I can hardly believe it, this year we are celebrating our 7th anniversary.

It feels like just yesterday when were single and childless. That time was very different. I was able to go out on a random weeknight to do whatever the heck I wanted. I was so free, even my options had options. My husband played video games loudly, turned down the thermostat really low, and ate really spicy foods.

I bet you also remember those memories of when you were single.

Now, we match our silverware and we have to plan even when we can go out, a far cry from our previous life!

But we love our life, and we love being married.

Gift giving woes

When it comes to gift giving, it’s not easy for us.

It’s impossible for my husband to give me a gift. Judging from how many times I return things to Target that I changed my mind on, he would have zero chance of succeeding. (I don’t even know what I want.)

Gift giving is hard for me, too. I’m too practical. If there wasn’t a tradition, every year I would be like, “Here’s a pack of white socks I bought on the clearance rack seven months ago. I saved it all this time for you. Hope you like it.”

Thankfully, traditional anniversary gifts have rules and it makes giving really easy. According to Hallmark, this is the list of these rules.

I listed the first 10 below.

  • 1st Anniversary: Paper
  • 2nd Anniversary: Cotton
  • 3rd Anniversary: Leather
  • 4th Anniversary: Fruit or Flowers
  • 5th Anniversary: Wood
  • 6th Anniversary: Candy or Iron
  • 7th Anniversary: Wool or Copper
  • 8th Anniversary: Pottery or Bronze
  • 9th Anniversary: Willow or Pottery
  • 10th Anniversary: Tin or Aluminum

How my husband surprised me

Our fourth anniversary was fruit. My husband decided he was NOT going to be like:

“I’m going to be ‘super romantic’ and get a pineapple.”

(Although I would have totally accepted it if he did. I love pineapple!)

Instead, I opened up a Monet print of a fruit bowl on canvas. He beat me that year with the coolest gift.

Apples and Grapes by Claude Monet, 1879–80

Gift giving other times of the year

For Christmas and birthdays, what we really want the most is what money can’t buy: time.


That’s why we don’t exchange gifts outside of anniversary.

Instead, we do dinner. (Ok, technically steak can be a gift.) We also take trips. Birthday and Christmas gifts for us are an experience, not something that can fit in a box.

In summary

In our marriage, we celebrate anniversaries with gifts. But we celebrate birthdays and Christmas by being together.

What about you? Do you guys do anniversary gifts?