When you surprise a family member with a weekend getaway or a more elaborate trip it shows your love for that person. Your spouse or your child/sibling/parent can tell that you had to do some planning to make the trip special. You had to think ahead, make arrangements, get babysitters or tickets or reservations. If you did it especially well, you thought about what your spouse, child, sibling or parent really likes, and you made it happen.
My husband is very good at surprising me. Once, for our anniversary, he took me away for the weekend. We stayed at a nice hotel, ate dinner at a nice place and went to see “Phantom of the Opera”. I loved that. I knew he thought about what I would enjoy.
But the granddaddy of all surprises he gave me for my 40th birthday. He took me on a 7-day Alaska cruise! And when I say surprise, I mean TOTAL surprise! I didn’t know a thing about a cruise until we boarded the plane to Seattle. He did EVERYTHING secretly! He got a babysitter for the kids, made carpool arrangements, even got a sub for my aerobics class, and–what I would say is a next-to-impossible feat for most husbands–he packed for me! And he remembered everything from my favorite clothes, to accessories, to the right shoes, to all the pieces of my make-up! I couldn’t have done that for him. I was amazed and grateful and ecstatic to get away for 7 days without having to make any arrangements. It was a wonderful, beautiful, exciting, meaningful cruise, and I loved him so much more for working for months to surprise me.
Now, you don’t have to plan a surprise on that scale to strengthen your relationships. I know it’s cliche, but it IS the thought that counts. I once surprised my husband on his birthday and took him to the concert of one of his favorite singers. We stayed overnight at a resort and had dinner at a nice place. He says that is one of his favorite memories. It didn’t take months of planning and it was relatively inexpensive. My husband says it wasn’t even that he really loved the concert. It was the time away together that mattered to him.
Time and thoughtfulness. Throw in a little surprise and you have the makings of a meaningful memory.