Near Yellow Mountain

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy Anniversary

Today is my 28th wedding anniversary. My wife is the planner in the family so she gets the credit for setting the date. There are many benefits to having your anniversary between Christmas and New Year’s. The week after Christmas has always been a relaxed time for our family. I never go to work and often times we traveled for the holidays.

Following Christmas so closely, anniversary gift expectation is low – in a pinch you can always slide part of the Christmas gift inventory into the anniversary category. By 12/29, we normally have been eating too much for several days so the dinner venue isn’t a priority.  I have always liked our anniversary situation.

My advice to those setting a wedding date is to choose carefully. You are also adding a date to your “holiday calendar” for the rest of your married life. A bad choice will have annual consequences. Although a counterintuitive thought to many, a date just after Christmas can be a great choice – as can your spouse’s birthday for obvious reasons. Can you say “two birds with one stone”?

Ex-pat life can help take the pressure off on anniversaries especially if your “big day” is tied to an international holiday when you are expected to travel as a family. Even better when the company picks up the airfare.

During our eleven years in Asia we were only at home once on our anniversary which has been spent on four coasts of Australia (for the geographically challenged that would be: north, south, east and west), Singapore, Malaysia, Viet Nam, Thailand, and New Zealand. It is hard to get too stressed out about what to do on your anniversary when you are staying at a beach resort and going out to eat out anyway. How many people have had a “Dr Fish” tiny biting carp pedicure before heading off to their 25th anniversary dinner – at a French restaurant on a cliff in Thailand wearing shorts and tee shirts?

Having our feet "done" at Dr Fish
We spent one anniversary hiking on a glacier in New Zealand after getting stopped for doing 130 in a 60 kph zone. In my defense, except for the cop, the road was empty. I spent the morning of the next day looking for the national bank where I could pay the $300 fine and get my passport cleared so I could leave the country.

On a glacier in New Zealand
On another trip - to Western Australia, we spent part of our big day ambling through a former penal colony “guest” facility. Nothing says “happy anniversary” like a sunset walk through a prison.
Now that we are living back in the US, things are a little more mundane on 12/29. Since our daughters are living on their own now, Christmas week is currently reserved for their return to the house that they didn’t grow up in but still maintain rooms. For different reasons, our anniversary is still a low profile event. Spending time with the kids is more important.

The bottom line is – marry the right person and the anniversaries work themselves out but it is nice to have a significant other who makes life easy from the beginning.