What does your wife truly want for an anniversary gift? She says "no" but does she mean "yes" or the other way around? Her final answer: yes and no.

So what's a husband to do about a meaningful wedding anniversary gift?

Right off the bat: it's not how much you spend (most of the time), but how much love she perceives is attached to your gift. No wife will turn her nose up at a diamond heart pendant or ring, but do you want to increase its "love" value? Or are you short on cash and long on love?

The solution is simple: it's all in the packaging. Your wife will treasure any romantic gesture that shows you put in extra time or thought with your anniversary gift. You may be thinking that "I'm not creative" or "I don't have any special talent." You don't have to do something extraordinary, you only have to show her it came from your heart. That's what's going to win you a home run, slam dunk and touchdown all at once.

A few ideas:

  • A love letter. No matter how lousy a writer you are, your original words are as good as gold. That is not an exaggeration. If a love letter seems too difficult, write shorter love notes with only a line or two and fill a heart shape keepsake, music box or jewelry box (if you bought a jewelry gift) with them. Or mail her a new one every day for two weeks before your anniversary.
  • If she loves photos, go through your albums and make reprints of your favorites. Write a short love note on the back, which can be as simple as, "Remember when we did this? We had so much fun!" Hide them in her purse, lingerie drawer or briefcase, tape onto the coffee maker or inside the refrigerator. Or mail her one a day.
  • Cook up a romantic dinner for two. Order in a meal if you're not the chef type. Decorate with candles, flowers and mood music. You're the basic food type? Make heart burgers with a cookie cutter or simply create with your hands.
  • Visit your local crafts store. You'll find plenty of heart themed items to wrap or present your gift in. Buy a heart shape box and use a glitter pen to write "I love you always" or "Happy Anniversary to the love of my life." Or buy small decorative stones and write words of love, your names and anniversary date on them. Give in a keepsake box.
  • Do you love working outdoors? Create two interlocking hearts with decorative stones and fill the center with cement. Write your names and anniversary date on the wet cement. Or fill with ground cover. Carve two hearts in your shrubbery.
  • Is this a milestone year? Decorate your car as if you were just getting married, but make a banner that says, "Married 5 (or 10, 20) years and loving it! Take her out for a romantic anniversary dinner.
  • Do you use PowerPoint in your job? Create a love presentation and present it as you would to a client. List all the qualities you appreciate about your wife and marriage and then give a short speech about each one.
  • You're a computer programmer? Build her an online store where she can "buy" love gifts from you. They can be kisses, hugs, a night out (or a night in), make dinner, whatever little treats she loves. The checkout basket will allow her to print out a coupon that she can redeem with you. Or maybe a trivia game about your fun times together or a "Love Poll."
  • Not a programmer but adept with computers? Burn a CD with a slideshow of photos from the time you were married. Add background music. There are tons of free slideshow software demos on the Internet.
  • You're a financial whiz? Create a "Love Account" sheet or a stock portfolio listing your love investments together. Print out and frame.
  • Love sports stats? Make up a list of love stats. Title it, "The (your name) and (her name) Love Team. Stats can include dates when you met (or approximate), marriage date, birth of kids, trips, special moments. Print out and frame.
  • Sports fan? Do a fun, sexy cheerleader routine before you present your anniversary gift.
  • Remember that 1997 film, "The Full Monty" where a bunch of ordinary working guys put together a strip show to earn money? Yes, put on a private strip show for your wife. Give her "love" coupons she can stuff your thong with.
  • If that's over the top for you, read a short love note and sing a romantic tune dedicated to your wife and anniversary at a karaoke bar.

You don't have to give a polished performance or make something with a professional appearance. Think about what you enjoy doing and simply put a romantic spin on it. Your love and enthusiasm will help you create an extra special anniversary gift for your wife that she'll always cherish.