According to How Stuff Works, it’s unclear who started assigning gifts to each year, but there are plenty of theories. Just like most rumors, however, they’re difficult to verify with any certainty. “The most likely guess is that the gift list made its debut during the Victorian era in the United Kingdom during the 1800s, and then jumped across the pond to the United States in the early 20th century. Elaborate anniversary celebrations were fashionable back then, so gift-giving thrived as a result. To this day, both regions have their own list, although they’re almost identical in content.”
Everyone knows about the Silver and Gold Anniversaries (25th and 50th, respectively), but do you know about any of the others? These are my top four favorite anniversaries based on their related gifts—if you’re married and reach these milestones, make sure to celebrate!
1st – Clocks
Traditionally, the first anniversary gift is paper or cotton, but really—how boring are either of those? The librarians at the Chicago Public Library put together a modern list of gifts, and their choice for the first anniversary is clocks! Giving (or getting) a clock as a gift is a great way to remind your partner of all the good times you’ve had together… and all the good times in your future.
8th – Bronze/Salt
In the United States, eighth anniversary gifts are traditionally bronze; in the United Kingdom, they’re salt. Why not mix them and get some classy, hard-to-find pink salt and give it in a bronze container? That way, you can’t go wrong!
35th – Jade
Jade gets its name from the French-derived Spanish term that translates as “loin stone”—it was reputed to cure ailments related to the loin and kidneys. Usually, we think of jade in its traditional bright green, but it also comes in pink, lavender, orange, and brown, so you have some wiggle room if you don’t want to be like everyone else.
80th – Oak
If you get to your eightieth anniversary (like this amazing couple), congratulations! That’s an enormous feat by itself, no doubt. Like the oak trees of old, your relationship has weathered the test of time and survived. It doesn’t get much better than that, does it?
Do you have a wedding anniversary coming up? Let me know in the comments if you’ll be using any of the gift lists—traditional or otherwise—floating around the internet for inspiration!