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Campaign to Revise "Traditional" Anniversary Gifts: A Manifesto by Snarky Amber

I_Heart_iPhone Hi folks! So, I have this wedding anniversary coming up in the next week, which has placed a proverbial bee directly between my proverbial bonnet and my literal head. While I'm not really one for traditions, per se, I am a traditionalist when it comes to the traditions where people give me consumer goods in packages that are wrapped in shiny paper. So, in considering what I'd like to unwrap for this, my second anniversary, I consulted the annals of history for traditional anniversary gifts. And my conclusion was this:

Man, these anniversary gifts need an update. Pronto. My slang also needs an update, but we'll work on that some other time.

Did you know that the traditional second anniversary gift is cotton? First anniversary gift recipients are even worse off - their gift is paper. I can just imagine if my husband had gone the traditional route on our last anniversary:

Snarky Amber: unwraps gift, stares, puzzled, at the contents. Um, what is it?

Mr. Snarky Amber: It's stationery, my beloved! I love you so much, I procured the finest paper, and had it personally engraved with your name on the letterhead. Happy anniversary, darling!

Snarky Amber: Oh, thanks! If I go outside, will I also find a DeLoreon with flux capacitor add-on in order to magically transport myself back to the 19th century where this gift is useful?

~end scene~

I know some of you are probably all like, "You ungrateful, materialistic wench! How dare you hypothetically spurn such a thoughtful gift?" And you're right. In hypothetical situations, I can be a very mean person. In reality, my reaction would have more likely resembled some of those in the below video:

Really, it's not materialism so much as a desire for gifts that reflect my needs and wants. So, while well thought out gifts made of paper, wood, cotton, linen, etc. may indeed be sweet and loving gestures, all I'm really saying is, aren't these traditional guidelines a bit out of step with the times? Don't you want to get her (or him) something s/he'll use every day and think, "I love that spouse of mine." That is why I am proposing the following suggested revisions for anniversary giftage:

First: Digital Video Recording Devices

Honestly, it's kind of a two birds with one stone thing. If I polled most married couples I know on what they fought about most in that first year, I guarantee you that "conflict over who gets dibs on the TV on any given night" would break the top three. Say it with love: say it with Tivo.

Second: Smartphones

I suggest this for merely selfish reasons, because my second anniversary is coming up, and my phone is not smart at all. I have a stupid phone. All it does is make calls, texts, and tiny photos, and it doesn't even do those things well, because half the time when I call out I sound like a drunk robot to the person on the other end. Just as the TV tells us that "every kiss begins with Kay," I argue that every "I Love You" begins with i...Phone.

Fifth: Video Gaming Device

I'm not there yet, but I'm willing to bet after five years of marriage, cuddling on the couch and whispering sweet nothings will have gotten way old, and it might be nice to shoot each other into a bloody pulp on the television screen. Or you know, like, play Wii Sports or something less violent. Your mileage may vary, natch.

Tenth: Housecleaning Services/Laundry Services

Regardless of how your household divvies up the chores, I am certain this gift is basically like giving each other a second honeymoon. Seriously, you're gonna be having so much sex, you may want to throw in a little Gold Bond powder to help with the chafing.

Twenty-Fifth: Separate Houses

"Look, it's not that I don't still love you. But now that our kids are grown up/our pets are dead, we have all this free time, and it's time we focused on our needs. And one of those for me is my own place! See, I didn't want to tell you this when we were first getting married, but I really hate your Star Wars Lego sets. That's why they're in your office along with your car magazines and your collection of motherboards. I'm tired of the constant push-pull over representational or abstract art decor! Plus, you know Miss Banshee and I have always wanted to have our own little bungalow to cuddle up and watch trashy reality TV together. Now we can! So please, take this house I built for you next door. Put up your Cowboy Bebop poster that I vetoed back in 2004, and proudly display your collection of broken cameras! I'll be redecorating. Do come over for dinner, love."

Fiftieth: Personal Cabana Boy/Girl

At fifty years of marriage, most of us will be in our late 70s or early 80s. Our parts won't really work all that well and we'll probably need some nursing care. So why not give your loved one the gift of an attendant who's easy on the eyes? After 50 years of marriage to my husband, I'll still love his wrinkly ass as much as the day we were wed, but I'm not gonna lie: I'll want something pert and cute to freeze eyes on every now and then. Just something to make my twilight years a bit more twinkly, you know?

So there you have it folks: anniversary gifts that are better than paper, linen, and OMG bronze (like as in Bronze Age, when that particular metal alloy was the height of modern technology). These traditional gifts are like dodos, my friends, and must be set aside to make way for the gifts that will avoid a case of the Present Face. If you think these gift suggestions sound impersonal or lack sentimentality well, look — you can always see about getting that iPhone engraved.

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Only 15 more years 'til separate houses! Rock on.


I think you are right on. For my last anniversery I got Uggs. This year I am shooting for an I pod touch.


We've been pretty lax about anniversaries and their gifts. Our first wedding anniversary we got into a huge argument, so I gave him some divorce threats. Last year wasn't as eventful but I do believe I dedicated a blog post to my dear husband WhatsHisFace. This year...I don't know how I can really top myself.

Also, I had a horrendous case of present face for my birthday a few years ago. My grandmother gave me several presents, including one "big present." While I was unwrapping the big present, I got all excited because SHE was all into it and got her camera ready and everything. The big present was a snowman clock from Hallmark that played tinny versions of Christmas carols on the hour. I still haven't figured that whole episode out.


Definitely in need of an overhaul.

The cleaning service and cabana boy/girl - spot on!


i love this list. so much. tenth anniversary is my favorite. gold bond for the chafing...heh.


That video is hilarious!


Move it up if you get married well into your career. My smartphone is issued by my employer. We got the housecleaning service on the recommendation of the allergist as an alternative to dusting on Saturday and sneezing until Wednesday. The video game console was kid driven. We got our first TiVo right when they came out just because we thought it'd be cool, and we were right.

But after almost fourteen years, cuddling on the couch and whispering sweet nothings is nowhere near old.


Hmmm... if you're not successful with your campaign, you can still get creative with the traditional list. I mean money is paper, and the bathrobes at the swanky hotel at the destination of choice probably have some cotton content... I have to admit, I'm a bit stumped on bronze!

An entertaining read, Oh Snarky One!

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