Kieran and I have made the choice to forgo exchanging gifts on each other’s birthdays for a few years running now. We’ve chosen this for a few reasons, not the least of which is that we seem to have simply gotten past the point where we need to commemorate important days or events with stuff. Instead, we’ve gone for a nice dinner together or to dinner with friends. And while that’s always been perfectly nice, we had to admit it lacked a little…something. Romance? Specialness?
One problem is that going for dinner together or with friends is not especially unusual (probably not as unusual as it should be anyway), so it just didn’t feel special to do so on our birthday. Gifts, however unnecessary, are usually thoughtful and — regardless of whether it’s social conditioning to believe so — at least speak to something a little romantic as a result. So this year we found a way to make our birthdays special without making it about stuff: We picked the weekend that’s smack in the middle of our two birthdays and went away on a little getaway to Galiano Island. We rented a little cabin that was surrounded by trees and farmland and overlooked the sea. When we weren’t lolling about in front of the wood stove, we enjoyed hearty meals at the local pub and walks with the dogs (Oz was home from “college” for the weekend). In other words, we found just the thing.