More birthdays!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

gluten free chocolate cake
My wonderful husband's birthday was last week. He has now dipped into that mid-thirties phase of life. He is dipping gracefully I'd say. (I don't think he'd mind my mentioning that here.) In between Little Miss' birthday, Mini Mister's half birthday, picking up the pieces of the holiday season, and getting the new year going, I put together a birthday celebration plan!

It is difficult enough to buy presents for men. My guy doesn't really need anything. Nor does he really have any specific obsessive hobbies to speak of. So what is a wife to do?

Lately I've been doing a lot of nothing for those special celebratory occasions. I've heard from countless, empathetic, sympathetic, and well-knowing women that I do have three legitimate distractions that keep me from planning and executing a well-thought-out celebration...but still. He is the reason I am who I am today. He is the reason I celebrate each day, my life, my family, my creative side, my doer side, and me just as me. He deserves true celebration, a congratulations, and a loving pat on the back.

So, I did some research. I just can't help myself but think it over beforehand, and then over again. I searched the internet for "gifts for guys," "gifts for men," and "gifts for him." Luckily, now on the heels of the giving holiday season and gift giving tips are still plentiful! (Can I just say, that there are some pretty darn talented crafty guys out there, making some neat stuff! Thanks guys for so much inspiration and tips on how to make stuff for guys!)

And I did it. I still can't believe I did it. I actually put together a list of 35 gifts for a 35th birthday Top Secret Plan. (That's what I called it in code. I'd say, "I am working on your "Top Secret!")

These gifts were to be for him. And largely him only. No pilfering, messing up, using up, or wasting by the rest of us. They had to be gifts in and of themselves. No coupons for car-washes during the summer months because...I am not into washing the mini-van. These are a nice thought, but they don't get redeemed. At least not in this house. And these gifts had to not require too much pre-schooler participation. Their enthusiasm waxes and wanes and many times the project never gets finished. So, I came up with 35 things, that were presents he'd like, for him, and didn't require too much kid participation or cash.

Wanna hear what I came up with?

1. picture calendar
2. cake
3. watercolor drawing
4. work-out shirts
5. iTunes gift card
6. personal nail care set
7. picture magnets for fridge at work
8. chai tea mix
9. special beers
10. hand-made iPad case
11. belt hanger
12. custom cuff links
13. painted kids art mugs
14. sustainable house picture framed (we've always wanted to live in a sustainable home)
15. hand sewn charger cord pouches

Source: via Abbie on Pinterest

16. 2 small felted birds wedded together
17. personalized mouse pad
18. flavored coffee
19. homemade hot chocolate mix with homemade marshmallows
20. spice tea mix
21. pocket knife
22. Johns Hopkins flip flops
23. flannel pj pants
24. key holder for back-pack
25. sundae topping sampler
26. pedi egg pouch
27. homemade grill spice sampler
28. car magazine subscription
29. Montessori education magazine subscription
30. e-tip gloves
31. hot sauce variety pack
32. Solio Bolt solar charger
33. chocolates
34. handpainted framed art - made by the kids
35. comb - that cannot be stolen by the kids

Some of these are big. Some are small. Some are hand-made, some are store-bought. But all in all, I think this what-to-give-your-guy-list isn't too shabby. (I linked a couple of the items to their DIY instructional page.)

So...did I manage to make/gather/give all 35 gifts? No. Hey! I have three children at two different co-operative pre-schools, and the third one is teething. We are on the road commuting 10 hours a week, and I don't even work outside the home! I didn't complete 35, but that is OK.

I did complete 24. This was a supreme exercise in letting go for me. Nevertheless the organizer in me got the best part. How did I give my guy 24 gifts? I'll write about that next!


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