Once a year, we pause to commemorate a special date in our lives – the day we chose to commit our lives to another – and celebrate the days, months, and years we have spent together. Anniversaries have played an important role in the lives of married couples since the beginning of time, and a particular type of gift represents each year of togetherness. While the list of what gift signifies which year of marriage varies by region in the world, most agree on some of the significant milestones.
Gifts for Milestone Anniversaries
- 5th Anniversary – wood
- 10th Anniversary – tin, aluminum
- 20th Anniversary – China
- 25th Anniversary – silver
Each of these milestones is a celebration of memories, adventures, and growth you experienced as a couple. As the years have passed, you’ve grown closer and most likely developed shared interests and hobbies.
The 26th-anniversary gift, however, is the culmination of the light and the shadows, the plain and the abstract, the color and the depth of the relationship you have built thus far – some might call it art.
What is Art?
Art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Art is a visual object or visceral experience. An expression of thoughts, emotions, intuitions, or desires that involves creativity, imagination, and technical skill to bring from concept to realization. Much like marriage, art is a blending of perspectives and all about sharing the way we experience the world.
Why is Art Important?
Like celebrating anniversaries, art has been an essential part of our society since the beginning of time. Used as a tool for cultural exchange, education, and expression, art allows you to see life from a different perspective and gives life to your feelings. Art is important because it allows freedom of expression and beautifies our surroundings.
7 Reasons Art is Important:
- Creative Expression
- Physical, emotional, and mental well-being
- Develops necessary soft skills
- Provides historical context
- Influences society and prompts social change
- Inspires conversation
- Defines beauty
1. We Love Creative Expression
From the time we were toddlers and entertained our families with song and dance, we expressed ourselves creatively. As we age, we recognize that creativity becomes an outlet even before we become verbal, or for those who have difficulty with language and motor skills, creative expression becomes vital to being understood. Art in any form is the creative expression of thoughts, feelings, and emotions and allows even the quietest among us to be heard.
2. The Perfect Prescription for our Physical, Emotional, and Mental Well-being
According to the World Health Organization, art has positive overall effects on mental and physical health at all stages of life. In addition to alleviating anxiety, depression, and stress, involvement in the arts helps with significant challenges such as boosting confidence, resilience, and loneliness. Whether we star in a play or attend the opening night of an art exhibit, both active and passive participation in the arts has a profoundly positive effect on our physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
3. Art Influences Necessary Soft Skills
There are certain skills we require to be successful in life. Such as the undeniable hard skills one needs to support a career in data analysis or bookkeeping. The arts are a universal way to influence the necessary soft skills by opening minds and lines of communication to think and express freely, which are often intangible attributes that are hard to measure.
Soft Skills Influenced by Art:
- Flexibility to change
- Creative thinking
- Collaboration with others
4. Art Gives Us Historical Context
From cave drawings to Shakespearean plays, art gives us a glimpse into human history and helps us learn about the past. We study the artwork of previous generations so future generations will learn about our current events through the art we leave behind. In addition, we gather knowledge and inspiration from past artistic contributions and learn about who we are as people.
5. Society and Social Change can be Influenced by Art
Art influences society by changing opinions and translating experiences for current and future generations. Society also influences art, which could bring about social change with specific intent or visual impact. Research has shown that art has a profound impact on our sense of self and how we communicate with others.
6. We Just Can’t Stop Talking About Art
Art inspires communication! As a visual message, idea, or feeling, art in any form inspires the viewer to discuss what they saw, felt, or thought as they experienced the artwork. As our interest in art evolves, we recruit others to join in and look at art, discuss art, and emote about how the artwork makes us feel! Art can be a beautiful way to get closer or a constructive way to express differences.
7. Does All Art Have Beauty?
Not necessarily, but that may be the intent of the artist. Art is intended to evoke emotion and may appeal to each of us in different ways for different reasons. While the purpose of the piece may not be beauty, your ability to connect with it and be moved by what you experience is beautiful. Art does not have to be measured within the bounds of “traditional beauty.” As with many aspects of life, all art may not be beautiful, but we can find beauty in all things.
How Do You Define Art?
The idea of art was first developed by Plato, who referred to it as a “representation” or “mimesis,” which in Greek means copying or imitation. It is true that art imitates life, and so how we define art may be in line with our own interests and perspectives at any point in time. So as our interests and perspectives grow and change, so does our definition of art.
5 Types of Art:
Whether you enjoy a night at the theater or hand-crafted gifts at your local arts festival, you are a supporter of art. As you develop your appreciation for art, your interests may change, or your interest level in a particular art form may change. The beauty of art – like your marriage – is that it is there for you as you deepen your commitment to appreciating what is being presented.
Why Give Art as a Gift?
Buying art requires thoughtful consideration – of the person you are buying it for and acknowledgment of their interests, space, and style. Choosing something so unique, whether it is performance art or a piece that will live in their home, is incredibly special and will without a doubt make the person receiving the gift feel very special. Extra time spent choosing art benefits both the giver and the recipient – the giver was able to spend time appreciating art in consideration of a purchase, and the recipient will forever share space with a thoughtful and thought-provoking piece of art selected especially for them.
How Do You Choose a Piece of Art?
Choosing a piece of art can be uniquely personal. Art is often an extension of the person who views it as well as the person who has created it. Any form of art can mirror who the artist – and the viewer – is as a person creatively, allowing a reflection of their shared interests and aspirations.
Art can be viewed differently from person to person. It may communicate a thought or point of view the viewer identifies with or may be a beautiful piece of self-expression. Often, artwork is acquired by “letting the piece choose you” – an expression given to those pieces we bring into our home because they spoke to us on a different level. The art we bring into our space most likely communicates our personality, interests, and even our sense of humor.
What is the Traditional 26th Wedding Anniversary Gift?
The Modern theme for the 26th anniversary is a picture, but traditionally, this anniversary is all about art. You could buy the perfect piece in the genre your spouse prefers, or you can gift the experience to explore a new form of art and continue to deepen your love for this shared interest. Only you know what will work best for you, but here are a few suggestions.
Giftable Art for a 26th Wedding Anniversary:
- Wood Map
- Theatre tickets
Give the Gift of a Painting
A painting is a thoughtful gift that can be appreciated year after year. Whether you choose to have one of your wedding photos recreated into a personalized painting or drop some serious cash on a major art purchase, the sincerity of the gift is undeniable. Of course, you can always take it one step further and schedule time at your nearest sip-and-paint studio (or paint at home!) and make beautiful art together while sipping a celebratory glass of wine.
Celebrate with a Sculpture
There are beautiful and heartfelt sculptures that will express your love and devotion on your 26th anniversary. Not only a fabulous addition to your home décor, but this sculpture will also be a delight to reflect on as the years go by. From abstract and modern to personalized sculptures that represent your love for each other, you will find your perfect anniversary message in an art sculpture.
Gift a Wood Map of Your Favorite Destination
Did you honeymoon in Hawaii? Vacation in Ireland? Or run away from it all after you had kids with a way-too-short getaway to the Great Lakes? A stunning wood map is an ideal gift to remind your one true love that the time you spent together is forever etched in your memory. Whether you choose wall art, a wall clock, a serving tray, a cribbage board, or a cork map, the exquisite detail will have you revisiting every point of interest and following every curve in the road as you recall the experience you shared.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
A picture is a beautiful celebration of your time together! Find your favorite picture of you and your spouse and have it custom framed. Or schedule a special photography session to capture your love after 26 years of living and loving together. Photographs are a timeless way to capture your love for each other and hold it close at heart every time you see them in your home.
A Night at the Theatre is a Fabulous Gift
Get out and support local talent or plan a trip to Broadway! Either way, a night at the theatre is the perfect way to spend an evening, support the arts, and develop your shared interest in art in all its splendid forms. Want to make the night even more memorable? Splurge for a backstage package to meet the artists and learn more about what their art means to them.
There is no such thing as a wrong choice for a person who appreciates art! If you find yourself struggling to pick just one art medium, pick two! Art isn’t always fabulous because it is expensive. It is fabulous because it is the expression of feeling, and at any price point if it speaks to you, it is the absolute right choice.
Worried you might become an art snob? Let that be the farthest thing from your mind. And besides, that isn’t always a bad thing. Let your sincere love for the arts in all their glorious forms be your guide, and you will make the right choice. After all, the most important thing about getting to this remarkable milestone is the person who has stayed by your side for the past 26 years.
Whatever form of art you choose to gift on the occasion of your 26th wedding anniversary, you can rest assured its creation was rooted in communication and expression. It represents the communication and expression you have brought to your relationship to successfully navigate 26 years of life, love, adventure, challenges, and successes with one special person. Like an artist who has poured years upon years into their craft, you have dedicated your lives to improving the life journey of one another, and, like art, that is an extraordinary skill.