One year ago today, I was fortunate enough to marry my best friend in the whole world. We have had an amazing year, and I hope we have many more to come! We got married on a ranch outside of the Sequoia national park on a slightly gloomy (but cool!) June day. It was a perfect day, and I could not have asked for more!

A few weeks ago, I started thinking about an anniversary present…my husband is lucky. Mother’s Day, my birthday, and our anniversary are all within 3 weeks of each other so he has rolled it into one holiday- “Mother-birth-iversary”. I, however, do not have that luxury.

I started looking into anniversary presents, and came across something I hadn’t thought of in years…my mom used to have an address book that also listed all the traditional gifts for an anniversary. Silver, gold, china, etc.–all great presents! However, for the first year present? Paper.

Yup, paper. I guess it could be worse, 11 years is steel. This started me thinking, where did all of this come from? I completely understand the big-ticket items like silver for the 25th, or diamonds for your 60th. But paper?

I did a little digging, and found out the origins of this blessed tradition. Apparently the anniversary gift movement began in medieval Germany where friends and family of a couple would make the wife a silver wreath on their 25th anniversary, and a gold wreath on their 50th anniversary. The traditions have changed over time, but in 1937 the American National Retail Jeweler Association (Jewelers of America) published a comprehensive list of gifts for anniversaries every year until the 20th, and every fifth anniversary after that.

I suppose giving paper for a first anniversary gives ample opportunity for creativity. Scrapbooks, novels, photo albums, and…money :-) Thankfully, for “Mother-birth-iversary” he went against tradition and really splurged on a beautiful Tiffany necklace!


For him? We are celebrating “Father-versary”…he’s getting a grill.

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