Monday, July 2, 2012

"Box of Us" Anniversary Present

My anniversary trip was wonderful. Our very first trip together was a roadtrip to Niagara Falls and Toronto, so it was fitting that we went there to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. The best was that we were able to do things that we weren't able to do on our first trip (for example, the Hockey Hall of Fame and the top observation deck of the CN Tower were closed when we were in Toronto the first time around.) as well as some repeats of the stuff we loved the most (we went on Maid of the Mist twice this time around, just because).

So, as you can imagine, my gift for my husband was not as expensive or elaborate as my husband's, but it was just as sentimental.

After purchasing a grand total of two separate gifts that I decided were better off as birthday or Christmas presents, I decided to go full-out sentimental and create a memory box of our life together before we got engaged.

The items you'll personally need will vary greatly, as no two relationships are exactly alike, but one thing you will need is a big-ass box. Thankfully, we had a stack of collapsed moving boxes under our bed. You'll also need an entire roll of wrapping paper, ribbons, and tissue paper.

I first lined the bottom of the box with red tissue paper (as you can imagine, I continued my sentimental color coordination with our wedding colors).

Back when we lived in Boston, my husband and I loved going to the Stone Zoo. We'd get year passes and stop by on a weekly basis just to look at the river otters. So I "adopted" the Stone Zoo river Otter in my husband's name. Most zoos have a program where you can donate a certain amount of money to the zoo that will go to the upkeep and caregiving of a specific animal. The "adoption" pack came with a certificate, passes to the zoo, and a little stuffed otter.

One of the most endearing things my husband did when we first started dating was, when I mentioned on our second or third date that I loved the House series (which, back then, was only in its second or third season), my husband went and burned copies of the first two seasons onto his computer so we could watch the show together. As we got older, we acquired TV seasons through more legitimate ways, but we never purchased the first two seasons of House. What a better way to add to our collection, as well as my memory box?

We watched The Princess Bride on our very first date. It instantly became our movie of choice if we were undecided on what movie to watch. My husband hadn't read the book yet, so…

Our love of Shakespeare is another thing that brought us together. We'd go to Free Shakespeare on the Common every summer and attend any Shakespeare performance. I found this used book, which included our two favorite comedies to watch, as well as my husband's absolute favorite play (The Tempest).

As I mentioned before, road trips to New Hampshire defined our relationship for years. We always ended up stopping at a chocolate shop in essentially the middle of no where. This chocolatier also provided the favors for my wedding. And, much to my delight, you can order assortments online.

Long before I got engaged, I remember thinking to myself, "I kind of have no choice but to marry this guy. I'll never have a better 'how we met' story." Why? Because we met at a midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. It was pure luck that there was an empty seat next to me, and my husband's group of friends were one more than the number of seats in a row. And, like the House seasons, we had a copy of the movie on my husband's computer, but no DVD in hand.

My husband and I adopted quite a few animals in our time together. I got two stuffed cats for our two cats Salem and Milo...

...As well as a slew of mouse cat toys to represent all the mice we've owned during a 4-year stint where we were all about rodents as pets (unfortunately, mice have a lifespan of about a year, which lead to the high number of total mice owned and the inevitable "let's not adopt animals that die right as you develop a bond with them" decision).

I also got gift cards to our favorite restaurants. These are also restaurants that hold incredible sentimental value (Fire & Ice was our second date/first "real date"). We have a wonderful history with Lanna Thai, and they actually hosted our rehearsal dinner. And you haven't lived until you see the antics that ensue when my husband and his family go to Olive Garden.

The back of these cards are the best place to write down any inside jokes.

I also found (genuine) old-fashioned postcards from all the trips we took before we got engaged.

My favorite is that I was able to get the same style for three of these. There was no old-school "Greetings from Toronto!" but a postcard from the 70s works just as well.

After arranging everything in the box (heaviest stuff first, followed by layers of tissue paper), I painted a little "Box of Us" sign on top of the box. I'm not exactly a master artist, but it at least got the point across (lest he opens the box and goes, "Eh…what?")

My final touch for the gift itself was the wrapping. Our favors (from Ava Marie Chocolates) was wrapped in an off-white box and blue/ruby ribbons with our names and dates.

After wrapping the box and tying the ribbon, I got out my paint marker and scrapbooking tape. I first taped the flat portion of the ribbon down to the box and carefully wrote our names and wedding date on the ribbon.

I hid the box in our second bedroom/library/crafts room, since he almost never ventures into there (especially with his nook and the advent of e-books), covered with a blanket.

I topped off the present with a homemade card. Personal, homemade cards are actually insanely easy to create. All you need is a 5 x 7 photo (or, really, any size photo), cardstock, and scrapbooking tape.

I taped the picture in one corner of the cardstock (with the bottom of the photo touching the edge of the cardstock) and trimmed the paper down vertically. I carefully folded the cardstock until the fold came to about a centimeter away from the photo and trimmed the paper horizontally.

Then, all that was left was to write something inside of it.

Instead of making an envelope, I looped a ribbon around a paper clip and one of the gift's ribbons. I clipped a corner of the card onto the paper clip and called it a day.

The only drawback is that my husband and I both agree that we have no idea how to top ourselves for our second anniversary. I told him that I'll buy him a tricked out gamer laptop and we'll go on a trip to Barbados. Sounds perfectly reasonable, right?


  1. I absolutly LOVE this idea...I want to do something Simmiler for my Husband and I's anniversary in feb. thanks for being SUPER creative and sharing.

  2. Aww so cute that zoo adoption thing is. I loved your idea of wedding anniversary gift for your husband. You guys look so good together. If you are looking for some other perfect anniversary gift for your spouse then you must take a look at the wedding anniversary gift collection of WahGifts India, which is India’s one of the leading online gift shopping portal. Their amazing range of watches, watch boxes, wallets, clutches and other accessories will sweep you off your feet. They also have a big collection of fashion and traditional jewelry available at lowest prices online.

  3. Wedding Anniversary Gifts do tend to come in all shapes and sizes yet a splendidly framed box of chocolates is the perfect bundle.Wedding Anniversary Gifts


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