What's The Best Birthday Gift You Ever Got?

There were GIRAFFES outside of our room.

Jul 6, 2014 at 9:00am | Leave a comment

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Me on my way to my mermaid birthday party last year.

It's July and that's awesome. It's full-time summer and the city pools are open for business. It's also getting close to my husband's birthday, so I'm in full-time birthday-present-indecision mode.

One year, (feeling flush with a little book advance money) I took him on a surprise trip to Key West. I didn't even tell him where we were going, just that he needed to drive south. He was surprised and totally thrilled.

And my only regret has been how hard it is to top that sort of thing.

My favorite gifts to receive have always been experiences. Like, last year, Ed and my friends organized a Little Mermaid pool party for me. There was an incredible cake and everything.

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The lady at the Publix bakery didn't even blink when Ed told her this cake was for his wife.

I'm not entirely without guidance -- Ed's provided a birthday list of things he might enjoy receiving. So I'm pretty sure I'll go that route. 

But -- for me, at least -- part of the fun of a present is the surprise aspect of it. And so I want to come up with something that I can give him in addition to whatever I pick from his birthday list. Something little and cheap, probably, but that means something between us.

Those kinds of gifts stick with us. 

For my 9th or 10th birthday -- I don't even remember which -- I got a little custom-made stamp with my name on it. 

Because my name is not entirely common, and because personalized everything was the height of cool in the mid 80s, I was tormented at every turn by pencils and key chains and notebooks and all of the other things my school friends had with their names on it. I looked all over the place.

Six Flags, a theme park close to where I grew up in Atlanta, had these kiosks that sold magnets and mirrored key chains -- and I checked for my name every single time we were there for any reason. I refused to give up hope!

But it wasn't until I got that little rubber stamp (it's a bear eating honey out of a beehive and then it has my name below that) that I had anything with my name. 

And then, of course, I stamped all sorts of things. Though I never did successfully stamp any pencils. 

(I might have to go home and try -- I've still got the stamp.)

What gifts have stuck with you? What are you going to remember for all of your remaining birthdays as the best gift ever? I'd really love to hear about it in the comments.