Slick ideas for a seven-day countdown?
November 23, 2009 1:21 PM   Subscribe

Help me count down from my wife's birthday to her Special Surprise.

My wife's birthday is on Friday, and I've cooked up a pretty nifty gift... that I can only give to her the following Thursday. It's a surprise, and a good one.

I'd like to find neat ways to count down from her birthday on Friday to the surprise on Thursday, so that her birthday isn't a huge heap of nothin' but "yes but something good is coming HONEST."

I've got a few ideas on how I can give her something every day, but there are probably better ways to count down than what I have in mind, so I'm throwing it at the hive mind to see if it sticks. Restrictions:

1. Time. I work full time, I'm exhausted pretty much at the end of the day, and I'm already committed to making a cake and a birthday dinner, both of which are kind of out of my comfort zone as it is. Thursday is also already booked as a dinner-with-friends night. So I need to prep this Tuesday and Wednesday.

2. Money. Got none. Blew it all on the Big Surprise. I mean, I can scrape up $10 to buy some art supplies or something, but I can't afford to buy anything substantial.

3. Indoors stuff only. She's moved up from down South to be with me, and the weather right now in Quebec is, well, bullshit: cold and nasty without any of the benefits of snow or sun.

A tough one, I know, but I'm sure there's a great idea out there somewhere. Start with seven of something and remove one every day? Something additive? Seven micro-gifts of little dollar value, one for each day? Hope me hive mind!
posted by Shepherd to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Go with seven dollar store trinkets attached to seven short rhyming clues. Give her the first one on her birthday, and tell her that the clue will lead her to the next present, hidden somewhere around your house. Hide the next gift each morning and make her hunt for them.

Bonus points if you can make the poems romantic and the dollar store items thematically tied to the big gift.

Sounds like fun. Good luck!

/also, you should post what the gift was later, after you've given it.
posted by hamandcheese at 1:30 PM on November 23, 2009

Best answer: Dollar store toys. Print your own jigsaw puzzle (photo of the two of you, or of a sort of clue, or whatever). Seven different types of hot chocolate. (You can make your own in 5 minutes, and November is the right time for hot chocolate.) 7 short trips to Montreal places. 7 nice chocolates from a chocolatier, ideally in something advent calendar like.

What kinds of things do you like to do together? 7 printable free games. 7 coupons for things you will do for her -- a massage, breakfast in bed, etc.
posted by jeather at 1:48 PM on November 23, 2009

Best answer: If you don't mind giving away how long the suspense would last, you could buy a small countdown timer or clock counting down to the right time, or set a a home page to a custom timer website, or download a small application and run it on her computer.

Email/text messages of small rhymes (haiku) with riddles, one per day until the reveal.

[This thread needs a followup!]
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 1:56 PM on November 23, 2009

Oooh, love the puzzle/clues idea! Could you make it sort of scavenger-huntish, so that solving one riddle tells you to look for the next puzzle at 8 pm tomorrow or something like that? I think it builds more suspense to tie the puzzles together like that.

If you are friends with any of her coworkers, maybe you could get them in on the game and have them plant a puzzle or two at work.
posted by Quietgal at 3:52 PM on November 23, 2009

Pick out seven songs that you can purchase individually on iTunes. Each night at the same time, play one of the songs, and dance with her gently and sweetly (or however she likes to dance), reminding her that you love her and you have plans for her.
posted by amtho at 5:38 PM on November 23, 2009

Another idea: make a seven-day advent calendar. Two sheets of card stock, with the back one having little one-line remarks/lines of a poem/cute pictures/whatever you want, and the front sheet having little cut-on-three-sides fold-out windows, so that she can uncover one day's remark/cute picture at a time. Number them. Make a hole at the top so you can hang it on the wall, or add a third piece of card stock on the back so it can stand up on a table.

Voila. Romance gold, baby!
posted by amtho at 5:42 PM on November 23, 2009

Response by poster: The gift (now that all's done) was a surprise visit from her best friend; she moved up to Canada after our wedding so this was a big deal for her. Tipped to the idea by the puzzle concepts above, I made a custom crossword (she's a Times crossword nut) with a different clue every day, with the ultimate goal of having the first letter of every answer, unscrambled, be her friend's name.

The problem, of course, of making a puzzle for somebody that is more clever than you is that you can't make a problem they can't solve, so she sussed it out around Day Five. But it was still much appreciated!
posted by Shepherd at 8:08 AM on December 11, 2009

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