My wife and I recently celebrated by 21st wedding anniversary — it kind of snuck up on me. On both of us no doubt. Seems like just yesterday when we met; I was lost and asking for directions. She happened to be the one that provided them to me. The next thing you know we’re walking down the aisle together. Where ever it was that I was trying to get to that day I’m not sure if I ever found it. That’s o-k though, I think I found something…someONE actually that was much more interesting.
But I digress. All these years I never knew there were traditional anniversary gifts that one is encouraged to give. I really didn’t. For example, I did not know that I was supposed to give paper (in some form) as a 1st anniversary gift. Paper is supposed to represent the strength that comes from the interlaced connection of the paper’s individual threads. If I remember correctly, the only paper I had to give during that first year was in the form of a stack of bills — for the house, gas, car, etc and I didn’t really want to share those with my wife — especially as an anniversary gift.
Or take for example the 2nd wedding anniversary. According to www.findgift.com, on your second anniversary a couple is supposed to be nice and comfy together and that is best represented by cotton. COTTON? I think I dropped the ball on that one also. What was I supposed to give my wife — jockey shorts? Cotton balls? A comforter? I don’t remember what I gave my wife as a second anniversary gift but I’m sure it was not cotton.
The list of traditional items for an anniversary gift is long and varied. Culled from several sources, I put the following list together. In my humble opinion it is kind of crazy:
First: Paper, Second: Cotton, Third: Leather, Fourth: Fruit or Flowers, Fifth: Wood, Sixth: Candy or Iron, Seventh: Wool or Copper, Eight Bronze or Pottery, Ninth: Pottery, Tenth: Tin, Eleventh: Steel, Twelfth: Silk or Linen, Thirteenth: Lace, Fourteenth: Ivory, Fifteenth: Crystal, Twentieth: Chin, Twenty-Fifth:Silver, Thirtieth:Pearls, Thirty-Fifth: Coral, Fortieth:Ruby, Forty-Fifth:Sapphire, Fiftieth:Gold, Fifty-Fifth:Emerald, Sixtieth:Diamond…
There are some truly unique items here. Did you notice on the 10th anniversary you’re supposed to give TIN? I’m pretty sure if I gave my wife tin as a 10thanniversary gift there wouldn’t have been an 11th to worry about. Or did you note that from the 14th Anniversary on up, the items become a lot more substantial. The logic behind this is that after 14 or 15 years of marriage a person (the husband I presume) is supposed to be a lot better off financially so big-ticket items like pearls and sapphires don’t hit you as hard. Of course I wonder if the gifts get more expensive because the stakes in a marriage get bigger. Or maybe it’s because a lot of husbands need to give their wives something special as a “thank you” for being tolerated during the last 12 months?
Which brings me to the 21st Anniversary gift. According to www.poetrygift.com “…There are no standard traditional anniversary gifts for the following years: 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 31st, 32nd, 33rd, 34th, 36th, 37th, 38th, 39th, 41st, 42nd, 43rd, 44th, 46th, 47th, 48th, 49th, 51st, 52nd, 53rd, 54th, 56th, 57th, 58th, 59th, 61st and 62nd. I guess after the 62nd anniversary just being alive is gift enough. But there’s also nothing listed for the 21st anniversary. So I got lucky. As a matter of fact I can continue to use my imagination for the next 10 years or so without any repercussions.
Which reminds me of the inherent good luck that exists for each specific month a couple gets married:
– January: Marry when the year is new, he’ll be loving, kind and true.
– February: When February birds do mate, you wed nor dread your fate.
– April: Marry in April if you can, joy for maiden and for man.
– May: Marry in the month of May, you will romance the day.
– June: Marry when June roses grow and over land and sea you’ll go.
– July: Those who in July do wed must labor for their daily bread.
– August: Whoever wed in August be, many a change is sure to see.
– September: Marry in September’s shine so that your life is rich and fine.
– October: If in October you do marry, love will come but riches tarry.
– November: If you wed in bleak November, only joys will come, remember!
– December: When December’s snows fall fast, marry and your love will last.
I married in January and I got some good press accordingly. “Loving, kid and true” that’s me! A regular Boy Scout. It doesn’t really solve my question about anniversary gifts. I just don’t know if these gifts are in touch with all the angst we deal with on a daily basis. But I’m probably old fashioned enough to know that whatever anniversary gift you give it should come from the heart. And at least from my point of view — my wife has been putting up with me for over two decades now and that is a gift in itself!
– March: If you wed when March winds blow, joy and sorrow both you’ll know.