Anniversary celebrations aren’t just for married couples. Long-time friends can also mark the first time they met with activities and traditions that are personally meaningful to them. Friendship anniversaries can be celebrated by two “best” friends or a group of close friends--there are no rules! And it doesn’t matter if you can’t remember the exact day you met. The only requirement is that you set aside a special time every year to share with the person whose friendship means the most to you.
"Same Time Next Year"
Take a “same time next year” vacation. On your friendship anniversary, go back to the place or city where you first met, or choose a favorite vacation destination that you both enjoy. It might be Las Vegas, or a cruise or a fishing trip. It doesn't matter where, just as long as it’s meaningful to both of you and fun.
Tell Your Friendship Story
Exchange letters in which you both express how your friendship has grown over the past year. Read the letter out loud to your friend, and ask her do the same. Keep the letters in a scrapbook or journal to create a historical written record of the milestones in your friendship.
Make It a Picnic
Host an annual friendship picnic with your special friend. Share your friendship anniversary with other people who are dear to both of you. Have a potluck, but you provide the main course of meat and soft drinks and tea. Play touch football, bocce ball, croquet or volleyball. Have the guests answer questions in a humorous trivia quiz about you and your special friend. Take a lot of photos and create a special keepsake album for both of you.
Strike a Pose
Have a professional photo/portrait taken of you and your friend at the same time each year. Keep it simple and classic, or go glamorous, or make it fun and outrageous by dressing in costumes and having a themed background, such as a tropical island or a Western ghost town. Create photo yearbooks for you and your friend so you can see how you’ve both changed--or not--over the years. Most of all, you’ll have great memories of the fun you had at your photo shoots.
Share Your Friendship
Mark your friendship anniversary by giving back to others. Express your gratitude for the blessing of your friendship by sharing your time with others. Visit a local nursing home and talk with residents who don’t get many visitors. Sign up to serve lunch at a homeless shelter, or participate in a fundraiser walk for a cause that’s important to both of you. Share your friendship with animals, too; volunteer at a local pet shelter.
Have a Virtual Celebration
Toast each other with a glass of champagne or favorite drink on a live video phone call if you live many miles apart and can’t get together on your friendship anniversary.
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Joan Greylord is a marketing communications and feature writer in Illinois. She has been writing professionally since 1980 for the health care industry and high-tech fields. Her articles have appeared in "The Southern Health Magazine," "SI Magazine," and "Cat Fancy Magazine." Greylord especially enjoys writing about new trends in health care and alternative medicine.