How We Celebrate

People often comment on how clever and thoughtful we are when it comes to our celebrations and gifts. Perhaps we can take a bit of credit for creativity, but the truth is that it's all planned. Every bit of it.

Some of the best advice we got in premarital counseling was to clearly communicate our expectations to each other. If I had secretly always wanted my husband to give my flowers on my birthday but never actually told him that's what I desired, then I had no right to get upset about it.

So early on, we set out plans for how we would like to celebrate holidays, birthdays and other occasions. That's not to say there's no room for spontaneity or change, but it does alleviate potential hurt feelings and provide something to look forward to.

Image via Flickr

Here are some examples:

*Valentine's Day - we do a chocolate exchange (yum!)

*Birthdays - we do surprise gifts (I know, we plan to surprise)

*Christmas - we request gifts (there are too many other gifts to think of for other people) within a budget

*Anniversaries - traditional gifts within a budget (so fun to come up with gifts to meet the year)

On top of our customary gifts, we might request something. This year on my birthday I asked Eric to plan a day trip getaway and keep the location a surprise. This is a major gift because I am a natural planner and therefore organise most of our travel. It doesn't come as organically to him but he does it well, so it's a nice break for me and a big effort on him part.

These planned traditions do not take away from the romance but add to it, because we trust the other's intentions and don't try to outdo each other. It works well.

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