What are the traditional gifts of romance and how to make them feel special this year?
Giving your loved one something special each year on your anniversary has become the norm. In fact, if you forget, you may find yourself in hot water. But where and why did this tradition start?
There are disputes as to when it actually started, some say ancient Rome and others medieval Germany. After all, love does date back to the dawn of time.
However, its growth in popularity really came about around the 1800’s, when silver wreaths or belt buckles were gifted to husbands and wives that made it to 25 years of marriage. This tradition was then mentioned in numerous German novels then translated to English, spreading the idea to other countries around the world.
By 1877 a book called ‘Perfect etiquette and how to behave in society’ was published listing what gifts to give on each year of marriage. This solidified the tradition into something that was normal and expected.
What gifts to give on your anniversary and their meanings?
1st year- Paper.
Sound silly, but in your first year of marriage, your relationship is considered a blank sheet, for you to both write your own future on.
Gift idea- Our waterproof Kraft paper plant pot cover with potted lilacs symbolizes new love. This will tick the box whilst showing how your relationship will grow and bloom!
2nd year- Cotton.
This symbolizes that as the years go on your life as a pair will become more woven together, making you stronger whilst teaching you to be flexible.
Gift idea- Any of our 100% natural cotton throws placed at the bottom of the bed will remind you of these ideas while keeping you warm on chilly evenings.
3rd year- Leather.
In the past, people dressed more in leather, as it would protect you from the elements and ruff environments. Giving the gift of leather represented protectiveness and durability. However, today using animal products is not exactly a sign of romance.
Gift idea- Our suggestion is our plant-based vegan leather plant pot cover. Again completed by potted red roses as a symbol of everlasting love.
Marriage is not always smooth sailing, but after four years of marriage together, you will have become more familiar with each other’s idiosyncrasies. Moving forwards, silk is for the hope of a smoother ride.
Gift idea- Silk matching dressing gowns will give comfort and a touch of luxury.
5th year- Wood.
Trees represent wisdom, and strength with deep roots. As you reach your fifth year, your strength and growing bond will help you progress in your future.
Gift idea- Plant a tree and watch it grow! If you don’t have the privilege of having outside space to do such, consider a small indoor bonsai.
During the Victorian era, the idea of a ‘Love Match’ for marriage rather than an ‘arranged one’ became more popular. But the concept of marrying for love was so bazaar to some people, that they could not imagine what would keep the couple together after the initial passion dwindles away and things start to become work. So the concept of giving a meaningful gift each year as a celebration and to cement the relationship. While at the same time giving advice as to how to keep it strong.
Possibly meant to replace the Roman festival of Lupercalia on the 15th of February, where a bloody sacrifice and feast was thought to make women more futile. The time of year itself does seem to be the most romantic. Days become longer, brighter, the birds are nesting and the feeling of love can be found everywhere in nature.
Valentines traditional gifts
The concept of giving a handmade love letter to that special one began around the 1500’s. By the 1700’s the commercially printed valentines day cards started rolling out. Traditionally the effort of writing your own poetry is the ultimate declaration of love.
‘Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Honey is sweet,
And so are you.’