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Celebrating Your Wedding Anniversary: With Kids or Without?

By marinka |

Here’s the thing about wedding anniversaries— if it’s yours, great. But if it’s another couples’, great for them. Am I right? You wish them a happy anniversary, and go on with your day. You don’t send them a gift, a card, nothing. It’s a private holiday between the two of them and they can celebrate the fact of their wedded bliss together without inflicting their happiness on other people.

When I was a child living with my parents (I was one of those needy kids who didn’t strike out on my own until I left for college) we observed my parents’ anniversary as a family. It is on July 1st, which is easy to remember (trust me, next July you will remember Marinka’s Parents’ Anniversary. Check back with me here if you forget) and we’d celebrate their anniversary by having cake. I’d get them a gift, sometimes home-made, sometimes store-bought. For as long as I can remember, while I lived with them, my parents’ anniversary was a family celebration.

Of course what were they supposed to do? Have the cake and deprive me of a slice? They weren’t abusive, after all.

But as I got older, moved out, had my own children, I resisted celebrating my parents’ anniversary with them. This year when my dad asked what we were doing for their anniversary, I shook my head. “It’s your celebration,” I told them. And beyond a “Happy anniversary!” on the day of I leave it at that.

On my wedding anniversary, my husband and I usually go out to dinner, just the two of us, and celebrate privately. (Let’s face it, having kids at the table can make for a different, and more expensive, dining experience.) My parents think that’s odd. They think that an anniversary is a family holiday and should be celebrated by the whole family.

Different things work for different people. But am I right? Do most people celebrate their anniversary privately, without parents, inlays and kids? Or am I missing out on a festive occasion to collect some well-earned gifts?

For more of Marinka’s wisdom, visit her personal blog Motherhood in NYC and The Mouthy Housewives, where she doles out advice as though it were candy. Mmm … candy. Also, follow her on Twitter, where she never refers to herself in the third person, but does have a potty mouth. Sorry!

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About marinka



Marinka is a wife and mother of two living in Manhattan's West Village. On her personal site Motherhood in NYC, she blogs about her life in New York City, her kids and family, current events, and the art and science of blogging.

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3 thoughts on “Celebrating Your Wedding Anniversary: With Kids or Without?

  1. Alison says:

    I’ve only ever known anniversaries to be between the couple, however, recently I learned that my friend does more of a family celebration. For them, it’s kind of a family birthday party with a cake and they usually do go out for dinner as a family. I think it’s a fun thing. I know that they do often celebrate just as a couple (I’ve watched their kids for them before when they’ve gone out for an anniversary dinner). I think it’s kind of neat to do a bit of both.

  2. Robert says:

    My wife and I celebrate with our 3 little ones. We celebrate by going to the local bakery and getting special treats for all 5 of us and after dinner, we celebrate Mommy and Daddy’s “Love Day”. Then, after the kids are in bed and asleep, Mommy and Daddy look through the wedding pictures and reminisce on the day. For us, we’ve never felt the need to make the day ‘ours’ by not having our children participate – after all – they are direct results of our mutual love for each other. But, to each their own.

  3. S says:

    I think when you have young kids, it is understandable to celebrate as a family (no babysitter, etc.).

    However, in general I’m with the author! I found this interesting because my fiancee’s parents insist on inviting us to do things for their anniversary. I honestly think it is really strange for me to celebrate their anniversary…

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