Yesterday was my wife, Mandy’s birthday. I won’t say how old she is, other than she was born in the 1900s (I stole that joke from her, she loves to use it). I love to surprise her for her birthday. It works for us and I think it is extremely exciting. I have done many different things over the years, but they are almost always very simple and not very expensive (with the exception of her 30th birthday when I rented out the local skating rink for a private surprise party: now that was awesome!) Let me share what I did this year with you. I am not writing this because I want congratulations or anything, I am just hoping to give some inspiration and pass on some things I have learned in this department.
First things first. When I am thinking about what to do for her birthday, I always keep her primary love language in mind. I know that hers is quality time. She feels the most loved by me when I spend quality time with her. For others it may be words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, or physical touch. So, I could write her a sweet letter, clean the entire house, buy her some jewelry, or offer her a thirty minute massage for her birthday, but it won’t have the same impact. Trust me, she would love all of those things (except for maybe the jewelry, she’s not a big jewelry person). But if I did all of those things, and the only time I spent with her was the thirty minute massage and then I was completely busy for the several days surrounding her birthday, she would not be nearly as satisfied with the gifts. So, whether husband or wife, please craft your gift around her style, not yours! This is something I am much better about now than I used to be thanks to our reading of the book the Five Love Languages.
I decided to plan a trip out of town without the kids (which never happens). The only exception to this was that we would take the 3 month old with us because I knew it would be easier for Mandy to just take her with us. I booked a hotel through Priceline. I love Priceline because we stayed at a very nice place for a very reasonable price. Then I planned to take her to three of her favorite places to eat that are not in our town: Olive Garden for dinner Friday, followed by desert at the Cheesecake Factory, and then Macaroni Grill the next day for lunch before heading back home. Since I normally have to work on Saturdays, I took the day off which meant a ton to her as well. We were able to spend from about 5:15 pm on Friday until I went to work on Monday morning together. Twenty two or so hours of that time was spent with just us (well, basically). Needless to say, I think she greatly enjoyed it and I was able to just use our normal gift budget, normal gas budget, and then save back a little more to cover the whole thing.
The key is to know what your spouse’s love language is. I highly recommend reading the book and learning each other’s language. It makes everyday married life easier and really helps to personalize birthdays for them! I don’t consider myself a very creative guy, so I know I need all the help I can get!
What are some of your favorite birthday stories?