Looking for ideas: designing a romantic calender for my partner

I don’t know if this is better in Cafe Society…mmm not sure. In any case, I’m shamelessly looking for ideas.

Bit of background: I’m a graphic designer, my girlfriend loves that I’m a ‘creative’, and last year (our first Christmas together) I made her a calender. It wasn’t anything amazingly creative, I used one of those programmes that allows you to construct South Park style characters, and I did a month-by-month series of characters of us both, planning out what I thought we might be doing in the year ahead. She LOVED it. Loved loved loved it, said it was the best present she’d ever had, it literally made her cry. I was a little surprised, but she said it was so special because I’d taken the time to make it - anyone can buy something lavish.

Trouble is, I think I’ve sort of set a rod for my own back, because I know for a fact she’d like me to do the same this year (and next, and on and on and on), and I’m currently stumped for ideas.

So if it’s okay, I’d like to throw myself at your mercy. FYI as I’m a designer, I can bring some crazy ideas to life so don’t let execution hold you back, and I think just a photo album won’t cut it (because we could all put a photography collection together). I guess I’m looking for a ‘theme’ (like the South Park thing) that I can spin 12 images (or words/phrases/quotes/illustrations/photos) together into a design.

If it helps: we’re both REALLY interested in food and wine (cooking, eating, dining out - maybe I could pick out 12 fab meals we’ve shared?), we’re seriously considering starting a business connected with fish (do different fish have different meanings, like flowers do? I’m thinking not), we’ve been talking about moving away from London back to her home country of Wales sometime next year, we’re a gay couple, we’re both in our late 30s (alright alright I turn 40 in January).

I could pick 12 songs that resonate with us as a couple? Too boring?

Oh, and I’m gunning for major romantic tears again. I have a reputation to live up to.

Can anyone help with ideas? Need to know anymore? Please ask!

Have you been to a dozen really great places together in the past year?

Well I could probably think of a dozen great things we’ve done/places we’ve been (from weekends away to days at the seaside, kind of thing?)

Yes. If you’ve been to a different place every month – and have pictures from each – that would be ideal. But I can see how you wouldn’t.

My first thought was pictures you might have taken on a special vacation or something, but I would also consider favorite restaurants, carnivals, or whatever.

I’m trying to think of how I’d do this for my last GF, and man it’s hard. I can come up with something for every month except June, September, October, January, March, and April. And I don’t have any pictures from July, November, December, or February. But I’m not much of a shutterbug.

Turn extra prints of photos into a pop-up book. Or perhaps just a collage that looks like that’s what it is but doesn’t really have to move. Or just an image that looks like a photo of a pop-up book.image that looks like a photo of a pop-up book
Like this, but just the 2D screen capture image of it

fake photoshopped pop-up books

Since you’re into food, how about doing a take-off on the new movie, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” with you 2 as little characters getting clobbered/rained on, etc. by big portions of your favorite food through the months. You could pair it up with actually going to see the movie and then giving her the calendar afterwards.