I don’t think this is a very “niche” topic, because let’s face it, a lot of us have trouble with those “special days” when dating, not just geeks! It’s just that we’re prone to getting wrapped up in developing entire worlds, complete with four rival religions with eight classes of priests in each, and strongholds and characters and plotlines… oh. Is that just me? (Don’t blame me… I die if I have to DM by the seat of my pants or write in a world I don’t know well enough.)
What counts as a special day, exactly? Are you supposed to give your loved one a card on every day with a name that appears in small print on your calendar? And what do you give, anyway? What will you absolutely get in trouble if you miss, and what can be skipped over with few hurt feelings on any side?
What’s Your Partner Like?
Before you even start thinking about which special days to mark on your calendar (highlighter recommended) or add to your Google Calendar, consider whether your partner is really fussy about them or not, and how close you two are. If you’ve just started dating, your new girlfriend or boyfriend may find it just a little crazy/creepy if you give them a card for Columbus Day. On the other hand, it’s never too early to celebrate their birthday.
Maybe your partner is also a geek with a tendency to forget special days. You’ll probably win bonus points for remembering the big ones, but even this may not be necessary.
If you’re not sure whether holidays really count to your partner or not, just talk to him or her! Ask them what holidays or “special days” you want them to remember. Most people will jump on the chance to train their lover to celebrate all the right days.
The Big Holidays
You probably don’t need much help remembering the biggest holidays – if you go shopping even once in a blue moon, you can’t help but notice displays everywhere for the latest products for the holiday season. (Welcome to commercialization, boys and girls!) Your favorite blogs make holiday-themed posts, Firefox tries to persuade you to install holiday themes, and spam messages try to get you to enlarge certain body parts for the holiday.
These include: Valentine’s Day, the Christmas holiday season or other religious observances around this time, and New Year’s Eve. Of course, there are more you might celebrate, including religious holidays or federal holidays (Thanksgiving, Independence or Canada Day, other regional holidays, festivals, and all kinds of other federal holidays). These three are the ones you’d do well to observe, in any case!
There are two more big days to observe with your partner to win valuable brownie points (which I have long suspected don’t have any actual cash value, and they seem to expire way too soon). These dates are their birthday, and the anniversary of the date you got together. Some couples like to observe six-month increments, or even one-month increments while the relationship’s still new, and that’s okay too – just don’t forget the big “one year!” date.
These are dates you want to put on your calendar. Nothing’s more awkward than saying, “So, uh, when did you say your birthday was again?” and finding out it was last week. Trust me on that one.
What to Do
Now that you’re not going to miss the day, you have to figure out what to actually do on it. I’m not gonna lie – this can be a big, tricky pain in the neck every year if you have a partner who goes, “Oh, you don’t have to give me anything,” but still expects it (and many of us do).
For a holiday like Valentine’s Day, something romantic and sappy will usually win the day. Depending on your partner, this could be a set of red dice or a vase of red roses. (Personally, I know I’d prefer the former option, as would a lot of geek girls, but if you aren’t with a geek, no biggie either.) Even a picture of you two in a handmade picture frame can melt your lover’s heart.
Christmas and birthday gifts can focus on some interest your partner has, or around the two of you. For example, a movie lover could get a wrapped “movie basket” with a movie, a package of popcorn, maybe a new blanket, and a pack of candy… plus a coupon for some of your time to watch it with them, of course! Romantic gifts also work well for Christmas, but it’s nice to have something that lasts longer than a vase of roses.
New Year’s doesn’t necessarily require any gifts, but spending time with your boyfriend or girlfriend is one of the best things you can do on this day. It tells them that you want to spend a wonderful new year with them. What could be more flattering?
Finally, anniversary gifts should usually revolve around the two of you: some piece of jewelry with a special engraving, photos in a scrapbook of you two, anything that screams “us” is great.
Be creative – don’t stick to these suggestions! One guy I know of managed to sneak into his long-time girlfriend’s apartment (key word here being: long-time!), filled the bedroom with birthday balloons while she slept, and left a teddy bear for her to wake up to with a note clasped in its paw. Another girl might have been happier going sky-diving with her significant other, while another might just want to cuddle up and watch a movie for her birthday.
Have you received creative, unique, interesting, or heartwarming gifts from your boyfriend or girlfriend before?
What about gifts you have given that your lover gave you lots of brownie points for?
And finally, what about gifts you weren’t happy to get? (Don’t be shy, I know there must be horror stories!)
I’ve got a few stories of my own (both good and bad), but I want to hear feedback from you guys, too! Leave some comment love.