Anniversary Gift Ideas

Published: 01st September 2006
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Every anniversary in a couple's life is a symbolic marker of commitment, adventure and love. With each passing year, the bond strengthens, fortified by all the shared experiences a year can carry. Anniversaries are a time to let your spouse know that he or she is cherished. And, they are a time to present a anniversary gift that reflects love, creativity and spirit.

Before humans had a way of keeping time, no one paid much attention to the anniversary of important events, such as birthdays. Only when ancient peoples began taking notice of the moon's cycles, did they pay attention to the changing seasons and the pattern that repeated itself over and over. Eventually, the first calendars were formulated in order to mark time changes and other special days. From this system tracking came the ability to celebrate birthdays and other significant anniversaries the same day each year.

Anniversary celebrations began in medieval times when people celebrated 25 and 50 years of marriage. A husband would crown his wife with a wreath of silver for 25 years and of gold for 50.

For centuries, couples have observed wedding anniversaries as a special time to reflect upon their marriage and remember the vows they made to one another. Despite the existence of anniversaries long ago, there aren't any long-standing traditions or strict rules concerning the way anniversaries should or should not be celebrated.

The wedding anniversary gift chosen is usually based on the number of years a couple has been married. The longer the number of years past since the wedding couple has been married, the more precious the material (symbol) associated with it. Traditional and modern gift ideas help the invited guests in choosing the appropriate gifts for a wedding anniversary, as well as, it may help the hosts choose an appropriate party theme for the couple's wedding anniversary.

It is now generally agreed that there are particular traditional symbols for wedding anniversaries. Over the periods of time - some of these symbols have changed but as a rough guide take a look at the table below, which lists the most popular anniversaries and their traditional gift symbols.

1st: paper, clocks, plastic, gold jewelry.
2nd: cotton, china, calico, garnet.
3rd: leather, crystal, glass, pearls.
4th: fruit, flowers, electrical appliances, linen, silk, nylon, blue topaz.
5th: wood, silverware, sapphires.
6th: sugar, wood, iron, candy, amethysts.
7th: copper, wool, brass, desk sets, onyx.
8th: pottery, bronze, appliances, linens, lace, tourmaline jewelry.
9th: willow, pottery, leather, lapis jewelry.
10th: aluminum, tin, diamond jewelry.
11th: fashion or turquoise jewelry, steel.
12th: pearls, jade, colored gems, silk, linen.
13th: textiles, furs, citrine, lace.
14th: ivory, opal, gold jewelry.
15th: crystal, glass, watches, ruby.
16th: silver hollowware, peridot.
17th: furniture, watch.
18th: cat's eye jewelry, porcelain.
19th: bronze, aquamarine.
20th: platinum, emeralds, china.
21st: nickel, brass.
22nd: copper.
23rd: silver plate.
24th: musical instruments.
25th: silver, sterling silver

Finding an anniversary gift for a wife can be a fairly easy process because as long as a husband is aware of his wife's interests, he has a wide selection of gifts he can choose from.

Making the search for anniversary gifts for men is a challenge. One of the most common pieces of advice that you can find on web sites that provide gift ideas is to buy gifts that follow tradition: For every milestone regarding to the number of years you are together, there are appropriate gifts for each. For men, this means that wives should get their husbands a gift that is made out of paper on their first year anniversary, which can come in the form of personalized stationary that he can use in his work. For the second year, women are advised to get their husbands anything made out of cotton, which includes shirts, pillows, or other cotton. On the third year, women are then advised to buy their husbands leather products, which include shoes, belts, or a leather suitcase. As for other milestones, like the 25th or the 50th wedding anniversary, women are advised to give their husbands gifts that are made out of silver and gold, respectively.

Typically, couples observe earlier wedding anniversaries informally, making their own plans to celebrate alone over dinner, take a weekend getaway, or simply exchange small gifts. As the number of years together increases, however, the occasion becomes more and more significant.

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