As you read this, try to keep yourself from thinking, “my man would NEVER do that.”

Instead of buying each other cards for special occasions  (which isn’t really my style anyway unless it has something really ugly I can make fun of), let me say that last sentence over again.  Instead of buying each other cards for special occasions like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Anniversary, Christmas, and any other day you would buy your “significant other” a card of some sort, we buy each other a children’s book.  Most of the time we buy a nice hardback one, and on the inside cover, we write each other a love letter which usually makes me laugh and cry and “””SENSOR—-wet myself—-SENSOR””” all at the same time.

So if your man needs some ideas, let him choose a gross book first like THIS one and just go with it.  Also remind your MAN that your kids (or future kids) will be able to enjoy all the fun books and become smarter in the process…or just give him some sweet incentives of some sort, be creative.

It’s so fun. Here’s why:

  • you have an excuse to buy a really funny, or lovable, or whatever children’s book (usually ours are really funny)
  • you have a regular book that instantly becomes a family treasure
  • when you read your kids a story, you can flip to the front page and enjoy
  • it emphasizes the importance of reading-At least that’s the idea, but if all else fails, you have a nice children’s book and a love letter from your hubs at the end of it

My hubby usually likes to illustrate some of the random things he thinks of. For example:  This is when he was referring to us having three kids.  We now have four :).

This is a picture of his “flawed dog” when he gave me the book called “Flawed Dogs”.  Put your own personality into it.

He called me a “gem head”:

He gets pretty creative with his. I can never top his pictures unless it’s with my words I make up like Fancy Pilgrim. When we’re feelin’ pretty daring, we let our kids draw pictures in the front cover….and trace their hands.

and we always put the date, occasion, and the ages of us and our kids an any other info we feel like.  We even started writing in another part of the book details about how we celebrated.  These details are fun to look back on.

These are just of few of our collection, I think we now have about 35 with letters in them, how fun!

Give it a try! Maybe when we get older we will start writing our letters on the insides of Depends boxes, or send each other secret messages through our Belltones or better yet, tapping out mores code with our canes…but for now, this will do!!!




  1. What a great idea. What wonderful memories you will have when you start reading them to your grandchildren and believe me when I tell you, that time is coming sooner than you think.

  2. So funny that you do this! When my husband and I were dating I learned of his belly-button lint and gave Parts ( for his birthday. In it, this little boy is concerned for his health when finding belly-button lint but then decides it’s just his “stuffing coming out.” Soon after my husband’s birthday is Easter, so I gave him the sequel, More Parts ( He made it clear that he thought it was dumb that I was giving him children’s books. Oh well. I REALLY enjoy the memories and the revelvance these books have to our family. Every time I read them to our kids they ask me to start by reading the letter I wrote to their dad inside the cover.
    And, looky there. Now there’s Even More Parts ( I’d say that’s a definite Christmas gift for my husband :).
    Kirsten, I’m glad it works for your family because I think it’s a great idea!

    • Monica, that’s so funny, we have those books in our collection as well. Those are the funniest books aren’t they. I agree that it’s so fun to be reading those to our kids and we can look back on all those letters that would otherwise be tucked away into a drawer somewhere.

  3. Completely awesome idea! I’m passing this one on to my hubby…we have a constant debate over what to do with old greeting cards. We always buy them and then I end up finding my “loving” note in the bottom of the care somewhere!

  4. OH. MY.
    Too funny! My Mom does this for us!!! AND I bought that Pigeon book for my husband once for a birthday and did the same thing. LOVE this post. Why spend $4 on a card when you could purchase a used kids book for a fraction of that – and have Waaaaay more fun with it?! 😀

  5. You know….I use the word GENIUS too much. It becomes trite. (also a good word) But this is GENIUS! So smart, and tender, and hilarious.

    We actually have a contest to find the dorkiest, sappiest, cards and laugh at them. Like: “to my loving sweetheart on the day of his birth”. Hilarious! But I really LOVE kids books and have been collecting them since High School. For one of our first dating anniversaries, my husband gave me a copy of “The Velvateen Rabbit” with a letter on the inside. He was mortified that I didn’t have it in my collection. (even though he thought the collection was kind of strange….since I didn’t have kids yet) I love it.

    This is really smart. I can’t wait to tell my husband.

  6. Such a great idea! We do this for our children’s friends birthday gifts. Books are so wonderful. And PS we just bought that gas book, FUNNY!!
    Thanks for all your great ideas!!

  7. Wow! I would never…in a million years…have thought of doing something like this, but it’s an AWESOME idea. I hate getting cards and flowers (I know, I’m weird) because they’re disposable. I love having as many childrens books as I can get my hands on. This is perfect, and I am totally doing it!

  8. Awesome idea! I’m going to start doing this from now on. I’m not a card person. I like making cards with the kids etc. but I don’t particularly like going to the store to pick up a card for $7.00 that will probably be recycled. Love David Shannon. Someone joked and said we have a Madeline and an Olivia and now we need a David. Great blog by the way. Found you through Knock Off Wood awhile back!

  9. Absolutely brilliant! Great idea.

  10. Ok this is the cutest idea ever. Every now and then my husband and I will give each other a “bonus” something that we do to help the other out or to provide relaxation on a tough day. I.e. ice cream sundaes or the dishes and laundry being done, etc. I’m definitely going to give this childrens book idea a go, thanks!

  11. Elaine Canaday Says: October 12, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Thank you for this idea. We have always done cards and I have made 2 big scrapbooks of them but lately we have been collecting more books – I like the pictures – my husband does that too. I think that is a great way to show your kids the love between a mom and dad since as they get older they will remember the book and then look at the love letter knowing that the bond between you two is something special and rare in this day and age. Keep up the good work. I love your site.

  12. I love this idea! What a meaningful way to leave behind more permanent tokens of appreciation for each other than with disposable greeting cards in other peoples’ words! My 3 year old daughter loves books already, though she is not so delicate with them. My parents saved my nicer childhood books (which are still out of reach until Avi matures a bit!) and even now it’s great to see little notes from birthdays in the cover from various family members.

    I can see the concept of leaving family notes–notes to your child, notes to your future child, notes to your spouse, from grandma & grandpa, etc. really being appreciated down the road. Charting family changes (new sibling on the way!) and more.

    How about even a loving parent’s guiding hand about a serious current event? I recently picked up a children’s book about 9/11 at Half Priced Books, even though my daughter wasn’t born when this happened, I thought it would be good to be able to explain it when she’s a bit older. I think I will go write a note in it taking about things like where I was when I heard, and how it felt like everyone pulled together in the community right after. When she learns about it later, she will have a token of history to think of.


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