Are you the kind of couple that puts a lot of weight on anniversaries? Some are so particular they can recite every anniversary symbol from paper to plastic. They’re the kind of couple that back when they were dating, had a celebration at the 2-week and 2-month marks. Then there are others who are happy to be married, but they can barely remember their wedding dates. Also, when you get to a certain age, your kids put more emphasis on your wedding celebrations than you do. There are lots of different reasons for this.
Part of it is psychological. Your relationship with your spouse is your kids’ first model of nuptial bliss (or marital mishaps). It subconsciously influences the type of person they’ll be attracted to, and how they’ll interact with said partner. So as they get older and experience the world, seeing many of their beliefs get tainted, the stability of your marriage becomes more of a foundation for them. And of course in this age where we’re marrying less and divorcing more, long-lasting marriages are more revered.
From that perspective, a marriage of fifteen or twenty years becomes a unicorn. When it’s parents or grandparents, it’s even keener because they’re personally invested. That said, 2019 feels like a teetering year – maybe because 2020 seemed impossibly far away, and now it’s here. So in many areas of life, it’s feels almost like a ‘last chance’ to do something special. Which means for you – whether you’re a faithful anniversary celebrant or someone who rarely polishes their ring, 2019 is the year to go big then go home.
Let the kids do it
You’ve spent a large proportion of your life arranging parties for your children. It’s their turn now. Let them know you want this to be the anniversary of anniversaries, then tell them to surprise you. You may want to give them some caveats though. Kids – because of the nature of the relationship – know surprisingly little about their parents. So they may be unaware you have a fear of heights and end up booking you for bungee jumping or sky diving. Or maybe they’ll decide to throw you a surprise camping party despite your arachnophobia.
So if there are any areas that are complete no-go zones for you, let them know. You might offer hint if there’s anything in particular that you do want. But make sure it’s a very clear hint, and that you direct it at your daughters, because everybody knows guys don’t get hints. Also, resist the urge to take over their planning, even when you can see they’re doing it wrong. Practice extreme patience and let them do something nice for you. You can – however – create a gift registry. You want to be sure you’ll get things you actually like.
If you’re unsure about being too fussy or going too high above your guests’ budgets, point in the direction of a gift curation specialist. These are companies that design gift hampers. Your guests can look through available catalogues and pick items from $5 to $500. That said, you can point out gift packs that particularly appeal to you. If it’s too pricy, they can always buy the gift as a group. Technically, each item in the gift basket is a separate gift, so they can get away with that. One of the cheekiest ways to hint is to casually mention individual pieces.
Give the right clues
List them one by one, then mention a site you like to visit. They’ll go on the site themselves and notice – surprise surprise – that there’s a convenient basket with everything you like, free delivery inclusive. Yay! One such hamper is Picnic Basket for Two. It’s literally a wicker basket complete with cutlery in a Velcro bag, ceramic dishes, wine glasses, salt-and-pepper shakers, a bottle opener, and cheeseboard, and even a cooler compartment wih ice packs.
The basket is loaded with picnic items like nuts, bubbly, olives, chocolate, peppers, and crackers. You might mention a specific location that would be nice for a picnic, so you can get tickets to that location as part of your anniversary gift. If you’re concerned they might misinterpret the message, be more direct. Tell your kids that for your 2019 anniversary, you would like to have a picnic at Venue X and that you’d like all the kids and grandkids to be there. You would also like a picnic basket gift hamper, and they should feel free to bring any other gifts they may wish. Preferences for BBQ and beer-related presents. Now sit back, hope they’ll actually listen, and enjoy the best anniversary ever.