Did that quick look at the calendar give you a jolt? In between working your day job, taking the kids to soccer and family-time plans, you suddenly realize that those wonderful people who raised you are about to reach a milestone anniversary.
That milestone anniversary deserves more than a simple dinner out. Don’t worry. We’ve come up with some great ideas to make your parents’ 30th, 40th or 50th anniversary extra special and show them how much you care.
Traditional Milestone Gifts
Of course, you’ll get them a gift. But this year, the milestone gift typically should be a bit more symbolic. If your parents enjoy traditional sentiments, you have a lot of options. In fact, much of the guesswork has been done for you thanks to Emily Post, who developed anniversary gift themes back in the 1920s.
For example, a couple’s 15th anniversary theme is crystal, its 25th anniversary theme is silver; and its 50th anniversary theme is gold. So, if your parents are celebrating their 50th anniversary, you could get them gold-rimmed wine glasses, gold-toned watches, or even real roses dipped in gold. Here’s a handy guide that walks you through anniversary gifts by year.
Personalized Anniversary Gifts
Remember when you presented your parents with drawings and paintings from elementary school? They loved that you created them, and proudly displayed them on their walls or fridge. What about doing a grown-up version for their anniversary?
One idea is to create a photo montage. Photo montage gifts are easily customizable and you have countless options from which to choose. Collect pictures from your parents’ lives perhaps within a theme, such as strictly wedding and honeymoon pictures, or more open-ended to include pictures of their wedding, children and grandchildren, and other memorable events in their lives. Have your montage printed on any one of a variety of different objects, including blankets, puzzles and wall art.
If you’re not the creative type, you can still give your parents something personalized, such as a personalized art print. Some look like old-fashioned newspaper front pages and include your parents’ names, wedding date and a lot of interesting bits of information about the year they were married. Sections may include who won the World Series and other sports championships as well as a cost of living comparison — who knew a carton of milk was only $1.20 in 1985 — films that came out the same year they were married and chart topping songs of the year. When framed, these lovely anniversary commemorative gifts will warm your parents’ hearts.
Classes and Getaways
Meaningful gifts don’t have to come in a nicely wrapped box. In fact, giving a gift that means something can be quite the opposite.
You know your parents better than anyone. Do they share a hobby or interest they haven’t had time to pursue? How about paying for a class where they can learn more? Many community organizations and colleges provide adult education on a variety of subjects. How about an art or photography class? Cooking classes also make great gifts.
Or, picture this — your mom and dad on a romantic cruise together. Or, perhaps “roughing it” in a rented RV. Whatever they enjoy, a getaway gift gives your parents the opportunity to create brand new memories they’ll remember the rest of their lives.
Gifts That Count
Have you heard your mom sigh and say, “It would be so nice to have a gas fireplace in the living room on cold winter days.” Or maybe you heard Dad say “I wish we had a carport so we wouldn’t have to clean snow off the car every morning.” If there are things around your parents’ home they wish they had but haven’t gotten around to yet, can you imagine their surprise if what they wished for suddenly appeared? Gifts that fill a need in their lives may not be the most romantic, but they may very well be the most appreciated.