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Shake Things Up With These Creative Twists on Traditional Anniversary Gifts

couple love kiss

couple love kiss

Paper, wood, tin: You know them as traditional anniversary by year gifts. They’ve been around forever and, while you like the idea of a traditional gift, maybe you don’t want the same old same old.

How about tradition with a twist? In addition to the suggestions we’ve provided below, you can browse some of the alternative gifts-by-year ideas in this guide.

Try any of these “shaking it up” ideas, whether you’re looking for an anniversary gift for your parents, friends or your own special someone.

couple love travel

Paper, Paper: The First Anniversary

Paper is the first and possibly the most versatile on the traditional anniversary by year gift list. There’s so much you can do with it! Gift certificates, books, and photo montages are a few ideas, but to truly take advantage of a paper anniversary, go for the romance.

For example, create your own gift certificate giving the recipient a romantic night out on the town, a getaway weekend or something you know your partner loves but rarely gets to do.

You may already have something on paper that’s just waiting to become a cherished gift. Do you have love letters sitting in a box somewhere? How about choosing a few to frame? Or, create a scrapbook of your wedding complete with photos, letters, wedding invitations and other mementos.

Did you write your own wedding vows? Frame the paper you wrote your vows on and hang them on the wall. Every day you’ll be reminded how very much you love one another.

couple love dating

Wood Is Good: Anniversary Year Five

Wood is the traditional gift for the fifth anniversary. Wood is another versatile base for anniversary gifts with lots of options for shaking things up.

If you’re of an artistic bent, you can create lovely as well as personalized plaques to show your sweetheart how special they are. Engravings or photos can be added to wood pieces that make gifts more meaningful.

If you’re a bit artistically challenged, don’t despair. Here’s an idea you can use even if you’re not an artist: Purchase a wooden frame with matting. Using letters from a Scrabble game, spell out a short romantic phrase, such as Love You Forever, stack the letters in Scrabble game form and glue them to the matting.

And, if you’re really stuck, wood gift boxes add elegance to whatever you put inside, whether it’s candles, jewelry, a watch or anything else your recipient will love.


  • Rebecca Boone

    Some years back my husband got me an anniversary sundial that sits on the windowsill and makes rainbows in the room when the sun shines. It is a clock that uses the sun to tell time, but it also does something else that is really special. My husband had the guy who handmade it for us add a special date line for our anniversary day that the time shadow follows on our special day each year, and every year so far it has worked perfectly! I don’t remember what it is called exactly but you can find it online with a search. I think it has got to be one of the best anniversary gifts I ever heard of because it does something special every year for our anniversary, plus the colorful rainbows in our kitchen can really brighten up the day!