Anniversaries are supposed to be a celebration of the love between two partners. It's not just a marriage thing; it's a human thing. Not belittling any who is married - I'm getting married next year, and I am looking forward to it. Fundamentally though, anniversaries are a true celebration. My personal opinion is that anniversaries are the most important (of all important) annual events.
It is a chance to focus on, reflect and appreciate our time together, the friendship, the partnership and physical bond that is shared.
How do you find time to celebrate? How can I afford it with everything else that we do together all year round?
I have faith that this blog will help plan your next anniversary and the next, and the next, and the... You get the point.
Why Are They Important?
Before we swan dive into “how”, let’s look at the “why”. As I said a moment ago, anniversaries don't necessarily need to be wedding/marriage related; they can be an anniversary of a relationship too. April 5th is doubly important to me as this is when Electra and I got together, this is when I proposed, and this is when will be wed. My point is, the date is not something you fell on to, it wasn't an accident, it was a choice. Marking the day, you chose someone to be your significant other.
Time does fly by, and our commitments to each other grow all the time. Actually, you could say that it thickens. It thickens like a big pot of warm, nourishing and satisfying soup. So thick that sometimes we forget why we chose that particular someone and why we continue to nurse this pot of soup.
We can fall into the trap of only seeing the negatives and focus on trying to change the person. We should focus on the appreciation of the positives. That is precisely why celebrating anniversaries are essential. If it weren't for all the positives that we fell in love with in the first place, we wouldn't be here cooking up this pot of soup. We would still be chasing our quick fix, one shot cuppa soups.
Some might say these cuppa soups are beautiful and tasty, but let's face it nothing beats the making, consuming and feeling of a pot of soup has been made with pour love.
Anniversaries are great chance to spoil each other with tiny “bowls" of celebrations.
1. Take a Trip Together
It doesn't matter if you choose to plan it together or to surprise your partner with a fancy trip away, taking a trip is always a fantastic way to celebrate anything, let alone an anniversary.
If you are on the side of surprising your partner, well that is a little more complicated. Here are a handful of things to think about:
If you’re planning a wee trip over a weekend, or a few days when your partner doesn't need to be at work you can delay announcing to them until the very last minute. On the other hand, you could ask them to take a few days off, but hold off telling them why or where you’re going.
Plan your budget ahead of time. If your budget is tight, don't sweat it. Just go somewhere closer or for a shorter time so you can enjoy the time you spend there.
Help your partner pack their bag, trust me you regret it if you don't help. They have no idea what to take with them as they have no idea what’s going on or where they are going.
2. Buy something together!
People often give surprise gifts and arrange their celebration independently. You are celebrating your togetherness, why do that alone? We are all adults here so if there is something substantial, perhaps expensive that you both want, use the occasion to go for it. It could be the 60-inch 4K Smart TV you have both been eyeing up or the new decking for out back. Do it together as you will be enjoying it together.
You are a good person and partner, and you will agree to disagree or settle on things so that you can have an easy life; on this occasion though don't just agree. You have a trust and faith in each other, which is great, keep that up. On this date though, it's about you both.
If you are married, and have been for many years, you have an anniversary celebration option that many people regularly choose: repeating your vows.
I have recently come to understand that some married couples do it every single year! I think that is really beautiful. I fully appreciate also that many married couples can live their entire married lives without repeating their vows and still enjoy a healthy and happy relationship, it is a neat way recreating your wedding in a more casual, less stressed environment with only your close friends and or family.
So, if you fancy seeing yourself in a different wedding dress, or getting your monies-worth from buying your wedding suit or kilt, or even making your children part of a wedding experience, this is something you can do. Heck even if you wanted to get married in an entirely different way than you did before; repeating your vows is an excellent option for you.
Classic and classy. Dinners are a great way to celebrate anything on an annual basis. Occasions like your anniversary, Valentine’s Day, Birthdays, New Years and any other relevant dates in between. Want to make your anniversary dinner the most special one? Here are a few tips:
Do you remember where you went or what you did on your first date? Go there and do that, it will remind you both of the date that you made that big decision to have the other person be your significant other. This is where it all started for you both, and that should never be forgotten.
Unless your surname is Ramsay and you swear a lot you probably aren't a world class chef, however, you got over that when you prepared a meal the first made for the other. This will take you back, and you will appreciate the effort. It may take a few times for the other to realise that at least once every year you cook the same (very specific) meal. When the penny drops, oh my will it form a wee lump in their throat.
Even if the penny doesn't drop, they will be happy with the effort you went to on that date and the food you made for them. That itself is win.
If none of these is possible, are relevant or even appropriate, for example, the first meal you cooked was a disaster and resulted in you ordering in a Chinese. Bring in an element from the beginning of your relationship. For example, Electra and I first met on a film set where we kissed (as per our parts as a kissing couple) on a bus for several hours. So, guess what is always happens on our anniversary celebrations? That's right we get the whole crew together, and we ask them to film us as we take a bus tour around Edinburgh and snog.
I'm totally joking. Our first date was April 5th, and we saw Grand Budapest Hotel and went out for a drink afterwards. So, every year since we try to enjoy something from the creative side and a glass of wine.
5. Exciting Experiences
Experience days are quickly becoming one of the top ways to celebrate your anniversary. You can make your and or your partner’s dreams come true: from car driving day, flying in a hot air balloon, skiing. Look them up on the likes of Groupon, Wowcher, and Itison. The possibilities are endless, especially since new fun things to do are being invented every day. How about flying over water with a jet-pack?
But what about the gifts Christopher? Here are a few great options, and the majority of them are suitable for both men and women.
You'll know which are more appropriate for your partner and what your partner likes and what your budget is. And if you find something you like in here, don’t forget to show this article to your loved one or anyone else you think will benefit from the read.
An obvious choice for women, yet one that most men forget about. A stunning piece of jewellery will earn you passionate gratitude from practically any woman. If you can afford it, get something with precious stones. Otherwise, make sure you out a lot of effort into it. This probably means for most of us, to follow our gut feelings.
Ok, but what kind of jewellery do we give to a man? The most obvious, and likely the best choice would be a nice watch. Just like earrings, guys can have a selection of watches. Hamilton watches are making a big name for themselves these days. That's my current favourite. You could check out "Ten Best Watches for Men" article on the Independent - http://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/fashion-beauty/mens-accessories/best-watches-for-men-under-500-switzerland-1000-leather-straps-a7657621.html
They look at the likes of Movado, Tissot, TW Steel and of course Hamilton.
What else for men? It really depends on your partner’s style, but you can choose between occasion rings, bracelets, or maybe even a necklace.
Most men love techy gifts. Decent technology gifts usually require a bigger budget, but there are also a bit more affordable options like a GoPro or a personalised iPad and high-quality wireless headphones. Just consider what your partner would like, make use of and what your budget is. Do some quick online research, and you should be able to find something awesome pretty quickly.
Many might suggest that this is not the best solution when it comes to anniversary gifts. For fear of discovering that your partner has lost or gained weight, or you have a terrible sense of fashion. It is surprising that even if you know someone very well, you could get it wrong with a particular piece of clothing. It is something that you will get better at so, if you get it wrong, you get to spend time together fixing it.
Let's face it; if we pay attention, there is always something that makes your partner stop in the window, they never go in and probably make some comment like "Nah, it's too expensive" or "Who would buy things at that price?" Who is going to be the best wife, husband or partner when you surprise them with that piece of clothing that made them stop every time they walked past?
Movie, TV show or Music subscription services are becoming popular gifts. Why not give your partner the opportunity to enjoy the latest of the movie and music industry while relaxing anywhere, anytime? If your partner travels internationally, check to make sure the subscription is available.
Art / Custom Art
This is an underrated option, but if your partner is an art lover, then the experience of art would be an excellent gift for him or her. Whether you choose a beautiful painting or a new age mixtape (CD) of classical music, art lovers will appreciate it and genuinely enjoy it.
Another great option is finding a way to give custom art. Something made specifically and bespoke for your partner. You can get a painter to create a portrait of you two, or draw the place where you first met or had your first date.
How you celebrate your anniversary and what you choose to give as a gift is not as important as demonstrating your love and respect for the person next to you every single day. If you join them on cooking that big pot soup, it won't become too thick. It will stay clear, remain fresh and taste great.
Never forget the beginning, and you will have many anniversaries to do all the things on this list—and more.
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