[Note: This is a re-post from last year, but just in case you missed it the first time around...]
Every family has traditions.
Some traditions are inherited from previous generations and some are purely accidental. Some traditions were carried with you from your childhood and some were created because of your children.
My favorite kind of traditions are the kind we create on purpose; traditions that communicate in symbolic ways the significance of a person or event.
In my family, my wife, Dawn, gets a birthWEEK — instead of a birthDAY — and it’s become my favorite week of the year! It’s my opportunity to pour out my love and appreciation for her for seven days straight.
You may ask, “Shouldn’t you do that all year?”
Yes, I should, and I do.
But during Dawn’s birthWEEK I pull out all the stops.
I get intentional. I plan and I prepare. I do research and pay special attention to otherwise passing comments in the months prior to her big week. I notice the things she notices. I write ideas down so I won’t forget. I stash small increments of cash away for several weeks so (a) it’s not missed in the budget, and (b) I can buy stuff without her knowing (which is very hard to do since Dawn is an accounting expert and actively manages our bank accounts).
I also collaborate with her friends and/or family when I want to pull something off that I can’t do alone.
It’s not about buying a bunch of stuff, so Dawn’s birthWEEK doesn’t really cost much more than a birthDAY. Remember, a good tradition is about communicating “in symbolic ways the significance of a person or event.”
Dawn is the most significant person in my life and this happens to be her 40th birthWEEK, so here’s a rundown…
- Sunday, September 19 – Birthday card & digital camera (hopefully this one won’t get stolen or lost).
- Monday, September 20 – Birthday card & iTunes gift card (selfish bonus: every song she downloads will remind her of me).
- Tuesday, September 21 (her actual birthDAY) – Birthday card & videos from out-of-town family/friends (took a lot of time & effort but cost $0.00).
- Wednesday, September 22 – Birthday card & bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (her favorite – plus they were on sale!).
- Thursday, September 23 – Birthday card & the KitchenAid Stand Mixer she’s been coveting for the past 15 years (the red one!).
- Friday, September 24 – Birthday card & the video at the top of this post (I’ve been collecting “I Love You” pics since mid-July). We took a vacation day to spend today together (please do not call or look for us…we will ignore you if you do). Exception: we will be at the tailgate party and NHS football game tonight if you’d like to present Dawn with a card or gift of your own! Ha!
- Saturday, September 25 – CLASSIFIED. That’s tomorrow so I’m keeping it under wraps (use your imagination — but make sure you imagine something awesome!).
Well…that’s it for this year! Time to start thinking about her next birthWEEK. I’d better get crackin’ — it’s only 51-weeks away!
Does your family have any unique traditions?
[2011 UPDATE: Yes, this is Dawn's birthWEEK and tomorrow is Dawn's birthDAY. I know you're probably wondering what I did this year to celebrate the pure awesomeness of Dawn. I'll tell you ... in my next post.]