08/29/2013 03:53 pm ET Updated Oct 29, 2013

First 5 Anniversaries Guide

Without Emily Post, we'd be setting the table any which way, and using our sleeves to wipe away food instead of napkins. And who knows what kind of anniversary gifts we'd be buying? As I wrote in a previous post, the first real anniversary gift guide, though minimal, was published in 1922 and unsurprisingly can be credited to Emily Post. The American National Retail Jewelers Association would put together a more complete guide in 1937, which would later be updated to include more modern choices. Stumped by what to get for my own upcoming anniversary, I wanted to put together a few gift ideas for the first five. Instead of buying separate gifts for each other, these suggestions are for the two of you to choose gifts together that you'll both enjoy as a couple. Enjoy!

traditional: paper; modern: clocks
For our first anniversary, my husband and I took paper to a new level and made a coffee table book of our favorite wedding photos. It's beautiful, we'll have it forever, and the pages are made of paper of course! Another idea, for the modern pick, might be to have matching watches or a wall clock engraved with your anniversary date.

traditional: cotton; modern: china
One idea for your second anniversary is to pick out a really nice cotton blanket together for your bed. If your wedding had a color scheme, you may want to look for something that matches it so you can always be reminded of your wedding when you use it. If you want to get really creative with the modern choice, skip the antique vase or completing your place-settings and get on a plane to China with your partner!

traditional: leather; modern: crystal, glass
A unique third anniversary idea that also involves getting on a plane is to get leather passport holders for each other and plan an international vacation! On the same offbeat note, forget glass champagne flutes and try Tennessee Williams's masterpiece The Glass Menagerie on Broadway. Previews start in September!

traditional: linen and silk or fruit and flowers; modern: electric appliances
If you want to earn serious crafty points, one way to do it is to combine both the traditional and the modern. How? Buy a juicer. That way you and your partner can be healthy together, and you're killing two birds with one stone. Fruit, check. Electric appliance, check. Besides, juicers are pretty pricey, not exactly an everyday purchase. Of course, linen towels or a fancy grill could be more up your alley.

traditional: wood; modern: silverware
The thing about wood is that the possibilities are endless. Choose a new coffee or dining room table together. If green is your vibe, buy a wooden planter and fill it with your favorite succulents or spices, or plant a tree together and watch it grow. As for the modern choice, who doesn't need an excuse to buy a shiny set of sterling silverware?

Here's to getting back to the roots of what an anniversary means and celebrating togetherness! Happy first through fifth!