When I was looking for a first anniversary present for Nick, I wanted it to be paper, since that is what the traditional first anniversary present is. I gave up on traditional anniversary presents after year 1.
Anyway, while browsing on Pinterest, I found this site which talked about giving your significant other One Year of Dates.
Basically, you write out 12 different dates, put them in envelopes, and wrap it all up in a box.
You could come up with date nights at home, you could write out places you want to go together, or you could buy gift certificates to places you like to go together. Or you could do a combination of all of those things. The first time I did it, I bought 12 different gift cards for little dates – they ranged from $5 to $20.
Nick really loved this anniversary present, and it was so fun to dip into the box each month when we wanted to do something but didn’t know what to do. What I loved most about this was that it got us out of the house for dates when Nick was working on his MBA and probably would have just opted to stay at home instead if it had been up to him.
For our second anniversary, I couldn’t do the one year of dates box because at that point, we didn’t know if we were moving or staying in Hawaii for one more year. I had no idea what the next year would look like. I don’t even remember what I got him instead.
For our third anniversary, which we had in August, I decided to make him the one year of dates box again since I knew we would be here for a while.
So here’s how I did it. First, I chose things that were inexpensive. I bought gift cards to the movies, our favorite lunch spots, an ice cream place, our favorite fast food place, our favorite breakfast spot. Nick doesn’t drink coffee but a gift card to your favorite coffee shop would be perfect too. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money and I chose things that we would want to do anyway if we had the time. I also used Groupon! I just have to make sure I don’t forget about that Groupon before it expires.
I feel like Nick doesn’t get enough time to just relax at home with his new job, so I also made little IOU slips for at home dates. One IOU slip was for a romantic meal at home, another was for a movie night with popcorn and snuggles. When I made them, we had just moved into our house in Hawaii and the movers hadn’t brought our stuff yet. When you don’t have anything to cook with or a couch to sit on, a nice meal at home and a movie night curled up on the couch sound like absolute heaven. Ok honestly, they still do!
IOU slips and gift cards might seem like a silly gift idea to give your significant other, but it turned out to be a great gift. Nick doesn’t usually want much, so why not give him something that we both can enjoy all year long? It was kind of practical because we tend to go out to the movies and go get ice cream anyway. But giving it to him as a present made it more special, and when we do go out and use the gift cards, it feels like a free night out.
I might just do this every year on our anniversary. It makes the time together feel more special, and it forces us to go out on a date when life gets crazy. It’s probably too late to do this for Valentine’s day, but I think it makes a great gift for any holiday — anniversary, birthday, Christmas, etc.
Would you do something like this? What is the best gift you’ve ever given?
Photo by Basia Ambroziak