You want to get your anniversary gift right after your first full year. I’m here to help you get something unique and memorable for her. The first anniversary gift is by far the most talked-about with her friends and family, so you want to get something she’ll be proud to talk about.

The traditional first anniversary gift has a “paper” theme. The modern theme is “clocks.” Before you go out to by a ream of office printing paper, remember that the themes were never intended to be literal. A smartwatch, for example, would satisfy the “clocks” theme. Most people in the United States no longer follow the theme traditions, but I’ll include some gifts that are great first anniversary gifts whether you’re following the traditional gift ideas or not.


Kindle Paperwhite



E-readers are great gifts for anyone who reads. Benefits include saving space on books, way longer battery life, and (as shown above) almost no glare on the screen.

The Paperwhite is hands-down just the best e-reader around at this point. Its LED light shines onto the paper evenly, and it’s far easier to read during the day. Amazon’s library is unsurpassed, but you can also download books and magazines in other formats. I actually got my wife the previous generation of Kindle Paperwhite as a birthday present, and she regularly tells me how much she loves it. It’s several years later and it’s still a source of gratitude for her.

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Fitbit Charge HR



Watches are a gift that she can show off when asked what you got her for your anniversary. The latest Fitbit Charge HR is the best fitness-tracking time-telling device out there. Not only does it track your activity like previous versions, but it tracks and displays heart rate. My wife bought one for me recently, and I love looking over the data and finding where my heart rate was high or low during the day. The Charge also receives cell phone notifications. That’s especially nice for a woman with her phone in her purse: she won’t have to dig through her purse to see recent messages or calls. 

By the way, don’t assume your wife wants the girly plum version; many women would prefer black. How can you figure it out without asking her? Look at her smartphone case. If it’s a bright color, chances are good she’ll want the version pictured here.

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Classy Pendant


I’ve had some experience buying jewelry for women: take my advice. First, look through what she has now. Most women these days prefer silver-colored jewelry with small accents. Apparently it’s easier to match something mostly silver than it is to match something mostly gold. Second, keep it simple; avoid giving big, bold pieces as a gift. Finally, don’t get junk. That means no thinly-coated brass, no fake diamonds, etc.

A good example is this heart pendant. It’s sterling silver throughout with a 14k gold accent. In the middle is an aquamarine. (Aquamarines, in my opinion, are way cooler than diamonds, but that’s another story.) The point is that it shines nicely with a blueish light. The simple, mostly-silver, tastefully accented piece will go with almost any outfit.

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Crystal Wine Glasses


When you toast to your first year together, do it with a nice, classy, heavy-weight wine glass. These lead-free Waterford glasses will make other wine glasses feel like lightweight plastic in comparison. The light refracts nicely on these glasses, so they can make the entire room look a little higher-quality just by being in it.

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Nice Bed Sheets


Cotton isn’t soft enough, microfiber doesn’t breathe enough. My solution: bamboo sheets. You might not think that bamboo would be soft, but it feels a lot like microfiber. It’s smooth, comfortable, and great for those who get hot under the sheets.

If you’re on a budget and I’ve sold you on bamboo, check out bamboo sleepwear instead.

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Badass Sunglasses


Sunglasses are a nice year-round gift despite their reputation as a summer-only deal. We usually don’t think about using them in the winter, but we often do while driving when the sun sets early.

The glasses above are made by Versace. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, it will almost definitely mean something to her and the people who see her wearing them. Trust me, if she doesn’t have a pair of nice sunglasses she’ll love these. She’ll be getting compliments on them almost every time she puts them on. They’re also very good at protecting the eyes, but let’s be honest: these are fashion.

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Kate Spade Wallet


Purses come and go. I’m not sure why they do, but they do. A good wallet, on the other hand, is forever. It’s like a crab moving from shell to shell as the purses become to small to contain all the stuff she carries around. Do yourself a favor and keep that description to yourself.

This Kate Spade wallet has plenty of room for cards, cash, and all that secret stuff that goes in a woman’s wallet.

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Body Soak


A nice body soak can be relaxing both mentally and physically. Bath salts add to the whole experience by adding smells and a nice feeling on the skin. Some proponents make claims about additional health benefits of using some products, and they’re probably totally false. Avoid anything with “detox” on the label. Borghese is a nice product that won’t be overwhelming or harsh on the skin.

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Filigree Bracelet


The filigree on this bracelet is pretty amazing. The lines are thick enough that it feels well-made and solid. There’s still an incredible attention to detail from the craftsmanship to the smoothing of the hard metal edges. You can see close-ups of what I mean on Amazon.

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When the Echo first came out, my first question was: “Why would I want a non-mobile Siri?” Well, it turns out the Echo is actually a really solid and useful product. Just look at the reviews. It’s a pretty speaker, first of all. But the real reason to buy the Echo is for convenience. Add things to your shopping list without opening an app. Check the best route to work while getting ready. Get some compatible lights and turn them on and off without moving.

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I suggest avoiding knives, cookware, pots, or pans unless she’s a real chef. The last thing you want is for her to open a gift and say, “Oh, so you think I belong in the kitchen?”Do NOT get a scale, even if you think it’s the coolest WiFi-connected scale ever. Just don’t.

Hopefully these ideas help. What do you think? What are the best gifts you’ve ever given a wife, girlfriend, or significant other to mark a special occasion?

Chris Hemmerich

Chris has a knack for finding gifts that are unique, useful, and memorable. He enjoys sharing his ideas and finding new presents for his loved ones in the process.
Chris Hemmerich

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