Tuesday, January 8, 2013

30 Days to 30

I wanted to do something special for my husband's milestone birthday since we all know you might as well be dead after turning 30 :) I was also thinking how rarely he benefits from my over-the-top celebrations. I spend lots of time on baby showers for other people and J's parties, but he has never felt the full power of pinterest in his direction. He isn't a big group sort of person so a giant surprise party isn't his style. He is also fairly specific in his expensive tastes so a really fancy gift would be hard to pull off. Plus, the proximity to Christmas provides a hurdle for both. But he's pretty much the best husband ever ever ever, so I wanted to do something fun and original.

After some thought, here is what I came up with. Feel free to steal and adapt for anyone in your life. Ignore the poor pictures though, It had been 5 days already I just snapped some in a hurry.

So each little packet is filled with some of his favorite candies, no pattern between the 5 different ones for a little added surprise. I found the packet shape as a Silhouette shape, then found it was easier to do by hand. Think a toilet paper roll with a sewn bottom. Fill and sew the other end the opposite direction. Boom, quick and easy awesome. Scalloped edges with fancy scissors were added to about 5 when I decided he wouldn't care enough to warrant the extra time. I cut out the numbers with my vinyl cutter, but number stickers are probably more time efficient.

Back to what's inside. Besides just candy, there was a location, such as "under the table" or "in a cupboard" where he had to look for a surprise. It made each day a bit like a scavenger hunt, especially since he didn't know what he was looking for. To make the 30 day count down more cost efficient, it was often a favorite food we rarely get or a small service. I'd list them all if I thought they would work well for other people, but some are very Husband specific. For instance, I often give him silent guilt when he watches football on the Sabbath. So one was a guilt free Cardinals game, complete with snacks. This would not work for your BFF. Although I am happy to give you a copy of my list should you need inspiration. After coming up with 20 or so I had to call my sister for ideas. A few were actual gifts. My favorite being a screen cleaning tie. I found one in a magazine that had microfiber woven with the silk to clean fingerprints off of tablets and phones, but at $50 I decided we could do better. I took the little lens cloth they give you with new glasses and hand-stitched it to the inside lining. High awesomness factor with minimum time and cost should you need something for father's day.

A nice little birthday advent eh? But wait, there's more! I contacted a bunch of his friends and family and had them write birthday wishes, a memory, or what they loved about him. I typed and printed them up and gave one to him each day. Many were fantastic, with a surprising amount of poetry submissions.

We culminated the festivities on Jmas day with a small group of our favorite couples and had bacon wrapped filet mignon with twice baked potatoes.

Tips if you want to copy this idea:

1) Use locations in the packets instead of actual "gifts" so you can adapt as necessary. For instance, one night's gift was a movie night, but something else came up so I switched it with another day. If I had put "movie night" on a slip inside of the packet, I would have had to open it up to change it. Locations gave a little added fun and more flexibility for me.

2) Keep a master list of all locations. I would write this up first, then come up with the gifts. Sometimes "under the table" led to a piece of paper saying "look in the garage" the car wash was the gift.

3) Ask for notes from friends a month in advance. This time I didn't give a due date, just asked them to write it right away as they read the email. Otherwise, you won't get most of them until a day after your due date, and only after you have sent a reminder email (like every other time I've done something like this).

4) You don't have to have every single gift ready before you start. It's awesome if you can, but if you need more time to buy or work on a gift, schedule it later in the month.

5) Prepare the surprise at the same time every day. I didn't do this so Husband had to ask if he could open the packet several times because I would yell, "wait! Close your eyes and wait a minute!" on more than one occasion since I had forgotten to get it ready in advance.

That's it and I hope some of you got some inspiration for Valentine's Day or an Anniversary or something.


John said...

Best Birthday ever. You are so cool :-)

jeanene c said...

Such an amazing idea. I don't know if I would ever have the discipline to do it but I will have to try, maybe a '12 days' or something.

Jocelyn Chappell said...

Perfect timing! My husband turns 30 soon and we have a very similar situation with gifts/gatherings. Thanks for posting so I can shamelessly copy you.


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