Anniversary Gifts By the Book

I love lists! They make things easier, and sometimes I am supremely tickled at the contrast between a simple visual format and the complicated meaning its text contains. Traditional and modern anniversary lists are a strange artifact– on one hand we see what was treasured a very long time ago (or what jewelers wanted us to buy) side by side with our desires in the modern day. Long ago, it was unlikely a couple would reach their 25th anniversary (mortality rates, you know) so the gift was spectacular. In Germany, a wreath of silver would be given to the wife, in a “Wow, you are still alive!” kind of gesture. With growing lifespans, prizes for staying alive don’t pack the same symbolic punch as they used to. Thus, modern gift lists provide utilitarian options.

Sure, you can get anything for any anniversary, but for people who  don’t feel confident in their ability to figure it out, the list is wonderful. For me and my spouse, it creates a game where we have a keyword, but have to figure out how that makes sense in the context of our lives. For example, the first 6 years of our marriage:

  • 1st      Origami earrings and a framed map (paper)
  • 2nd     Silly t-shirts (cotton)
  • 3rd      Miniature Klein bottle
  • 4th      Rotary cutter (appliances/linen)
  • 5th      Lemon tree and wooden moon phases puzzle (wood)
  • 6th      Meteorite and metallic bird planter (iron)

The thing is, I like this game and he likes it. So anniversary gifts are not stressful, and they usually make us laugh.

After the 15th anniversary (crystal and watches– boring!) there’s empty space until the 20th (china, platinum). So I’ve decided to come up with some new ideas to help us out.  Am I joking? Am I serious? What’s your list?

Traditional Gifts

  • 16th    Oil Painting
  • 17th    Handmade Journal and Pen Set
  • 18th    Wool Socks
  • 19th    Black Sabbath Back Catalogue

Modern Gifts