Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Shh...Top Secret: Planning My Partner's Birthday

Matt is one of those people who has a birthday (November 22) close to a major holiday we celebrate (Christmas on December 25).

That means his loved ones (at least those of us who subscribe to the idea that we should give tangible gifts on holidays) have to come up with unique and original presents within a very short time frame.

To work around this dilemma, I keep a centralized list of gift ideas and add to it throughout the year.

Here's what I have so far:
  1. Framed prints from the book Persepolis (if you haven't seen the DVD, I highly recommend you rent it!). For this option, I would simply buy the book and figure out how to frame pieces myself (professional framing is sooooo ridiculously expensive)
  2. A CD of cool images that he can use for free in his graphic design (do these things even exist?)
  3. A book entitled, How to Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul
  4. A subscription to the Threadless T-Shirt of the Month Club (oops. I just learned it costs $200. Cool idea but not feasible for us.)
Hmm...I'm feeling pretty uninspired about these gifts. I think I need to spend more time really thinking about who Matt is--what he buys for himself, what he spends his time looking at on the internet, what excites him, what he's interested in.

I really do think he would like the Persepolis prints. Maybe that will be his birthday gift (in 18 short days!) and I'll get more creative for Christmas. Then again, birthdays are a chance to really celebrate the individual. Maybe I should plan a super-special day. Or a surprise party. He does tend to like experiences more than tangible products.


Ooh! Maybe I could buy a used shirt from a vintage shop and add some embroidery or applique to it. When we wake up on his birthday morning, I can present him with his special birthday shirt (and maybe a birthday crown?--something to draw attention to the fact that it's his birthday) and the itinerary for his special day. The last item on the list could be bowling. Then, when we show up for bowling--surprise!--all his friends are there to celebrate his birthday.

Thanks for listening to me think out loud...

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Claudia said...

Hello from the UK
I think a day especially for him is great. When your birthday is so close to a MAJOR holiday you can tend to get forgotten a bit. A day totally spoiling him and then a rocking party with all his friends at the end is perfect.

By the way, I am really impressed by your blog. I am a just-starting wedding planer and although I am in the industry I hate the huge hype and stress that goes along with it. I try to help my clients make their wedding as unique (and within their budgets) as possible so they can begin their life together without huge debts.

Well done and keep it coming.


Laurel said...

isn't he going to see this? Oh no!

Sara E. Cotner said...

@ Laurel:

I asked him not to look at the blog for a while since I'll be "talking about Christmas presents."

Becca said...

Presents drive me nuts (My Mom and Dad both have December birthdays, so I feel you on the holiday gift overload), but they're also such a great opportunity to do/get something special for loved ones.

I always vote for super special days: Multiple picnics throughout the city (with his fave foods) as you flit from activity to quirky activity that you know he'll love. My FH surprised me last year with an architectural walking tour, lunch at an ethnic market, a massage, and a candlelit picnic on to close it off. Best. Present. EVER.

For him, I planned a miniatuyre golf part for all his friends (complete with a superhero birthday cake and 99 cent store party favors) and for his gift I got him 8 cheap seats to his favorite baseball team and let him invite anyone he wanted.

Also, Persepolis is such a great film - beautiful idea with the framing. And yes, free art or inexpensive images are easy to find - get a istockphoto account and find some things you think he'll like. Along those same lines, loading up a flash drive with new music is also a good inexpensive, personal gift.

Roxanne said...

I think they all sound great. But I totally LOVE Persepolis.
I'm trying to figure out what to get my guy too, since he graduates on Dec 19th and that is very close to Christmas.

AmyJean said...

My Fh's bday is 11/28 and i'm also starting to brainstorm as well. I was thinking surprise party, but not sure yet... hmmm...

Good luck!

Christena said...

i have to jump on the birthdays next to christmas suck bandwagon.

My birthday is dec 20th. i almost always got one gift to serve for both my birthday and christmas gift from my family (aunts/uncles/grandparents). that sucked a lot as a child. I've grown out of it and don't really mind that my birthday is next to christmas, but now my SO's birthday is Jan 11th! we have three huge gift giving events in less than a month! it's really hard to come up with gifts. Last year it was easy because he needed a good coat so i splurged and got him one from eddie bauer (he's a med tall and no one makes that size). This year i'm stumped. I can't really get him another coat!

he's super sweet and keeps list of things that i mention on his i phone (which i'm not allowed to see). so when we're in Kohles and i mention that i really like this particular scarf, he puts it in there and it'll magically show up in my little hands a few weeks later. i'm not as good with remembering that sort of thing so he ends up getting stuff that i'm not quite sure about. So far i haven't missed the mark too badly.

I'm sorry i couldnt be more help! good luck!

angie mae and mike said...

I feel the pain!! The love of my life just happens to be a Christmas baby!!

I try to celebrate his birthday a couple weeks before christmas so that it will feel like he had two separate days--the birthday and the holiday. when he was little it usually got mushed into one day!!

MsTeacherLady said...

I know you weren't exactly asking for ideas, but here's one anyway:

If you don't already read it, I bet both you and Matt would enjoy the magazine "GOOD." The articles are progressive, creative, and world-conscious, and the layout is so well done (Matt's graphic designer side would probably really appreciate this aspect of the magazine). Also, they've always given 100% of subscription money to a charity of your choice (from a list). I've given it as a gift to a few people, including my fiance, and everyone I know has loved it.

You always have such good insight into things I'm interested in, so I thought I'd throw this one your way. :-)

Guilty Secret said...

I second your recommendation of Persepolis - excellent film!

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