MSOY Winners' Circle

Give Your Spouse an Experience That Doesn’t Have a Shelf Life

Valentine’s Day might be symbolized by hearts, flowers, chocolates, jewelry and other gifts. A long time ago, those items were on my list of things I’d love to receive, but today the most important thing for me is time and experiences. Time together with family is something money just can’t buy, and experiences will last a lifetime.

While tangible gifts are nice, to me they all seem to have a shelf life. Chocolates are consumed, new fancy gadgets are considered outdated in months and, although jewelry can be everlasting, it simply sits there as adornment, with little other function. Meanwhile, my black thumb kills flowers in less than a week.

Experiences are memories that will last a lifetime. Every person has their personal preference, and there are experiences out there to match them all. In our house, if I want to take my husband out for a treat, I look for new restaurants with a new cuisine to expand his palate. The chef loves to try new food, of course! I love learning new crafts so a class about a skill like the pottery wheel, a paint night or a glass cutting workshop is always a safe bet for me! As long as we are doing it together, that’s what matters. (Disclaimer: He is totally on his own for anything that involves jumping out a perfectly good airplane.)

Although these types of excursions are nice, they also come with a price tag that isn’t always practical. A little creativity, however, will provide an equally amazing experience. My past wedding anniversary, I knew my husband was up to something, but I couldn’t figure it out. I thought we were going to dinner…I was kind of right.

Patrick led me through the neighborhood’s rose petal adorned wooded trails out to one of our ponds with a dock, where he had set up a table for two and everything needed to cook dinner right there on the spot. What was on the menu? The very first meal he ever made for me: coconut crusted mahi-mahi with a zucchini/pepper strip blend and rice. It was such an amazing setup that the gentleman with the gorgeous gardens that back up to the dock came down with a handful of roses to contribute to the table. Not only did we get dinner, but we made a new friend that evening, too.

It’s easy to get stuck on ideas for Valentine’s Day with Christmas barely in our rearview and, if you’re like me, multiple birthdays sprinkled in there as well. With a little bit of research, and a little creativity, you have the potential to make a lasting experience that you and your loved one can bond over and remember years from now.

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