Bits & Bites / Gifting: Decoded

Gifting: Decoded – 40th Wedding Anniversary

Every once in a while I give a gift and can see that the recipient is truly thrilled to have gotten it.  It’s one of the best feelings ever – like, “I won!”  It’s not always easy to buy the perfect present so I’ve assembled some themed gift guides to help you out.


I’m sure you’re seeing gift guide after gift guide right about now.  And you should!  With Black Friday deals about to hit, this is the best time to start buying your holiday gifts.  BUT what if you have a gift to buy that actually has nothing to do with the holiday season?  Then I’m guessing you’re lost because nobody’s writing about that this time of year…so I’m here to help!  Here’s my guide to buying a memorable anniversary gift.


Back in August, my parents reached a marriage milestone: they hit 40 years of wedded bliss.  I’m not kidding when I say I’ve never seen two people who better embody what it means to have a loving, healthy relationship.  I can only hope Albert and I can emulate the marriage they have exemplified.  In celebration of their big anni, my parents decided to take the fam on vacation so the whole crew enjoyed a lovely time at a beautiful resort in Punta Cana.

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Heading to my parents’ anniversary dinner, before we gave them their gift

My parents expected nothing from us in the way of presents.  They truly believed their gift was being surrounded – at their own expense – by those they love most.  They’re crazy, awesome, and genuine like that.  That said, we still wanted to show them our appreciation for taking us on such a wonderful vacation and for showing us true #MarriageGoals.

I’m a big fan of following the schedule for traditional anniversary gifts (paper for year 1, cotton for year 2, etc.) and intend to incorporate those items into my own anniversary gifts with Albert.  I also thought it would be nice to look to those traditional gifts for inspiration.  Year 40 is ruby….not something you can really give your parents.  Instead, I decided to focus on the ruby red color.

We got my parents an album from our wedding as their anniversary gift.  Wedding albums don’t come cheap so I thought they would appreciate having it simply arrive.  We took care to choose those photos they would particularly want to see, those of their friends cutting a rug on the dance floor and them up in the chairs during the hora.  I built the album on Artifact Uprising and chose a ruby colored fabric for the cover.  It may seem strange to give a gift that’s photos of yourself, but like I said, my parents really wanted to celebrate their anniversary by being surrounded by their dearest.

Because it can feel odd to give pictures of yourself to someone else – a little too “look at me look at me” – we also gave them some wine because nothing looks more like rubies than red wine.  While we were in Italy, we tried some amazing bottles and had a case shipped to them.  They enjoy a good vino, so it’s something I knew they would love.  It’s also nice that we purchased it on our honeymoon – an anniversary gift purchased while we were in the wedding mindset.

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My parents enjoying the other part of their gift!

If you’re looking for some other ruby-hued ideas, I’ve got you covered:

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  1. A Single Bottle of Red Wine from the year they were married:  Not only is the color right, but the vintage is as well.  In the case of 1977, Le Pergole Torte was a great one.  FYI: I used this guide to figure out what the top wines were by year.
  2. A Set of Cordial Glasses: Full size wine glasses in all red look a little goth, but crystal cordial glasses, which are far daintier, look very classy.  It’s a lovely way to toast special occasions for years to come.  I like these from Scully and Scully.
  3. A Thoughtful Basket: Fill it to the brim with red candy, food, and fun stuff (like this Voluspa candle, this Compartes chocolate bar, Swedish Fish (my Daddy’s fave), and this cheeky stamp set).  The vessel itself can be red – I particularly like serving everything up in a Staub pot, like this, which has a signature black matte interior.  That means that, over time, the porous dish gets a nonstick-like finish that seasons the food and gets better over time, just like their marriage.
  4. A Scrapbook or Photo Album (red of course): Fill each page with a photo from each year of their marriage.  Like I said, I used Artifact Uprising (love them!), but MILK Books is another great option.
  5. A Throw Blanket: To signify the cozy home they’ve built.  I really like this one from Nordstrom.
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