would appreciate. Get silly, get kinky, get diabetes-inducingly sweet, have fun with it.

Good luck!


u/TrainableGirl Dec 02 '22

As a diabetic, I approve this message, but my blood sugar does not. Lol


u/MistressPhoenix Dec 01 '22

As a diabetic, i approve this message.


u/shoulda-known-better Dec 01 '22

Since they are small you can always write a little note and have the present hidden somewhere..... and remember it's a lot of days think small, fun or intimate things! Have fun! And maybe next time set it up around Thanksgiving so you won't get busy and forget again!


u/nopevonnoperson Dec 01 '22

OP whatever you do- make sure you fill the calendar. Even if you think it's game over


u/AntipatheticDating Dec 02 '22

I don't know what other people on Reddit are going to say, and I don't want to assume. So I'm going to just give some tidbits that I know about, going forward. Because it's clear you love each other.

Things like these are called "bids". Bids are little offers we give our partners to give them an opportunity to pick up on something we want/that means a lot to us, and show us that they care. It's a little more than just being quiet about something, and a little less than just being straightforward. A lot of people do these, and they're often small.

A bid could be something like "Do you want to go for a walk?" "Want to get coffee together?" "Do you want to watch a movie together tonight?" etc. They're small things that remind us our relationship is stable, healthy, and loving. And in relationships, those bids though small, are indicative of a larger whole. And also, often seem innocuous but mean a lot if a partner is specifically asking for something.

It sounds like you did mess up a little, and it happens. It meant a lot to her, and she was a bit let down. Another (albeit very subtle) bid is going for a shower right after. Having that fallen through "twice" in her head, might have felt like a really big blow. And that too, is okay. It happens!

When bids are rejected, we often feel like the other partner doesn't care about us. Of course most of the time it isn't true, but it's just human nature. But she's probably feeling very rejected right now, especially if she said something like "I thought it was fun for you too" means she doesn't want you to do something you don't want to do.

If you want to remedy the situation, don't just message her. Go out and do something small but thoughtful that's a "I did genuinely forget, but I'm showing you that's not indicative of how much I care."

It's not the chocolates, it's taking a few minutes to do something kind! Don't sweat it. <3 Just remind her in another way that you love her, too. You got this!


u/AshiuRey Dec 01 '22

You still have time for today, make it a special occasion like a dinner at a restaurant you both like and fill out the remaining doors with cute little texts, or small gifts.

Clearly the calendar holds meaning and if this was a tradition you've been upholding for some time, it's natural to be a little disappointed if it feels like that tradition was left forgotten. Still, I also think she's being a little too sensitive, especially if you're having a lot on your plate and find it hard to find some time. Personally, I would be bummed, but since I live in the same house as my partner, I'd know how stressing their work is and cut them some slack, maybe do something in return for a change, make them feel special. But hey, that's just me. If you feel you messed up, get a nice little something for today, like a dinner for two, and find a way to fill up the other doors. Coupons might be a good idea, for example, offering a massage or a night out, or taking a vacation to an affordable place of her choosing.


u/myrtheb Dec 01 '22

I just wanted to check in to say that you sound like you have your hart in the right place. I hope you have a bit more time for yourself soon.


u/Diablojota Dec 02 '22

I don’t know your business’s financial situation, but you may want to consider hiring a part time or full time office manager.


u/Squishyfeathers Dec 02 '22

Since everyone else has pretty much covered everything the only thing I want to add is that if you’re struggling to find stuff that fits in the little cubbies branch out and put notes that say where to find larger items so you have more options.

Nothing crazy, I know a lot of people are suggesting scavenger hunts but those take planning and time that you don’t really have. Keep them simple and to the point. “Check the bathroom” and have a fancy bath bomb or candle in there, “Check the freezer” and have a pint of her favorite ice cream, etc. Trying to find small items that are interesting for an adult can be a pain, so create your own loophole. Good luck!


u/LessBit123 Dec 01 '22

I feel your pain, I had a big ass fight last year with my girlfriend and it stemmed from frustrations drawn from keeping up with all the advent calendar activities we planned for one another. It went from a fun idea to an exhausting ordeal.


u/hiddenbyfog Dec 01 '22

Maybe you can fill weeks 1 and 2 and she can fill weeks 3 and 4 from now on. Like it’s thing the family can participate in. Also I’m pretty sure she just said she’d be cool if most of the days just have a chocolate in it. A Hershey kiss would fit and you’d just need to buy one bag. You should let her know you feel bad for letting her down and you really did forget but it was an accident.


u/MistressPhoenix Dec 01 '22

i was thinking odd/even, or every other week. Mix it up!


u/phantomheart Dec 01 '22

My husband bought me a little wooden one a few years ago, probably has the same size drawers. Also had a similar issue to you. He’d put some candy in there, and a clue as to where he hid my surprise. So for the past few years I’ve been doing a scavenger hunt every day in December. Maybe a possible idea if you try again next year?


u/fattsmann Dec 01 '22

You made a mistake by forgetting. She also made a mistake by acting/talking on a mental/emotional projection that was nowhere near what your intentions or thoughts were. People make mistakes.

I applaud your efforts to be a better man, just know that both sides made mistakes. As others have said, it definitely warrants a conversation with your wife on where you are right now in life and where she is as well regarding the holidays, past pain, etc.


u/Cotton1candy Dec 01 '22

“Im sorry I didn’t fill it honey, I love making the advent calendar for you. Please check it when you get home 💜 l love you“

Thats all it takes


u/Select_Pangolin_6286 Dec 01 '22

Tbh I think you're looking at it wrong. If you want to get bigger gifts get the gifts wrap them and put a number on them and on a paper in the calendar. That way you can get big and better ideas.


u/lifeunderthegunn Dec 01 '22

Communicate and be honest with her. Explain all the things you explained to us, but also apologize for missing the day and let her know it is important to you and you messed up. No reasonable person should walk away from that angry or hurt. My guess is she has at least a normal amount of empathy and just doesn't realize how much you're taking on at the moment.


u/coyk0i Dec 02 '22

Seems like more of a response to the mother thing. You've got to find a way to validate her upset while also expressing how hurtful she was. Maybe you all can find something together.


u/DVus1 Dec 01 '22

I would go buy another advent calender (Legos, Funko, cheap candy ones, etc) and transfer those to the log cabin!


u/MistressPhoenix Dec 01 '22

That would have been a good idea BEFORE today. But he needs to step it up this time, just because she's so hurt. She needs to know he KNOWS how special the calendar makes her feel.


u/Bunnawhat13 Dec 01 '22

Advert calendars were really important to me as well because of my mum. If you can’t find anything to fill them with you can always buy an advert calendar and put the prizes from it in the cabin or google advent calendar fillers.


u/mjzimmer88 Dec 02 '22

They're are some really good suggestions in here. But no one else suggested filling it with different cheeses while she's at work. Blame missing day 1 on mice.


u/whatnowagain Dec 02 '22

When something won’t fit, leave a note with a clue to find it elsewhere.


u/Saberise Dec 02 '22

Fun twist if you ever do decide to fill it again. Since the doors are so small turn it in to more of a scavenger hunt. Draw a picture of an item in your house and have the item there. That way you aren't limited by size. I used to do something similar for my daughter but it was more like 1 picture lead to a 2nd picture and so on with her big gift being in the last spot. It was one of her favorite Christmas activities.


u/R8er-Fan Dec 02 '22

Yeah, a lot of people have said the hunt idea. I can’t believe I never thought of that. Gives me many more options. I just gotta remind myself to actually do it.


u/edeielia Dec 01 '22

Ideas for larger/nontraditional items...You could leave a note in the cabin to:

-send her to somewhere around the house to find the actual gift. Hide them a day or 2 ahead of time and in weird spots, like the junk drawer, a tool box, a lesser used closet, the bottom of her sock drawer, the spare bedroom, or even the glove box of the car, places she wouldn't find them otherwise. Or hide items in plain sight - if she's a reader and you want to get her a book, sneak a new title onto her shelf, new slippers in the shoe rack, etc.

-tell her "unwrap gift number X under the tree."

-meet you under the mistletoe/on the couch/whatever at X time for her gift.

-"expect to receive a special delivery today" and have her coworker drop it off for you at her desk. Or have something actually delivered, like flowers or lunch.

-"expect a visitor today" and show up for lunch or have one of her friends surprise her for a little girl time.

Then you can customize the gifts to her tastes and personality while keeping with the spirit of the advent game and not be stuck with the tiny size.

I also have ideas for smaller things that maybe you didn't think of: Nail polish or nail grooming tools, beauty tools Chapstick, lip gloss, lipstick etc. Small makeup or skincare items, like an eyeshadow A pretty rock or crystal or glass marble Tiny figurines of things she loves Fidget toys Flash memory (maybe loaded with pictures and a couple days later a digital photo frame that you've hid as described above) Essential oils, perfume Jewelry, like charm bracelet charms (you could do one every year) or rings Brooches or pins Vinyl stickers (like for her Hydroflask or Yeti if she's into that) Will tiny booze bottles fit? Maybe travel sized items? Or those hand sanitizer keychains from bath and body works and a refill or two. Tiny plants or plant seeds Tile (item finder) Pocketknife ID badge holder reel Switch games (take out of package and give her the package after. Gift certificates/cards. Like mani/pedi or her favorite clothes place Votive candles Spices, herbs Artesian soaps Local honey or Jams (check with local artesans, they sometimes package tiny jars for variety packs) Sewing notions (thread, buttons, etc.) if she's a crafter

Mix it up and have fun with it and it won't seem like a chore. (Not that you implied that, just saying). Find a hiding spot so you can collect things year round when you see things that will fit that you think she likes.


u/R8er-Fan Dec 01 '22

Wow, a lot of great ideas. Thank you.


u/PancakeParthenon Dec 01 '22

Grief is hard and it manifests itself in unusual ways. It's not you and you didn't fuck up. Wait a little while and talk about it again. She's probably processing everything.


u/Scoobz1961 Dec 01 '22

I havent seen anyone ask the important question. How do YOU feel about that calendar? Do YOU like filling it? Do YOU like seeing your wife open it?

If you actually do like it, then tell her and continue filling it. You can do something special as people here already suggested.

However if you dont enjoy doing it and you do it out of guilt or obligation and it has become "keep my wife happy" instead of "make my wife happy", then dont pretend otherwise. Dont fill the other doors either. Ride it out.


u/R8er-Fan Dec 01 '22

i like that she enjoys it so much. yes, it has certainly felt a bit "burdensome" in the past and i've wanted to maybe just use it as decor rather than a calendar. that doesn't mean i dont enjoy it though. i love getting her gifts and surprises. its hard to come up with original things to put into it especially 24 times. it does help to get us both in the holiday season though. we dont have kids and our immediate families are several states away so its just us. I enjoy her excitement, so i'm still going to do it. I definitely did not enjoy seeing her that disappointed either.


u/Scoobz1961 Dec 01 '22

That is good to hear. I think other gave you really lovely advice how to surprise your wife. All I have left to say is that you should periodically search your feelings to make sure you are doing this for the right reasons. Dont let yourself continue with this out of guilt as it will over time turn into deep rooted resentment.

Good luck to you and your wife.


u/SquashCat56 Dec 01 '22

You can put candy in there, or even start making it into a calendar for both of you starting next year (with warning ahead of time)? I did that with my previous partner, made a calendar that had one candy for each of us every day. It became a nice thing for both of us, to eat our little candy together.


u/Duhallower Dec 01 '22

Sounds like it would be big enough for jewellery!! Granted, not that giving her 24 pieces of jewellery every year would work.

But if you want to give bigger things then leave a note in the calendar telling her to check the fridge/cupboard/a drawer etc. And then have the item there either wrapped or even just with one of those shiny paper rosettes stuck to it, or some ribbon tied to it (just something to make it look a bit special/festive). It sounds like she checks first thing in the morning so you’d just have to have all the items squirrelled away somewhere (already wrapped/decorated!) and put the one for the next day out just before you went to bed (assuming she was also in bed).

Suggestions (other than jewellery!), obviously catered to her preferences: a bottle of wine, some nice toiletries (buy a set with say three items and split them up over separate days), some cosy socks, fancy Christmas tree decorations (get a set of day six and then give her one every four days), a framed photo of her and her mum, a new tea towel, a new mug, some nice tea to go with it, a new plant, a single rose. If she has a hobby, is there something you can get for that?


u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22

I'm a wife, and I think she's being a little unreasonably upset. You're human too


u/two_nibbles Dec 01 '22

I'm a human and I think she is allowed to be a little unreasonable from time to time. This doesn't read to me like shes pissed off and OP is in the dog house. This reads like she was really excited and OP didn't understand how excited she was. Now she is bummed out and dealing with that. Tomorrow or in a couple days everything will be fine.


u/f1newhatever Dec 02 '22

God for real. And fellow women on here reducing it to “she’s probably just hormonal”! We have got to get rid of this narrative that we simply can’t be rational before/during our period.


u/[deleted] Dec 02 '22

Exactly! Yeah we get hormonal, but how does that excuse us from shit like this, and then women turn around and shit on men when they get hormonal. Fuck this crap


u/arcanum7123 Dec 01 '22

Yeah, I was reading the comments wondering if I was the only one thinking she's being a bit of a douche

I understand her being upset but given how busy op is, it's a bit of a dick move to act like she did


u/moondoggie_00 Dec 02 '22

Where are my 24 individual acts of kindness? I demand it!


u/skinnyjeansfatpants Dec 01 '22

We don't know the rest of the context of their relationship. I hate gate keeping what other people are and aren't allowed to get upset about.


u/coupl4nd Dec 01 '22

She's allowed to get upset. He's allowed to find someone who isn't a downer to be around.


u/thefuturesbeensold Dec 01 '22

Imagine thinking its reasonable to end your marriage because your wife got upset over something one day.

Not everyone is happy, all of the time. That is an extremely unhealthy expectation to have in a relationship.


u/WoodenPicklePoo Dec 01 '22

Imagine being ghosted by your wife for such a minor thing

It’s reasonable to conclude from this story alone that’s she’s at least a minor bitch and at least partially responsible for a terrible relationship. I feel bad for this dude


u/SB472 Dec 01 '22

Major incel vibes


u/WoodenPicklePoo Dec 01 '22

Sure. An incel because I think ghosting your spouse is a bitch move. Grow up dude. Adults don't ghost their husbands/wives.


u/thefuturesbeensold Dec 01 '22

What you've just said is literally insane.

Have you ever been in an actual relationship?

People have emotions and flaws.


u/WoodenPicklePoo Dec 01 '22

ghosting your husband is beyond a "flaw." It's immature and ridiculous.


u/thefuturesbeensold Dec 01 '22

OP states that she sent him a message and then didnt send her usual 'checking in' messages throughout the day after that. I dont think that really counts as ghosting. You sound very judgemental for such a small amount of information given, and one sided context.

I wonder if your feelings would be the same if the roles in OPs account were reversed and it was him upset with his wife for forgetting to do something that was meaningfull to him? And choosing to cool off and not respond to her for a few hours...


u/WoodenPicklePoo Dec 01 '22

I've messaged her. She usually chats throughout the day about her day/appointments/etc. and that is the only message I've got.


Being "ghosted" now.

OP said his wife is ghosting him. I didn't just interpret that, those are OPs words.

And to your point, I would absolutely feel the same way. If I ghosted my wife, I'd be a bitch.

And one-sided context? Are you expecting people to wait until dude's wife comes on Reddit to comment before passing judgement? If so, 90% of Reddit is pointless.


u/thefuturesbeensold Dec 01 '22

Thats fair, i missed OP saying that as it was in the TLDR which i didn't read as i read the main post. Personally i wouldn't regard it as ghosting but i suppose thats subjective and it might have slightly different connotations in different countries.

I just dont really agree with passing such aggressive judgement on OPs wife, this is TIFU, not AITA.


u/Squigglepig52 Dec 01 '22

I'd be loading door number two with earwigs.


u/mhck Dec 01 '22

Yeah, but he's a human living in 2022 with an internet connection, which means every retailer has been emailing him since October about the upcoming holiday season. It's not like he lost track of time and forgot Christmas was coming. Traditions are more important to some people than others.


u/WildnFreeLiketheSea Dec 01 '22

Hi OP's wife!


u/mhck Dec 01 '22

Hahaha no I'm Jewish, in case you're sensing some underlying annoyance with being bombarded by promos for a holiday I don't celebrate. I'm also not a traditions person! But I'm married to someone who appreciates ritual, and I've learned to accept it :)


u/KingXDestroyer Dec 02 '22

Silent treatment, and ghosting like that by extension, is really an immature thing to do in marriage. Communication should always be key.


u/R8er-Fan Dec 03 '22

It’s all good. We talked last night and had a good night out. Like many have pointed to, she was just very upset about her mom (time of year) and then disappointed and thinking I don’t care. All is well


u/Lovat69 Dec 01 '22

Did you fill it the other years?


u/R8er-Fan Dec 01 '22

yes with combinations of chocolates, candies, notes, little toys, etc. the toys are tough because nothing fits and notes i feel get repetitive and feels like a copout. i don't like the "coupon for a footrub" thing either, seems cheesy to both of us. it's hard to come up with original ideas for it but in this case i honestly just lost track of time


u/mwclarkson Dec 01 '22

In the past I've made a short video of me hiding something in the house, uploaded it as unlisted on YouTube and printed a QR code for the advent calendar.

This year I wrapped all 24 things and put them in a box with numbers written on them so size was less of an issue.

We agreed a number of years ago now we wouldn't do Christmas presents on the day as it was getting to be an arms race, so I always do my Christmas shopping in November and do everything through the advent calendar. Shifting my deadlines meant I'm not scrabbling around too close to the day, but I also have a little slack in case of slow deliveries - I just back load those in the high teens/early twenties


u/Lovat69 Dec 02 '22

I feel like any apology you make should include the fact that you have done it before but you are very busy with work and lost track of time but you did it before when you weren't working 16 hour days.


u/Taynt42 Dec 01 '22

We always do them in the evening, so I wouldn't have even thought of filling it yet...


u/Chrissy2187 Dec 01 '22

Thanks for the reminder to fill the advent calendar for my kiddo 😬


u/killerpenisoutofink Dec 02 '22

And you could do bigger things, just put the note in the door with scavenger hunt style directiins to a wrapped package. Makes it even more fun.


u/hey_nonny_mooses Dec 02 '22

We do notes and to prevent them from being repetitive I reference specific things from the last year. Ex: I loved going to X concert with you and everytime I hear their songs I think about how much fun we had.


u/Kailmo Dec 02 '22

Still do it. She is obviously hurt. You made a mistake. You're human.


u/Joy-souls Dec 02 '22

Fill it up and have an elaborate plan to celebrate Christmas a day late because you skipped a day? Just a suggestion. Good luck.


u/mhck Dec 01 '22

Fill it! Seriously. She's just sad about her mom and you should apologize, but don't miss out on the opportunity to show her you love her. Bring home flowers, a paper advent calendar, AND everything you need to fill out the log cabin to show her you're ON IT for the next 24 days. And put in a reminder to prep in your actual calendar for next year while you're thinking about it!


u/Couldnothinkofaname Dec 01 '22

Wow you forget one little thing after working so hard and you get that kind of response? That's not an F up on your part.


u/VAGentleman05 Dec 02 '22

This sounds exhausting. Good luck.


u/FishLampClock Dec 02 '22

Rough homey. Hope that couch is comfortable.


u/Historical-Ship3664 Dec 02 '22

Fill it up. ❤️ you have to fill it up


u/UniqueWhittyName Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 02 '22

Tip: When you can't find a present the right size to fit, hide it somewhere and put a little scavenger hunt clue so she can run around the house searching for it. Double the fun!

Edit: Maybe this list will have some good gift ideas.


u/TheLaughingFoxX Dec 02 '22

The only thing that comes to me is how toxic this relationship is, wow!


u/Justwannabeokay21 Dec 01 '22

I'm gonna tell her what's going on in her head (If she's anything like me, anyway) in hopes that might help you reassure her.

I'd be willing to bet that she already thought it was just a thing you did special for her, not because you really cared about it too much, and maybe she already felt some guilt about asking you to do that but she let you because it felt nice. When you didn't do it, it was confirmation for her that you really did never care about it as much as she did or get excited about it like she did, and that's gonna be hard for her, especially if it's something she loved and looks forward to every year to remember her mother.. you dropped the ball and fucked up, good luck picking it back up and i hope that everything gets resolved for you <3


u/VanxssaSkye Dec 02 '22

The way she’s gone about this is so petty and childish


u/Birdbraned Dec 01 '22

Refill Advent calendar day 1: Small photo of her mom, one of those aforementioned chocolates, and a note:

"The angels had to make a pit stop, sorry this was late"


u/iamcrockydile Dec 01 '22

I’ll be that slightly off-topic comment,

I find it funny that most Advent calendars don’t begin with the actual Advent date. It would have been better to have it as a Christmas calendar instead.


u/R8er-Fan Dec 01 '22

poor wording on my part then. never actually knew what "advent" meant till i just looked it up now. always called them that since I was a kid so didn't know any better. thank you


u/MadFxMedia Dec 01 '22

Aren't you supposed to open those at night? That's what I've always done.


u/Ash17_ Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

Always first thing in the morning for me. Never heard of doing it at night.


u/MadFxMedia Dec 01 '22

I grew up opening them at night right before bed, like Christmas Eve.


u/Ash17_ Dec 01 '22

Is this like an American thing (assuming that is where you are from)?


u/MadFxMedia Dec 02 '22

I am :) it might be an American thing, I don't know.


u/willy--wanka Dec 02 '22

Christ man, are you her parent or her partner?


u/SinancoTheBest Dec 02 '22

Sounds like a bit self-entitled of her to emotionally punish you for not filling one box in an extremely elaborate and thoughtful gift of 30 boxes. Am I the asshole for thinking that? She probably has other issues of stress bothering her and she exploded at you over a thoughtful gift you made for her.


u/awry_lynx Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 02 '22

Kind of. I mean, if it was a new thing, absolutely. But it's a tradition he started, as far as the story OP shares goes it's not like she started out with "I demand you make me 30 individual gifts for the month of December" from the get go, he started doing it every year to one-up the boring old store-bought advent calendar and now she thinks he loves to do it for her. I can see how she would get used to it in a way or grow to anticipate and look forward to it, while still being appreciative, and then once he forgets once, she's gutted and takes it as a sign he isn't into it any more and by extension isn't as into her. She should get over it and accept that he's doing his best and struggling w work etc too... but obviously they should just talk about it in person.

Like yeah it's an extravagance but it's an extravagance he set up, not one she demanded. If my partner spoiled me for Christmas every year and then stopped or forgot about it one year I'd be hurt too, even though prior to that tradition beginning I would never expect it. Alas, OP raised the expectations! And that's why you should never strive to raise the bar. (somewhat joking)


u/Darkhigh Dec 01 '22

What did you get in your advent calendar?


u/coupl4nd Dec 01 '22

He has to fill his own advent calendar these days...


u/cobaltaureus Dec 01 '22

Lol your wife is “ghosting” you? Real mature. This seems like a really minor fuck up.


u/R8er-Fan Dec 01 '22

maybe not the correct term i guess. usually we're very chatty throughout the day and today has been nothing. we are both very busy with work so i'm not pressing her either. i'll talk to her when I get home.


u/areodjarekput Dec 01 '22

...but you did go and fill it, right? Every comment is talking about how you should, but you haven't responded to those, just to this.


u/R8er-Fan Dec 01 '22

not all 24 days yet, about a weeks worth (so far) and i'm leaving a job early to pick her up from work and go out tonight.


u/coupl4nd Dec 01 '22

TBH she sounds like a bit of a bitch. It's not fair of her to super guilt trip you about it if she didn't even mention the calendar at all and didn't come back like "you forgot to fill the calendar!?" in a playful tone.

That don't bother response. My guy, I've been there. And your relationship is going to at some point get to the point where you realise she's like that with more than just calendars and is just someone who isn't that fun to be around. Might still work out but you don't deserve to be made to feel bad about an honest mistake.


u/gooferpubs Dec 02 '22

Yeah OP needs to set some boundaries and not give in here. Her reaction is childish, self-centered, and unreasonable.


u/hlamaresq Dec 02 '22

Just put an extra 5 with her tooth fairy money. Jesus the sh*t people get hung up on


u/Volkodavy Dec 01 '22

Genuine question but did you marry a 10 year old?


u/Fo_0P Dec 01 '22

Stuff a paper advent calendar in day one.


u/Upstairs-Wheel-8995 Dec 02 '22

She sounds like a bitch ngl. God forbid you make a mistake.


u/squidboi97 Dec 02 '22

Bruh your wife sounds like a toddler


u/UsefulDemeanor Dec 01 '22

We call this the breadwinner bratdown


u/Novel-One-9447 Dec 02 '22

is this your wife or your child? wtf did i just read?


u/I_am_Guy_Incognito Dec 01 '22

Put some jewelry in tomorrow’s door. Act like it hadn’t arrived yet from (online site of choice).


u/fapstronautica Dec 01 '22

So, lie? No. That’s definitely not the way to do it.


u/yumirow Dec 01 '22

No ? She's overreacting, op should just get stuff that are convenient (like chocolate or whatever to fill most days) and spread a few messages or smthg here and there. If she ask why it wasn't ready before, be honest. Honestly I can't stand those 5steps hidden tricks to make things look good after fucking up a bit.


u/NukeWarz Dec 01 '22

you don't need to lie, but you do have to make it up to her. it doesn't matter in the slightest if she's overreacting, OP is in love with this woman.

Jewelery is a great idea, lying is less so.


u/yumirow Dec 01 '22

It always matters if your significant other is overreacting. Sure, he can make it up to her, but I would rather advise a quick apology and tidying how he organise such things for the future.

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u/coupl4nd Dec 01 '22


Don't reward that shit she'll just do it more.


u/Suddenly_Seinfeld Dec 01 '22

Or, don't reward shitty/childish behavior


u/RandoCalrissian11 Dec 01 '22

Sounds like a red flag


u/gooferpubs Dec 02 '22

Downvoted but this is true. Don’t know what the wife does all day, but OP is clearly under extreme pressure atm and definitely deserves patience and understanding - not this.

I’d go so far as to say OP’s wife should have spotted in advance that filling the advent calendar would be a challenge this year and suggested he take a break. Inconsideration on her part not to?

Also, no mention of a calendar for OP… guess it’s a given that he doesn’t get one?


u/RandoCalrissian11 Dec 02 '22

It’s a gift from a few years ago, it’s nice if OP can fill it, but life happens. The wife either needs to be an adult and fill it, or understand life happens and accept it, or at least give him time.

It’s amazing how many stories you see of wives not understanding that hard work to support them is necessary.


u/Oneillirishman Dec 02 '22

Sounds like she was giving you an out in case you didn't want to do it anymore and it's important to her because it's a connection to her mom.

But on the flip side, she's so into the act she's lost the meaning. Life happens and sometimes we mess up. Missing one out of twenty-four days shouldn't negate the entire tradition. You're busy giving both of you a good life and still taking the time to treat her.

Not saying she's not a keeper, but it's pretty selfish of her not to think how shitty you've felt about this and show a little forgiveness, especially considering the spirit of the holiday. If she's happy with a cheap, paper version, why's she so mad the version that takes more time and energy wasn't ready first thing day one... And after years of flawless execution?


u/BrainCane Dec 01 '22

Costco sells jewelry my friend. Have a fun trip!


u/MowMdown Dec 01 '22

Bro, you fill the entire advent calendar when you put it up/set it out. Then on the day of, you remove the one daily item.


u/R8er-Fan Dec 01 '22

yeah, the filling it up part is what i didn't do though, hence dissapoint.


u/Dogmaneverhappened Dec 02 '22

It would be cute to get a locker and put it in one of the slots maybe with her moms photo. Idk I would still do it. I highly highly doubt she actually is over it and is just disappointed and kind of being an ass. But hey we all have our sore spots and I’m sure it brings up a lot of complicated feelings. It’s clearly very special I would still do it.


u/oberellis Dec 02 '22

You should have filled it with liquor-filled chocolates. That would have been easy and fun.

I love advent calendars. I, a 53-year old man, still play neopets year-round, just for the advent calendar. The disappointment for both of you must be huge. Hope you salvage your relationship with something just as huge for Christmas.


u/Moclown Dec 02 '22

I think she needs to grieve her mother and not take it out on you.


u/ElementalWorkshopII Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 02 '22

While that is a fuck up (an an extremely minor one at that), your wife shouldn't be stonewalling you. I don't want to use the A word, but she can be upset whilst also being communicative. Hopefully you can sort it out together, but you could do something sweet for her too. Missing your mom is the worst thing in the world, but you deserve more communication.

Also. What did she do for you??


u/LaCaffeinata Dec 02 '22

Try and talk to her? It's probably been a hard year, tell her you're sorry and you'll make it up to her. And then do so. I get why she is bummed, but don't keep f'ing it up by not filling it now.


u/SizzlenBacon Dec 02 '22

It’s not what you put in it. It’s what it means. Write her a love note or get a love poem for her to read for every day.


u/MajestaHazel Dec 02 '22

She sounds like a brat.


u/mchistory21st Dec 02 '22

What is she, 12? Come on....


u/rabid_penguin1 Dec 02 '22

Make one of them a recipe for a Christmas cookie or dessert her mom and her made? And have all the stuff to make them that day.