By: Mhe-anne Ojeda - Isidro
Money is made of paper, the traditional material for a first wedding anniversary. But simply giving money to your spouse or to a happy couple celebrating their first year of marital bliss maybe seen as un-romantic, un-cool, effortless or sometimes even unethical. However, our recent first wedding anniversary (September 21) proved that there is definitely a way around this and you can use your ingenuity so that giving "cash money" would truly be appreciated as romantic and thoughtful, just like giving any other paper or clock gifts. Besides, Paper Money are not only valuable, but are also colorful, informative and attractive. Here are some ways to give "money" as first anniversary gift that worked for us, without feeling "awkward" or being tag as "unimaginative":
1. Slipped some foreign currencies inside the anniversary card just like what our God parents, Doug and Janice Mc Allister did! They are based in the US and have traveled to Canada and were generous enough to think of us on our first anniversary by sending us an anniversary card with some US and Canadian Dollars (made of paper, right?) slipped inside. The card with a lovely note is in itself a thoughtful paper gift, but the US bucks are truly appreciated as we could put them to good use (bucks for Phuket, Thailand!), while the Canadian dollars are perfect addition to our paper money collection (check idea #5)!
2. Travel to Vietnam and make your spouse feel like a millionaire. My hubby was all smiles when I gave him Vietnamese Dong (VND) while we were in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam from September 17, 21-23, 2014. The word dong means Chinese bronze coins which were used as Vietnam's currency since 1978. As 1000 Dong is equivalent to P 2.11 Philippine Peso, Red definitely was a millionaire with millions of Dongs at his disposal. And since prices in Vietnam are so cheap, Red can afford to buy me anything I want, whether a fancy dinner or a starred accommodations on the evening of our anniversary!
3. Give Your Spouse Currency of Your Anniversary Destination and Give Him The Money Talks. Cambodian Riel (KHR) is the official currency of Cambodia and comes in 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, 50,000 and 100,000 denominations. The exchange rate is 4,000 Riels to a US $1. The US Dollars are widely accepted in Cambodia so the use of Cambodian Riels is limited to fractional US Dollar amount or small purchases less than a dollar, since US coins are not in circulation in this Khmer country. The Cambodian Riels are my fave paper money because they are not only colorful and vibrant but also very informative of Cambodian heritage since most denominations feature wat (or temples) or Cambodian monument - 100 Riel - Independence Commemoration Tower (Phnom Penh); 500 Riel - Angkor Wat Temple Complex; 1,000 Riel - Angkor Tom Temple;
20,000 Riels - Bayon Temple and 50,000 Riel - portrait of Cambodian King, Norodom Sihanouk Varman with Preah Vihear Temple, etc. Since I kept some Riels as souvenirs from my last travel to Phnom Penh, I gave hubby those Cambodian Riels and his first Cambodian lessons as my anniversary gift! The effort was much appreciated and it makes our visit to the Angkor Wat complex and Phnom Penh last September 18-21, 2014 more meaningful to him because of his advance lessons!
4. Wallet Surprise. When we arrived in Taipei, Taiwan, I noticed that my hubby's wallet was really old and worn out, (enough to be shy about it whenever he pulls it out. lol). So while going around Danshui Night Market, I was able to sneak out from him and bought him a new one. While hubby sleeps, I threw his old wallet to the garbage bin and put in his new wallet his IDs, driver's license, ATM cards and of course some New Taiwanese Dollars, the official currency of Taiwan since 1949. The exchange rate to Philippine Peso is 1 NT: PHP 1.48 so it is very easy to calculate our spending. Red was pleasantly surprised when he woke up and can't stopped saying that "his wallet has NTs, not empty"! (get the joke?)
5. Make A Couple Paper Money Collection Scrapbook. Since Red and I started a travel tradition to celebrate our wedding anniversary, I made our Couple World Money Collection where I saved small bills or notes we used or will be using from all the countries we visited and will be visiting for our anniversaries. The collection will be a great reminder of the good times when 'money' literally buy us happiness!