Guess what, friends! My birthday is next week! I’m getting older, but I’m still excited to celebrate just a little bit. With birthdays on the mind, I thought I’d share with you a little bit about how I like to celebrate…
There’s a well known fact about men and how they are sometimes idiots when it comes to birthdays and other special occasions. For whatever reason, they can’t remember them. And when they do, they often come up with a last minute way to celebrate. Usually it involves cheesy cards from the drugstore and chocolate that doesn’t even taste good. Before you assume that I’m talking from experience, let me make a few things clear…
Phil has always been an amazing gift-giver. Seriously. (Only 1 time in the history of us did he give me a gift that wasn’t so great. I couldn’t even hide it from my face. But that’s for another story.) He always gives the most thoughtful things – jewelry that isn’t lame, books that he knows I’ll love, shoes that I’d freak out about but would never buy for myself, etc. He’s creative too. He just doesn’t give something to me. He writes a little note to go with it. For example, this year for our anniversary (6 years!) we both happened to give each other art prints. It wasn’t planned at all but it was pretty cute. I wrapped mine up and left a little “I love you so much!” note on the front. Phil? He wrote an entire love letter on the back of his. (!!!) So in the middle of this Irish bar while I’m drinking a huge beer and eating a ginormous hamburger, I’m also bawling my eyes out. He’s the sweetest.
Unfortunately, not many guys are like Phil. They just aren’t. Sorry. Sometimes, they need a little help, a little nudge. So today I give you some tips for WINNING at your woman’s birthday. (Go ahead, gents. Bookmark this one for next year! Ladies, send this on to your manfolk.)
- Give experiences. An epic date night would be amazing. A family photo shoot would rock her world. A trip to get a pedicure with her best girlfriends? She’d love you for it. A weekend trip. A fun concert. Experiences are what it’s all about, man. Even if she says “I don’t want to do anything for my birthday this year,” do something. Heck, even takeout from her favorite place and a good movie on the couch would be fun.
- Cook for her. Every birthday and every Mother’s Day, Phil makes something special for me. It really does mean the world to me and even when I try to micromanage him in the kitchen (that’s MY space!) he loves me still. I can remember every single thing he’s cooked for me over the years. Last year? My favorite strawberry cake. Unfortunately, I threw it up because PREGNANCY. This year will be quite different.
- Keep track. You know when you’re out and about and she sees something that’s just so cute?! She says to you, “Oh, I love that art print!” or “Wouldn’t those be so neat on the front porch?!” PUT IT IN YOUR PHONE AND GO BACK TO GET IT LATER. I accidentally just found out that this has become a habit of Phil’s. Because we share an email address, I accidentlally saw the “your order has been shipped” message for my birthday present. (Anthro bedding, you guys!) I FREAKED OUT. You see, I texted him a picture of the quilt a LONG time ago, only because I felt sorry for myself that we’d never be able to afford such beautiful stuff. The fact that he paid attention and said “what the hey, she loves it!” means so much to me. Let’s pray it lasts for decades!
- Hello, Pinterest! You now have the complete ability to know exactly what she wants. No more bad chocolate or stupid cards. No more last minute mall stuff. Get on Pinterest and look it up! Chances are, you’ll find clothes or accessories she’d love to have. You’ll find art or gadgets she’s dreaming about. Better yet, find her “Make” or “DIY” board and complete one of the projects she’s got listed there. I can’t even tell you how surprised she’d be.
- Don’t be lame. Unless you are her boss, you should not get her an edible arrangement. Victoria’s Secret lingerie? That’s really a gift for you, so don’t be selfish. You can do better than all of the above. I promise.
- Do what she loves. Does she love to dance? Take her dancing. Does she love to cook? Surprise her with some fancy ingredients like vanilla beans or truffle oil. Does she love hiking? Go on a hike. It really is pretty simple.
- Cake. I don’t care if she’s doing Whole30 or Paleo or gluten free or training to do the Ironman, a girl’s gotta have cake on her birthday. Bake one yourself or get one made at a local bakery. Cake is important. (And yes, they make gf, vegan, and “cakes that aren’t really cakes” cake.)
- If she has to work, you better make sure to celebrate. Start out the day with a good breakfast. Make her a good coffee or surprise her with donuts. Send her to work feeling happy. Meet her for lunch or send her some happy b-day texts throughout the day. When she gets off, let the fun begin. Make a deal out of it, even if she wants to keep it low key.
- It’s the thought that counts. You can even hide last-minute shopping with a thoughtful gift. Instead of running to Target, head downtown to a cute store to get something local or even handmade. Write her a letter or a sweet card and let her know how much you love her. She’ll cry, I can almost guarantee it. Give her some IOUs. “This is good for one romantic picnic on the next day it’s completely gorgeous outside.” Being thoughtful is like birthday cake, you guys. It makes a big difference.
So there you have it. No more excuses. You’ve got everything you need to know, now. You win! And I promise, she’ll repay you tenfold! You’re welcome.. xoxo, L