One year ago, you walked the aisle and uttered those magic words: “I do”. You danced the first dance and smashed cake in each other’s faces and enjoyed the congratulations.
Fast forward one year, and now you’re uttering three not-so-magical words: “What to do?”
It’s your first anniversary, and, of course, you want it to be special. It can’t top the wedding cake and flowers, but it can be just as special, and even more memorable, with just a little thought and consideration.
Paper, Rock, Scissors
So the traditional first anniversary gift is paper. Ho-hum, right? No! There are plenty of ways to get romantic with paper. Consider personalized stationery with a romantic message, or even an image of the two of you cuddled up. (Think wedding, engagement, or other high-quality photos.) Make your own calendar or coffee-table book with scanned images or shots from a sexy boudoir photo shoot, if you’re daring. Go to websites like Snapfish (www.snapfish.com), or a local photographer, to whip up the keepsakes professionally.
If you and your spouse are artistic, write or buy a book of poems expressing how you feel. Try You Drive Me Crazy: Love Poems for Real Life by Mary D. Esselman and Elizabeth Ash Vélez, or The Love Poems of Rumi.
And of course, you can break out the glue, scissors, and glitter to create your own card, collage, or scrapbook, using ticket stubs, programs, and more from your joint adventures. Homemade gifts really can be best!
Speaking of homemade, does your sweetheart crave candy, cookies, or chocolates? Why not treat them to homemade fudge brownies, a cookie bouquet, or a candy basket? Nothing says loving like chocolate-covered cherries–hand-dipped at home and fed to each other! And if cooking’s not your forte, simply call a company like Edible Arrangements (which also offers fruit baskets) or See’s Candies, or visit them online (www.ediblearrangements.com and www.sees.com).
Contemporary first-anniversary gifts include clocks. Maybe a nice watch is in order! For an avid runner or foodie, try a stopwatch or kitchen timer; the gesture won’t go unappreciated.
Hit the Road
It’s true that, while things fade and wear down, memories and experiences last a lifetime. For a truly lasting memory, take a trip. Wine country, cruises, and European destinations are all popular, but you’ve got options closer to home. Try arranging a picnic or dinner at the first park or beach you ever visited, or the restaurant of your first date. Even better, consider touring all the special locations from your courtship and first year of marriage, with stops to enjoy the food, sights, and activities.
We live in the digital age. Take advantage! Use technology to help express your feelings. Create a slideshow or video, and post it to a personal website, or even YouTube, to proclaim your love to the world. If you’re more private, burn your creation to a DVD, or connect your computer to your television, and set up a private screening, complete with hot buttered popcorn! Alternatively, you can rent the first movie you saw together, or watch your wedding video while smashing that top layer of cake you saved in each other’s faces, just for old times’ sake.
Whatever you choose to do for your wife or husband, remember that a first anniversary is a special time to pause and show appreciation for the one you love walking with you through all the seasons of life. Any gift–whether handmade or store-bought, expensive or economical—will be appreciated, as long as it’s given with love and joy over the day you two became one.