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Why is the second anniversary designated the Cotton anniversary? Traditions vary from country to country, and from time to time. While in the USA the 1st anniversary was traditionally associated with paper and the second with cotton, in the United Kingdom and other commonwealth countries the position is reversed. Cotton is the first anniversary, and paper the second. A more recent list of anniversaries, compiled by the Chicago Public Libraries Information Center says that for modern couples the second anniversary is the China anniversary, so if the idea of cotton isn’t inspiring you, there’s bound to be something in China that will.

So what makes a great, romantic second anniversary gift?

Leaving out the obvious use of both traditions ( a paper ticket for a trip to China) there is still a lot of choice to suit all budgets.

Gifts for women – beautiful cotton handkerchiefs are somehow romantic and can even become an heirloom, while not breaking the bank. There are many sites on the web where you can have the handkerchief personalized with initials, has an excellent collection (which includes handkerchiefs for men). You can choose from extravagant lace trimmings to designs embroidered or printed with flowers, or simply featuring a lovely monogram, with individual handkerchiefs costing less than $10.

While it makes sense to monogram a handkerchief, which may easily get lost, it is more difficult to understand why anyone would feel the need to monogram their sheets, however a particularly beautiful embroidered sheet set, perhaps featuring a favorite flower or animal (butterflies and dragon flies are often popular) might make a great anniversary present for a friend. Of course if your spouse is particular about their bedding, it may be ideal for you, in which case don’t forget that it’s the addition of the personal which makes the gift romantic!

Cotton itself is a fibre which grows around the seeds of the cotton plant. The fibre is spun into thread and a breathable fabric can then be made which is the most popular fabric for clothing. Pure cotton can be subject to creasing, cotton with a proportion of artificial fibre (polyester) tends to need less ironing, provided it is washed and dried at low temperatures.

For a personal, romantic anniversary gift the best choice has to be some form of clothing, with lingerie topping the list. Cotton lingerie can take many forms, from romantic Victorian nightgowns to sleepshirts (try Victorian Classics for both nightgowns and pajamas) to custom cotton lingerie which can be created especially to her measurements and requirements. Certain Style have a range which allows you to choose your own ribbon trim and covers nightgowns, bloomered pajamas and a camisole/shorts set, all of which can be made to measure in any size, while their Sweet Revenge lingerie in a lovely cotton print would also make a great romantic gift.

If you’d prefer to go the China route think carefully. Will you go for some household China or for a ornament to be treasured in future years? if you were given china as a wedding present, but your spouse has come to hate it, or wants to add a certain piece to the collection, this may be a good time to start. If you are starting with a new china pattern consider how you will want the table to look. You may want to feature a favorite color or motif, make sure it doesn’t dominate or clash with the food you serve. One very popular choice is Botanic Garden china from Portmeirion pottery, usually available from amazon. Here each item in the set is quite different, yet every items share a common format and border and the resulting table looks interesting, original and coordinated.

If dinner wear seems too impersonal for an anniversary present, then consider something like a china vase, again featuring a favourite color or motif. If you’re really lucky your spouse will have a special animal or flower they like to collect, in which case a china ornament is an obvious winner. Again these are available to suit all budgets, the vase or ornament can be intended for a place of honor in your home, or a personal private position on his or her desk or dressing table.

But what to do if you are looking for a present for the man in your life? Surprisingly many of the above gifts still apply. Cotton pajamas, a beautiful shirt, and china mug, even lingerie for yourself may make a successful romantic gift. Many young married couples are still struggling when they reach the end of year two. It’s OK to decide to forgo expensive romantic gifts in favor of making a practical addition to your household such as dinner-wear, towels or sheets, but you should never take her seriously when she says she really doesn’t mind doing this. She does mean it, but you can find an inexpensive way to show your appreciation in any case, and sometimes this is more romantic than the most expensive diamond, especially if wrapped and given well.

Why not create a treasure hunt to make the gift giving more fun? Creating clues and hiding them is fun, which is what your second anniversary, and hopefully all those that follow will be about. As long as you can laugh, you can love.

Source by Lesley Charalambides

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