Remembering Birthdays and Anniversaries

This blog entry is inspired by my (dear) husband who forgot our 18th anniversary Monday. Our kids and I accurately predicted that this would happen. So, today’s blog is about remembering birthdays, anniversaries and other important dates and how you can help yourself!

Use a Calendaring Program – Using Outlook, iCal or something similar to track birthdays or anniversaries in your calendar is a great start to remembering those important dates. There used to be a plethora of websites to help you remember important dates, but I find that my address book and calendar work just fine together to show those dates. I like seeing those dates highlighted on my calendar  and automatically filled in from my address book. I love having them on Facebook. It makes it so easy to send that special person a message about their special day. It only takes a moment. If you are sending an actual card (or electronic one), you can set your alarms or alerts to remind you a week ahead of time to (get and) send a card.

I loved seeing my step-sister’s message to her mom and my dad on their actual  anniversary last week and I especially loved seeing the comments to her post. It was a sweet reminder that you never know what will work, and a not so subtle reminder that I forgot to send a card 😦 even though our family calendar has their picture squarely on their anniversary date of Feb 4th!

Start a Tradition – Traditions are important in helping you remember an event and plan for it – like giving everyone new PJs on Christmas eve, or serving breakfast in bed on your child’s birthday, or having your child (or spouse) wear a birthday crown all day on their birthday. I started a tradition for our anniversary of inviting close friends and those in our wedding party to dinner at our house on our anniversary (or the weekend before or after). This dinner tradition led to some pretty funny stories being repeated year after year – like my husband diving into the pool naked at one of his (supposedly) raucous parties before I met him. (We actually received a card with this picture on it one year for our anniversary, so I know he actually did that, but I’m still not sure about the veracity of the tales about the raucous parties.) One of my favorites was our 7th anniversary dinner where Greg’s best  friend and former roommate, Karl, gave us a meat cleaver with a message carved into it – G & S Happy 7th K & K and on the other side, “The Unknown Future.” The story behind that gift was that Greg and Karl had been roommates for a long time and that by our 7th anniversary, I was now the person who had lived with Greg the longest and the gift was Karl’s way of passing the torch (or meat cleaver in this case) to me. It was a funny reminder, and still is.

My friend Grace has a tradition of skiing on her (January) birthday. One year I played hooky at the last minute, left my house at 7 am, picked Grace up and made it to the slopes by 10 am. This year we had to postpone skiing on her actual birthday, but we did get to have lunch at a very cool place in Half Moon Bay and we will go skiing in a few weeks!

Be Vigilant –  It is important to not forget the little things that may have been started in jest or as a joke or just as a simple reminder of something fun or important. When my parents were married, I never, and I mean never, ever saw my dad give my mom a present. Paula, my dad’s wife (of 27 years now) doesn’t let him get away with that. He even sends me and my kids cards on Christmas and their Birthdays. I love that he does that! Now I just need to tell him that! In our household, my husband (usually) gets forsythia and tulips or freesias for me on our anniversary – these were some of the bulb flowers we had at our wedding. We also planted all of the flowers from our centerpieces at our wedding in our garden. When we moved, we dug up all of those bulbs and planted them at our new house (that was in 1994) and they bloom every year around our anniversary. On Sunday, during the Superbowl, mind you, my youngest child just went and picked them for me and put them in a vase – now that was sweet!

I’d love to hear what others do to remember birthdays, anniversaries and other important dates!

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7 responses to “Remembering Birthdays and Anniversaries

  1. Great post! I am typically really good with remembering birthdays and special occasions, though this has become harder since dating my boyfriend, whose family is HUGE! His Mom has 13 brothers and sisters! Thanks for the tips! Not only will it help me to become more efficient, it will also help to keep my boyfriend out of the doghouse, *snorts.

  2. I’m actually pretty bad at remembering (some) birthdays and anniversaries of extended family because we never made a big deal about it growing up.

    That’s ending with my immediate family now because I insisted on a big 30th birthday party and then when my daughter turned 1 I wanted to make a big deal about it because it took us 5 years to conceive her and I figured it was worth celebrating. Then I threw a “big” party for my husband’s 30th birthday. While we won’t be keeping up the big party trend for my husband and I (especially since our 3 birthdays are in August, September, and October), we’ll continue to make a big deal for our daughter’s birthday and any future children we have.

    I absolutely love traditions (which is why I started a blog about them!) so I’m trying to incorporate a lot of new birthday traditions. One that I started with my daughter’s birthday in August and then continued for both mine and my husband’s birthdays was to use the cake and knife set from our wedding to cut the birthday cake. I love that they are just sitting around getting dusty and that there’s meaning behind every cut 🙂

  3. Cool Mama – we always use our dishes and cake knife and server throughout the year. There was a funny conversation among my husband’s friends about the first wives club – leave nothing for the second wife that you didn’t use already: linens, dishes, candlesticks, etc… Using what we have, fancy and regular is fun to do and brings up an opportunity to talk about the original event that started the tradition! We use all of the dishes and glassware – serving or otherwise that we got for our wedding 18 years ago!

  4. I write stuff down and make my husband put it in his iphone calender with an alert. This only works sometimes…

  5. I never remember or celebrate birthdays or anniversaries. I can barely remember my own birthday let alone someone else’s. Not only that, I hate traditions and refuse to follow them!

  6. wtf?

    I went on our anniversary to get Forsythia and the flower shop didn’t have any in stock because Forsythia was late this year due to the long rainy season, so I ordered some that arrived a couple days later. I didn’t forget.

  7. …and I brought you a very nice bouquet of other flowers on our anniversary!

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