Where did the traditional anniversary gifts come from?

Traditional Gifts in the Modern Era

We hope that there's a pair of plane tickets in that box and not a collection of sticky-notes.
We hope that there's a pair of plane tickets in that box and not a collection of sticky-notes.

Fortunately for fans of the traditional gift list, most of the suggested materials have withstood the test of time. We don't know a woman who will turn up her nose to fine china, jewelry or anything that incorporates platinum. However, the modern list suggests the gift of diamonds for multiple anniversary years, which is certainly not something we (or most wives) are going to disagree with.

Both the modern and traditional lists continue to be referenced today by gift-purchasers, although it's not required for a bride or groom to adhere to them. In fact, plenty of people don't even know these guidelines exist and choose instead to fall back on gift cards, Champagne or a fancy evening out on the town.

If, however, you decide to honor this Victorian tradition, it's easy to put a modern spin on these antiquated gift ideas. For example, "paper" is the designated material for the first anniversary. Rather than purchase your beloved a ream of printer paper, consider presenting her with a pair of plane tickets for a second honeymoon. If your budget limits such extravagance, get creative and give her tickets to the ballet or musical theater, or create a coupon book good for massages, date nights and housework. On the flip side, a wife might score great seats to a sporting event and spend the day helping her husband cheer his favorite team on.

Whether you decide to use these gift guidelines or not, be sure to kick back and enjoy some alone time with your beloved. Sure, material objects are nice, but your companionship is the best gift you could give to your spouse!

Check out the next page for a full list of the traditional anniversary gifts.