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Contemporary gifts for 10 anniversaries

Sponsored Content: Something old, something new…updating gift traditions


The tradition of husbands gifting wives a particular type of jewelry to celebrate essential anniversaries began in medieval times with silver and gold items imparted on the twenty-fifth and fiftieth anniversaries, respectively. Over the centuries, that list was enhanced to include gifts for the couple from loved ones, rather than those exchanged only between spouses. Elements found on the traditional anniversary gift list include items such as steel, aluminum, and wood. The elements prescribed to the early stages of marriage are delicate, like paper and cotton, with hardier suggestions coming as the couple’s partnership presumably grows stronger as well.


But let’s say your sister and her wife are celebrating their ten-year anniversary. How exactly does one purchase a TIN gift they’ll treasure, a tin gift that reflects all they’ve experienced as a couple and their love for one another? Many of the traditional anniversary elements seem like odd suggestions to a modern-day shopper. Thank goodness a few decades ago the gifting industry came up with contemporary elements better suited to modern day life. Today, a giver can easily find a list of flowers assigned to each anniversary year, or gemstones, or even more astute elemental suggestions. Those are what we’ll review here as we share some gift suggestions for the first ten years of anniversaries.


Anniversary 1

Traditional Element: Paper

Modern Element: Clocks

Spree’s pick: We love the idea of gifting matching wristwatches in a day and age where watches that aren’t doubling as phones are a rarity. A working antique clock is also a wonderful present, particularly for the wristwatch averse.


Anniversary 2

Traditional Element: Cotton

Modern Element: China

Spree’s pick: A carefully selected set of china is undoubtedly a nice gift, but most people don’t use formal china any longer, even if they own it. The internet and local sales are chock full of collectible pieces from the former Buffalo China company, so hunting down the perfect out-of-production piece for your favorite couple could be a fun and unique way to celebrate their marriage and their love of Buffalo. Round trip tickets for a trip to Shanghai might go over even better!


Anniversary 3

Traditional Element: Leather

Modern Element: Crystal, glass

Spree’s pick: A simple vase would suffice, but why go for simple when you can commission a breathtaking piece of art from Buffalo-based glass artists and local shops specializing in fine glass and crystal?


Anniversary 4

Traditional Element: Fruit, flowers

Modern Element: Appliance

Spree’s pick: Who doesn’t want a fancy stove? Or a new spa tub? While we think gifts of this size aren’t likely to be what most people would give on this occasion, a fine espresso machine or wine fridge can provide joy to the betrothed on a daily basis.


Anniversary 5

Traditional Element: Wood

Modern Element: Silverware

Spree’s pick: As fine china has gone the way of formal dinners, so has the use of marvelous sets of silver, replete with dozens of extra specialty utensils. A couple that loves to entertain might appreciate a vintage set, but we’d guess sterling silver jewelry or the classic silver-plated Revere bowl would curry favor, too.


Anniversary 6

Traditional Element: Iron

Modern Element: Wood

Spree’s pick: We are confident you can find something that is both made of wood and Instagram-worthy by visiting a number of local antique and vintage stops or a facility like Buffalo ReUse, the Habitat ReStore, or ReUse Action.


Anniversary 7

Traditional Element: Copper

Modern Element: Desk sets

Spree’s pick: It’s hard to believe a desk set can be found on the “modern” gifting list now that most of us rarely use a pen and paper. We’d go vintage here again if you’ve got a couple with panache and a love of the written word. If not, we think employing the traditional suggestion makes more sense. A pricey copper pot or two might be more likely to thrill a home cook.


Anniversary 8

Traditional Element: Bronze

Modern Element: Linen, lace

Spree’s pick: Sumptuous sheets are a luxury. It’s impossible to realize just how much better it is to climb into a bed made up with glorious linens until you’ve done it a few times. Europe seems to have no shortage of remarkable bedding; we especially like Flax Linens. FL is a Belgian company making organic linen sheets by hand that are somehow quite affordable given their quality. They also take custom orders for bespoke linens.


Anniversary 9

Traditional Element: Pottery

Modern Element: Leather

Spree’s pick: Matching leather loungers is a fantastic way to celebrate nine years together. They offer a couple a perfect place to curl up with a blanket for sleepy Sunday mornings with the paper or to catch the game later in the day. A timeless leather chair is a thing of beauty.


Anniversary 10

Traditional Element: Tin

Modern Element: Diamonds

Spree’s pick: Diamonds make sense for the wedded couple to exchange, but might be a bit of a stretch for a gift from a friend or family member. We think the best thing anyone can give a couple whose worked and loved hard enough to make it to ten years is a weekend away with no interruptions.


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