by Mrs. Money Mustache
Over the years, I’ve heard many women complain that their spouse forgot their birthday or they didn’t receive the special necklace or diamond encrusted love ring that they were hoping for. “Where’s my $150 dinner at the fancy restaurant and my day at the spa… How could my sweetheart forget my Birthday Gift!?”
Stop doing this, ladies! First of all, if you’re married or in a committed relationship, your financial futures are joined – so he’s spending YOUR money on the gift anyway. Second, a gift doesn’t mean much if you have to ask for it. Third, channel your Inner Lioness and give yourself the POWER to make your own birthday or holiday plans. Why rely on someone else for your happiness?
I’m pretty outspoken about my birthday. If I want to receive any attention, I announce it like a countdown and if I determine that gifts are in order, I get them myself. It’s more fun that way. That’s how the Mother’s Day Garden Project began, as well as my annual birthday haircut. Even the Mister decides he deserves a birthday gift from time to time.
Being married to MMM means that the gifts are different, but they are actually much, much better. Over the last 17 years I’ve received: a big handmade wooden heart with a poem on the back, a Rock Shox suspension seat post for my mountain bike, handwritten letters and notes, a latte every single morning for the last 5+ years, equally shared parenting, garden boxes, various renovation projects done to my specifications, incredibly funny e-mails, a hike to the spot we were married every year on our wedding anniversary, and candlelit dinners (and even breakfasts!) every single day.
This year, the gifts were plentiful once again:
– waking up next to my sweet little boy’s sleeping face
– listening to my child’s awesome story of his dream within a dream
– a delicious morning cup of coffee and run (I mean an actual run, as in running) to the store to get milk just for me from MMM
– an amazing birthday breakfast from my mom (asparagus was involved)
– talking to my brother on the phone
– a luxury morning shower
– a cool after-rain walk with MMM to get my gluten-free birthday cake mix
– listening to my mom and son secretly making me a birthday cake
– a handmade birthday book and several cards from Little MM
– spending quality time at my parents’ beautiful cottage with family that we hardly ever get to see
– laying tile and chatting side by side with MMM, while Little MM enjoyed a paddleboat ride with his grandparents
– an impromptu birthday song mid-day
– looking though my baby photo albums with my dad
– sore muscles from my hardcore workout at Crossfit O-Town’s free Saturday morning class
It couldn’t have been any better. So, if you’re expecting a birthday this year, make a list of what you’d like to do. It could be a walk with the family, a trip to the library, time to write a list of goals, a hike with a friend, a dinner with cake at home, or a day all alone. Start a birthday tradition. Bake your birthday cake with your kids. Do something that has meaning for you but doesn’t cost anything. Or, if you’re feeling competitive, try a birthday challenge and get a group of friends or your family to partake. At a recent extended family dinner, we discussed some great physical challenges for past and upcoming birthdays. Excellent idea!
What do you want for your birthday?
i love the gifts you got! in 2010 my fiancee and i visited his family in scotland around christmas/my birthday (5 days apart) and by far the best gift was hanging around having a few drinks and laughing till our faces hurt. ooh, and the roast potatoes done up in duck fat weren’t bad either.
this year i think i’d like a little party at home. friends, dinner, wine, hilarity. hmm, i’m sensing a theme here …