Anniversary gifting – or not?

On our way home from an exciting Friday night date that consisted of stopping at Tj Maxx and CVS on the way home from work, getting home and realizing the cashier didn’t give Lo his ID back (from buying sinus pills), returning to the CVS 20+ minutes in the opposite direction for said ID, going to Costco, and picking up Chipotle, I decided that I thought we should start exchanging anniversary gifts.

We don’t really buy each other gifts, as we prefer to save the money for some sort of experience or trip.  Sometimes we’ll give token gifts – nothing pricy or super special – maybe a shirt (either sports related or with a funny saying).  We never did “dating” anniversary gifts because neither of us can ever remember when our first date was exactly – we could figure it out if we really tried – it was definitely mid-May something of 2006 though.  We also don’t do Valentine’s Day because it’s kind of crap and I think of it as something for kids and the card/candy industry.  I think we talked about it before and figured that once we have kids, we’ll do birthday gifts from the spouse and kid(s) since kids love birthdays so much and it would be fun to let them help pick something out.

For our first anniversary, we decided we wanted to go back to Hawaii – Kauai specifically.  We booked it for 2 months after our anniversary and went to a really nice dinner at Barcelona on our anniversary.  So on Friday when I announced that I thought we needed to exchange gifts, Lo was a little surprised because we’d stopped doing gifts and he thought I was complaining/judging about him not getting me gifts.  I told him about how my parents don’t really exchange gifts for much anymore (maybe they once did?) and I kind of wish they did.  My dad, who never steps foot into a store without my mom except to buy milk, cheese, ice cream, bread or pop, usually doesn’t buy my mom gifts.  He will buy her flowers sometimes or something for the house that she requested (in which case he probably just tells her to buy it), but if he bought something, he probably was told exactly what to buy.  They’ve been married forever and it works for them, but I just thought it would be nice to exchange even just simple gifts that we took the time to pick out.

He understood even more when I pointed out that I cherish the gifts that he gave me early on in our relationship and it would nice to have things he picked out – even if they weren’t expensive.  Over three occasions, he gave me a solitaire pearl and diamond necklace, matching earrings, and then a matching ring.  I only wear them for special occasions because they mean a lot to me and I’d hate to lose or break them.  Around that point in our relationship we started taking vacations together so we’d skip gifts to put the money towards those.  I should also mention that while we don’t gift formally, he regularly picks up flowers for me for no reason (or a new gluten free beer), and I will often buy him something (clothes or what not) and come home and say “I got you a gift!”.  Sometimes it’s just pepperoni.  But he loves pepperoni and I usually have to hide it so we have some when we want to make pizza.  So now we usually have secret pepperoni in the house – and sometimes even I don’t know where it’s hidden until I discover it in the pantry accidentally.

This pic is a little over a year into dating. I look like I’m naked, but I promise I have on a strapless dress -and the earrings and necklace that he bought for me

Back to gifting…I told him that there are lists of traditional or modern anniversary gifts for each year that we could loosely follow if we wanted and they are fairly simple – though I’m absolutely not set on following any sort of rules or lists.  The first anniversary is “paper”, which we kind of followed because we bought plane tickets.  This year is crazy simple because it is cotton (traditional) or china (modern).  I don’t want china.  The first list that I found when I googled it on my phone also have a “travel” category in which is suggested airline tickets for the 1st anniversary (done) and beach towels for a beach vacation (to fulfill the cotton theme).

Incidentally, we’ll be in Florida ON our vacation – well, leaving Florida on our anniversary.  We are going to visit friends at their new vacation home in Siesta Key and will be leaving on the morning of our anniversary to ride back in their RV with them and their two dogs.  That may not sound like an awesome anniversary to some, but I am super-excited about it!  We’ll be with some of our favorite people and our favorite dogs (not including Coco because she doesn’t really leave my parents bedroom).  So if he wants to buy me a beach towel for our anniversary – that’s perfectly acceptable (though he may want to give it to me a little early so I can use it).

So what is standard for gifts – do you do anniversary gifts with your spouse?  Do you stick to the traditional gifts or decide based on what your spouse likes at that time?

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