The hints had not worked. As usual. She had pointed at those cute pink earrings and giggled, "Look, aren't they gorgeous? They would match my new dress perfectly!"
And he had gotten her something for the kitchen. Again. Last year it had been a new pan, designed for low-fat cooking. The year before, he had gotten her an apron and matching oven mits. The year before that, a set of cookpots. Then there were the hand-held mixer, the meat thermometer and the "good plates" with the ivy design she hated so much. The list went on. Every year.
Well, at least this time he had gotten her something she could use. Tiptoing from the bedroom, she held the steak knife at her side, gingerly, trying not to get any blood on that ugly apron. It was too early to call the kids' families to wish them merry christmas. She would relax and have a hot chocolate first.