In the first couple years after I got married I made loads of mistakes that seem so incredibly obvious to me now.  I did really stupid things like buy her all sorts of “practical” gifts.  You know, the kind of thing that is “useful” in some way.

I learned fairly quickly that sort of thing is the last thing a woman wants for an anniversary.  This is most especially important when it comes to things like First Anniversary gifts.  What you want to do is give her something that somehow makes her feel special, rather than that you want her cleaning the house and slaving over a hot stove all day.

Years later I had this figured out.  One Christmas when there just wasn’t very much money to spend on gifts I came up with an idea that related to the Tom Hanks movie “You’ve Got mail” which happened to be one of her favorites.

I took the cardboard tube from a used up roll of wrapping paper and a dozen new pencils.  I sharpened each pencil and stuck it through a hole in one end of the tube so that they looked sorta like petals of a weird wooden flower.  Then I very carefully wrapped it and told her that she had to be very careful when opening it (because she could have gotten jabbed by the sharp pencils).

How did it go over?  She loved it.  That bouquet of sharpened pencils sat on her desk for years.

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