15 ways to Celebrate Your Husband: Birthday, Christmas & Anniversary

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*TIP: If you ever make a purchase for your anniversary, Christmas, or spouse’s birthday, make sure you activate your cash back through Ebates! It’s free money on things you already buy and can add up really fast (I installed the bookmark tool so that a little reminder pops up anytime I am eligible for cash back on any website I am on). We love to use the extra cash for date nights, and other fun things. The holidays are especially great because most stores offer double cash back.

Ideas for Your Husband's Birthdays, anniversaries, & Christmas!

My husband’s birthday is coming up, so it’s come time to think up some fun ways to celebrate (Update: I did a video tribute and it ended up being my favorite thing so far. I had everyone send me a video message on their smartphone and had it compiled into a video. Check it out here:  Husband’s Birthday Video).  If you find yourself in a similar situation, hunting for an idea for an upcoming anniversary, birthday, or Christmas….here are some fun ways we’ve celebrated in the past:

15 + Awesome Ways to Celebrate Birthdays, Christmas & Anniversaries

Half Birthdays. This is my favorite way to surprise my husband because he is never expecting it, and is never aware of when his half birthday even is! I don’t do it EVERY year (to keep the suspense), but it’s super fun. Click on the picture below for lots of Half Birthday Ideas.

Half Birthday Ideas + Printable

12 Days of Birthday:  When my husband and I were dating, I did the “12 Days of Birthday Fun.”  I started 12 days leading up to his birthday and each note began with: “On the 12th day before your birthday, your true love gave to you…”  Some days it was a small treat, some days it was a note or letter, and some days it was an activity.  Be creative and have fun with this one.  :)


Turn Your Bed Into a Game Board. This is actually SUPER fun and memorable, and might just end up being his most favorite gift ever. Learn how to make the sheet and get ideas here: How to turn your master bed into a game board.

Best date night ever with the husband! Turn your bed into a game board!

Letters of Love:  On that same birthday, I also had all of his friends and loved ones write a letter to him expressing love or favorite memories they have had with him.  Some were funny, some were serious, and some were in poetry or “list” form.  He totally cried.

Upgrade His Ring. This year for my husband’s birthday I’m planning on getting him a new wedding band. Something the Jewelry stores never want you to know is how much they rip you off on Men’s Rings. When we were engaged, we shopped around for a few rings. On a whim, I also looked on Amazon. I was SHOCKED to see that the EXACT ring he wanted in one of the Jewelry stores (for several hundred dollars), was less than $30 on Amazon!

Musical Tribute.  If you have any musical skills (or lack of in my case), you could always do a musical tribute.  My sister-in-law has dones these for each member of her family and they are so fun!  She helped me do one for my husband one year and my husband watch it over and over and over.   Here are some birthday tributes she did for her dad, brother and husband.  These are meant to be crazy and silly, and are of course funnier if you know the people doing them.

Favorite Event/Sports Team:  For Christmas last year I surprised my husband with season tickets to his favorite sports team.  It took some MAJOR sacrifice on our budget, but he has LOVED it.  Invest in something that your husband (or wife) loves!  My sister-in-law loves Rascal Flatts.  For her birthday one year, my brother bought tickets for her and her friends.  He told her he was taking her out to dinner for her birthday, and her friends were waiting at the restaurant with the tickets to the concert.  She was so surprised and she LOVED it.


Real Salt Lake Game

My husband enjoying the RSL game with our girls


Surprise Dinner:  Similar to the idea above, take your loved one to dinner and have everyone they know and love waiting at the restaurant.  You can keep it simple and just enjoy dinner together, or you can have each person bring a gift or small memento that represents a memory they have had with that person.

ways to celebrate

photo credit: Crystl via photopin cc

Celebrate in Numbers:  This could get tricky if your spouse was born on the 30th, but if they were born earlier in the month you have it made!  For example, if they were born on the 5th, you could celebrate all day long with the number 5.  Five activities, 5-course meals, 5 reasons you love him/her, 5 ways of celebrating, 5 gifts, etc.

Gifts on the Hour:  I’ve seen this one floating around Pinterest.  Last year I wrapped twelve gifts for my huband to open every hour from the time he was born.  So if your spouse was born at 8:21 A.M., they would open a gift every hour from 8:21 A.M. to 8:21 P.M.  This doesn’t have to be expensive.  I wrapped things like his favorite candybar, or a ticket to something fun, or a coupon for a clean house (which isn’t a big deal for most men, but it is for my husband).

ways to celebrate birthday and anniversary

photo credit: allerleirau via photopin cc

Gifts that Last ALL YEAR:  This is a fun one for Christmas.  Rather than buy ITEMS for each other, only give gifts of things you can enjoy together: movie tickets, a trip somewhere, a sporting event, a fun date night at home kit, tickets to a play,amusement park pass, etc.  This way you are spending your money on your relationship rather than on things, and you will enjoy the gift ALL YEAR long as you complete each activity/event together.

Birthday Week:  Does your spouse’s birthday land on an awkward day?  Will he/she be at work?  Make the celebration last all week by doing something small to celebrate each day (breakfast one day, gift another, movie on another, etc.)  Make it Birthday Week.  My husband’s birthday lands on a Sunday this year, and since we don’t spend money or go out shopping on Sundays, we will be celebrating “Birthday Weekend.”  His favorite soccer team just happens to be playing that weekend :)

Service Birthday:  I saw this one on Pinterest.  This girl celebrated her 38th birthday with 38 random acts of service.  This would be fun to do with the Pay it Forward printable!


Day Away:  One of my dad’s fondest memories is when my mom surprised him and took him to Disneyland.  She got it all worked out with his boss ahead of time and just showed up at his work to get him.  When he got in the car, she just started driving.  He was like, “where are we going?” and she said, “Disneyland!”  Their bags were all packed and ready in the trunk. One of my favorite ways to save up money without him knowing about it, is through Ebates. You get cash back for almost any purchase you make online, and it adds up fast–especially if you are doing any major projects in your home or doing Christmas shopping. Just make sure to also install the toolbar that reminds you to get your cash back when you are making any purchase online. My husband keeps track of our budget, so this is one of the only ways I have been able to save up and surprise him without him having a clue.

ways to celebrate

photo credit: PhillipC via photopin cc

Scavenger Hunt:  This one has never appealed to me, but some of my family/friends has really enjoyed it.  Take your loved one on a scavenger hunt to places that have meaning to you (where you met, kissed, dated, etc).  Do something special or give a gift at each location.

A Day THEIR Way: I can list a hundred different ways to celebrate the special day, but to have the most success you must pick the ideas that best fit your spouse’s interests and personality. Last year I had a surprise dinner surprised for my husband, and then I found out that what he REALLY wanted to do was go rock climbing and drive up the canyon–just us.  I ended up having to rip him from what he really wanted to do because all our friends and family were waiting at the restaurant.  This year I told him he gets to plan his day just how he wants it. Similarly, I have told my husband never to plan a big surprise party for me. It’s just not my thing.  I feel like I never get to really talk to my friends when they are all together in one room, and then there’s always the friends that don’t know any of your other friends…and it’s just not fun. I prefer smaller more intimate celebrations.  This is why you must know your spouse’s preferences if you want to make their birthday special!

Birthday Lunch:  Show up at his/her work and go out for a birthday lunch together.  This one is especially fun if the person has no idea you can make it happen.

Maid Service:  I HAD to include this one in case any guys are reading this.  I asked a friend recently what her husband did for her birthday and she replied “He bought me MAID SERVICE!”  She was thrilled!  Even if it was just a one time deal, having someone else clean your house is an awesome gift (make sure it’s someone she doesn’t know)!  Another good one would be a babysitter on a day of her choice to go out and have time with herself (so needed as a mom!).

Reverse Surprise Party:  This one comes from Arielle, one of my readers:

The most fun I have had planning a party-SO MUCH FUN!

Its where you take your spouse out to a restaurant that you had been talking about (make them think its going to be just the two of you and that you are planning something with friends a few days from then (it worked awesome to let it slip to my husband, who is impossible to keep a secret from, that I had planned a surprise party on his actual birthday)), and by coincidence you have one or two of your friends who happen to be eating already at the restaurant. Then 5 or so minutes later you have another friend or two “happen” to show up. They pick a table near by…and then another set of friends come soon after…etc…etc…. It is so fun to see your spouse realize that they are being duped! You have to make sure that the restaurant is okay with the arrangement ahead of time. I also went to the restaurant earlier in the day and delivered a cake to be brought out at dinner. My husband is so good at picking out surprises, but he was totally shocked! He had so much fun, and I had so much fun getting this together. It ended up being us and 15 of his buddies. He kept trying to figure out how I got them all timed perfectly to arrive in intervals. All I am saying is…it was epic.

Anniversary Coin. This is such a cute gift that you can either make or buy. Just get a penny with the year you were married, and attach a fun charm like a heart. If you don’t want to spend time finding a penny and drilling a hole through it, you can get one for your specific year on Amazon for like $10 or less.

Penny Keychain with the year you were MARRIED on it! Would make such a great gift or stocking stuffer for your spouse! Can also do pennies for the year your kids were born

Now it’s your turn to give me ideas for next year! What are your own ways to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, or Christmas? What has been a favorite birthday?

 For some more fun and unique ideas, visit my post Meaningful and Fun Christmas traditions to start with your family.


Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2013-2015 Kristina Manscill
Tina M
I'm six-foot tall mother of two and I'm enjoying the view! I use blogging as my creative outlet, swimming as my physical outlet, and the rest of my life revolves around my husband and girls (18 months apart). I enjoy warm summer rain, eating peanut butter by the spoonful, having dance parties with my husband and kids and I avoid folding laundry at all cost
Tina M
Tina M

Latest posts by Tina M (see all)


  1. Arielle says

    You should add a reverse surprise party to the list! The most fun I have had planning a party-SO MUCH FUN!

    Its where you take your spouse out to a restaurant that you had been talking about (make them think its going to be just the two of you and that you are planning something with friends a few days from then (it worked awesome to let it slip to my husband, who is impossible to keep a secret from, that I had planned a surprise party on his actual birthday)), and by coincidence you have one or two of your friends who happen to be eating already at the restaurant. Then 5 or so minutes later you have another friend or two “happen” to show up. They pick a table near by…and then another set of friends come soon after…etc…etc…. It is so fun to see your spouse realize that they are being duped! You have to make sure that the restaurant is okay with the arrangement ahead of time. I also went to the restaurant earlier in the day and delivered a cake to be brought out at dinner. My husband is so good at picking out surprises, but he was totally shocked! He had so much fun, and I had so much fun getting this together. It ended up being us and 15 of his buddies. He kept trying to figure out how I got them all timed perfectly to arrive in intervals. All I am saying is…it was epic.

  2. says

    LOVED this post! I saw it on Pinterest. I usually don”t find articles like this helpful but this one was chock full of gems. I will definitely use some of them when my hubbs’ birthday rolls around. Thank you!

  3. says

    My husband is so hard to buy for (like all the men in my life!), but he loves it when I bake for him. For his last two birthdays, I’ve entered him in the “Dessert of the Month Club”. I give him 12 notecards (one for each month). Each card has two dessert choices or he can write in his own choice. At the beginning of the month, he turns in the card with his choice circled and I’ll make him that dessert at some point in the month. This is also a lot easier on the budget than big gifts!

    • says

      This is GENIUS Leah! I think I’m totally going to copy you, but I might even do this with meal ideas..since my husband never tells me when he does or doesn’t like a particular meal!

    • says

      What a fun idea, Leah! My husband LOVES desserts! And he is so hard to buy for! So this is perfect for him!! I will definitely be doing this for his next birthday!

  4. Samantha says

    As a woman I absolutely love the Bachelor/Bachelorette show so one year I surprised my husband with a limo ride around town to a new restaurant and I asked him if he would accept the rose and be mine. It was a great night out and he loved his first ride in a limo!

  5. Rachel says

    I love this!! So many good ideas. I like what you said about making it all about THEM and what THEY would want to do. Last year my husband’s birthday landed on a night when there happened to be 2 big sports games going on that he wanted to watch. Since I have zero interest in watching sports, I talked to his dad and 3 brothers and they all took him to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the games together and fill up on wings. He LOVED it! Then I got to celebrate with him the next night.

  6. Amanda says

    Just had to say this is amazing!! My husband is impossible to buy for! None of his friends or family live close to us anymore so the video with everyone saying 3 words about and a b day message will be perfect! I’m sending out an email NOW to get everyone started!!! With a limited budget (and his expensive taste…he loves big tools and guns and a bunch of other stuff we can’t afford!!) These ideas are perfect!!!!

  7. says

    Love new ideas to mix it up! For my husband’s thirtieth birthday I planned a surprise softball game. He LOVES baseball and since he is a twin we did a Team Rich vs Team Chris party and had guests RSVP as players or fans. The boys thought they were going to the batting cages but ended up at an indoor softball field with everyone there. We had them pick their teams, put on their shirts (we had shirts made) and play a game. Plus a big after party with cupcakes and gifts! Sports and cake…Win win!

  8. Shiya says

    This is a great niche!!! Accidentally stopped here, but going out with mind full of ideas for my honey’s birthday. Thanks for sharing your ideas!! :)

  9. Cybille Marie says

    Hi Tina! Thanks for sharing this! :)) I love planning surprises! That moment of shock, confusion and joy from their faces is just epic! 😀

    On one of my bf’s birthdays, I just told him that I will be out for work, so i will not be able to join him but assured him that we’ll be celebrating after. Then come early morning, I went down to his place, brought his fave cake, cooked him breakfast (without him knowing since he was still sleeping from an overtime work the night before) and I just woke him up with kisses. He loved it and kept talking about it for weeks!

    Another was when I wrapped 30 gifts for his 30th birthday, kinda similar to what you mentioned above. Comprised of things that he either like, like to have, often use that makes him kinda distinctive or unique, or something just to tease him. He ended up laughing and crying. I gave him the real gift at the end. He was overwhelmed. 😉

    Now his birthday is coming up, and you just gave me lots of fun ways to yet again surprise him.
    Thank you so much! :))

    • says

      I did something similar with my husband while we were still dating – he turned 23 on the 23rd, and so I bought him 23 small gifts, with a “meaningful” message to each gift (for example, pencil sharpener: to keep him “sharp” / because I love his “sharp” comments/jokes!). (We were still studying, so I couldn’t afford expensive gifts…) :) He loved the “effort” I had put in to get him 23 gifts (all separately wrapped, of course!) and it’s one of our most special memories together.

      • Khushbu Vasani says

        If its ok with you, can you share your gift ideas? I did 27 gifts for my hubby’s 27th birthday now his 30th is coming up and I am out of ideas… :(

  10. Cindy J says

    Oh wow these are awesome ideas. My husbands birthday is coming up in October, his birthday is on a Monday which makes it so awkward. He knows we are going out for dinner the evening but i really want to make it more fun and surprise him. So i might do your Birthday Week Idea as that will definitely tie up with things and end it off on the saturday with a family lunch. However my main issue is a really really really want to make this fun and of course a never forget experience for him because he really deserves it. Anymore interesting suggestions

  11. says

    Great ideas! I did a surprise birthday dinner for my husband this year. We were in Vegas so we had his family fly out and meet us. It was a blast and he had no idea!

  12. Juhani says

    Great ideas! :) Bookmarked, thanks.

    The best b-day I’ve managed to give hubby was when I bought him a new computer. He’d been complaining about his for years, it was really stuttering along, poor thing. So I asked a few friends for ideas for a nice gaming computer that would fit our budget. They gave me specs, I forwarded it to local computer shops to get quotes, three months before his b-day. The day of his b-day I told him I had to go to town and I picked up all the parts for the computer. Note: It was not assembled. Took them home and forbid him to come into the garage/computer room. He didn’t know what was up, just thought I was wrapping a prezzie and writing his card probably. I packed the various boxes out on an unused desk, arranged them nicely so they would look like a display in a computer shop when he walked in. Added some balloons, confetti, silver bows on the boxes, etc. Got the camera ready and told him to come in.

    He opened the door, cautiously. Looking at me with a “what are you up to?” look. Then he saw the display and his mouth dropped open and stayed open for a minute. Then, without going to the desk, he came over to me with tears in his eyes and gave me a big, big hug. =D

    We spent the whole afternoon unpacking his computer (he couldn’t believe it and said “Wow” over and over with every item he unpacked, his face glowing, hehe), assembling it, installing the OS, etc. By the next day he was happily playing the games that wouldn’t work on his old computer. It’s been 4 years and he’s still using it every day.

    It really makes you feel good when you hit the mark like that. The best thing in the world is to be able to make the person you love happy.

  13. Sara Sims says

    Some great ideas that I’m going to have to try out. The best party/gift I’ve pulled off for my hubby was for his 40th. His favourite movie ever, was one he never saw at the cinema. He would watch it on dvd and sigh, saying every time how he wished he had seen it on the big screen. So, I hired out one of the smaller cinemas at our local complex and arranged a private screening. Being one of those guys who works out every surprise I ever try to arrange, I let him believe that I had all our family and friends meeting us at the park for a BBQ (also one of his favourite things to do.) I dropped kids off with sitters earlier in the day – the story was that the little ones were being baby sat and the older teens were making preparations for the meal, while we enjoyed a movie together. We were to meet them at the park after the show. As we entered the cinema, he was surprised by all his guests already being inside. They all sang happy birthday before we settled in to watch the movie. We went on to have the bbq tea and cake in the park. Pretending the BBQ was the secret, and letting him think he had worked it out was a great way to draw attention away from the real surprise!

  14. Caitlin R says

    What video editor was used for your husband’s video? I’m technologically challenged!! Hoping I can get his family to send videos in a similar fashion ON TIME to do something like that. so special!

  15. says

    Tina, this is a very good post. However, I think “Letters of Love” you wrote to ask his friends to write him letters; what do you think? wouldn’t it be better if I being a wife write 10+ short letters and put them in different places? Like in his drawer etc….

    • says

      I wrote a letter too. I think it was more meaningful for him to get the letters from everyone close in his life because it’s something that would never happen if someone didn’t organize it. Plus, he knows that I love him no matter what, but reading all the qualities that everyone else sees in him was super meaningful

  16. Shweta sathawane says

    Thank u so much actually I m totally confused what I can do my sweetheart’s bday special …..but when I read ur ideas it is so much create zeal in my mind…..yesss now I can do it so enthusiastic aly

  17. Me says

    I know this is old, but it looks as though you keep getting ideas so here is another for you. It is particularly difficult for me to surprise someone (have a terrible time keeping secrets), yet I found one way to not have to keep the secret and still surprise them. Have him help plan a party for a friend/neighbor/etc. who has a birthday the same day (or nearly so). Have the friend do the same thing. Especially effective if they have similar tastes. Then you end up having him plan and execute his own party all the while thinking it is for someone else. It doesn’t seem a surprise to anyone, until they find out the party planning was for them. If you are unable to find someone else to celebrate with, a slight twist to get them to help plan another party (work birthday maybe?) can work as well, though it is a bit more suspicious.

  18. Rochelle says

    I love the video idea; however, I have zero video editing experience. Which program did you use? Do you know of any free, Windows-friendly programs?

  19. Kelly says

    Hi! Curiots if you could tell me what video editing software that you use to make the birthday video? That was super awesome I would love to do that but I have no idea how to even start that project! Thank you!

  20. Kristin says

    Wow, so many great ideas!! My husband’s birthday is coming up soon but we are on a pretty tight budget these days. So thankful, Tina, for sharing your creativity and getting other people to also! (I also love the “Game of Love” idea that I’m saving for Christmas or next year’s birthday as his birthday is too close to order now). I wanted to share a couple ideas also.
    Last year for my birthday, my husband (who was only my fiance then) told me we were going out to do something and the time. I LOVE surprises so he knew that not telling me where was part of the gift, and I didn’t push because I wanted it to stay a surprise. Anyways, the state fair was going on at this time and it is only 40ish minutes away from where we lived. Even though we didn’t get there til around 8pm we still had a lot of fun! A really memorable and romantic night at the fair! We went on a week night and brought cans with us so the ticket price was really cheap. We pretty much just walked around, ate funnel cake and took his first ferris wheel ride together (which I loved getting to be the first one to ride on the ferris wheel with him)! Even though he planned this for my birthday, it was so successful and such a great time for us to spend together, I thought I’d share in case your hubby loves the fair too! I guess its similar to the theme/amusement park idea.
    The other idea I wanted to share is taking them out to see a comedy show. This is what I was planning on doing this year but there are not any shows playing on evenings that we can attend since he gets off work so late. But if you’re husband loves to laugh, maybe find out his favorite comedian or a fun place for stand-up comedy and take him to a show!
    Many thanks to everyone else who shared their ideas!

  21. says

    The gifts that last all year are great. Last Christmas I got my husband a new wallet (his poor one was falling apart), and I put a Redbox gift card inside. I packaged it with two bottles of his favorite glass-bottle soda, a couple candy bars, and some pretty tricolor popping corn with homemade seasoning. We’re more movie-on-the-couch people than go-to-the-movies people, and we love Redbox dates. The smallest value gift card they sell is $25, so it really does last a long time. It was especially good for us because we were still planning our wedding at the time, so our time and money were limited, but we had a cheap date ready to go when we wanted it.

What do you think?