Surprising your husband with a special anniversary gift can be a challenging task--especially if this year you're trying to veer from traditional, typical gifts. Instead of buying one tangible gift, like a gift token or a new shirt, develop a theme that you can apply to activities, a trip and/or various specialised purchases to present him with an entirely new type of present that shows your love, appreciation and thoughtfulness. Plan a creative dinner in an unusual but personally meaningful location. Think of what your husband likes to do during his "down time" and use that as inspiration for a one-of-a-kind anniversary event. Take him on a trip he always talks about taking but never does. The plan depends entirely on what you know he likes and wants. The effect will likely last far beyond any mass-produced item you purchase, no matter how nice it is.
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The Surprise Getaway
Check last-minute airfares on your favourite travel website or one recommended by a savvy traveller. You may be able to snag deals on flights, airfare and car rentals for your upcoming anniversary date. Make sure your husband has cleared his schedule for the entire weekend leading up to your anniversary or secretly clear it for him if that's possible. If he has scheduled a basketball game with the guys, call them to excuse him and let them know to keep the secret. If you get a particularly great deal on the trip, use the savings to indulge in a fine, romantic dinner.
Romantic Backyard Camp-Out
You don't have to leave your city to share a special anniversary dinner. If your husband is an outdoorsman, transform a patch of your backyard into a romantic backyard campsite. Pitch a tent and fill it with pillows, blankets and a cushy air bed. Set up the site around the tent with camping chairs, a picnic table with candles and, of course, a camp fire.
Instead of building an actual fire in the grass--which can be dangerous--use a fire pit or a chimenea, which you can buy at a home supply store and use again later on your patio. Maintan the camping theme by cooking "man food" like steak and baked potatoes. S'mores are a theme-perfect dessert.
The Candlelit-Tree Dinner
Set up a dinner table and chairs beneath a tree in your backyard. Hang lanterns from the branches. Real Simple magazine's article, "4 Creative Outdoor Lighting Ideas" says that you should place your candles "in deep containers so that the wicks are a few inches lower than the rims; this will prevent sparks and flames from blowing out." Also, make sure the lantern handles are wire and "long enough to keep flames about 12 inches away from leaves and branches." Use candles on the table, too. Dress up the table and serve a fancy dinner beneath the glow of the lanterns and the stars.
A Sunrise Swim
If you live near the beach, surprise your husband with an anniversary breakfast on the shore--complete with a sunrise swim. A dip in the ocean at dawn will be refreshing and romantic. Keep a pile of towels near your breakfast spot. Once you've dried off, indulge in mimosas and egg sandwiches from ingredients that you brought along in a picnic basket. Make sure not to assemble the sandwiches until you're ready to eat so that the bread doesn't get soggy from the eggs.
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