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New ways to approach Anniversary Gifts
Celebration of a wedding anniversary has been around pretty much as long as weddings have. The idea of taking time to acknowledge the years spent together, and hopes for the future is timeless and unchanging. What gifts are appropriate or desired, however, seems to be changing.
The traditional list of what to give on a specific anniversary seems to have originated around 1800, specifically highlighting each year for the first 15, and then focused on each five year point after that. The most famous list of anniversary gift giving came in 1922 from etiquette writer Emily Post. This list starts out with the first year being a paper gift, and follows with each year after having it's own special material (i.e. leather, wood, silver, etc.) ending with diamond on the 6oth anniversary. Since that time, many other lists of proper gifts have come about. There is a list of gemstones, a list of flowers and even a list of household goods for each year.
With modern marriage being a far cry from what it was in the days the original gift lists came out, the wants and needs of the married individuals can no longer be met by following a predetermined list. If you are a family member or friend wishing to pick a proper gift, feel free to go with something simple that you know the couple with love, that fits with their style and taste. It is never required for those other than the couple to send gifts, although if you are very close to the two individuals it can be a very thoughtful gesture to celebrate their anniversary.
For those who are desperately trying to figure out what to give to their spouse on their anniversary, it may be as easy as simply thinking of what would make their partner smile and enjoy themselves. Going on a trip to where you had your original honeymoon (staying in the same hotel room, going to the same restaurant, etc.) can be a wonderful way to remember your original wedding day. Other options are giving small gifts such as cards or lingerie once a day for each year married, up till the day of the actual anniversary. For example if married 5 years, give a small gift for 5 days. These days no list is needed. If the gift will make your spouse happy, then it was the right choice!