Gift Ideas for Anniversaries

Archived Q&A and Reviews

10th Anniversary Gift for Husband

April 2011

I am looking for suggestions for some kind of gift to give my husband for our 10th anniversary. I know it seems kind of weird to be asking a large group of strangers for suggestions for something so personal, but I struggle with thinking outside the box when it comes to gift giving, and I really want this anniversary to feel special. My husband is a pretty bare bones kind of guy who doesn't like or need lots of ''stuff,''and the stuff he does like or need he already has. We also don't have a lot of extra money, so it can't be something extravagant that he would never buy for himself. He's outdoorsy and feels most comfortable when he's out on a hike; he rides a motorcycle; he likes to read non-fiction; he loves a very wide variety of music and is always listening to something; and he works very, very hard. Anyone have any ideas of something they gave or received that was unique and special and meaningful? Thanks for any suggestions. Drawing a blank

Tin is the traditional gift for a ten year anniversary- it symbolizes the flexibility needed to make a relationship work for that long. If you google tin lantern a bunch of different ideas come up, some you can buy and some you can make yourself. Congratulations on 10 years!

Hi -- I just celebrated my 10th anniversary and gave my husband a gift certificate for a flight lesson at the Hayward flight school. It includes training and flying over the bay in a cessna. I bought a model of the airplane he'd be flying through Amazon and wrapped it together. It was a hit! married to a hard-to-buy-for man also

What about a photo book of your time together, maybe including maps of favorite hikes, favorite song lyrics, poetry or other text? Using Blurb or other book software gives great results, and it's a unique personal gift.

I made one of our first year of marriage as an anniversary gift, and my husband was completely charmed! newly wed

Some things I've done, from almost free to moderately priced--
-- booked a few hour whale-watching trip;
-- gone for a day hike somewhere unusual for us (Point Reyes, Jack London's place) and then gone out for lunch;
-- gotten cheap advance tickets to a comedy club;
-- bought inexpensive weeknight tickets to hear an up-and-coming jazz singer at a local club;
-- cooked his favorite dinner at home (steak, potatoes, apple pie)
-- gone to the Kabuki Theater with friends, after splitting some appetizers
-- bought matinee tickets to a local musical or gone to see an improv comedy group
-- A Cheap Date

I gave my husband a tandem hang gliding experience. We used a company that goes from Mt. Tam to Stinson. They were very safety conscious and it was great.

He gave me a helicopter lesson out at Buchanon Field in Concord. I already had some single engine plane experience and it was great fun.

You could get a friend with a sail boat to take you sailing and bring a gourmet packed lunch.

Sign him up for a sailing, sea kayaking or windsurfing class at Cal Adventures (and do the lesson with him... a drink at Skate's after).

Sign you both up for moonlight paddle at Cal Adventures at Berkeley Marina.

Go hiking with him, bring a blanket and pack a gourmet picnic and have a romantic afternoon. cocosar41

Since he doesn't really like stuff, but he has plenty of interests and not enough free time, why not give him an experience instead of a thing? Go camping with him for the weekend or plan a wonderful all-day hike where you pack a delicious lunch. Or since he likes music, find out when a band that he likes is playing at the Fox or another good venue, and get him tickets. Anon

I'm also a minimalist and prefer gifts of services or consumables rather than physical items. How about tickets to a really nice concert or performance. Or hiring someone to take care of something that has been on his to-do list forever. Fellow minimalist

Honey, that is so sweet of you.. but this will be our 11th. I love you.

I would like to go on a long ride with you for a couple of days. Ride north on highway 1 to the Lost Coast and campout. If we time it right on the way back we could stop off in napa to catch a live concert.

After the concert we can head back to the room we reserved at the local hotel..remember how it was when we first started dating, well maybe how I liked to remember how it was, and no I did not just roll over and start snoring. I work so hard, soaking in a nice hot bath having you scrub me from head to toe between my toes (especially the two big ones)and after a slow deep mutual massage. Love, zzzzzsnooor

Parents' 50th Anniversary

Oct 2008

My parents' 50th anniversary is coming up and my siblings and I are looking for ideas for a gift. We'd like to get something with sentimental value that they can keep and display. Something along the lines of an engraved silver platter. Any ideas for something classy (not tacky)? Thanks. Dutiful Daughter

Congratulations! My parents in Germany celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this year and I went through a one year search to find the right present. I finally found it at It is a beautiful glass/see- through 4x6 large picture frame with space for personal engravings (50th anniversary, the couples names and the anniversary date) and one of three tasteful poems if you choose to. It came to about $50 incl. shipping. Don't jump on it right away, because the company has special offers every month from 20% off to free shipping. It was my parent's favorite gift! I took several dressed-up photos of them right before the party and they selected one of them for the frame. HH

This may not be the ''Main'' event...but one thing we did with a 50th anniversary was to go to one of those Photo Studios in the Mall. Everyone had gathered for the 'party' and the day after, before leaving town, we went to the Mall for the photo shoot. It only took about an hour and we each purchased as many (or as few) reprints as we wanted. We had many variations of Grandparents/Grandkids; Grandparents with everyone; and there was plenty of time for individual families to get a quick picture, too. It was much cheaper than hiring a photographer for the party and the pictures are a family treasure. sk

What about a sterling picture frame, engraved with their names and the date--destined, of course, to hold a photograph of your parents on their anniversary. (Or a dual frame to hold both wedding and 50th-anniversary photographs.) Melanie

I never even considered wandering into that store called ''Things Remembered'' that is in so many shopping malls. However, on the birth of my child, a friend sent us a silver picture frame engraved with his name and birthdate, and it is lovely. It's not super high quality, but not low quality either, and it's not real silver which fortunately means I don't have to deal with tarnish or polishing. Anyhoo, how about a frame engraved to commemorate the occasion? If you like, you can include a professional portrait so you'll have something great to go in it. Easier to hang on the wall than a silver platter. L

Oh wonderful!! I hope you'll do what I did for my parent's 40th anniversary. It was perfect and they love it sooo much! I made a photobook for them through Shutterfly. I asked their friends and family to write a letter of any length to them, congratulations, whatever. And to send me a picture. Most of this was done via email. Then I put it into a photobook. It was a lot of work. I scrapbook and so I thought doing it on the computer would save me lots of time. Really though, I don't know if it saved me that much time. But, it was worth it. My parent's were floored to get such a gift that they will treasure for their remaining years. Take care! Nicole

My siblings and I collaborated on a photo book for our parents 50th anniversary. We scanned about 200 photos from their courtship through the grandchildren. We were able to thread their love story throughout the book using captions and scanned letters. The photo book is a beautiful tribute to 50 years together and they display it on their coffee table. We used Shutterfly to create the book. Give memories.

We came up with a great idea for my 75 year old parents who live in SF. They have all the silver, china, an vases a couple will ever need. We hired Katie at 'You Need a Wife Personal Assistant' to deliver a meal to them each Monday night. She goes to Whole Foods and buys the menu we agree upon and adds dessert, wine and flowers. They have leftovers for days and love the weekly surprise. She is a delight.

Group gift for our parents' 50th

Jan 2005

My parents will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in June, and I know my mother expects something from us--four grown children (married with kids). We are all going on a get-away weekend trip together, where we will go to dinner, but I am wondering if people can suggest a group gift that we siblings can get/make/ create for them. I was thinking of a photo book from Shutterfly or something like that. I want it to be something memorable or special, rather than something expensive and useless. Any and all ideas welcome. We are four adult siblings with a combined total of nine grandchildren ranging in ages from 2.5 to 13. Thanks! Youngest daughter

For my mother's 60th birthday, the year after my father died, my brother and I got her a gold bracelet with 4 gemstones inset in it --my parents and ours. She loved it and it really felt like she was wearing something that symbolized our family, represented all of us together. It was not cheap, but it was beautiful, and we had it made at 14 Karats, on College avenue. I think, actually, that the idea was theirs as well! They were wonderful there, and very creative about creating meaningful jewelry.

Congratulations to your parents on their anniversary! We've done a couple of things for my folks' big birthdays and anniversaries. One was a video of old family photos--from their courtship to their grandchildren-- set to sappy music. They loved it! My sister in law in the midwest put it together through a photo storefront. Another thing that has meant a great deal to my parents was to set up a special fund at a charity organization they have supported over the years. In our case it was a special scholarship for at-risk teens. We got everyone we could to pitch in, and ended up with a substantial start. They really loved it! And since then we have made regular contributions to it at birthdays holidays and anniversaries, as have a few other family members. It's a great, far- reaching way to give. Carolyn

I have a suggestion that we did for my grandparent's 50th. It takes one person to coordinate, but everyone can contribute, including family friends, regardless of their talents. Send everyone a square of heavy, pre-washed white fabric and told them we are making a quilt. The instructions are to decorate the piece in any way that is meaningful to their relationship with your parents. It does not have to be fancy, could even be done with fabric paint. Tell them to leave a 2- inch border around the edge undecorated. Ask them to return it by a certain date. The squares we received back we wonderful! Some people did applique, some painted, some sewed on patches from clubs, some even took their squares to Kinkos and had a photograph transfered to the fabric! Once you receive the squares, you lay them out how you want, them sew them yourself, or find someone who makes quilts (easy to find on the internet and through sewing shops). You can even make two squares yourself to represent the beginning of their marriage and their 50th anniversary. We made those and put the first one in the upper left corner and the last one in the bottom right corner of the quilt. This DOES NOT have to be fancy, just sew them together (maybe 5 across and 8 down, or something even like that). Then pick a fabric to sew on as a border around all 4 sides (make this border as wide or narrow as you need to make the quilt fit whatever size bed you want), some soft, fluffy cotton batting for the middle and another fabric for the back. You can hire someone to quilt the front and back together in a very simple way, and they are usually quite fast about it! My grandparents cried and cried when we gave it to them. Even my grandpa! It's been 20 years and the quilt is still on their bed :-) Signed: alvarezm

How about professional portraits of the family as a group and then them alone, them with their children? Or do you know a lot of their friends? You could ask their friends to write notes to them including memorable moments and to send pictures they might have. All of those could be compiled in a scrapbook. Linda

My grandparents will celebrate their 50th anniversary this year as well. After much thought, we have decided to make a video for them. We are including pictures that capture their lives together - everything from wedding pictures, to baby pictures of my mother, pictures of all of us growing up, important milestones, etc. We are having it set to music - the song they danced to at their wedding as well as others that make us think of them. Another good idea is a homemade photo album. Jennifer

Hello, For my parents 50th my sister and I collected reels of 8 mm home movies as well as meaningful photos and brought it all to a video producer. We picked out all their favorite music and had it set to those songs. The result was a phenomenal, touching 18 minutes movie of their life which they really treasured. Also, we called all their old friends, many who lived back east and couldn't come to the party(we threw them a big party)and asked those friends to write stories, vignettes and share memories about my folks. We collected all those letters and used them to create an album , nicely decorated etc. They were moved to tears. Other cool ideas might be an ad in the newspaper, a mention on a favorite radio station... good luck! Kathi

For our parent's 50th we all chipped in for a Bose radio/CD player since my parents would never buy something like that and their old stereo wasn't working. The best is of course to spend time with them -- as my father died a few months later. Music can be very comforting. Cornelia

My in-laws celebrated 50 years a few years ago. Since they basically have everything they need and then some, we really didn't want to get them something that would just end up collecting dust. We did the usual... fancy dinner reception, special guests, professional photographer for family portraits, etc. For a gift, we found a gold-plated long-stemmed rose (it was at a jewelers that is now closed, but I've seen them around in gift-type shops). We had a simple charm engraved with their names and anniversary date and had it attached with a ribbon to the gold rose. We then took it to a florist and had it arranged with 49 live roses --- one for each year of marriage. The gold rose is now a keepsake of the event. --Signed: Hope I make it to 50!

I think the photo book is a fine idea. Another is to hire a professional photographer during your retreat to take a whole-family group photo (and perhaps some smaller groups as well). Maybe you can scout out (or the photographer can suggest) a visually striking outdoor location. Get the best one printed reasonably large and nicely framed. David

For my parents' 40th wedding anniversary, my two siblings and I had portraits taken of each of our families. We chose not to frame them ahead of time, because we knew my mother would prefer to choose the frames herself, but obviously, that would vary depending on the person. Our parents were delighted. I can recommend a fabulous photographer who is based in Marin. Lucy

I think a quilt. If the four of you grown kids are each responsible for one quarter of it? Maybe photo transfers of the grandchildren? There are several easy to follow books on the market about quilting and photo transfer. If you are not sewing people, if you can just get the top together, you can take it to New Pieces on Solano & they'll put the batting and a back on it and quilt it for around $200 last I checked. Jenny

Here's what we did last year for my parents. We are 3 daughters, 2 live out of town, one in town. We gave them a party, used the ''party room'' at their condo, invited 100 close friends, relatives. We asked everyone to do a memory page and included a beautiful piece of paper for them to use, and that we gathered and made into a book. We did a dessert table, had wine, soft drinks and did a champagne toast. We also took all the grandkids and had a formal photo taken (altho I wished I had a video of the making of the picture - it was hilarious to watch the cousins), very important since they are rarely in the same city together. And we took alot of pictures at the party of the family with all the spouses, kids, grandkids and were able to come up with one great picture of all of us to give them. We also made a trivia game based on my parents that we played with the guests, and it was very fun as there were people from all the various phases of their lives and they really got into it. We ordered engraved champagne flutes with their names etched around a 50, to use for a champagne toast and for people to take home as a gift (and we all have sets as well). Of course you may not want to or be able to do all of this, but maybe an open house where people can drop by would be easy. The memory book we made has been really fun to look over and alot of out of towners who couldn't come sent pages. The family photos were almost the most important since we are so rarely all in one city. Good luck, have fun. Hallie

it would be neat if one of the grandkids could draw a ''family portrait'' say with the grandparents in the middle, everyone holding hands, and each of the families (parents and kids) and then frame it. a friend of ours got one from a niece on Christmas it turned out really lovely (more or less the girl drew colorful stick figures all holding hands but you could tell who everyone was.) So that might be in addition to something from you and your sisters but it was very nice, so I thought I'd mention it. Chris

Inlaws' 50th Wedding Anniversary Commemoration Gift


My East Indian in-laws (who live in Calcutta) will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this June. I would love to give them something engraved/embroidered/printed to commemorate the occasion. I have an image of a large engraved photo frame (into which we could put their wedding photo/children and grandchildren's photos) or a memory book that is beautifully bound in cloth. Any recommendations on where to go for a large frame that could be engraved or a bound cloth memory book? Or other recommendations on any other appropriate gift? Thanks! Linda

Something handmade might be nice. Brushstrokes do-it-yourself pottery has beautiful platters that you can paint yourself and personalize. If you like the idea of ceramics, but don't want to do it yourself, I know a wonderful potter/artist who could make a custom platter, bowl, tile ?? for you. This is my wedding-gift choice, so I think it would be nice for anniversaries also. You can email me if you want info. Sharon