Traditional Anniversary Gifts Year by Year for One Hundred Years

by : Elly Kendall

The traditional gift for the first anniversary is paper. An addition of the newspaper from the year you were married, an old edition of a classic book like “Gone with the Wind", a postcard that’s of a place meaningful to both of you, board games, plane tickets, football or baseball tickets, photo album filled with memories, write a love letter, drawing or pictures for your cabin, home or office or a gift voucher are all great ideas.

The second anniversary’s traditional gift is cotton. New bed linen, attractive underwear or lingerie, cotton towels, a hammock, personalized T-shirt, cotton clothing or a cotton canvas shopping bag with your photo on the front.

Leather is the traditional gift for the third anniversary. Leather, boots, shoes, vest, skirt, pants, wallet, gloves, purse, belt, luggage or briefcase will do nicely. But how about something a bit more updated like leather cell phone case, leather framed photo or leather throw pillows?

Traditional gifts for the fourth anniversary are fruit or flowers. Of course having a fruit basket or flowers delivered to the home or office is appropriate. However, sharing a fresh fruit cocktail, floral bubble bath with floral scented candles set about and rose petals scattered across the bed sounds a lot more fun, exciting and romantic!

The traditional gift for the fifth anniversary is wood. This is a very good year for practical gifts like wooden deck furniture, frames or wooden utensils for the kitchen and new wood fencing. The romantic side of wood could include a weekend in a log cabin, camping in the woods, a walk in the woods, wooden plaques or signs engraved with words of love or an artistic wooden sculpture.

Iron is the traditional gift for the sixth anniversary. Golf clubs, iron sculptures, wrought iron furniture, iron skillets, a new iron or an Ironwood tree are good ideas. Don’t forget the possibility of tools, hardware, a wrought iron bed or a set of weights.

Traditionally, wool or copper are gifts for the seventh anniversary. Gifts of woolen socks, scarves, blankets, hats, coats and copper kettles make very nice presents. A new wool suit, copper sculpture or copper fireside accessories are a bit more upscale.

The eighth anniversary’s traditional gift is bronze. This is the year to make an impression with a bronze sculpture, antique bronze bell or a trip to a tropical beach with a bronzing lotion for the two of you.

Pottery is the traditional gift for the ninth anniversary. Planters, vases, bowls and coffee mugs fall into this group, so does joining a pottery class together!

Traditional gifts for the tenth anniversary are of tin or aluminum. Personalized license plate, tin of caviar, tin toy car, tin signs or plaques and vintage aluminum serving pieces are fun ideas.

The eleventh anniversary traditional gift is steel. Stainless steel cookware, watches and steel engraved key chains are great but a Calypso steel drum, steel ice bucket and cocktail shaker or modern steel sculpture are unique gift ideas.

Silk and linen are the proper traditional gifts for the twelfth anniversary. Silk lingerie, bed linens, linen table clothes, napkins, handkerchiefs and silk or linen clothing will surely be appreciated.

The thirteenth anniversary traditional gift is lace. Women buy that slinky, lacey lingerie for the men to enjoy! Okay, lace doilies, tablecloths and lacey curtains work too but they aren’t near as much fun.

The fourteenth anniversary calls for the traditional gift of ivory. If you have the big bucks this year splurge on a piano or a trip to the Ivory Coast of Africa. The rest of us can enjoy ivory colored bed linen, scrimshawed ivory desk sets or key chains, ivory colored clothing or personalized ivory colored stationary.

Crystal is the gift for the fifteenth through the nineteenth anniversaries. Crystal vases, decanters, candlesticks and crystal faced watches are very traditional. Crystal chandelier earrings or a crystal chess set are more up to date. Billy Crystal movies are fun.

Twentieth through the twenty-fourth anniversaries traditional gift is china. Vintage china tea cups, bone china ornaments or a replacement piece for your own china are presents to consider along with a table for two at a Chinese restaurant or a trip to China.

Traditionally speaking, silver is the gift for the twenty-fifth through the twenty-ninth anniversaries. Silver dated ornament, a silver frame, a watch, silver cufflinks, silver pen and jewelry are appropriate gifts. Anything from Tiffany's silver collection or an anniversary wedding band would be grand.

The thirtieth through the thirty-fourth anniversaries traditional gift is pearls. Mother-of-pearl cufflinks, tie tack, frame and jewelry are wonderful gift ideas. Throw in an oyster dinner and you have an anniversary to remember.

Think tropical for the thirty-fifth through thirty-ninth anniversaries gift of corral. Snorkeling, scuba lessons, a trip to the Coral Reef or coral colored ties, cufflinks or clothing with a tropical flair.

Rubies are traditional gifts for the fortieth through forty-fourth anniversaries. A dozen ruby-red roses, ruby jewelry (maybe add a ruby into your wedding bands), ruby red clothing or lingerie and a bottle of vintage wine are lovely gift ideas.

Forty-fifth through forty-ninth anniversaries traditional gift is sapphire. Sapphire tie clip, cuff links, jewelry, sapphire-colored apparel and Bombay Sapphire gin could be considered.

Gold is for the fiftieth through fifty-fourth wedding anniversaries traditional gift. Without doubt gold jewelry or new wedding bands are in order. A gold themed party, golden oldie CD collection, gold watch, gold colored frames with a photo of the couple, gold clock or gold fabric accent pieces for their bedroom are good choices.

A fifty-fifth through fifty-ninth anniversaries traditional gift is emerald. A few ideas could include a trip to the Emerald Coast, emerald jewelry or cuff links and emerald colored night clothes.

The traditional gift for sixtieth through one hundredth wedding anniversaries are diamonds! For the inspirational couple making it through life together they certainly deserve all the diamonds they receive! To vary from year to year adding the stone from the couples’ favorite year of marriage would be lovely such as diamond and ruby earrings. Bring on the diamond jewelry.

Tradition is wonderful and I hope this list helps in your anniversary gift choices. Many times these anniversary gifts end up as our family heirlooms of tomorrow.

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