Relationships

How Romantic Is This $5 Gift?

Framed Menu Anniversary Gift

Maureen, our partnerships manager, just celebrated her first wedding anniversary with her husband, Frank. To mark the occasion, she gave him the sweetest gift…

Maureen and Frank

…a framed menu from their favorite neighborhood spot. Here’s the story behind it.

“We met at a mutual friend’s birthday party,” Maureen says. “As soon as Frank walked in, I thought he was really cute.” Later that evening, Frank noticed Maureen, too. “He got my number and a couple days later, he called me — actually called me, using voices — to ask for a date.” And date they did. Eventually, they decided to move in together, and a few years later, he proposed.

“We had planned to go to one of our favorite restaurants, Frankies, for dinner, and on the way there, he proposed outside the first apartment where we lived together. It happened in the street, and he almost got run over by a delivery guy on an electric bike, which was a very New York moment. But it was very sweet.”

Afterwards, the couple hurried to the restaurant. “Frankies doesn’t normally offer reservations, but because of the occasion, Frank begged them to,” Maureen explains. “I think he was more nervous about missing our reservation than he was about proposing!”

This summer, they celebrated their first wedding anniversary together. Since the traditional gift is “paper,” Maureen decided to give Frank a menu from their proposal spot. “I had two plans: The first was to be like, ‘Hmm, let me take a look at this menu’ and then discreetly steal it. But I’m too much of a rule follower. So, I started to explain to the host how much the restaurant meant to us, and before I had finished my sentence, he’d already handed me the menu to take home.”

Maureen presented Frank with the framed menu, along with a photo from the night they got engaged tucked into the corner of the frame. “The menu was free, and the frame was $5 from Michaels craft store,” Maureen says. But the thought was priceless. “Frank is very sentimental. He got pretty choked up,” she reports.

While a framed menu works perfectly for a first wedding anniversary, it’s a lovely gift at any time. You could get the menu from a favorite neighborhood spot or a place where you shared an early date. You could also frame a playbill, or a poster from a movie you first saw together. And remember this receipt?

Maureen and Frank

What’s the sweetest gift you’ve ever received? We’d love to hear.

P.S. A new way to get engaged and 12 great reader comments on love.

(Maureen and Frank’s photos by Luke and Mallory.)

  1. Kellie Duzan says...

    Before we married, I had a dulcimer handmade for myself and learned to play. Fastforward a few years to when a husband and 2 kids are around and I decided to sell the dulcimer at a garage sale since I no longer had the time to play. Immediate seller’s remorse set in. Fastforward yet again to when we started attending a small-town church with the woman who remembered buying the dulcimer from me and told my husband that she still had it. On Christmas that year when he placed that dulcimer under the Christmas tree after buying it back for me, I cried like a baby.

  2. Yelena says...

    Not a gift, but a tradition. Any time my husband and I have a memorable meal, we ask the restaurant if the chef will sign the menu and let us take it home. We have signed menus from restaurants in Iceland, California, New York, Washington, Kentucky, and many other places. It’s been so fun to flip through them over the years and remember those special times.

  3. Nicki says...

    On my 36th birthday, I was seven months pregnant with my first child. The night before my birthday, I was sitting on the sofa watching TV in a bathrobe when my husband handed me a beautiful piece of blue silky fabric, which turned out to be an elegant (stretchy!) evening gown. I hadn’t worn anything that truly fit me, or made me feel beautiful, in months.

    “You have then minutes to get ready,” he said, before driving the two of us across town to dinner at one of our city’s coolest new restaurants that he knew I’d been dying to visit (and where the waiter nervously asked if I wanted to skip a dish that was heavy on ginger, which can apparently induce contractions. It was delicious.) We had a perfect date, and were treated like royalty the whole night.

    The next morning, on my actual birthday (Saturday), he handed me another little pile of fabric – a summery white slip dress with brightly colored flowers – and then walked me to one of our favourite local cafes that sits on a sunny square, where we had big milky coffees and talked excitedly about becoming parents as young children chased and splashed each other in the water playground right next to us.

    Afterwards, I went to my pre-natal yoga class. Instead of driving me home, my best friend (also heavily pregnant!) told me she had another surprise for me, and drove me to a beautiful nearby lake that my husband knows I love. In the outdoor beer garden (we were living in Germany at the time), my husband had assembled my six closest friends along with their husbands and kids to toast to my birthday and enjoy the sunny day on the water. I felt loved, happy and beautiful.

    My husband gets so excited planning and giving gifts, and he has given me many memorable surprises – but I remember this one in particular as a day of pure joy.

  4. Amy says...

    This isn’t particularly romantic, but it’s sweet nonetheless. My boyfriend is always thoughtful in that he notices the small things I mention and often surprises me with them. Did I mention that I’ve been craving nachos? He’ll show up with tortilla chips and everything we need to make them at the apartment.

    Did I mention that I’ve had terrible anxiety and have read that Magnesium helps with this sort of thing? He’ll do research and the next time I show up, has them on the loveseat ready to go home with me.

    When I wrap myself in a blanket, I roll up like a burrito. We jokingly call it burrito mode. Next thing I know, he surprises me with a tortilla looking blanket so I can “truly be in burrito mode.”

    Some things are silly and make me laugh, others are things that I’ve mentioned wanting. The most thoughtful, to me, are the things that I NEED and haven’t taken care of myself. It all means that he listens and thinks of me, even when I don’t think or take care of myself the way I should (which I need to be better about).

  5. janine says...

    My husband and I have a framed menu from the famous Chez Panisse hanging in our kitchen! We went there years ago, and probably won’t have the chance to go again anytime soon (we live in NY) but it cost us almost nothing and is a lovely reminder of the best meal we ever had together.

  6. Rachel says...

    I’m in my late twenties and live in another city with my husband, but every time I see my mom (a few times a month), she always has something for me. A piece of mail that ended up at her house, a miniature jar of jam she got at a B&B, a cucumber from her garden, a picture someone sent her of a cousin – a small gift with no occasion. I didn’t pay attention to this habit of hers for so long, but when I noticed it, it made me tear up. I almost lost my mom to cancer a few years ago, and every time I see her – even for a mundane reason – is a gift.

    • Amy says...

      This makes me so happy.

  7. This was such a happy read and I’ve been treating myself to the comments all week (first week of school for this teacher, so I am exhausted). I have two sweet gifts to share:

    First, from my sister, who saved every e-mail I sent her in my son’s first two years of life. She printed them up and mailed them to me a few years later, when I was in a rough patch professionally. They were a reminder of some happy memories and my priorities in life. They helped guide me into my next profession (see above……I just started my 18th year as a teacher; the son is now nearly 20).

    The second gift was from a friend who wanted to thank for being a support when she was having a hard time. There is an enormous tree in my backyard, known to me as Old Man Tree, a red oak that is one of the oldest trees in our town. I love Old Man Tree and make pictures of him every month in all seasons and I post them on my blog with reflections about the tree, nature, the time of year…….whatever I feel they need to write about. E downloaded a bunch of the pictures and then combined them into a collection that she had printed on a scarf. When I wear the scarf, I think of our friendship, the tree, and so many happy memories over the years.

  8. Keri says...

    My beloved bulldog chewed the face off my childhood stuffed animal. I was horrified! I actually screamed when I saw it lying on the floor, stuffing all around him. I set the wounded little stuffed beaver aside and vowed over and over that I would fix him but a few months later when I went to look for him, I couldn’t find him! I thought he was gone forever. But when my birthday rolled around a little while later, my sneaky husband presented me with my beautifully restored Beavie. He had sent it away to be fixed for my birthday.

    • LK says...

      Crying <3 this is the best.

  9. MW says...

    I’m loving the comments on this article. Such good ideas here, and also such comfort for those of us with gift-giving-impaired spouses. I long ago gave up on trying to even give my husband gift ideas, because he just doesn’t follow through or remember properly. (I told him I love pistachios; he bought me almonds. I told him I love houseplants; he buys me flowers — and ugly ones. Think: Artificially colored blue carnations and the like. When I’m trying to lose weight, he buys me chocolate–and always milk chocolate, even though I prefer dark. You get the picture. These days, I just buy myself something I want and tell him what he “got” me. Sigh.)
    But some things I love to give people are framed/frame-able pretty maps of places that have meaning to the receiver (and sometimes the giver, too), children’s books that are apropos to a certain situation or person (Dr. Seuss often works, and Frog and Toad), funny socks, their favorite food items (hot sauce, gummy worms, nuts, whatever), and houseplants.

  10. KJ says...

    This isn’t my story per se but my parents’. Their anniversary is in August and they had celebrated 27 years together that year. The following December, my mom and sisters did a sleepover in the city and did all of the girlie holiday things. On our way back to the burbs, my dad called and asked her if we wouldn’t mind dropping her off at his work – he had a Groupon to a restaurant near there that was going to expire and wanted to take her on a date. This was all spontaneous but none of us thought this was weird as he’s a sweet guy. Well we’re all at my parents home hanging out when the two of them walk in after their date and my mom is all misty eyed and can’t find her words. Apparently after they got to the restaurant, my dad said he forgot the Groupon and went back out to the car to get it except when he came back he handed her a card and a little box. She opened the card and it was an anniversary card (which was odd since it wasn’t their anniversary) but in it, he wrote about the 10,000 things he loved about her and the 10,000 times they’ve kissed, and the 10,000 times he’s admired her etc. etc. Apparently, my sweet daddio looked up when they would be married for 10,000 days and thought it was an occasion for celebration :). He also gifted her with a beautiful diamond band that she has worn ever since. #Swoon. I coincidentally married a very logical and un-romantic gift giver but will be just as excited to spend 10,000+ days with him too!

    • This got me tears ❤️

  11. Caroline says...

    My husband loves heritage apples so I got him an apple CSA that focuses on rare kinds. Every other week for a few months he was so excited to see which varieties he received. We’ve moved away from the area, but if you live in mid-coast Maine I highly recommend it: http://www.outonalimbapples.com/signup

    • Ellie says...

      This is so sweet and reminds me of two foodie/sentimental things:

      My husband proposed after dinner at the same place (and same table) as our first date. We finagled a way to take engagement photos there and I am still obsessed with them!

      Inspired by Victoria McGinley’s blog post, we have a large frame in our kitchen ($20 Ribba from Ikea) and when we have a meal that we deem “frame worthy”, the business card gets added. I just had an art store cut a piece of mat board for me to size and I use glue dots as I go. We have almost filled the first one!

  12. Allie says...

    When my husband I first socialized at a party in law school, he kept “gifting” me the tabs on his beer cans as an excuse to keep coming up and talking to me. When we got married nearly five years later, during his vows, he pulled out a tab and gave it to me! It was a special secret moment during our ceremony.

  13. Whitney says...

    Our first year of marriage we were young and hardly making ends meet financially. But for our first anniversary my husband gave the most incredible gift (it made me cry)! It was a small brown box tied with cooking twine (he was a chef). Inside was a note that said “for all the years ahead” and was filled with little things. A few packages of seeds “to start a garden”. A piece of stationary that had two columns simply reading “boys names | girls names”. A few empty London metro cards “for a trip”, and other wonderful things that were precursors to beautiful events in our future. It was the most romantic and beautiful gift I will ever receive.

  14. REK981 says...

    My daughter drew a caricature of me for German II at school. THe entire description is in German but describes me perfectly and she gave it to me on a Tuesday because Tuesdays sometimes feel like Mondays. I love it

  15. Rebecca says...

    My husband’s aunt and uncle have framed several menus from restaurants around the world where they shared special meals together. They hang them in their kitchen along with plates that they were able to purchase from some of the restaurants. A few years ago, my husband and I got married in their beautiful backyard and as a thank you gift, we framed the menu from the evening. It still hangs in their kitchen and it is a great reminder of that wonderful night!

  16. Alex says...

    An old childhood friend came to visit me and my husband who had recently moved across the country. Back after college we lived together in our first nasty apartment and had a fledgling vinyl collection. You could always tell the kind of day someone had if you heard a particular record playing when you came home. My record of choice was Rumors–you always knew to steer clear if it was playing in the kitchen. Fast forward 10 years, my friend saw the Rumors album was missing from my and my husband’s collection. A week after his visit, I got an unexpected package in the mail, the Rumors album on vinyl. Now every time I play it, it reminds me of those lean days eating hamburger helper in our gross Boston apartment and the childhood friends who may be thousands of miles away but who always know exactly what you need.

  17. Sara DeRose says...

    Totally stealing this idea because my husband and I were MARRIED at Frankie’s 10 years ago!

  18. Alyssa says...

    I love this comment string so much. And have gotten a good laugh at the husbands who are bad gift givers. I am grateful to have found a man who is a good and thoughtful gift giver. Especially growing up with my dad being a terrible one! For my parents first anniversary, he gave her gorilla slippers. Like slippers shaped like gorilla feet. The nails would catch on the carpet and trip her. It’s not gotten better since then.

    • Jo says...

      Made me laugh 😅

  19. Mara says...

    One of the sweetest gifts I’ve ever seen given happened after my friend’s dad passed away at 55, only a month after being diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. My friend, his two brothers, and mother were destroyed. The dad was known for his signature look, always a plaid flannel shirt. Going through all his things, my friend’s girlfriend put half a dozen bags of these shirts aside…everyone assumed she was taking them away with all the other donations. Fast forward to Christmas four months later — the girlfriend presented the three men and their mother each with a large box, which they opened at the same time. In it was a large, beautifully made quilt made of patches of their dad’s flannel shirts! There wasn’t a dry eye in the room!

    • agnes says...

      Such a beautiful and thoughtful gift.

    • Laura H says...

      This is beautiful and so incredibly thoughtful. In a similar vein, my dad passed away last August and for Christmas last year, my mom took some of his plaid shirts and turned them into teddy bears for my daughter (3) and nephew (4) and niece (2) along with a framed picture of him wearing the shirt that made their bear. I knew she was doing it and I still cried when they opened them. Their “Grampa Bears” and picture frames have special spots in their rooms and will hopefully be a small reminder for them of the incredible man who loved them so very much.

    • Mara says...

      Oh Laura, this makes me cry! What a wonderful, sweet idea, something all the families can cherish. I’m very sorry for the loss of your dad, he sounded so loved.

  20. Leah says...

    That is so sweet!
    My husband SAVED HIS TICKET from the concert where we met and had it framed for me as a paper anniversary gift like 7 years later.

  21. Marcia says...

    Love the idea!

  22. Diane says...

    Shortly after we blended our families of five children, my husband gave me a framed presentation of the king and queen of hearts and five jokers!! After 23 years it still brings a smile every time I see it!

  23. Mary says...

    My grandparents ran a restaurant for one year in the 1940s (about 2 miles from where I live.) A few years ago my cousin gave us a framed menu from their spot. We proudly display it on our kitchen wall!

  24. Elinor says...

    The sweetest gift: I have a blanket from my childhood that I still use because it’s so soft, but it was getting very threadbare on one side. I had picked out fabric to recover the one side, but got very frustrated and discouraged trying to do it myself. My partner took it to a seamstress and had it recovered beautifully, and I love it. It’s extra meaningful to me because he knows how I hate waste, and now its life has been extended!

    The gift that has had the biggest impact on my life: My horse. My mom saved and saved, and told me I could get a horse for my 12th birthday. I had him until his death and would not be the person I am today without him.

  25. Lauren says...

    Because my husband has turned me on to so much good music over the years, I wanted to find new-to-us music to gift him on our 10th wedding anniversary. I went to our local record shop, and with one of the clerks (props to Dario at Stinkweeds), found 10 CDs, each one from a different year of the previous decade, and all unknown to us at the time. My favs are Sharon Van Etten’s 2010, Courtney Barnett’s 2013 and Houndstooth’s 2015 albums. The last was actually the 11th as Dario strongly recommended it.

  26. A.S says...

    My husband’s father worked in the shipping business as an engineer, and had numerous patents. For Christmas one year, I had plaques made of the patent (you can search for and order them online!) and gave one each to my husband and his three siblings. Their father had passed many years before. There were tears for sure.

  27. My husband gets very stressed about gift-giving, but probably the least expensive gift he ever gave me was the sweetest. We had just moved AND gone through a miscarriage, so I was feeling pretty melancholy about Christmas. When we had been packing to move, I was going through old cassette tapes, sad to get rid of them because I’m a sentimental sap, but knowing it was silly to hold onto them. I was particularly emotional about tossing my Debbie Gibson Out of the Blue tape — it had been one of my first, and she was my elementary school idol. But alas, I didn’t even have a tape deck to play it on anymore, so into the trash it went.

    On Christmas morning, when I opened up my gift from my husband, I was stunned to see my Debbie Gibson tape mounted in a small shadowbox frame. He had seen how sad I was about throwing it away, so he dug it out of the trash for me. It was the most thoughtful, unexpected gesture. I see it every morning now on my dresser and it reminds me of my childhood, the hard time we went through after losing our first pregnancy, and how far we’ve come together since then (two children later).

  28. Rachel B. says...

    For our first anniversary, my husband stuck with the “paper” theme as well and gifted me handwritten letters from some of my favorite authors. He spent MONTHS during one of the busiest (leading up to his STEP 1 exam) times in medical school writing more than a dozen authors for this gift. We were(/are) broke (see: medical school! Lol), so over a dinner of turkey & cheese sandwiches on our anniversary, he gave me this priceless gift with all the responses he got. A couple years later the Washington Post even wrote about it! I feel extremely lucky :)
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/grace-unwrapped/2016/12/22/e75075a6-c30f-11e6-9a51-cd56ea1c2bb7_story.html

    • Priscila says...

      This article made me cry! So beautiful! Thanks for sharing and what a wonderful husband you have xxx

    • agnes says...

      The whole article is amazing and your hsband is the best!!

  29. Jess says...

    I got engaged in front of our first apartment in NYC, too, and for our first anniversary I gave my husband not a menu, but a pile of the fortune teller fish that you get with dessert at our favorite restaurant, Mermaid Inn. Great minds!

  30. Lisa says...

    I’m getting married at Frankie’s 3 weeks from tomorrow so this made my heart skip a few extra beats :)

  31. Dawn says...

    For my 40th birthday, my husband made me a CD called Dawn’s American Life. In a spot-on Ira Glass voice, he called and interviewed everyone from my grandparents, to my high school boyfriend and high school best friend, and so many meaningful people in between. I have no idea how he found most of some of those people–this was 15 years ago! They told stories about me and he edited it and added fitting and very This-American-Life music. It’s hilarious and so sentimental to me–my grandparents are dead now, and I love that I can still hear their voices. It will always be the most beautiful thing anyone has ever done for me.

    • Sarah says...

      Wow! That’s a beautiful gift

    • mindi says...

      What and incredible gift, for so many reasons!

    • Tash says...

      This is amazing. You’re so lucky

    • Mimi says...

      Oh I wish I had done this for my 30th– even if I had to do it myself. I would have loved to have the voices of my parents and grandparents with me now 21 years later…. such a sweet and thoughtful husband you have.

  32. Franny says...

    My mom has always saved menus from “big” dinners. Some get framed, like my brother and my high school graduation dinners, the oldest one she has from her 12th birthday (it was a “grown up dinner” in NYC in the mid 60s), among various others. I’ve always loved them, and they make for nice decoration in the kitchen.

    • K says...

      What a great idea! Especially for the kitchen. I’m going to start doing this! Thanks for sharing.

  33. Michaela says...

    My mom saves and then sends me (sometimes years later) postcards from trips we’ve taken or special places we love. She covers the inside with red lipstick kisses. No note. No signature. Just kisses. She sends them at random or when I’ve been having a tough time. True love 💛

    • Katey says...

      I’m going to copy this idea. No words can do what a kiss can do. Love it.

  34. RobberSoup says...

    For our 15th anniversary my husband surprised me with a custom jigsaw puzzle from Liberty Puzzles. We had done a photo shoot for a fundraiser a few months before with our three kids, and hadn’t printed any photos yet. We love jigsaw puzzles and all 5 of us worked on it together, and I hope we do it every year!

  35. Bethany says...

    Whenever my husband and I are somewhere outdoorsy (a friend’s cottage, camping, etc), we look for little “treasures”, like super smooth stones or acorns, and give them to each other. we keep them on the window sill in our bedroom and treat them like precious gems. It’s the little stuff!

    • Madie says...

      Our family does this, too – and we call them “treasures” too!

  36. Annie says...

    On our first date in 2010, my now-spouse and I went on a date at a coffee shop. We’d been mostly only corresponding via email for the entire previous year (he lived in the Cincinnati area and I lived in Cleveland. So star-crossed, I know), but we’d known each other from classes in college. Needless to say, I was nervous to see him for the first time in a very long while. I got to the coffee shop first and ordered a latte that was filled to the brim. My hands were shaking when I lifted the mug–partly because of nerves and partly because the mug was so full–so I decided to hold off on attempting to drink it for a while. I still remember when he walked in, he was backlit by the sun streaming through the windows like a goddamned movie star. We hugged, sat down, (I swooned internally) and I immediately spilled the latte all over myself and the table.

    For our first wedding anniversary in 2017, he presented me with a coffee-stained menu from the coffee shop. I like to think it was the one I’d ruined, and the coffee shop workers kept it as a symbolic gesture in support of our accident-prone love story.

  37. Sasha L says...

    Last Christmas I sent my husband’s never worn (but also never to be parted with) leather Raider jacket to my friend in Canada and she turned it into two awesome pillows! Her business is reusing leather to make into purses, back packs, bracelets, vests – and it’s all very reasonable with US/Canada exchange rates. A fun way to reuse and make something sentimental into something usable – very romantic!

    Her name is Michele. https://pinklillipurses.com/

  38. Lena says...

    My grandfather typed me a letter with marriage advice a few months before he died. He was married 76 years. Totally framed. My own gift to myself he didn’t know he was giving me.

    • Jessica says...

      That’s so special! What a treasure to have.

  39. Laura says...

    Every year for our anniversary, my husband buys me a simple bottle of water to remember how we met 14 years ago. For months my husband was too shy to say hello to me at the climbing gym that we both frequented but, one day as I sat by the water fountain as I recovered from bumping my knee on a climbing hold, he kept getting sips of water and smiling at me. After his seventh trip to the water fountain, I had to laugh and introduce myself. We were engaged and married within the year.

    We are so grateful for that water fountain. Ha!

    • Rae says...

      Love this Laura!

  40. agnes says...

    My husband is a great gift giver. When I got my PhD, we came back from the exam and he told me to close my eyes as I entered our flat and he led me to sit on the couch. Eyes still closed, I suddenly heard a piano playing! I opened my eyes and there was a beautiful piano standing in our living room. It was a gift for me! And we live on a 4th floor, no elevator. It was so magical. It’s my favourite object in the world. Love my piano and m husband.

    • agnes says...

      I must add: we’re not rich or anything, the piano was not new, it was second or third hand and buying it meant many hours of work. I’m still so moved, you can tell!

  41. There’s a John Mayer quote that’s the perfect encapsulation of finding your PERSON:

    “Life is like a box of crayons. Most people are the 8 color boxes, but what you’re really looking for are the 64 color boxes with the sharpeners on the back. I fancy myself to be a 64 color box, though I’ve got a few missing. It’s okay though, because I’ve got some more vibrant colors like periwinkle at my disposal. I have a bit of a problem though in that I can only meet the 8 color boxes… I mean there are so many different colors of life, of feeling, of articulation. So when I meet someone who’s an 8 color type… I’m like, hey girl, Magenta! and she’s like, oh, you mean purple! And she goes off on her purple thing, and I’m like, no I want Magenta!”

    My friend Alison and I referred to it all the time, so when she gifted me a 64 color box filled entirely with magenta crayons for Christmas one year, I cried. It was such a sweet and thoughtful gift.

    Another great gift I got was from my coworkers when I worked at a speechwriting firm. The staff members all came from working in Clinton and Obama administrations and there’s a tradition for ex-staffers to take a clipping the Swedish ivy that lives in the Oval Office. So on my last day, they gave me one of the propogated plants. It now sits on a sunny windowsill in my kitchen where it continues to thrive despite many bumps and bruises (not unlike democracy itself!).

    I’ve been unbelievably lucky to be surrounded by so many thoughtful people in my life.

    P.S. If you want to learn more about the Oval Office ivy, here’s more info: https://www.dailynews.com/2016/11/25/mysterious-white-house-plant-sure-is-an-attention-getter/

  42. Claire says...

    Do you remember that VW commercial featuring 4 friends driving on a summer evening on their way to a party on a mountain road with the moon glowing on the water in the background? The year was probably 2000 and the commercial was likely featured between segments from Dawson’s Creek. I was obsessed with this commercial and loved the song in the background. This was in 2000 so there was no app to tell me which song was featured in the commercial, but somehow my boyfriend at the time figured out the song (still don’t know how he did it) and bought me the album for my birthday. It was Nick Drake – Pink Moon.
    I love my husband dearly, but my boyfriend from when I was 16 takes the gift-giving cake.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-kqUkZnDcM

    • This commercial + song are so good! Love that the DP posted the video on youtube! Thanks for sharing :)

    • Abbie says...

      I fell in love with Nick Drake because of that commercial. It was perfect.

    • Whitney says...

      Swoon!

    • Tiffany says...

      I remember this exact commercial and begging for a VW Cabrio for years afterward… instead I drove an ’89 Ford Taurus Station Wagon when I was 16. Similar vibes haha ;)

  43. Jen says...

    My husband and I are together, in part, thanks to a postcard I sent him 17 years ago that the post office forwarded, thank goodness, because he’d moved and I didn’t have his new address. Snail mail changes lives, people! So I send him a postcard from time to time, just because, and we keep them along with ticket stubs, resto business cards, hotel matchboxes, and sundry sentimental items in a beautiful wooden trunk we bought for our 10th anniversary.

  44. This is really lovely… can’t believe how amazingly cute and amazing this is. I mean the menu? THE MENU! Damn.

  45. Emma says...

    My husband and I met in high school and emailed each other for 6 years back and forth. My husband kept all of them, formatted and dated each email, and bound them in a book he titled “Love Between the Lines.” It’s so fitting because those pages really do show a friendship becoming a romance line by line.

  46. Bex says...

    Each year on our anniversary (starting the day we got married!), we record a video talking to each other about what big things happened in the last year. Going back and watching them is so sweet and it’s amazing to see how our lives have changed. (Plus, it was his idea, so it’s the gift that keeps giving: for free!)

    • Em says...

      I adore this idea, thank you for sharing :)

    • Ellie says...

      This made me think of the interviews in “When Harry Met Sally”!

  47. Dee says...

    My ex wasn’t much for gifts, but for Valentine’s Day he did something very sweet. We’re both very into music and he made two playlists for me. One I think was called “songs that remind me of you” and were songs that I sing all the time, we had jokes about or listened to a lot together. The other one, which really got me, was called “Things I Wanna Tell You.” I’ll never be able to listen to “The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side” by the Magnetic Fields without thinking about him.

    • Kate says...

      Dang those exes who give you Magnetic Fields songs that will always be somewhat connected to them. ’69 Love Songs’ is forever tied to a college boyfriend and I guess I’m grateful to him for introducing me to the song, but still!

    • Anonygirl says...

      So many memories connected to those songs.

  48. Ellen says...

    My husband and I just…don’t give each other gifts. At least not on the usual “obligatory” gift giving occasions. (Once in a blue moon, if one of us sees something we know the other would like, we might get it for them “just because.”) But we don’t do holiday/birthday/anniversary presents. We don’t do many gifts for our kids, either. We try to put our focus on finding other ways to make holidays & birthdays special (nice home-cooked meals, family traditions). It feels refreshing to not have to Buy Stuff (when we really don’t need any more stuff!) just because we think an occasion demands a gift.

    • Renee says...

      So it’s not just me. I can’t remember the last time I gave my husband a gift or vice versa. My husband is a thrift shop person so occasionally I will find a pair of size 6 tennis shoes on my bed only because he paid $3 for them.

    • Libbynan says...

      Thanks for this comment! At 72 I cannot begin to express how much I am “over” gift-giving occasions. I’m so tired of the merchandising of formerly solemn/happy events. I now buy gifts when I come across an item that I think someone will love and the giving becomes an occasion. About a month before my daughter’s birthday, we were at an antique mall and she found a chair that she both loved and needed. It was a little pricey and she felt iffy about buying it, so I bought it as a birthday gift. We went out afterwards and had a “birthday” lunch and voila! An occasion…..

    • Hannah says...

      I think the point of the piece is that this is a really thoughtful memento that cost barely anything, and that you don’t need to ‘buy stuff’ for the sake of buying/owning.

    • Ellen says...

      Hannah–yes, I agree about the gift featured in this post. I actually wrote my comment in response to many of the other comments that I’d been reading in the comment thread.

    • McNeill says...

      We don’t either! It started because money was so tight the first few years we were married, but at this point it’s hard to picture consistently buying each other things for all of the occasions that come up. I think we both feel very cared for in all of the daily parts of our lives, so it doesn’t feel like anything is missing, but when I tell other people this they look at me like I’m nuts or very sad.
      We don’t have kids yet, but I definitely think a lot about how we’ll manage that. I was very stuff-obsessed as a kid, and would love to pass on less of that.

  49. M.S. says...

    When we got engaged in 2015, my now-husband and I were living in Brooklyn. The night we got engaged, we stayed at the lovely Wythe Hotel in Willliamsburg (a surprise for me)! The hotel had very cute postcards with a drawing of the building on them for free in the lobby. Afterward, when I wanted something to commemorate that evening, I contacted the hotel management and they offered to enlarge a copy of the postcard for me for FREE into a poster! I gave the poster to my husband for his birthday that year. The next year, for our first anniversary, he had the poster framed as a gift to me and it now hangs in our living room. The gift that kept on giving, haha. We’ve since moved away from NYC and I love seeing that reminder every day.

  50. Amy says...

    HOLD EVERYTHING! For our anniversary, my wife gave me a 3D viewer with a reel of photos from our wedding because we had so much fun at our wedding and she wanted me to be able to relive it whenever I wanted. It was a fun cheap gift that made me cry and makes everyone who looks through it cry at the story. Here’s the link: https://www.image3d.com/retroviewer/index.php/customer/account/login/
    Seriously, you’ll love this!

    • allison says...

      This looks amazing!! Totally saving this idea for my husband’s birthday. :) Thanks for the tip!

  51. It’s not a gift I received but a gift I gave to my now husband when we just started dating. One one of our first ‘dates’ we stayed up late and watched an exceptional November Leonids meteor shower and drank a bottle of wine. I smuggled the empty bottle home, soaked it and carefully scraped off the label. After mounting, framing and writing the date on it – I gave it to him on our first Christmas – not soon after that magical night. It now hangs on our bedroom wall…almost 15 years later, a lovely reminder of those early days, falling stars and into love.

  52. Whitney says...

    It’s not super original, but when my husband and I were dating we saw Iron & Wine perform at Bimbo’s 365 in SF. It was the most incredible show and we were nearing the end of a really emotional year. I framed the poster from the show and it has hung in our bathroom (4 different ones) since 2008. Whenever I see it, I’m transported to that amazing show sitting next to the man I love. (Pre-marriage, pre-cross country move, pre-grad school, pre-three kids!)

    • Jill says...

      Alas, Bimbos is closed. :(

  53. cg says...

    Not a gift per se, but I kept a movie ticket stub from college, on my first date with the guy who turned into my husband. I didn’t mean to keep it on purpose. Rather, I knew he was the type of guy I’d want to marry. I had the stub for some reason and a year later found it in my drawer and kept it. Who knew that 22 years married, and 27 years together later I’d still have the stub? It’s been tucked safely into a memory book for years.

    For those of you who are curious, it was the movie “The Addams Family” from 1991 with Raul Julia, Anjelica Huston, and Christopher Lloyd.

  54. Katie says...

    I’m an artist who specializes in architectural watercolors, and I do a lot of painting commissions of childhood homes, first date, wedding and proposal locations, but I’m surprised how few commissions I’ve gotten for first anniversaries! Lots of holiday and birthday gifts. I think I’ve only done one 1st anniversary gift in the past few years, and the client wrote in his initial email “I bet you get this all the time…first anniversary being paper and all,” and I was like “No but I’ve been just WAITING for it!” It was their wedding location, and it went over very well. ❤

    Ramblingsketcher.com

  55. for my first anniversary with my partner, I made him a photo book of our year together. it started with shots of what we were both doing before we met, and included a couple screenshots of our early, butterfly-inducing texts, and a scan of the ticket from when we went to punxsutawney PA to see the groundhog come out on groundhog day. I’m a photographer, so there are plenty of “high quality” photos in there, but also goofy selfies and phone shots that only we would know the meaningfulness of, and some poems that we had read out to each other that I copied out by hand and scanned. I knew this is what I would do for our first anniversary for months, and I really built it up! I told him that it was going to be the best gift that he’d ever gotten in his life, haha, and I like to think I didn’t fall short of that! it’s one of our most treasured items and I’m looking forward to it becoming a tradition that we do together to reflect back on our year. year two is coming up soon!!

  56. Elizabeth says...

    My husband is an OK gift giver, and I try to stress that it’s not the amount it’s the thought. For our engagement he outdid himself. A year before he proposed we were in Alaska, and at the beach I picked up a shell and announced that “shells are the most beautiful thing in nature.” (Frankly, I don’t know what came over me — I’m not very poetic and I’m not a nature-lover). The next year, on my birthday, I opened a small box with a shell inside and a little piece of paper inside the shell: “Elizabeth, will you marry me?” We’re going on 23 years…

  57. Jill says...

    What a great story! Especially for the romance of it!
    I’m not romantic with my sister (HA!) but I also framed fun stuff for her last year for her birthday. The original ticket to the Beatles concert in 1964! We went together of course and cried a little when she opened it. We were so young and impressionable. Sigh.

  58. Erin says...

    I typically wouldn’t ever promote stuff on this platform, but you should really check out my friend’s business Love, Storied! She’s a reporter and her side hustle is writing about how couples met and fell in love. She gifted my fiance and I one and the process was so fun and wonderful. Would definitely meet the “paper” requirement! Her website: https://www.lovestoried.com/

  59. Sasha L says...

    We have a framed poster from the festival we went to for our first date. It’s been so long ago I don’t actually remember when we got it – but the date was in 1992. Luckily local frame shops keep old posters from the festival because they are so beautiful and popular where we live. I love the constant reminder of that beautiful August summer night, listening to music and lying on a blanket and looking at the stars.

    Here’s a link just in case anyone wants to see – there is a contest for the poster every year and almost all are really beautiful works of art.
    https://sweetpeafestival.org/previous-posters/

  60. Lucy says...

    I anyone keeps matchboxes, I organized a bunch from restaurants we went to together in a collage, framed it, and gave it to my husband for our first wedding anniversary ten years ago. Like this menu idea, it’s perfect for the “paper” anniversary.

  61. MK says...

    The sweetest gift I ever received was from my best friend in junior high — I loved “The Wonder Years,” (still do), but we didn’t have cable at my house, so she taped 4 episodes off the TV to a VHS tape (stopping the recording at commercials), and gave it to me for Christmas. I haven’t owned a VHS player in years, but I still own the tape, always will.

  62. Pennie Marshall says...

    I went to a parochial high school. After my freshman year, my parents said I’d have to pay my school bill. So every summer I’d earn enough to pay off the previous year and my books for the current year. When I graduated, I received an empty diploma cover because my bill wasn’t paid off. I started working full-time right after graduation at the same place I’d worked since I was 15. Fast forward 12-15 years later and I mentioned to my husband that my high school never sent me my diploma after I paid off my bill. That Christmas, I opened one of my gifts from him and it was my high school diploma. Unbeknownst to me, he’d gone to my school and asked them to find the diploma. To say the least, I was extremely touched.

    • agnes says...

      Your husband seems like a very kind. thoughtful, brave person! He loves you, which is fantastic. What a meaningful gift.

    • GJ says...

      Wow, what a gesture. This gave me chills, your husband sounds incredibly thoughtful.

  63. Katherine says...

    A college boyfriend called my mother to get the recipe for one of my favorite comfort foods and then cooked it for me, at a time that I really needed that. The relationship was pretty crappy but it remains one of the best gifts I’ve gotten, 20 years later.

  64. Erin K says...

    I’d love a series on gift ideas for each anniversary!! We’re celebrating 4 years next year and I’m trying to think of something fruit/flowers to get for my husband…

    • Barb B in BC says...

      We have always done the “traditional” gifts for anniversaries – 29 years. For our 4th I baked my husband four dozen shortbread cookies – flower shaped. Cookies are his favourite!

    • Erica Nicksin says...

      Last year I was in the same situation. He loves plants so I got him an ornamental banana plant. It was only $5 and now a year later it’s doing great and has a little baby banana tree coming up next to it. Plants are always a good gift if people like them.

  65. C says...

    On my birthday this year, my boyfriend of 4 months had to leave before I woke up for a conference. When I got up, he had left me a music box he made, themed like a band I’d been listening to a lot at the time, programmed a song from the band into it, and had tickets in another city to see them. But the best part was he left a vintage postcard from that city in the box, and crossed out some of the old text to say the most beautiful words I’ve ever been told, “You arrived in my life and now I can’t imagine it without you. Come with me to Portland?”

    The irony was I had just gotten divorced, and that band’s music was my break up album, though he didn’t know the musical significance. When we went to the concert a couple months later, I quietly cried through half the show, and it was incredibly poetic to re-hear these songs in such a different context and have them mean something so positive and different than they had the year before.

  66. Marianne says...

    Hands down, the sweetest, most romantic gift I ever received from my husband was…. AN EASTER EGG! I was studying for my final medical exams and was super stressed out (and hungry for something sweet). He filled a white bowl (the egg) with some raisins and nuts and whatever else he could find in the cupboards, topped it with another white bowl, cut out a red rooster’s comb, glued it to the top and handed it to me. He has given me some great gifts over the years but this is honestly still number one for me.

  67. Jessamyn Pritchard says...

    Every wedding anniversary my husband writes up something about our year together. It’s usually funny and light but very truthful. He adds the chapter to “our book” and gives it to me. It’s so thoughtful and I love reading what his perspective of our year was, while also revisiting all the highs and lows of our previous years together. I’d take his words over material gifts every time.

  68. My last boyfriend kept a ripped, creased, stained ticketmaster print-out taped to his bedroom door. They were tickets that he bought for our second date that we never ended up using because we were too busy talking and uh, getting to know each other.

    We’re not together anymore but I always thought it was the sweetest thing.

  69. Katy says...

    Such a sweet idea and story! And Frankie’s is the best…this just made me want that browned butter cavatelli. *drool*

  70. My husband and I got married at Frankie’s–and we met at the bookstore that used to be on the same street, BookCourt. This would be a lovely anniversary present for him! Thanks for the idea.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      how amazing that you met at a bookstore!

  71. Rosie says...

    One of my favorite gifts from my husband of 17yrs was for our anniversary 4 or 5 years ago. Hubs knows my love of all things fall and especially pumpkin. Given our anniversary falls in early October, one year he went to Trader Joes and bought just about one of every pumpkin item they have. Remembering that puts a smile on my face every time.

  72. Gretchen says...

    When we moved to a new town for my husband’s job, we knew it would take him away from home for long periods of time. Wanting to give me ideas of how to spend my time alone in a new city, he made little activities for me to do, wrote them out on pieces of paper, and enclosed them in envelopes, one for every week for a whole year! To top it off, he busted out the crayons and drew cartoons on each envelope front! It is a gift I will treasure forever!

    • Mimi says...

      Ahhh this reminds me of the tour of the city that Alex gives Kate in the movie The Lake House.

  73. Alli says...

    One night my now-husband and I went to a restaurant in Philadelphia which claims to be the oldest single-family run Italian restaurant in the country. I took the place mat because it told the restaurant’s history and I wanted to share it with my family. Little did I know that we would get engaged there later that evening! It was several months before I found the mat-I had forgotten I had it. It has been tucked away ever since. I never thought to frame it! Thank you for the idea!

  74. lilly says...

    I love this idea! Too bad our spot (engagement, first date, neighbourhood pints – our local bar, with excellent Indian food and also, weirdly, a pad thai) only had a chalkboard menu and went out of business. Ah well.

  75. For my first “date” with my now-husband, I flew out to Chicago to spend a weekend with him. When it was time for me to leave, we got drinks at an airport bar and ended up talking so much that I missed my flight home! We still have the napkins from that bar (they say something like “Travel isn’t just point A to point B. Travel takes you places” . . . I definitely agree.)

  76. Abbey says...

    So romantic ::: heart eyes::: I might do this for my friendiversary with my best friend. We both so treasure our particular memories of places we’ve been and things we’ve experienced together :) Long live romance in all its gorgeous forms!

  77. Rebecca says...

    Just putting this out there: my husband is a really crappy gift giver. Not complaining, just trying to even out the comment section, hahaha. I’m probably not alone . . . but maybe I am. Because of this, I really try to instill in my children the art and skill of being a thoughtful gift giver.

    • Mallory says...

      I feel you Rebecca. My husband once bought me an electric travel mug– a very practical gift because he knows I like my coffee hot– like, scalding hot. Unfortunately, the electric component required being plugged into a car’s cigarette lighter plug. We do not have a car.

    • Laura says...

      I learned early in our relationship the same about my husband! I’ve adjusted my expectations and now pretty much get to pick out all my gifts which end up being more experience-based like traveling and nice restaurants. It makes me sad that so many of my friends get upset when their husbands blow a gift-giving opportunity when they had high hopes for something special.

    • Julia says...

      You are not alone! My dad is the WORST gift giver, although we do know he loves my Mom so so so much (they are one of those couples that everyone truly envies their love and relationship after 41 years). Alas hes just never been any good at giving gifts.

      One time in maybe 1994 he let his single best friend pick out a hideous and (expensive) patchwork (!!!) leather jacket at Christmas for Mom. I’m pretty sure that is the last gift he has given her (lol it was never worn but still in her closet).

      BUT we (their children) have learned the importance of giving a gift as we’ve grown older. Something of importance, whether its Grandmas passed down, fresh & warm baked bread, hand picked flowers from the garden, or a night out at a hotel with a nice dinner for her bday. In conclusion- your children will learn from you, and when you turn 60 they will take you out for a fancy dinner, shower you with ALL the flowers and chocolates, and help you celebrate life and love! xo

    • Lynn says...

      Amen. They have good intentions… poor execution. But when they get it right, I do celebrate like its the biggest thing. They need the encouragement. haha

    • Maria says...

      Haha. Same. He flat out asks me what I want, which is usually nothing really. It is incredibly un-romantic.

    • Felicity says...

      LOL you are definitely NOT alone!!!

    • Megan says...

      You’re not alone! But I’m sure he loves you in other myriad ways!
      (PS google the five love languages–fascinating theory on how we give/receive love and in my experience very accurate)

    • Rachel says...

      Aaahhh, thank you for saying this! My husband always *just* misses the mark — like, the gift is ALMOST what I would want, but is actually more like something that he THINKS I would want. I’ve just learned to go with it.

    • Ari says...

      You are not alone. Mine is horrible, too. I keep telling him I honestly don’t need gifts (I really mean it), but he always wants to make sure I feel appreciated…and then he buys me the most not-me, ugly things that are 100% not returnable. I kid you not, one time he bought me a crossbody bag made of a bull’s testicle.

      I try to underscore that the gifts he give me that I most value are intangible – never needing to be told to do something housekeeping-related twice; being a stellar dad and probably doing like 70% of the childrearing stuff; validating any purchase I make towards self care with “you deserve it”; being generous with the I’m sorry’s and I love you’s; and more. I seriously need nothing else in the world.

    • Janey says...

      You are absolutely not alone! Not very good supermarket chocolates hastily bought on the way home from work. Or “I just have to pop out” on the morning of the special occasion (and just grab any vaguely acceptable item) Then the one actually good gift, a handbag which became a handbag every single Christmas for about 10 years – all pretty much identical – because I said how much I liked the first one! Must admit I’m a bit jealous of all these other comments too!

    • Shannon says...

      SAME. My husband got me an electronic toothbrush last year for Mother’s Day. (Insert fuming face emoji.)

    • Kate says...

      Haha! So’s mine! You are not alone, girlfriend :)

      My secret little strategy to counteract my disappointment over rarely receiving a good gift is to try seeing the moments he shines brightly as a person and partner as gifts… like the time I saw him carry a stranger with a broken leg across a patch of ice into an Uber while tons of other people were around but no one (including myself, eek) offered assistance. Even recounting that makes me love him more.

      I hear you on wanting to just unwrap something your heart desires though!!!

    • E says...

      Giving thoughtful gifts comes much easier to me than to my husband (it takes a lot less thought for me to give a thoughtful gift than it would cost him), so I try to value the thought he puts in. Also, he really has been getting much better. Things that have helped:
      -him keeping a Note on his phone every time I say “I wish I had a ___”
      -me being honest when he asks what I want (keeping my own wishlist helps)
      -affirming him when he does really well (even if it’s not 100% perfect)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      haha this comment thread is gold. :)

    • Clara says...

      Just to turn this on it’s head, but I am the awful gift giver between my husband and I. Every birthday/Christmas is a huge stress! I wish I were better at it! (Any suggestions welcome!)

    • DG says...

      I am a self confessed worst gift giver. I thought it would be cool to get my husband for his 30th a hoverboard while we lived in London, so he could run errands / go short places on a fun mode of transport. Only to find out that they are illegal in London. 350GBP well spent.

    • Lorraine says...

      My husband isn’t great at giving gifts but neither am I. Being a thoughtful gift giver is something I aspire to be, but I can’t quite figure it out. Please pass along the wisdom you are instilling in your children. My parents never gave each other gifts, so maybe that’s why I never learned? Like others, when it comes to my husband, I have just lowered my expectations. For me though – I have not given up hope. I want to be a thoughtful gift giver for my husband, children, friends and family. Maybe a topic for a CoJ post? :)

    • agnes says...

      I am the crappy gift giver of the family, and it’s really sad. Even for my son :( I just don’t get it. When I think about a present, like a christmas present for my nearly 6 year old, my mind is blank. It scares me. BUT I know how to improvise a picnic, or make the ordinary day seems a bit extraordinary with stories and songs, and people.

    • Keenda says...

      @Lorraine, who asked how to be a thoughtful gift giver. I think one simple helpful tool is to pay attention to the things they like, love and enjoy and surprise/gift them with those things.

    • Sarah says...

      Amazon Wishlists have solved this for us – we usually purchase something from each others’ wish list and add a sentimental item and there’s Christmas.

    • mali says...

      Thank you so much for bringing this up. I, too, am in this club, and it’s comforting to read the comments!

    • Same here! Except that one time…..for my 40th birthday my husband rented a house in Italy, and 10 friends, and my parents, came to stay for a week. No other gifts required ever again, or before….it was the greatest week of both of our lives!

    • Emily says...

      For all my husbands strengths, gift giving is not one. For the Christmas after my son was born i asked for lingerie (I was so badly wanting to feel sexy again) – even emailed him my size. Imagine my surprise when I open . . . . a coffee mug. . . . that says “pittsburgh mom” – could anything be less sexy?!?!?

      We still laugh about the Most Disappointing Christmas (I accidentally ordered his clothes from the women’s section – we were VERY sleep deprived). Whenever he wants to flirt, he’ll bring me coffee in the ‘lingerie mug’ and ask if I’m in the mood for a hot drink

    • Erica Nicksin says...

      People think I’m a good gift giver, I don’t think I am but what I have learned is that if you always keep a list in your phone when someone says that they like something, even if it’s just in passing and maybe not something that great, when they open the present and see that you heard them say something they liked, it’s. Good gift. :)

    • May says...

      This is definitely something that can be learned! I play a game with my husband whenever I get a catalog in the mail or if I’m online shopping and he’s nearby. I’ll ask, “would I buy this or that?” and we’ll chat about why or why not. Sometimes I’ll trick him and say “neither! Both are terrible!” We get a good laugh out of it and he gets a sense of what I like for future gift giving.

    • K says...

      Haha ok NOW I feel a whole lot better! I was reading the comments thinking I was the only one stuck with a husband who is not a great gift giver (other strengths he has of course). At the beginning of our relationship, he didn’t even give me gifts but would say, I was thinking of getting you a gift but I couldn’t figure out what…” And so he just didn’t get me anything! I learned quickly and now I just tell him what I want or have an Amazon wishlist or heck, just get it myself (we have a general budget for our birthdays). The surprise element doesn’t matter to me as long as it is something I enjoy. Not ideal, but it’s either that or nothing.

    • Kimberly says...

      Rebecca, I really, really appreciate your being real and sharing this for wives of such husbands in the same boat! I needed to read your comment today. I feel less alone. I feel seen and understood. I am the recipient of a green oil glass lamp for my first anniversary. Green oil? There was no meaning behind the gift he said. He just thought it was cool. HE thought it was cool.

    • Laura says...

      All these comments remind me of the Christmas I thought my partner had given me a Diptyque candle. The package was the right size and weight… I opened it, all excited, and it was a tin of baked beans! (I’m British and we live abroad, so I think he thought I was missing baked beans).

  78. AN says...

    COJ crew and fans, you MUST know about The Heirloomist, an outstanding NYC photographer of all things, well, heirloom-y, but modern! Like any meaningful object that you want to be reminded of, that shouldn’t live in a shoebox somewhere. Shana is legit the best!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      wow, that’s so cool!

    • Jill says...

      I lost my mom last summer, just spotted your comment, and am weeping thinking of what to choose to send in. Thank God for the comments section, her work is amazing! Thanks for taking the time to share.

    • Sk says...

      Oh my goodness. THANK YOU. October anniversary gift conundrum solved!

    • Emily says...

      this is awesome! thanks for sharing!

    • AN says...

      Jill, I’m so sorry for your loss…and hope some joy can come from whatever memory you share with The Heirloomist.

  79. Rene says...

    My husband planned the most fabulous weekend in Napa for my 40th birthday. We had dinner at all Thomas Keller’s restaurants, starting with Bouchon, where we had our first date, and ending with French Laundry, which I had tried to get reservations to on and off for several years. They give you a personalized menu from the night and we had the chef sign it. We had it framed and it hangs next to my coffee maker. I see it every morning, and it always makes me smile. It is a great way to start the day! My kids noticed it the other day (including the prices) and couldn’t believe we would spend that much on food. I explained it is the experience we were paying for, and wonderful experiences are worth splurging on!

  80. Emme says...

    I just got engaged last weekend (!!!) over a beautiful, fancy dinner and just emailed the restaurant asking (begging) for a copy of the menu from the weekend. Can’t wait to gift it to my guy. Thanks so much for the idea!

  81. Janey says...

    I absolutely LOVE this idea! We do the traditional year gifts for anniversaries and its such a big challenge some years……gift made of china for a guy anyone?! For ‘wood’ I made my husband a cheese board (he is french, loves cheese) from a flat piece of driftwood I found when walking my dog on the beach, and presented it to him with a beautiful gooey brie :)

    • nadine says...

      love the driftwood cheese board! maybe you could get a ceramic butter container to go along?

  82. Michaela says...

    I love this idea! My husband took me to a lovely little Italian place for my 25th birthday, just before he proposed to me at home later that evening. We somehow convinced the owner to host our rehearsal dinner there—they allow private party rentals, but for some reason he was very skeptical of our wedding rehearsal dinner! And now we go back there for our anniversary dinner every year. The menu never changes apart from seasonal specials, so this would be such a sweet gift. Although knowing the owner, I’m sure I’d have a hard time convincing him to give me a menu!

  83. Becka says...

    Aww, I love this. My husband and I got married a year ago, but had our big party on our one year anniversary in July. We’ve been together for 12 years, so needless to say we are not the most conventional when it comes to marriage traditions. Whether it’s my slight traditional streak or the fact that I love gift giving, I was inspired this year for our 1st anniversary to buy tickets for a concert in March 2020, and considered those tickets a paper gift.

  84. Elizabeth says...

    For every milestone, my husband buys me another piece of antique turquoise jewelry. I wear the bracelets all at once on my wrist in a very jangly way. It’s starting to get heavy now that we’ve been married ten years! I may be crossing to the point where I have to start picking what I wear each day.

  85. Marisa says...

    During the first couple years that we were dating, my now husband secretly kept business cards from lots of the places we went—restaurants and bars, that kind of thing, both where we lived and other cities we visited—and then put them all together in a big frame. It was the sweetest, and most thoughtful, gift ever.

    • Emily says...

      So thoughtful and sweet!

  86. Marcie says...

    I love this – I did the same for my husband. We had our first date at NYC restaurant Public, which always had cool branded odds and ends like the menu clipboard and soaps in the bathroom. I made a framed shadow box collage and gave it to him, which is bittersweet because the restaurant has since closed – but we’ll always have a piece of it to remember :)

  87. Nicole Wight says...

    In college I babysat overnights for teenagers of a couple who had their engagement menu framed and displayed in the kitchen. They had gotten engaged at a five star restaurant in our city, and seeing the prices – which seemed astronomically and ridiculously lower over time – was always a great conversation starter.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      so, so sweet!

  88. Lisa says...

    We celebrated our first anniversary at an amazing restaurant, which prepared us a keepsake menu that had our names and anniversary date on top. It’s still hanging up in our house 17.5 years later.

  89. Tammy Sutherland says...

    My husband is an AMAZING gift giver! I have always been a big Archie Comics fan, so for one of our anniversaries he commissioned an artist who illustrates the comics to do a portrait of the two of us sharing a malted milk, just like the classic picture of Archie, Betty and Veronica.

    • Kristen says...

      That is the sweetest thing! <3

    • ummm Jealous!!!! Named our dog Archie, but still waiting for this authentic Archie portrait art!! :)