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Should You Buy Anniversary Gifts?

  January 14

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As many of you know, the hubs and I just celebrated our 5 year anniversary. Sorry to keep mentioning it, but we just keep marveling at how fast time has gone by and how just 18 months ago we were living in the Caribbean with absolutely no clue that these two beans were about to start cooking in the pot!

budget blonde twins

Crazy. But I digress. The point of this post was to say that I know some people don’t like to do birthday gifts or anniversary gifts but I tend to like them. The last few years we have followed the “guidelines” for the gifts that you’re supposed to give each year. If you’ve never heard of the guidelines, basically it’s just advice on what to get your spouse for each year of your marriage.

For example, the first year of marriage is “paper” because typically you are poor your first year of marriage! I loved our paper anniversary. I gave my husband an old map of New Orleans, and he gave me a seal for stationary with my new initials on it. I use it all the time.

All throughout the years, we’ve used these guidelines from buying new pillows for our “cotton” anniversary to purchasing a Keurig to love and cherish last year since year 4 had an option for appliances.

This year, year 5, was “wood” which is sort of an interesting challenge.

Luckily a few weeks before my anniversary I partnered with Jord, which is a company that makes incredible wood watches. My husband, in addition to being a bow tie aficionado, loves watches. I’ve bought him a few over the years, one when we were dating and others to celebrate other occasions. The problem that we found out though is that poor hubs is incredibly allergic to leather. He can’t wear leather flip flops or boat shoes or at least, not for long. One year I bought him a beautiful watch with a leather strap and he was allergic to that too. He can only wear it for a few hours at a time.

Because of all of this, I was intrigued by the wooden watches. It turns out they are a lot more affordable than the super high end brands and they are really light. Look at hubs all snazzy below. Fashionable, no? And bonus – hubs doesn’t break out in a rash on his hands when trying to see patients. Win/win all around!

jord wooden watch

As far as my gift from hubs, I was just so happy to get a real, live massage on my anniversary. I used two coupons which made it really affordable. I only wish that I could do it every week because it so helped my back and my stress levels. Last year I got a prenatal massage on my anniversary so I’m hoping this can be a yearly tradition. 😉

Anyway, I know that we’re on a budget and we’re cutting our costs way down this year, but I think it’s nice to pick out a thoughtful gift for the one you love. I also love following the anniversary guidelines with the gifts I buy because it makes it a fun little challenge, and unlike Christmas and birthday gifts, I actually remember these anniversary gifts because of the themes.

Do you buy anniversary gifts for your spouse? Do you follow a theme? Do you go big or frugal when it comes to anniversaries?

33 responses to “Should You Buy Anniversary Gifts?

  1. Happy anniversary!

    We haven’t done physical gifts in years, but yours sound like fun! Instead we splurge on one special meal at a fancy restaurant that requires a little dressing up. We don’t eat out frequently, try to keep the collection of Stuff to a minimum, and don’t indulge in fine dining frequently either so it’s a fun way to step out of our comfort zones a couple times a year. (We don’t gift for birthdays or Christmas either, we do a combined family gift to ourselves.)

  2. Happy Anniversary Cat! The gift depends on the needs and wants of my wife. So every year, the theme is different. What I always look for is her hints. That really helps me get the best gift.

  3. We don’t do much but thats because we’re working on debt. I suspect we’ll do something really big for like our 10 year when we’re debt free and milestone celebration 🙂

  4. For us, it changes depending on our financial situation and what’s going on in our personal lives. We may go on a trip if we haven’t been anywhere for a while or if the budget’s looking good we’ll exchange gifts! This Christmas, we ended up not exchanging (well, the exchange was one-sided as I got my husband a few small things lol) since we moved and were low on money. Our 4-yr wedding anniversary is in May and we are hoping to go on a trip sans the kids!! Best gift ever hahaha 🙂

  5. Two-year anniversary with BF was actually just yesterday (how timely!). Instead of exchanging presents, we kept to a low-key night in making dinner and talking about the absurdities of one particular Jim Henson movie (so not too different from any other night). Our plan is to visit the museum this weekend as well. But, in general, we try not to gift-give for each other (except maybe for birthdays) since really what we’re celebrating is being together and feeling obligated to spend money for the sake of having a gift to give isn’t much for us.

  6. Our anniversary is a week before Christmas so we typically don’t get each other anything. Sometimes we do go out to dinner and a few times we have stayed in a hotel overnight. Anniversaries aren’t that big to me, BUT our ten-year is this December and I want to go somewhere awesome!

  7. Hubby and I do the traditional gift list and we have since year one. The first few years we got separate gifts for each other, but now we get one joint gift for the anniversary. It’s been fun using the traditional list for ideas, though, because you can usually keep the gifts cheap and they are not typically items you would normally buy, so they are more sentimental. I think for the wood year, Hubby put together a photo album for me from the first five years of our marriage and the album was made of wood and I had a puzzle made for him of our wedding photo.

  8. This is a tough one for me! I think you should buy anniversary gifts in general, but I think you should also stick to a budget and only buy what you can afford (and that just may be something for $20!).

  9. Love the wooden watch! What a great idea. We don’t do much anniversary wise, which many people have told us is weird since we’ve been together for almost 9 years. I’ve just never really been too preoccupied by it. I’d rather have a nice dinner, but I love food so that makes sense for me 🙂

  10. We don’t usually buy gifts but use the money to do something together. If it’s a regular old anniversary, then something small. If it’s a big one we splurge, like we did several years ago when we celebrated #15 with a cruise.

  11. Yay for 5 years! We’ve always bought gifts, but we’re a lot more reasonable about it than we used to be. I’ve never followed the themes for anniversaries. That would be interesting to try it out though.

  12. Happy Anniverary!! My Husband and I actually skip Anniversary and Christmas gifts and then pick out a thoughtful gift or plan a mini trip for each other for our birthdays 🙂 I actually received a massage for my birthday in August, and decided I wouldn’t mind getting that every birthday! I do love experience gifts or getting to take small trips together though. It’s fun exploring new places together!

  13. That watch is such a cool idea! Nice! We don’t usually give gifts to each other, though we do always celebrate our anniversary (even if it’s just dinner at home). I agree with you that marking the occasion is important and my favorite is when we’re able to take a little trip to celebrate :).

  14. Happy Anniversary! Husband and I don’t do physical gifts. We do something that makes for quality time, either a hike together (bring a picnic dinner), a dinner out on a patio, a small weekend trip away (usually somewhere we can drive to and will involve a tent at some point). We do celebrate it though. We always make sure we are clear on gifts before any holiday/event. We don’t drop hints, we just say it. I guess our “love language” doesn’t entail gifts.

  15. I’ve never hear of wooden watches before, but they look awesome! Happy anniversary Cat! It is crazy how fast time files and can I just say that I LOVE y’all first year anniversary presents! The hubs and I are not very good with the whole gift giving thing. Sometimes we give gifts, other times we just forget. lol.

  16. I think it’s great that you try to give the traditional anniversary gits. I agree that it makes them very memorable. And I love the watch! I’ve seen them before and they are very cool. An unexpected touch and a special piece for someone who is into watches. Good job!

    We don’t exchange gifts for our anniversary, but we do try to do something special together. Some years it’s just a nice dinner together or a weekend trip. This year, we are planning a trip to Mexico for our 10 year anniversary and we’re both really looking forward to it!

  17. We do give anniversary gifts, but it’s usually an experience instead of a thing. This year we bought VIP tickets to a food festival here in Atlanta — and we had an AMAZING time. That might become a new tradition for us!

  18. I think the best anniversary “gift” is just a night (or day) out together to celebrate your time together.

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