Forty years together takes love. Respect. Patience. And a little bit of stubbornness. When your 40th anniversary approaches, the challenge can be finding a special idea to celebrate that love (and that stubbornness). The writer Mignon McLaughlin once said: “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” So 40 years of marriage means 40 years of falling in love. It’s fitting then, that the traditional 40th anniversary gift involves rubies, which are the color of love.
As a Couple
A candlelit dinner for two represents the romantic ideal in 40th anniversary celebrations. Consider a home-cooked meal, especially if both partners share in planning and preparing the dinner. As an alternative, make reservations at a restaurant with special meaning: the site of your first date or your favorite memories, or a place that you’ve always wanted to try. Add depth and meaning to your dinner by sharing memories from the last 40 years. Search your memory, photos and videos to recall the special moments of laughter, joy and triumph. If you and your partner are traditionalists, exchange ruby gifts. Pendants, bracelets, earrings and cuff links make great choices.
With Friends and Family
Friends and family will want to share your anniversary celebration. Whether at home or in a rented hall, you can bring together the people who have meant the most to you. Ask your kids, grandkids and friends to help you celebrate by sharing their favorite moments. If there’s an Internet connection available, consider setting up a web camera so that absent friends and family can participate. A technically oriented friend can help you add some visual flair to the occasion by putting together a running loop of your favorite family photos and slides. To make the event truly memorable, try renewing your vows, or writing new pledges to each other, declaring your love and commitment for the years ahead.
On a Trip
Revisiting the site of your honeymoon or favorite vacation makes a nice choice for an anniversary trip. It’s even better if your family will chip in on the cost as a present. Anniversary cruises have become increasingly popular. Most cruise lines offer special souvenirs and packages for couples celebrating their anniversaries.
All Year Long
Don’t stop with one night, one party or even one trip. Look for excuses to keep the anniversary spirit alive all year. A tour by your favorite oldies band, a revival of a musical you saw when dating, a visit from out-of-town friends or family can all serve as reasons to renew the celebration of your 40 years together.