12th Anniversary Gifts

The 12th anniversary is traditionally thought of as the silk anniversary and in the United States silk is the gift traditionally given although in the United Kingdom both silk and fine linen are options. Silk can be given in a number of forms whether more or less practical. Any form of bed sheets, curtains or fabric furnishings can be given or, alternatively, between a husband and wife lingerie might be given. The symbolism of silk is multifarious. Silk is a very smooth material and is often seen as highly luxurious and sensual. For centuries this was one of the most expensive fabrics it was possible to buy, imported to Europe from ancient china along the Silk Road. Furthermore, the silk moth is often thought of as a symbol of death and rebirth which may or may not be relevant for the couple in question.

The flower traditionally associated with the twelfth anniversary is the peony, a flower with a long history of cultural symbolism.The name of the flower itself is taken from the mythological figure of Paeon who was a student of Aesculapius, the Greek god of healing. When Aesculapius became jealous of Paeon's healing powers, Zeus saved Paeon from his wrath by turning him into a flower. After that point, nymphs were often said to hide in the petals of the Peony which is why it has become a symbol of shame or bashfulness within the language of flowers. In Chinese culture the peony is a traditional symbol of China and has been an official symbol of the country since the time of the Qing dynasty.

Whatever their cultural symbolism they are high-impact flowers with large flower heads and often quite a strong, pleasant scent. They come in many different colours although the most popular colour for peonies is pink and other popular colours are white and yellow. However, the colours traditionally associated with this wedding anniversary are jade, opal and or oyster white. This means that there is relatively little traditional guidance for the colour theme of this anniversary.

This would also mean that you will need to consult with the couple on the choice of gifts. If you are giving silk there are so many options, so many of which may or may not appeal to the person to whom you are giving it. When it comes to attempting to substitute silk for a gift in the traditional colour there is even less guidance available from tradition so it is important to consult and ask the couple what they want for their 12th anniversary. No anniversary is unimportant but this is not usually considered to be among the most symbolic or to be the biggest milestone. As a result you are largely free to celebrate your 12th anniversary however you want and so the only real concern is whether or not the couple are happy. There is no gift more or less polite to give on this occasion and so the only real guide as to what to buy and what not to buy is preference.