Meaningful Anniversary Ideas
I attended my aunt and uncle's 50th anniversary party last night. I was so impressed with the outcome, that I'd like to share some ideas with you.
Inexpensive - No Need to Impress
This was no expensive affair, as is normal for our family. Although most of us are financially stable, no one flaunts it. So, starting out with an attitude of fun and comfort rather than trying to impress the anniversary couple or outdo our other relatives, we opted to host the get-together at my cousin's house (plenty of room), and have a Build a Burrito dinner. Everyone brought one or more ingredients, and it was delicious. No need to raise a pinky or worry about chipping the good china - it was paper plates and soda.
Although my aunt had poo-pooed any mention of gifts, telling us all to save our money (and it is true, my aunt and uncle want for nothing), we all knew how rare this moment was and had to put a lot of thought into gifts. Here are some ideas:
- Since my aunt and uncle married young, they are still quite active - she drags me on an hour-long hike through the local foothills every Monday morning while my uncle does archery down below. So, after much research, I decided to make a donation in their names to the State Conservation League, which helps maintain the foothills, including our hiking paths.
- Artwork: If you have an artist in the family, there are multitudes of possibilities here. More thoughtful than my greeting card was my college-aged daughter's beautifully designed, water-color card.
- Meaningful words of any kind are valuable to people who've been married a long time. This could take the form of well-thought out paragraphs in a card describing good memories and gratitude. Words could also take the form of a framed poem.
- My niece obtained a large close-up wedding picture of the couple smiling face-to-face, obviously in love, and had the picture screen-printed onto two t-shirts, which her grandparents wore proudly during the anniversary event.
- Another good idea is to compile a CD montage of the couple's favorite songs from over the years. This also takes time and research, but your efforts demonstrate how important they are to you.
Basically, any gift that is personalized, obviously involved a lot of thought and/or effort will be so much more valuable to the couple than cash or items purchased with superficial motivations.
If you have more anniversary gift ideas of this type, I'd love to read about them in the Comments section below.
Visual and Musical Memories
But, I think the greatest gift, that obviously took a lot of time and work by my cousin, were the visual presentations. He had gone to the trouble of obtaining a slide projector and carefully choosing the best slides. We alternated between crying and laughing as the show progressed.
Finally, the show was capped off by a broadcast of a PowerPoint-type production with best memories over the years that included all family members together at different ages, with my aunt and uncle's favorite period music playing in the background.
We all left with hugs and feelings of nostalgia, love, and appreciation for our family.