Everybody who has been in a long-term relationship knows the difficulty of finding a gift that his or her partner will enjoy. As time goes by in the relationship, it seems that all the original gift ideas are used up. With most major retailers and brands selling gift cards nowadays, it often seems more logical to opt for the "easy" way out and for many partners this is an adequate gift, since they can then pick out their own perfume, clothes item, power tool, etc. But many people still prefer opening a present and enjoying (or not) the surprise inside. These couples then often decide to look at the traditional or modern anniversary list in search for gift ideas.

Here is the traditional list of the first five anniversary themes and some gift ideas. They are not separated in "his" and "hers" categories, since some gifts are perfect for any gender.

Year 1 is Paper and as boring as that sounds, there are actually a lot of interesting ideas for gifts. You can subscribe to a magazine or newspaper that interests your partner; buy books and board games or puzzles that you both enjoy. Get tickets to a concert or sports event that you attend together. If you prefer to get a gift that is also an investment, get paintings, vintage comic books or artistic photography. Or you could find photographs either of you two or your partner's past, have them digitally altered to make them look like artwork, or just simply done in black and white. A more pricey option is getting tickets for a trip. Origami and monogrammed stationery are also very personal gifts.

The theme for year 2 is Cotton. Here you have the options of getting clothes, anything from shirts, T-Shirts, blouses and pants to underwear and pyjamas. Linens, blankets, placemats and tablecloths also have their practical use. A hammock can be used for relaxing in the back yard or hinting at a trip to a beach, as do beach towels. A more symbolic gift idea is to give a pet rabbit (Cottontail!) or take your partner on a road trip to a southern US state.

Year 3 seems easier, with Leather being the theme. You have a lot of options in clothing such as jackets, shoes or boots. Don't forget accessories like gloves, belt, wallets, purses and briefcases. Leather bound diaries or books are also very nice. For a pricier option, consider luggage (can also be used to hint at a trip) or furniture. There is also beautiful jewelry made of leather.

Linen or Silk, theme for year 4, calls for the more traditional gifts, such as lingerie, pyjamas and bed sheets but you can also get linen shirts and pants or placement mats

Year 5 has Wood as its theme. You can go the artistic way and get sculptures or masks for wall decoration. If your partner enjoys indoor plants, get him or her a bonsai tree or another type of indoor tree. If you have a yard, you could plant a tree together, as a symbol of your dedication. A bit more expensive is furniture or golf clubs. For the romantic soul, take a trip for a long weekend to a log cabin.

The most important thing is to listen to your partner. He or she will usually hint at the ideal gift at some point or another. Happy anniversary!