Celebrating your anniversary always calls for a special and romantic gift. Your partner wants to know that you've invested thought and effort into choosing the perfect present, so racing to the store at the last moment and picking up the first thing you spot on the shelf isn't such a great idea.

Your anniversary only comes around once a year, and so it’s the ideal time to show your partner how much you love and care for them by carefully selecting a gift that they will really love.

When considering the ideal anniversary gift for your partner, you should try to choose something that captures the essence of your life together, and which helps you to recall the special moments that you have shared, whether good or bad. An anniversary present should also help you to look forward to the future, and another year packed full of good times and romantic moments.

Choosing a romantic gift is the perfect way to show your significant other how much they are cherished and appreciated. Everyone needs to be told at some point that their partner still loves and desires them, so this is the ideal chance for you to strengthen your relationship as you celebrate the anniversary of another year with each other.

In this article are eight of the most meaningful gift ideas that are sure to make your partner's day.

1. Book some time away together

Whether you only have time to take a short weekend break, or can splash out on a week's vacation, there is nothing like spending quality time together to strengthen your relationship and rekindle your romance. If there is a special place that your partner has always wanted to go, or an ideal destination that you have dreamed of seeing together, your anniversary is the ideal time to pack your bags and indulge in a trip. You could always surprise your loved one, but it might be more fun (and more romantic) to plan the details together.

2. Enjoy a blast from the past

A cute and fun idea for your anniversary is to recreate your first ever date. Wherever you spent that first special evening, you can revisit old times at the same restaurant,  theater or cinema. Reminisce about how things were back then and how much you've both grown together.

3. Put pen to paper

Times have changed, and today people spend more time messaging and emailing each other than actually putting pen to paper. The world’s tendency to rely on electronic communication makes receiving a love letter from your partner all the more special. Why not think about writing them a special song or a poem to show them you care? Alternatively, tell them how you feel about them and/or of all your dreams for your life together. If you get stuck for ideas on how to express what your partner means to you, you can read my article titled “A woman you should never let go”. For the gentlemen out there, this article describes the key characteristics of the woman in your life who you adore, and why you are with her. You can refer to each descriptor and adapt it in your own words for the lady in your life; and for the ladies out there, many of the key descriptors in that article are equally relevant to the traits of your man who means the word to you. So refer to them in writing the love letter to your partner, endorsing all the goodness you see in him, and the reasons why he is the one who has captured your heart.

4. Food ideas can never fail

a. The way to a man's heart....

Ok, ladies. You all know that the search for an appropriate and unique gift for your man can be incredibly challenging, so more often than not, you just end up buying him another pair of boxer shorts or socks. Well, everyone knows that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, so what better way to surprise him than with a romantic dinner for two prepared by your own hands? Take out is all very well and good, but for a special occasion like this, using your own culinary expertize is the best way to show him you care. If you usually avoid the kitchen, he'll be especially amazed if you prepare dinner from scratch, whether you excel yourself with a culinary extravaganza, or prepare a simple meal from a basic, yet stylish recipe. Finishing touches are key to a successful meal, so be careful with your presentation. Pull out all the stops and go for an elegantly decorated table complete with quality linen, candles and champagne, or opt for a sumptuous picnic at a beautiful, secluded spot.  No matter how the event turns out, he will appreciate the time and effort you put into the occasion for him.

b. A man in the kitchen is sexy

By the way gentlemen, there is nothing stopping you from doing the very same thing described above for your lady. Women absolutely love a home prepared meal by their man. Such a gesture is impressive beyond belief, especially when it comes to the thought he has put into the decoration and presentation. The use of elegant linen, candles, champagne and beautiful music is timeless.  

5. Show off your handiwork

Nothing shows your love more than a hand crafted gift. Take the opportunity to showcase your crafty skills, be they drawing, jewelry making, sewing or scrapbooking, your partner will love you even more for the time and effort you have put into their present. If art is more your thing, why not paint a stunning picture or make a beautiful sculpture? If you feel that your creative skills are somewhat lacking, never fear! Your local craft shop is a great source of inspiration for artistic gifts. For a simple gift idea, you can make your own card; or you can purchase craft sets that enable you to decorate a photo frame or design a mug - both simple and easy to do but adding a touch of originality to your gift. Don't worry if it doesn't come out perfectly, your partner will love its flaws as much as they love you!

6. Frame the memories

What better way to celebrate your anniversary than to make a beautiful collage of photographs displaying all the special moments that you have spent together? Try to find pictures that show you enjoying life together, action shots and those that show you laughing, having a great time. Feel free to include shots that show your family members and friends who are important to both of you and feature prominently in your lives.

7. Try some sexy lingerie on for size

a. For the gentlemen:

As your anniversary is approaching, choose a day in which you are both free, and suggest to her that you would like to take her shopping in order to buy her some beautiful lingerie, to wear on the evening of the upcoming occasion. You'll both have fun when you go down to the lingerie store and buy some pretty underwear, and this gesture of yours will definitely make her feel special and desirable to you.

b. For the ladies:

Choose lingerie that suits your style and that you know he'll love. Whether you opt for sweet and flirtatious or something exotic and daring, you can be sure that some beautiful new lingerie is just the thing to spice up your relationship. Wear your new purchase under your clothes when you go out for the evening, and offer hints to him about what you are wearing underneath - he won't be able to wait to get you back to the bedroom!

8. Spice it up in the bedroom

When a couple have been together for a while, things can become a little routine in the bedroom. As a special anniversary idea, why not spice it up by trying something a little different? Try out a new position, some sexy dress up, or even some toys to liven up your night. Not only will your partner be surprised and thrilled, but it'll cast their mind back to the early days of your relationship when you were exploring each other for the first time.

I would love to hear your comments or answer any questions you might have about this post.

Yours sincerely,   

Dr. Carissa Coulston, Clinical Psychologist

BSc(Hons), MPsychol(Clinical), PhD, MAPS