The 12th wedding anniversary is not one of the "round number" anniversaries -- it's not the 10th or the 12th -- and so it might pass unnoticed. As a couple you and your husband are busy with the children, your careers and all the other demands of adult life. Instead of letting this anniversary slide by with a greeting card and a quick peck on the cheek, whatever your budget, you can make the 12th anniversary a very special one.
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The traditional gift for 12th anniversaries is silk. Ties, sheets and boxer shorts are all luscious in silk. Instead of buying a tie, make it yourself. One pair of boxer shorts is great, but how about 12, one for each year of your marriage? If your man is not the kind to wear silk, two spoons and a gallon of French Silk ice cream might please him. A trip to China, the home of silk, would be a once in a lifetime experience, but if overseas travel is not in the budget, dinner at a Chinese restaurant can also be memorable.
Linen is the nontraditional 12th anniversary gift. Linen shirts are crisp and sexy, as are linen pants. Linen handkerchiefs monogrammed with his initials are classic. The word linen is also used generically to apply to all towels and sheets, regardless of what they are actually made of. If the linens you received as wedding presents 12 years ago are getting worn out, your 12th anniversary is a good opportunity to treat him -- and yourself! -- to a new set of bed sheets and towels.
The gem for the 12th anniversary is the pearl. We may think of pearls as a woman's gift, but pearl cuff links, a pearl tie-tack or mother of pearl desk accessories might be just the thing for your husband. A pearl-inlaid chess, backgammon or checker set would please the board-game player. Plan a home movie night watching the movie "Pearl Harbor." If travel is a possibility, how about a real trip to Oahu, with a tour of the historic site?
Jade, the stone for the 12th anniversary, is mined in northern British Columbia. Jade cuff links, pendants and carvings make unusual and enduring gifts. Jade inlaid furniture is also very striking.
The flower for the 12th anniversary is the peony, a lovely flower which symbolizes prosperity, happiness and peace. Order cut peonies from the florist to grace the table for your anniversary dinner. Better yet, plant a peony bush in your garden together the day of your anniversary. Peonies are planted in the fall, but if the timing is not right, you can pre-order a bush from the local nursery and tuck a picture of it into your anniversary card.
An anniversary is a celebration, so it's great to be creative and have a little fun. You could give your husband 12 small presents, one per day leading up to the actual anniversary date. You could give him silk sheets, with you wearing silk boxer shorts tucked into those sheets.