A few years ago, my grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Through those fifty years, they had celebrated the births of four children, eight grandchildren, new jobs and also mourned the loss of family members and friends and comforted each other through illnesses. They had been through so much together that finding a 50th anniversary gift seemed arbitrary and as though nothing we could purchase could signify those fifty years that they had spent together.
Of course, the family still felt as though something should be purchased. After all, how can you celebrate an anniversary such as this and not receive a 50th anniversary gift? Being kind and loving grandparents and parents, they of course said not to bother with a 50th anniversary gift, and being together as a family would be more than enough for a celebration. So, we then decided to have a small gathering of close family friends that could celebrate the occasion with us. Our grandparents were so adamant about the “no 50th anniversary gift” rule that we had to specify to our invited guests to not bring along a gift. Everyone, of course, was slightly taken aback by this and stated that they would be bringing a gift regardless. But, we had to stand our ground for our grandparents and insist that there be no 50th anniversary gift from anyone.
The day of the party came and the entire family was in attendance at our grandparents’ favorite restaurant. Not only was there family, but close friends that had known the couple since their wedding day fifty years before. It was a lovely gathering of all the people that knew and loved our grandparents dearly, and they were touched that so many people thought so highly of them.
While standing at the entrance to the room, my cousin and I had the perfect idea for a 50th anniversary gift for our grandparents. We gathered everyone around and photographed the group. The week after the party, we enlarged the photo and framed it. We both took it to our grandparents to present it to them. As they looked at it, tears formed in their eyes and they insisted that they did not want a 50th anniversary gift. My cousin and I looked at each other and clarified that it was NOT a gift for them. We told them that our family and friends was their gift to us through their fifty years of marriage, and every time they looked at that picture they could see the love they had created through their years together.