After a decade of marriage, our anniversary celebrations had fallen into a rut. Laurie and I loved each other deeply, but the annual commemoration of our wedding became a predictable routine: a nice dinner out accompanied by an exchange of cards and gifts.

We didn’t cherish the yearly celebration the way we cherished the relationship itself.

A suggestion from friends, however, turned our anniversary into one of the highlights of each year. We now celebrate our marriage with an "anniversary getaway" – a two-day or longer trip with a few simple rules:

  • The spouse in charge makes all arrangements. Responsibility for the trip rotates from year to year.
  • The guest is told only when we’re leaving, what to pack and how long we’ll be gone.
  • The destination is a secret until we’re en route.
  • The planner may use all manner of deception to make sure the details of the trip are a surprise.

When I’m in charge, I usually include visits to a few vineyards because I know Laurie enjoys them. I’m also always the driver because the getaway is about pampering her.

When Laurie is the hostess, she plans things that interest me. On a trip to Victoria, BC, we bypassed the ferries that connect Seattle to Victoria. To my surprise, we boarded a floatplane. My wife knows how to keep a former Air Force officer happy.

Not every couple has the resources to make an extended trip. But a little creativity can give everyone the benefits of this tradition:

  • If you can’t afford an overnight trip, at least try to make it an all-day affair. It could be a hike with a picnic or a day at the beach.
  • Don’t think you have to go far. Find a local place to explore together.

For us, the anniversary getaway has turned a routine event into a cherished annual celebration. It gives us time to reconnect and remember how much we treasure our marriage and each other.


© 2008 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.

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