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The traditional wedding anniversary gift categories are not universally agreed upon. Some years offer a choice, depending on which source you look at. Here is a conglomeration of several sources to show the range of categories considered standard for the most commonly celebrated years.
Some of these categories have particular types of gifts associated with them, and some may not seem obvious. Paper, for example, is often interpreted to mean a calligraphy poem, a book, or a framed paper of some importance to the couple, including a photograph. Cotton or calico can take the form of a special item of clothing or an especially attractive quilt or tapestry. Leather items include leather-bound books or albums, jewelry cases, wallets, purses, and garments.
Fruit and flower anniversary gifts include elaborate food baskets and live plants, and can cover both categories at once with the gift of a fruit bearing tree, such as a cherry. Wooden items included carved statuary, jewelry boxes and music boxes, but also live trees and wooden furniture. Iron items include garden furniture and other decorations, wine racks, lanterns, and decorative wrought iron pieces.
Copper can take the form of sculpture, canisters, vessels, lanterns, vases, or jewelry, while wool can be fine blankets, throws, shawls, or other attire or furnishings. Pottery can include dinnerware, and for the punster, the combination of pottery and willow could lead to willow ware, the popular pattern developed by Josiah Spode from a Chinese pattern. One could also turn to wicker, which is often made of willow, for an anniversary gift. There are many possibilities for each year, and it can be fun to see how creative one can be, merging tradition with personal taste and style.
@ellaesans - I don't think anniversary ecards count for paper - even if you printed them out. You would essentially end up with a traditional anniversary card anyhow, but just save a little money and/or a trip to the store to find it.
There are lots of anniversary gift ideas out there, especially on the internet and wiseGEEK. I love to gather information first and then decide on a final decision later when it comes to gifts - anniversary or not.
@bbpuff - I know what you mean about the whole card ordeal! Although they are sweet when couple with anniversary poems. I wonder what an e-card would be considered or if you could get away with sending one instead of paper? It would traditionally be ON a piece of paper, wouldn't it? So could it count?
@abiane - Anniversary ideas always seem to be lacking. I think it would have been hard without this article to come up with something other than a stupid anniversary card for the paper. Thank goodness I stopped by here in order to get a little more information!
I think everyone looks up this information at one point or another in their marriage and I, myself, have always found it to be interesting. I like the fact that people still stick with these tradition anniversary presents even though I am a non-traditionalist myself.