Sometimes we need a lot as women to feel loved. A gigantic bouquet of flowers, an expensive dinner at a five-star restaurant, diamond ANYTHING! The list can go on and on. But as I get older I realize that what was once important isn’t and what wasn’t that important now is.

I recall chatting with a college professor one time about what he was getting his wife for their anniversary. I was shocked when he said not a thing and that they don’t do many surprise gifts anymore. Christmas gifts for them were more about needs than wants; a new washer and dryer, a muffler for the car, braces for the kid. I was horrified and swore I would never be that boring or lame. After all, presents were what made anniversaries and holidays special! I stuck by that promise for quite a while. My husband and I always did something special for our anniversary and always gave gifts and cards. Pearl necklaces, new clothes, huge bouquets delivered to my office, it all was exactly what I wanted… and frankly expected.

The single perfect rose

Fast forward to present day. Our anniversary was spent on vacation in MN to visit family. Neither of us had remembered to purchase cards for each other. Although we were celebrating nine years together the day wasn’t spent centered on what we wanted to do as a couple but more about the family, specifically our 2 year old son. We visited the children’s museum not because that’s a place I would have enjoyed but because I wanted to see the smile it would bring to Little Man’s face. Dinner wasn’t at a 5 star restaurant but spent cooking a nice meal at home. My husband, upon returning from buying the groceries to make this family meal, didn’t bring me a huge bouquet eloquently arranged but a single red rose. And you know what? I wouldn’t have changed a thing! It was absolutely perfect and exactly how I wanted to spend our day celebrating the nine years that had brought us this far.

It has surprised me how differently I look at gifts and special celebrations. I don’t seem to need all the things we used to buy for each other before kids came along. The fact that my husband came home with a single perfect red rose meant more to me than any mushy card or jewelry. What meant even more was the fact that he also scoured the grocery store for a dessert he knew would make my eyes light up more than any expensive dinner ever could. And you know what? I don’t feel boring or lame at all. ;)

How has your gift giving changed since the arrival of kids?

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4 Responses to The perfect anniversary is subjective

  1. We typically like to “do something” for our anniversary. Having an experience together is much better than buying each other “things”. And now that we have kids we even like to celebrate our anniversary with them. We explained it as kind of our marriage Birthday :)

  2. I completely agree with the experience. And I like the idea of a marriage birthday! What a great way to share that with the kids!

  3. Nancy Krieger says:

    What celebrations? ha ha ha Whenever we want or need something we just pick it out together! Kids definately change your lifestyle! Take it from someone who has been married for 32 years!!!!!

  4. Kelly says:

    With the way our husbands work like crazy, I know how it feels to just want to spend a little time with your best friend in the whole world. That time spent together can mean so much more than any material object (even though that red rose was lovely- good job John). I am so grateful for my husband and our marriage (we just celebrated 9 years too!). Congratulations and Happy Anniversary!!!

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