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News Room

Traditional Vs. Modern Anniversary Gift List

Jason Snyman
2018-01-17
It’s a new year, and for many people, the celebration of a new anniversary. Gift giving got you stumped? Go Traditional, or Modern.
Good things come to those who wait, or in some cases, endure. Some people make it to 60 years of marriage without ending up crazy or in jail, and as a reward, according to anniversary tradition; you get a big, fat diamond. The custom of presenting your loved one with a gift, made from a different, particular material every year has been around for ages. Nobody knows for sure how or when these traditions began. The list has always existed, passed down from generation to generation without much question. Probably because of how convenient the list really is. For those left scratching their heads up and down the mall aisles, it serves as a bit of a starting block and takes most of the guess work out of anniversary gift-sourcing. The most likely deduction is that the traditional gift list made its debut sometime during the 1800s Victorian era, when the feverish passion for celebrating pretty much everything possible was at its peak. We won’t get too bogged down by the history of the tradition here. Time’s Now You Know did a pretty interesting article on it, and so did Martha Stewart. The latter, in her article, goes on to explain that it wasn’t too long before the tradition crossed the pond from the United Kingdom and made its way to the United States. In 1937, an association of jewellers created a new, modern list. The UK and US both have their traditional lists, which have coexisted quite peacefully, but only the willy-nilly US have created a modern one with 75 years’ worth of gift ideas. Who would want to neglect all those precious sales opportunities? Regardless, for that reason we have put together a list of the US traditional and modern anniversary gifts. Though, some good came of the changes, with the replacing of old-fashioned gift ideas with practical ones. Some, however, may appear a little strange. Without further ado…
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Traditional VS. Modern Anniversary Gifts

The traditional 1st anniversary gift of Paper finds itself replaced by Clocks which, in our opinion, is far better. The beauty of the list is that it’s open to interpretation, so you can pretty much go wild. Origami Clock, anyone? While most of the list items remain pretty much the same, only moved about, there are a couple of surprises. The traditional 4th anniversary gift of Linen or Silk is replaced by Electrical Appliances. Now, this is worth noting, gentlemen. When seeing this, it’s vitally important that you think Premium Espresso Machine and not Clothing Iron. No woman in the history of the planet, after putting up with your snoring for four years, wants to wake up to a new vacuum cleaner. Cotton is entirely omitted from the modern list, and so is wool. Tin or Aluminium, traditionally reserved for the decade mark, is also dropped, in favour of diamond jewellery. Times certainly have changed. The big dates remain the same, though, taking place every five years from the 25-year mark. Jade is dedicated to 35 years, Ruby at 40, Sapphire at 45, Gold at 50, Emerald at 55 and Diamond at 60. Diamonds, as you may notice, pop up often in the modern list. Not that most ladies would complain about that. Interestingly enough, with the additional years thrown into the mix, which did not make it onto our table above, one might find some oddities. 26th – 29th you can expect Original Pictures, Sculptures, Orchards and Furniture, in that order. Conveyances come in at 32, which we interpret to be some form of transport. Musical Instruments make a nice addition at 24 and, not on our list, Land at 41. Start saving now. Most shocking? 44th anniversary – Groceries. Start your car insurance quote.
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