It’s Ask The Editors time! Today’s question comes from a Persephedude who wants to plan a special anniversary for his Persephone lady and he wants our input. And if you are wondering if all of your beloved editors are hoping that it was their Persephedude who is looking to plan a special event, you would be right! Read on for our collected tips about planning a special anniversary!
SallySassyPants: 1. An ex designed a monogram for me and then had a beautiful journal made for me so I could be a writer. It was super sweet.
2. A friend of mine once had a boyfriend take her to see the manatees.
3. At the Detroit Zoo (and I’m sure many other zoos), you can feed animals (clearly, a lot of animal themed ideas here!). They have one where you can have breakfast at the zoo and then feed the penguins breakfast.
4. An old boss of mine arranged to have his wife be able to drive a forklift on her birthday because apparently she really always wanted to try it.
5. Another girl I knew had a dream to feed a baby cow. Her boyfriend made it happen.
It seems to me that the best gifts are those that involve a long-held dream that is relatively easy to fulfill.
Ruby Bruiseday: I guess I don’t know enough about the guy to make suggestions, but here are a few that come to mind:
1. What does he appreciate about her? He should plan something around a few of the things he appreciates about her. (Like, if she is passionate about something, it should incorporate that passion; if she has a characteristic, like kindness or attitude, that he loves about her, it should be an activity or event that draws those characteristics out.)
2. What does he know that she appreciates about him? He should use that to his advantage in planning this.
3. Is she more of an introvert or extrovert? If she is more of an introvert, she might appreciate the anniversary celebrations being home-based; can he cook? Fix or make something she’s been wanting done? Throw her a very low-key celebration with some close friends? If extroverted, something more outgoing: again, don’t know her interests, so hard to fill in the blanks, but anniversaries deserve some flair. Whether for this couple that means taking a special picnic basket to a sporting event, or going dancing or seeing a show or getting a GREAT meal out somewhere, it needs to suit her interests, energy level, and ability to expend social energy.
Michelle Miller: In my opinion, just about anything that shows forethought and genuine consideration will not go awry. Some top-notch, general anniversary ideas that most women seem to enjoy include the following:
1. Romantic dinner for two at home – he can arrange a chef package where they come in and cook (check Groupon!) or cook himself.
2. Couples spa day! Good for so, so many reasons.
3. Trip to a local amusement park/fair/carnival that ends with a surprise picnic/nice dinner.
4. A surprise trip to a significant place in the relationship (that bluff overlooking the sea where the two may have first kissed, for example, if they live by the sea – just giving suggestions here!).If money is tight, look for those special romantic locations and do a picnic. Or, better yet, he could try crafting something – like a poem, song, video, collage, or some sort of sappy, sentimental thing that she will treasure.
Selena: Most important: It really is the thought that counts. The time, effort and thoughtfulness that goes into the gift is way more important than what it costs or how fancy it is. Let the missus know how much you appreciate how she makes your life better. Take a minute to acknowledge the invisible things she does that keep everyone’s life going. I second the make-your-own gift idea. Does she spend a lot of time in the car? Make a special playlist or CD of all the songs that make you think of her, and you know she likes. Do you have kids afoot? Send them somewhere else for the day, or maybe even overnight.
Some on-the-cheap ideas:
Blender drinks (can be non-alcoholic, milkshakes come from a blender, as do smoothies, and both are SUPER easy) + Board games + Take-out, just for the two of you. (This was seconded and thirded by Luci and Michelle M.)
Find a list of songs and movies that came out the year you got married and make a playlist. (I am big on playlists, every anniversary should have a soundtrack.)
Watch some movies, add some take-out.
Write sweet things on Post-it notes while she’s asleep and put them every where she has to go during her early morning routine.
Do all the chores she hates the most the day before the big day.
I agree with all of the above. It’s the thought that counts. I have to say, neither Mr. Freedman or I are very good at doing this without spending money. But some things I would like include:
1. To have the children banished for a day or two.
2. Common household chores outsourced – spend the money on a cleaning service or ship out the laundry or whatever else is overwhelming at the moment, and then do something free or cheap like a picnic somewhere.
3. I happen to love pedal boats. Mr. Freidman does not. I’d be super geeked to go pedal boating for a special occasion.
4. Mostly, it’s the time together that I crave, without distractions or responsibilities.
Pileofmonkeys: I am the least romantic person ever, and our anniversaries generally consist of a nice dinner out, and that’s fine with me. If my husband got it into his head to do all the little chores and stuff that I hate, and yet do every day, that’d go a long way, though.
Luci Furious: For me, I don’t need something huge and elaborate. I imagine that if I had kids, I would really enjoy getting away from them for a night or two – and from what my friends with kids have said about their husbands sometimes not knowing enough about the kids’ routines – I think it would be key for the dad to be able to plan for the kids to be with grandma for the weekend and mom doesn’t have to do anything.
Mr. Furious does a really great job of picking out something that he knows I want/want to do without even asking. I don’t have any tips on how to do that, because I suck at it. Anyway, for an anniversary I would like to do something that’s just us and is doing what we enjoy doing together, whatever that is. For our first anniversary, we ordered hamburgers and milkshakes and watched a movie at home – it was cold and we were tired! And it was a really nice time. For a big anniversary or if money isn’t an issue, a bigger trip would be great. If money is a little tighter, homemade things are great. A homemade dinner with fancy drinks and a nice dessert. A day out with a picnic. Last year for Mr. Furious’s birthday when I didn’t have a job I made ABC’s of I Love You. I got a pack of flashcards and some sticker paper and printed out or drew pictures for every letter that were reasons I love him, or things he loves. That would also be a great anniversary gift.
xfafafabulous: I just always try do a bunch of things he likes. I give him his favorite candy, make him his favorite baked goods, make him his favorite meals, wear an outfit he likes. I don’t do so much a gift as much as I do just kinda catering to his whims, haha, which is nice. He normally gives me a gift and takes me somewhere special for dinner, and that is good for me. Just doing whatever the other person likes. And actually, it’s pretty fun, to make them happy. You can’t do it every day, obviously, catering to someone’s every whim, but every once in a while it is fun to do it, because of how much the other person likes it and appreciates it.
SaraB: Anniversaries are a great time to honor the past, celebrate the future, or show off your knowledge of your partner. Recreating something romantic from the start of your relationship is always a winner, just make sure it was something she enjoyed as much as you did. Or, if you know that she has a new goal or something big that she is working on, do something to show your support for her dream.
As for showing off your knowledge of her, this can be as simple as tying a bow around her favorite candy bar or flower, or something like the time a friend of mine went through a giant bag of message hearts, pulled out all the yellow ones and used them to spell out “I love you” on the kitchen counter before his wife woke up on Valentine’s Day, because he knew the yellow ones were her favorite. If you can remember anything she has said that starts with “I’ve always secretly wanted…” then make it happen. She will never forget it.
The most important thing is to think of possible pitfalls. If she is nervous about flying, the sunset helicopter ride around the city will be more “flight of terror” than “romantic evening for two.” If she has been trying to lose weight, spend some time on Google to come up with a meal that is luxurious and low-fat. Last year I had the best birthday ever because we had just joined Weight Watchers, and Mr.B surprised me with an awesome lo-cal barbecue, complete with WW-approved cake.
Put some thought into what you want to do, but don’t over-think everything to the point that you just give up. I’ve had that happen a few times and it makes me want to cry.