Cotton, cotton, cotton. What was something thoughtful I could get him that's made of cotton?
I started off looking for tickets to the Cotton Bowl. After all, we do live in Dallas (home of the Cotton Bowl) and my husband is a high school football coach. A quick StubHub search showed me that was out of our budget (we agreed on a $50 budget for gifts this year).
So I let it stew for awhile, and I finally came up with something just a week before the big event. I decided to design a custom t-shirt for him that would commemorate our marriage/anniversary/relationship. We both are active and like to exercise, so we wear a lot of t-shirts. I knew he would like it if I could find one that would fit him well.
The design needed to be very subtle, perhaps just an inside joke that we would both understand. I don't know about you, but my husband isn't likely to wear a shirt that screams, "I'm in love and have been married for two years!" He's a quiet, understated person. His clothes reflect that part of his personality. The challenge was on to come up with a design that was meaningful but quiet/masculine enough that he would actually wear it. Challenge accepted!
I fiddled around with designs and finally settled upon this one:
And then I felt kind of left out, so I got myself a shirt too! We're not the type to wear matching shirts, so I got myself an entirely different style using the same logo (with different colors).
This anniversary gift process got me thinking, and I decided to make a list of gift ideas for each anniversary. Maybe it will help someone else who is looking for ideas... and maybe it will help me in future years!
Traditional: paper | Modern: plastic | Alternate: clocks | Flowers: pansy | Alternate Stones: gold, peridot
Gift Ideas (paper): personalized artwork, photo album, framed marriage certificate, book (story of your relationship?), magazine subscription, concert/movie/theater tickets
Traditional: cotton | Modern: cotton/calico | Alternate: china | Flowers:cosmos | Alternate Stones: garnet
Gift Ideas (cotton): blanket, monogrammed pillow cases, bedding, cotton luggage, clothes, custom t-shirt, Cotton Bowl tickets, fuzzy bathrobe and slippers
Traditional: leather | Modern: leather | Alternate: crystal and glass | Flowers: fuschia| Alternate Stones: pearls, jade
Gift Ideas (leather): wallet, purse, luggage, jacket, furniture, iPad/Kindle/Nook case
* bonus points for monogrammed or other personalization!
4th AnniversaryTraditional: fruit and flowers | Modern: linen, silk, nylon | Alternate: appliances | Flowers: geranium | Alternate Stones: blue topaz, blue zircon
Gift Ideas (fruit & flowers): a flowering fruit tree you can plant together, wreath for the front door, herb garden, Jam of the Month club, Fruit of the Month club, Rose of the Month club, flowered bedding/clothing/accessories, trips to local botanical garden/arboretum, perfume scented with flowers or fruit (orange blossom, rose, pear)
5th AnniversaryTraditional: wood | Modern: wood | Alternate: silverware | Flowers: daisy | Alternate Stones: sapphire, pink tourmaline
Gift Ideas (wood): furniture, wooden candlesticks, wooden kitchen utensils, cutting board, wood cutout of the first letter of your last name
Traditional: candy | Modern: iron | Alternate: wood | Flowers: calla lily | Alternate Stones: amethyst, turquoise
Gift Ideas: Fancy chocolates, a huge supply of your spouse's favorite candy, a fun trip to the candy store (Dylan's Candy Bar in NYC would be fun to visit), candy + movie tickets, Candyland (if you like board games), personalized candy
Traditional: copper & wool | Modern: brass | Alternate: desk sets | Flowers: Jack-in-the-Pulpit | Alternate Stones: onyx, yellow sapphire
Gift Ideas: a set of copper pots, a copper ring or more jewelry, copper sink as part of a full kitchen/bathroom renovation (!!), wool scarf– bonus points if you knit it yourself, wool blanket (can't go wrong with Pendleton, very All-American), a new wool rug
8th Anniversary Traditional: bronze | Modern: pottery | Alternate: linen | Flowers: clematis | Alternate Stones: tourmaline
Gift Ideas: oil-rubber bronze chandelier, door knobs, faucet, hardware, etc., self-tanner (so you can bronze yourself!), any piece of clothing that is bronze-colored, bronze fire pit, bookends, a sculpture
Traditional: pottery | Modern: willow | Alternate: leather | Flowers: poppy | Alternate Stones: amethyst
Gift Ideas: his and hers coffee mugs, a handmade vase, pottery lessons from a local art studio, potted plants, anything from Pottery Barn. To have something personalized, check out Etsy.com vendors and search "pottery."
Traditional: tin | Modern: aluminum | Alternate: diamond | Flowers: daffodil | Alternate Stones: blue sapphire
* If you were married and didn't have a lot of money for a nice ring (and you said, "We'll upgrade you later on"), this might be a good time to get her a new ring. Note the alternate gift: diamond. Or you could always wait for 20 or 30 years, but this way she'll get to enjoy it longer.
Gift Ideas: anything in a tin container, tickets to see the Wizard of Oz/Wicked on Broadway (complete with Tin Man), candies, popcorn and your own living-room screening of Tin Cup starring Kevin Costner
Traditional: crystal | Modern: glass | Alternate: watches | Flowers: rose | Alternate Stones: ruby
Gift Ideas: crystal glasses, candlesticks, anything Swarovski, chandelier, a huge box of Krystal burgers(!)
Traditional: china | Modern: china | Alternate: platinum | Flowers: day lily | Alternate Stones: emerald
Gift Ideas: new set of china, a trip to China (!), date night in Chinatown or at your nearest Chinese restaurant, jewelry made with china beads
Traditional: silver | Modern: silver | Alternate: silver | Flowers: iris | Alternate Stones: silver jubilee
Gift Ideas: silver jewelry– bonus points if it is personalized, like an engraved locket, something with your kids/grandkids names, etc., a silver car (!), vintage set of silver, silver clothing
* Happy Thursday *