But Sgt. Wes Wooten is an army combat photographer stationed in Iraq and they had to settle for swapping Christmas gifts over the phone.
But he did manage to surprise her anyway, arranging for a very special delivery - a car.
"Wes has always been doing things like this. He's always trying to surprise me and this is one of the best," Wendy Wooten tells The Early Show co-anchor Rene Syler.
From 6,371 miles away, Wes Wooten spent four days on the Internet, which he says required "stealthy maneuvers" and surprised her on Christmas Day with a 2004 Toyota Corolla.
He says, "Initially, I was supposed to be home for Christmas, so it (buying a car) was going to be a lot easier when I started out. When our extension came through, I just had to put myself through a little bit more to get it done."
He bought this car over the Internet. He explains, "I configured the car and got all of the specifications down and then I called the local dealership in Greenville, and spoke with their Internet sales rep and she helped me get through the rest of it."
But he had to change the password of the account where his military pay goes so that he could pay for the car without his wife learning of it.
Speaking of his wife, he says, "She keeps track of the books very well and she's very astute at it, so I had to shift some money around. I have one account that she doesn't check very often so I had to pull the deposit from that. That's all I had to have up front to order the car. Everything else, I got the bank to delay it at the last minute so it wouldn't show up on any statement."
In shock by the surprise, Wendy Wooten says she really needed a new car. And, she notes, it has been hard to be without her husband of 10 years.
She says, "This is the first time that we've ever been apart for such a long time. But God has really helped us. He has been there and given me something to look at now and I really believe that the Lord is going to take care of us and he's going to bring Wes home very soon."
The Early Show helped him pull off the surprise as well. Wendy says, "I thought the local crew was here to take pictures of something I had taken under the tree. I had no idea he was getting a car."
Now, the Wootens have the whole surprise caught on tape.