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

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Brainstorming Birthday Ideas for My Beloved

Picture from our neighborhood Bike Rally and Scavenge Hunt

After reading one of the recent comments on Meg's blog, I decided to start calling Matt my "Partner in Awesomeness."

So, the aforementioned partner has a birthday coming up at the end of November, and I need to get cracking on his present.

Last year, I planned out a special day and made him a shirt with his beloved bloodhound appliqued on it. I haven't really thought much about what I should do this year.

Hmm...

I know. Let me go check my list. I try to keep an ongoing list of present ideas for my loved ones throughout the year. That way, I don't go into panic mode when it's time for birthdays/Christmas.

These are the things I have associated with Matt's name:
  1. Banjo + lessons (he randomly mentioned that he wanted these earlier in the year)
  2. A quilted jacket that Matt saw during our marathon viewing of Grey's Anatomy (season five)
  3. The Big Sur marathon
  4. Tickets to a Jeff Tweedy concert
Yikes. I just tried researching each of these things, and none of them seem like particularly good/affordable options.

Matt is planning a party this year. He wants to have it at Chuck E. Cheese. That should be fun.

Is there anything he needs but doesn't even know he needs? Last year, my best friend got Matt a subscription to Runner's World. He loves it. I wonder if there's something like that. Maybe a book about how to train for a marathon?

Or maybe a list of all the quirky things to do in Houston?

Maybe I should enroll him in a class? Ooh, what about "Self-Hypnosis for Stress Release and Issue Resolution"? Quirky enough? Or maybe a woodworking class? He does talk about wanting to learn wood working...

Let me think about what makes him happy. Really happy: Running. NPR. Cool photographs. The Office. Arsenal.

Maybe I should get him a Roku player? That feels too much like an "us" present (unlimited Netflix movies on demand...).

So back to the things he likes: The Onion. His friends. Visiting his family.

Maybe I should get him a trip to see his family during the summer in Bloomington when they have a really awesome music festival?

And then Christmas is going to be right around the corner. Why did I have to marry someone whose birthday is so close to Christmas? (I'm kidding, of course.)

What creative birthday/Christmas gift ideas do you all have up your sleeves?


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15 comments:

Ellie said...

My sister's birthday is in December - so usually I just get her one big present and a small one. I actually like it because I get to spend more money on her in one go, which is the only way I could justify buying her a Coach purse one year.
I actually do the same thing you do with lists - and holiday gift giving isn't very stressful for me. It's nice.
I think for my sister's birthday this year, I really want to rent a limo and drive around DC. My sister loves limos, and I think it would be really fun to just grab a few bottles of wine and pay a limo the 2-hr minimum to drive around the city with some of her friends.

Heather said...

My fiance's birthday is next Wednesday. For some time he's been stockpiling newspaper clippings and the like, of himself and his family. I once mentioned getting a simple black page book and pasting them in.
However, I have some more elaborate scrapbooks that I made for myself in High School. He said he wanted a fancy one like mine. I happened to have an empty scrapbook laying around, so I've been working on it when I'm home alone. I just need to finish the family tree for the front and I'm done. I'm so excited and I didn't have to spend any money!

jamie said...

I am really excited about an upcoming present I am giving! We have a friend who is an awesome artist and I asked him to paint a painting for my guy.... I paint a little also, but I don't think he'd appreciate any of my too girly paintings...so I went with our friend that paints robots. :) I gave him an amount I was willing to spend ($50-$75) and he's going to town!

Marisa said...

my husband love plants...any kind...last year on his birthday i bought him a lime tree...he loves taking care of it and I am hopeful that this winter we'll have some limes!

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend's birthday is in October, and last year I did a surprise trip to Chicago! I found a great flight deal and booked it and didn't tell him. Then I made a RANDOM packing list (think camping gear, a sock puppet, a poem about a rock)! and drove to the airport and gave him his ticket (left all that random stuff in the car). He was stoked! If that's too much $, I also did a surprise 4 hour road trip a few years ago to the beach for seafood! He liked that, but at the restaurant I also gave him tickets to a show he missed in our town, so that was fun!

Ms Bear Cub said...

hmm... that's a head scratcher!
is he ready for a marathon? Is there a race coming up soon in houston?
Right after our wedding, my husband and I ran the portland marathon together. It was great because he's the one who got me into running, he's from portland, I love portland, and it was the first marathon for both of us - so it was definitely a milestone (26.2 of them ;) heehee).
Anyways, maybe you could sign him up for an upcoming race - is the houston marathon coming up? And if you're pretty into running, you could sign up for the 1/2 - and tell him you're going to help him train / enable him to train.
The hardest part for us with training for the marathon was finding the TIME to do it. Normal people don't train for a marathon when they're planning a wedding (that was stupid, but also genious).
"enabling" could mean you'll encourage him to run when he doesn't, you'll walk the dog (or some similar chore) to free up time for him to run... basically, you'll help him make it a priority. Plus, if you're on the starting line on race day, he'll know you're there for him from start (of training) to finish (the start of the race - where he's ready to do it himself).
And if you're ready for a marathon, great! It's fun, but SO MANY MILES.

Rachel said...

Fearless Critic 2010. We really enjoy the previous version of this guide to Houston restaurants. I JUST bought this at the New Living store in Rice Village to suprise my fiance for our anniversary - I get to give it to him tomorrow! Now we have the first Houston version, the Austin edition, and Houston 2010, with 120 more reviews in it! Sometimes we say 'what do you want to do tonight' and the answer is 'eat at a new place from the book'! It has fueled many an adventure.

A Los Angeles Love said...

One of the best birthdays I planned for him was a back-to-childhood day. So instead of his 25th, we saw it as his 2+5=7th birthday party. We found a mini-golf course with an arcade, brought sheet cake from Ralphs decorated with his favorite childhood superhero (Spiderman), and bought 99 cent store party favors for everyone. It was a total blast, just being goofballs with our friends.

Jessica said...

Hi!He has so many great interests. This is probably not in the budget, but how about the NPR Radio by Livio? It is $199. For a creative and thoughtful gift you could map out great running paths in your area with there distances and maybe create a great running sound track for him. Runners World website has some great suggestions - mix and match your favorite songs. Good Luck!

Kerry said...

Going with the whole budget friendly theme, like I always do, I thought of 2 things related to what you mentioned he likes- put together a little scrapbook/journal of cool photos you've taken (from travel, each other, nature, etc) or if you are feeling really ambitious, write your own issue of The Onion. Write some short columns making fun of things that are inside jokes between the 2 of you, etc. It could be fun :)

megan said...

i took note of a classic novel my fiance wanted, and i found a 1952 copy on Ebay for $30. he loved it and was super surprised i even remembered it. so you could always do somethind like that? maybe go to AbeBooks or Amazon and find a green-friendly book on training?

violarulz/ducksandbooks said...

http://www.radiobookmark.com/

it's a timestampper thingy so you don't have to sit in the car to listen to the end of a segment. I really want one, I can't see why another NPR fan wouldn't.

John said...

Give him a Body Bottle for his training! Its a new water bottle that straps to your bicep and completely different from all the other products out there. Much cheaper as well! @ http://www.bodybottle.com

Kelly Merrill said...

If he likes biology at all there's a book I read a few years back called "why we run" which was really neat to read as a runner.

http://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Run-Natural-History/dp/0060958707

MrsKraft said...

Came on over from $10,000 wedding (I just celebrated my 1st anniversary last week!)
Brand new hubby's first married b-day was in Sept, so I knew I had to do something special. I got a bunch of our friends together (secretly) and surprised him with a group salsa dancing lesson. IT ROCKED...and hubby is NOT a big dancer. Afterwards, we came back to our house for a pasta party (SUPER cheap and a great idea for a post-dancing dinner.)
Hope you have fun whatever you decide!!

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