Although I think it’s a little antiquated, there is a suggested list floating around out there of traditional anniversary gifts for each year of marriage. What does it suggest for a first anniversary? Paper. I’m not really sure what that traditionally meant, but I envision beautiful personalized letterpress stationery or something along those lines. Dain and I agreed that we weren’t going to do gifts this year, but I couldn’t resist a sentimental paper gift just because. And because it was under $10, I didn’t consider it to be breaking the no gift rule. Here’s what I came up with to commemorate our first year (of marriage) together.
After a little bit of thinking, I came up with the idea to write down 365 things that I love about Dain. It was kind of inspired by his Make Something Creative Today project where he has vowed to make one creative thing every day for an entire year and post it on his blog. He started January 1, 2011, and he’s been going strong ever since. So I figured I could do 365 of something too.
My first step was heading to Michaels for some nice paper. I settled on a value pack of card stock in a few different shades.
While I was at Michaels I perused the stickers (which were 40% off). I of course was drawn to the glittery letters, but since I had to think of Dain, I went with a vintage looking set.
I also looked for a container, but nothing spoke to me there. I was originally thinking of a solid container that you couldn’t see through so I decided to leave a container for the end. I had every intention of cutting the card stock into 365 perfectly even strips like Dain would do, but that just got to be too much work. So after trying to use Dain’s x-acto knife for awhile, I gave up and went to my old school method of free styling with the big orange kitchen scissors. The strips weren’t perfect, but they worked for me.
After I cut 365 not-at-all-even strips, I started to write out my reasons. To keep track of all of them, I numbered each one, and it started out well until it hit me on Friday morning (the day before our anniversary) that I still had 265 more to write. So I took any spare minute I got to continue writing them, and I ended up having to spend a good chunk of Friday night locked in a room “working on a surprise project.”
They obviously are not all momentous statements of love since I wrote so many, but I tried to make each one meaningful by writing something I truly love about Dain or bringing up a great memory that we have together.
It was a slightly ambitious project to start three days ahead of time with lots of other stuff going on, but I got them all written. Then I ran to Target, where I found a cookie jar in the kitchen section that seemed perfect (although I am spatially challenged so I had my fingers crossed that they would all fit). All that was left to do was to fold the strips, put them in, and adorn the jar with my stickers. Luckily, they all fit. For someone who is not at all crafty, I was pretty excited with the finished product, and I couldn’t wait for Dain to open it on Saturday morning.
I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with the stickers, but I ended up putting them on both sides of the jar and spelling out “365 Reasons Why I Love You.”
Dain was completely surprised, and he loved it. I told him he could open them all at once or open one a day for the next year. He decided on the latter so now he has at least one little nice thing to look forward to every day.
It was a very affordable gift, and it was really more about the meaning of it than it being a show-stopper like the table saw would have been that Dain is crushing on. Maybe next year. For this year, Dain will be busy opening up his little cards every day.