Events & Holidays

Strong and everlasting: wood, the traditional anniversary gift

September 27, 2010

Strong and everlasting: wood, the traditional anniversary gift

What do a magazine subscription, a plush housecoat, a leather handbag, a pear tree and a wood cutting board have in common? These are all traditional gifts associated to the first, second, third, fourth and fifth year wedding anniversaries.

The tradition of offering a meaningful gift on a specific anniversary dates back to the Middle Ages. The word “anniversary”, meaning returning every year, comes from the Latin term “anniversarius”, itself derived from the words “year” and “turn”. An anniversary commemorates and celebrates an event on the same day every year that the initial event occurred. The word “anniversary” was initially used at Catholic feasts in order to commemorate Saints.

Published in 1922, Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home, written by Emily Post, included name suggestions for the first, fifth, tenth, twentieth, twenty fifth, fiftieth and seventy fifth wedding anniversaries. In later editions of the book, gift suggestions for additional years were added. This all encompassing list is known today as the “traditional” gift list. Essentially, the longer the marriage, the more durable and precious the material that is associated to the anniversary gift. Not to worry though, chances are you won’t have to empty your savings funds in order to purchase the 100 year anniversary gift: the 10k diamond!

The first to fifth year anniversary gifts and their meaning are as follows:

  • First: paper represents the strength resulting from the interlaced connection of individual threads.
  • Second: cotton represents durability and versatility, two essential qualities to a lasting and successful marriage.
  • Third: leather represents resiliency, durability, warmth, strength and flexibility, all factors that will help a marriage continue to strive.
  • Fourth: fruits or flowers represent the blossoming partnership of the couple.
  • Fifth: wood, strong and everlasting, represents the solidified relationship and the marriage bond.

Each year has a traditional and a modern gift, a colour, a flower and a gemstone that is associated to it. With all this, you don’t have any excuses for not finding the perfect gift!

Take for example, the fifth year anniversary; wood is the traditional gift, silverware is the modern (representing the connection between two people when sharing meals amongst family, friends and children). Colours are blue, pink and turquoise and the flower is daisy (representing innocence, loyalty and purity); the gemstone is sapphire or pink tourmaline.

So, if you are seeking to remain traditional for your fifth wedding anniversary you need to think of wood related gifts such as a wood cutting board, a wood chair or a wood picture frame. Why not get more personal and offer a wood cutting board that has been personalized with special words thanks to laser engraving? In order to celebrate your wood anniversary you can plant a tree (creating everlasting wood), or sit by a nice fire sipping wine and eating cheese and crackers off your cutting board.

Visit Cutting Board USA to see our complete line of everlasting wood cutting boards from traditionally shaped cutting boards to unique puzzle shaped cutting boards and cow shaped cutting boards. Inquire about our laser engraved cutting boards to make your wood cutting board unique.


Wood Cutting Boards, your homegrown source for cutting boards and natural wood products.

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