The Super Trooper and I have an anniversary coming up (21 big years) and although it would be nice to do something really romantic (like a cruise), money is a little tight and I’ve already agreed that he can buy new tires for his truck! Honestly, it seems like we celebrate in different ways every year. We’ve done everything from weekend trips to nice dinners out to not even seeing one another because somebody had to work or was out-of-town (by somebody, I mostly mean him). Some years we have money to treat one another and some years things are a little more lean. As this is more of a lean year, I thought I would share a few ways to celebrate an anniversary without breaking the bank. These are great ideas whether you just don’t have extra money to spend or you would just like to save a little more for later!
- Have a picnic. This is so versatile. If there isn’t time or the weather isn’t right to have one outside, have one inside. Wait until the kiddos go to bed (or better yet, send them to someone else’s house for the night) and spread out a blanket on the floor. Light a few candles, play some favorite tunes, and scrounge up whatever snacks you can find. (Please don’t kill yourself cooking all day…it’s your anniversary too!!!)
- Don’t let those gift cards go to waste–if you have some, treat yourselves to a nice dinner out. Or dig around the house and collect all the spare money you can find. Put it all together and go eat whatever you can afford. Even if it’s just an ice cream cone, it could be fun!
- Snuggle up and watch a movie. Not just any ole movie though…pick one that you first saw together and relive your dating days. True story: The very first movie we ever saw together was “Interview With a Vampire.” We went with a big group of friends and S.T. admitted he only came because he knew I was going to be there. However, he refused to sit beside me because he thought I might be dating the guy sitting on the other side of me. It was a good thing it didn’t take him too get over that idea. If I really wanted to relive that particular night, I guess we could watch the movie and sit one of the kids between us!! Hopefully, your first movie date experience was a little more romantic though.
- Go back and do something you used to do. Bowling, bicycle riding, mountain climbing…whatever. We never did any of that, but we did tend to play a lot of UNO after the boys went to bed. Board games and card games are always a lot of fun and they are things I always seem to have good memories of. You could always make bets or add some sort of challenge to make it more interesting. I mean, I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of Strip UNO as a thing, but it could probably work…
- Make a slide show, complete with sappy music and old pictures. Start with pictures from when you first met and work your way forward from there. I did this one year for the Super Trooper when he was out of the country and I was pretty well convinced that he wouldn’t be as in love with it as I was. (Technically, it was for his birthday, but it totally works as an anniversary gift!) Not only did he cry, but he showed it to the training staff he was with and they got choked up too! Considering they are mostly men, that’s a big feat.
- Leave love notes. Everywhere.
- Have a scavenger hunt. The prize could be just about anything. I would probably go with something homemade like a scrapbook or a cake.
- Visit a place you used to hang out together. If you met in college like we did, it’s doubtful that they’ll let you hangout in your old dorm rooms, so keep that in mind! The campus center or a local park might be a better option anyway.
- If you have children, let them in on the celebration. Have dinner, or even that picnic, with them and tell them stories about how you met, fell in love, proposed, etc. They might pretend to gag over how you just knew he/she was the one, but they will always remember it!! (Also, don’t tell anything you don’t want told. They remember all that stuff too.)
- Invite some friends over and have a potluck. It’s not really romantic, but friends are always fun to have over and it’s even better when they bring food.
Say “I Love You” in whatever way works for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter how much money is spent or how the anniversary is celebrated. What matters is that you still love one another and you aren’t afraid to show it!
Now it’s your turn: What was your favorite anniversary celebration?