Gift ideas for 50th Wedding Anniversary

onehappymealApril 2, 2002

I need some gift ideas for my elderly (75+) difficult-to-buy-for in-laws who will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary later this year. Ideally, I'd like a joint gift, but if I have no ideas I'll settle for his-and-hers gifts. They have everything they could possibly want. The other kids and their families have their gifts already taken care of, so I can't pool in with anyone. Their anniversary dinner/reception is already arranged and the other ideas already shot down: a gold clock (it is the golden wedding anniversary, right?), a trip, family portrait.

I really need some ideas! Thanks!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What kind of price range are you thinking about. Keep in mind that "moderate" means a very wide range, so give us a dollar range of about what you want to spend.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2002 at 8:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Money is not really an object. I really just have no clue what to get them. I'd spend $100 or I'd spend $2000, as long as I knew it was something they would like. I'm truly stumped.

They are over 75 and are well off. They have a nice home that they are in the process of updating, two cars, and they spend 5 months every winter in warmer climates. They just seem to have everything, and I can't think of a single idea that the rest of the family doesn't shoot down.

Last night, I saw a vintage wine that's about $600 and a light bulb went off. It sounds like the stupidest anniversary gift ever, but I just don't have a clue.

Since I posted two days ago and received no suggestions, it looks like no one else has any ideas either! Who ever invented this gift-giving tradition anyway?! LOL

    Bookmark   April 4, 2002 at 8:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The wine might not be a bad idea, if they like wine. Maybe not that particular bottle, but at least a very nice one. Get some gold paper, or netting and a big golden ribbon , maybe add a couple of gold trimmed wine glasses for them to toast themselves...and let it go at that. Don't worry about what the rest of the family thinks.

As you say, they don't need anything, then give them something that can be used up, like the wine. It won't have to be displayed or dusted. That's the kind of gift I like. (and if they don't like it, they can pour it down the sink, you'll never know!)

    Bookmark   April 4, 2002 at 9:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When you say your ideas were already "shot down", what do you mean? DId they tell you your in-laws won't want it, already have it, or what? Or did they just disagree with your idea? You say the other families already bought their gift.... did they share their ideas with you before they bought them, as you seem to be doing with them?

Along the same lines as the question you asked about "whoever invented the gift-giving tradition?", I ask "whatever happened to giving a special gift from the heart and the recipient graciously accepting it?".

I think if you have a good idea for a gift (the clock, trip and family portrait are great ideas!), go ahead and do that. It sounds like you're starting to think that any idea you have will be "shot down". Go with your heart, and if they are really nice people they will appreciate whatever you do for them.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2002 at 10:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My ideas were shot down by other family members (they have 6 children, all married with families).

They are great at shooting down an idea and not giving any good ones. Most of them bought their gifts without sharing ideas; but 4 of them are daughters, so they know exactly what to get (just like I have no trouble buying for my mom and dad). The two sons (I should say daughters-in-law) haven't a clue.

I would give a special gift from the heart, but the thing is, my heart doesn't belong to them so I can't think of anything "special," nor are gifts graciously accepted on their part, so I guess both sides are guilty.

A gold clock they already have. 15 years of marriage into that family and I had no idea! (they keep it in a box in the basement).
The trip is no good because they won't go anywhere. They are 75 and 79 (I think) and they think any day is going to be "it" and they want to be home when "it" happens. The only reason they spend winters in Florida is because they think they will freeze to death here in Michigan! They won't even go for a weekend to any of their kids' homes for a visit because they'd rather sleep in their own bed.

The family portrait idea is no good because "family photos are out." Can you believe that one!!?? You will not find one single photo of themselves, their children or their grandchildren on display in their house - "it's tacky."

I would normally just buy something I thought was appropriate and not say a word, but I'm tired of going through the gymnastics of returning things and trying to think of something else because they "surely can't be expected to take the money in lieu!"

    Bookmark   April 10, 2002 at 1:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OMG....and I thought MY mother-in-law was tough to buy for. My heart goes out to you.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2002 at 3:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Boy oh boy, what a difficult situation.

I still suggest buying something YOU think would be a good gift and let them be the ones to return it if they don't like/need/want it. If they or someone suggests it needs to be returned, don't offer to do it. The burden is on THEM to graciously accept a gift and if they can't do that, they need to figure out what else to do with it. That is the only proper way to receive a gift.

Another suggestion would be a gift certificate for a restaurant they like to go to.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2002 at 10:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I work in a nursing home with a lot of older people,Now I realize you in-laws are not that old but of the most charished gifts i have seen was a comforter with a white background that had been signed by every member of the family

    Bookmark   May 3, 2002 at 7:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have friends who were given fifty (one dollar) gold pieces for their 50th anniversary. I thought that was quite an imaginative gift.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2002 at 9:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is just a little "extra" idea, but when my parents celebrated their 50th Anniversary, I requested that the Whitehouse send them an Anniversary card. They did. This was when Clinton was President and it was right in the middle of the "Monica thing". LOL My dad was NOT a fan of Clinton, but they thought it was soooo neat. Here's the link. Just make your request...... My parents received their card about 2 weeks before their Anniversary. Try it, at least it's unique. :)

As far as the gift idea......I was on a tight budget when my parents had their anniversary, but I truely gave from the heart. I purchased a large wicker basket, lined it with gold foil type tissue paper. I made a gift basket with a gold candle, 2 wine glasses with champayne, cheese and gourmet crackers, CD, bubble bath (Mom giggled) and a copy of their wedding certificate rolled up like a scroll (it was still on microfilm in SC where they got married)

Just cater to their tastes. If they are into art, give them a gift certificate to an Art Gallery (or pick one out yourself if you feel brave enough) If their health is good maybe contact a Travel Agency for travel ideas. Do they have a special charity they give too (sometimes those with money like donations being made in their name) or given to a church. Get romantic and have a star named after them.
Good luck and here's the link for the White House. Gail

Here is a link that might be useful: Contacting the White House

    Bookmark   May 12, 2002 at 9:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like Gail in NC's idea. of the basket--
other things that could go into it are

A framed collage photo of their memories or one of them today, their wedding picture and all the grandkids. You can have a photographer do it or do it yourself with a program like Picassa--free on line.

Tickets--to a concert, play,dinner theater or sporting event--you know their tastes. If they don't drive you might offer to go with them or include a limo or taxi as part of the gift.

Spa passes or just coupons for hair cuts and dos.

If they are tea lovers a few packets of assorted exotic teas or coffee lovers --the same.

Have the kids make something to include. If they are like me, my greatest treasures come from my grandkids.

I'm sure if you sat down and thought about what they do, what they like and what their interests are, there are dozens of things you could come up with.

Whatever you do DO NOT run it by your sisters-in-law. Make up or get your gift and if they ask say I haven't decided yet. If you let your heart lead you, you can't go wrong

Good luck

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 7:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I came to this site looking for ideas for my parents who are trying to come up with a good 50th anniversary gift for my grandparents as well. I appreciate the ideas that have been posted thus far.

I do have a suggestion for the group - My mom made a cross-stitch blanket that is hanging above my grandparents' bed for one of their anniversaries. It's basically a family tree and includes a square for each person - My mom stiched i.e. "John" (son) and his birthdate and then "Jane" (wife) and her birthdate, and in between the two - their wedding anniversary date. And then below John and Jane are the three kids and their birthdates. In each person's square she stitched a little item that represents that person - like my square has a piano because I play piano... my cousin's has a baseball, etc. It was VERY well received and it's perfect because we know how when you get old you are very good at forgetting dates!

I thought this was the best gift idea ever and it was very well received. And every time a new family member is added, my Mom just updates the blanket....

The problem is now, we have their 50th anniversary coming up and this past anniversary gift is going to be very hard to top.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 11:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have found a site call ..they have a basket with all items from the year they were looks great ...hope this helps..

Happy Anniversary to your grandparents

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 1:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If they don't like family portraits on the walls, then you can give a gift of a photo book. This way they have an album of special moments, but it can be put on the bookcase. I have made photo books through and and highly recommend them. The finished product is completely customized with backgrounds, wording, and a hard cover. There are many options to choose from.
I made one as a wedding gift and included the poem that was read at the wedding.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 4:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I will be attending a 50th wedding anniversary party for a couple that has everything. I mean everything, yacht, mountain home, beautiful first home. they have requested no gifts. However everyone that is going is giving them something. I have decided to make a donation in their honor to the cancer society. She is a twin and her sister passed away from the dread disease. Do you think this is appropriate. Also should I pick up a bottle of wine to take to the catered event. Help me make this decision.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 7:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think your idea is lovely, Joyce. Frankly, when "no gifts" is specifically requested, and people bring gifts anyway, I think that's being very disrespectful of the honorees' wishes. They ask for no gifts, yet people bring them. Is it about the honorees or is it about the gift giver wanting to feel good?

That said, Joyce, I think you don't have to make a donation or anything else. In fact, it sounds as though anyone not giving a gift would be the only one doing as the couple asked. But if you feel you must, I like your idea. And as far as the wine goes, I'd suspect that, given the situation of the couple, nice wines have been specifically chosen for the event. Yours might be put away to be enjoyed later.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 1:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We did a couple of the things suggested for our parents 50th. Everyone in the family and some close friends all were given a piece of quilt block and everyone put something special to their family on it. some stitched, some used paint. the center was a large picture of their wedding day. It was so pretty. Of course someone has to start the process by picking the colors, cutting the blocks and stitching it all together.
Our 2nd item was a video of friends and family. My parents lived in Illinois most of their life but retired to Colorado. so I went to visit all their old friends and even the neighbors we grew up with and made a memory video for them. It was wonderful. And the nice thing is that I can share with others when they lose someone in their family.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 3:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How about a DNA test from to see what country their ancestors came from hundred of years ago. A gift for both they and there descendants. A gift certificate to there favorite restaurant. An iPad.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 5:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hello. I think you should gift them a family portrait.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 5:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

For my parents 50th, we got all their friends and relatives to send a photo of their most favorite memory with my parents. We scoured through albums of our own as well. The instruction was to find a photo (we had mailed them some quilting embellishments like lace and cut fabric). When they were done, the sent us the pieces and we put them all together into a magnificent quilt that they LOVED. At least that's what I gathered from their reactions.

The grandkids all got together in a summer camp style get together and they all made their own keepsake crafts.

Some useful links
Quilt -

These are the resources I used. There are hundreds online though! Sometimes I find that making a memory is the best gift. The second one is to help them relive their good memories!

Here is a link that might be useful: Kids Crafts

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 8:09AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Grandma to be
I just found out 2 weeks ago that I am going to be...
Grandparents' Dogs!
My wife and myself have a 4 month old and an 8 year...
Uninterested Grandparents
I need some advice! My husband's parents are local...
Sad Grandmother
I am brand new to this site and posting to this forum....
My grandbaby doesnt want to come to me any more
He Is 13 months. I have always taken care of him once...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™