Mental Floss

Toniiiiiight, I celebrate my looooove for yoooooou


Today is Tim's and my second wedding anniversary (cue the oohs and aahs), so over the weekend I was scrambling to come up with a gift made of cotton. For those of you who haven't yet experienced wedded bliss, on each anniversary there's a traditional category of gift you're supposed to give: first anniversary is paper, fifth is wood (heh), fifteenth is crystal, and so on. I kind of enjoy the forced creativity of it all, but I've always thought it seemed a little Hallmark-holidayish. Turns out, it mostly is, except in place of Hallmark we have the spendier American National Retail Jeweler Association:

Parts of the traditional list have existed since medieval times. Historians can trace the origins of silver and golden anniversaries to medieval Germany, where garlands made of these metals were presented as gifts for the 25th and 50th years of marriage. The rest of the list may not be as traditional as you think. I was surprised to learn that the traditional list, as we know it today, did not exist until 1937. In that year, the American National Retail Jeweler Association published a list, which associated a material for each Anniversary up to the 15th year and then each fifth year after that up to the 60th Anniversary.  Â