The Only Wedding Present We Asked For Keeps On Giving

box today(5)

The box awaits.

It’s not fancy by any means.

A cardboard box from a craft store that my friend’s 10-year-old daughter decorated with decals and quotes about love.

It is simply the best wedding gift my husband and I received.

It’s one of the very few wedding presents we received.

There’s that.

It’s how we wanted it.

We got married in our late 40’s, already had two households of stuff. Asking our friends for more stuff just seemed silly.

To us, anyway.

So we asked our friends and family for this.

The treasures inside the box.

Dear Reader, you might remember that Husband and I got married twice.

The first, was our quickie, legal wedding. We didn’t want to just live together. So, we grabbed our girls, hired an officiant and headed to a waterfall two hours away.

It was perfect.

And, I still wanted “the wedding.”

So two months later, we gathered with friends and family in the backyard of a friend who had a gorgeous home.

It was a “no presents” affair.

I mean really.

Except for one thing.

That box.

As guests walked into the festivities, they found a table with different colored cards and envelopes numbered 1-10.

notes at wedding

“Please write us a note, a greeting, some advice,” we asked. “Put your note in an envelope and we will open it on the anniversary of corresponding number.”

Talk about the gift that keeps on giving.

Each year on September 15th, we take the box down from a shelf in our den and open the envelopes with the number matching that anniversary.

I think it’s even better than looking at photos or videos.

It’s like having that special person with you in the den.

folks writing notes

Year One included a note from the parents of my husband’s late first wife.

“We believe you’ll have many happy memories from this first year. Thank you for including us in your family,” they wrote. Talk about a reminder of the fabric of our family.

A Year Two envelope revealed a note from a dear college friend who is now a minister.

“May laughter dance in your presence

May strength be in your ties

May the Lord hold you tightly

May each day hold surprise.”

Year Two also had this gem from my friend and pet sitter, Heidi, “I hope your pack has grown by leaps and bounds!”

The fact that it hasn’t, that we are capped off with one dog, one 3-legged cat and 6 chickens in the backyard, is why we have made it to anniversary #3.

Whose notes await us?

Only the box knows.

We’ll find out each year on September 15th.

And if we’re blessed enough to make it to Year 11, we’ll start over with the envelopes marked for Year One.

We’re not special.

I suspect you might be over “stuff,” as well.

For about $20,this kind of treasure can be yours, too.

A box, some inexpensive stationary, and some pens for your guests.

That’s all it takes for a surprise box of memories to await on your shelf.

Find more stories on my website,

Please catch my column each week in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Dayton Daily News and other newspapers across Ohio.



The Only Wedding Present We Asked For Keeps On Giving

by DarynKagan time to read: 2 min
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