Sunday, September 2, 2012

Anniversary conundrum.........

Tomorrow is our sixth wedding anniversary. It's also our "familyversary" because it's the anniversary of the day we all became a family. As such, I'd like to do something together to celebrate our family. Jeff enjoys researching traditional and modern anniversary gifts and coming up with a creative gift for me that incorporates those traditions. For example, when the traditional gift was wood, he gave me a wood vase. When the traditional color was red, I got red dish towels. He also includes the traditional flower, sometimes the jewel, etc. It's very creative and sweet and I'm always impressed that he goes to such lengths to come up with a creative gift.

BUT. I have SUCH a hard time coming up with gifts for him. For one thing, most of the things he wants are incredibly expensive, or so specific that he would have to pick it out himself. He's not into trinket-y things. He already has most everything he needs for his outdoor pursuits (or only he knows/understands the specifics of what he needs). I try to do what he does and find gifts that incorporate the traditional anniversary gift ideas. But it's SO much harder to find things a guy would like. For example, this year the gifts are iron, wood and candy. The candy part is easy, but the iron and wood parts are a lot harder. And he just bought himself a muzzle loader gun which just happens to be made of iron and wood. There goes that idea.

When I tried to buy him a card, I could not find ONE card that was from a wife to a husband. There were dozens from a husband to a wife. Does this imply that only husbands should give wives gifts? Or that it's more important for the husband to give the wife a gift, than the other way around? It certainly seems so, since the only cards I could find were either from husband to wife or from someone else to the happy couple. I guess I'll just make a homemade card.

But the gift part is so hard. Jeff actually keeps a wish list of things he's wanted for years. I use it for Christmas and birthdays. But, often, he buys himself something from the list and fails to "check it off", or the item is expensive or over-the-top (a Harley?), OR it's a book that has been out of print for decades. Lately, he has packages arriving all the time with little things he's bought himself - a video on how to shoot better, an elk call; things I knew nothing about him even wanting!

I would like our anniversary to consist of dinner out together, and perhaps a gift of something for the home or an experience we can enjoy together. And, since it's also the day we became a family and our kids became siblings, I'd like us to celebrate as a family and perhaps buy something for the family (i.e. a big-ticket item we wouldn't normally buy) or buy tickets to a show or event that we'd all enjoy. I feel so much pressure to pull off a gift as creative as his every year and it's making me crazy. I know it's not about reciprocity - I should just be happy to receive his sweet gifts (and I am!) but I REALLY want to give him something he truly wants/needs/can enjoy each year.

What are your anniversary traditions? Do you exchange gifts? Go on a date? Take a trip together? Do you only celebrate the "big" ones? If you are in a blended family, do you do anything special to commemorate that? What about not spending money? Are there non-monetary ways you celebrate? Making homemade cards? Homemade dinner? I'd love to hear your ideas!

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