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My parents celebrated their golden wedding anniversary two years ago. Now that people are living longer it seems that more people are reaching this milestone. My parents had a nice celebration that included family, neighbors and friends. We had placed an advertisement for an open house in their local paper as well as their church bulletin. We also sent invitations to people that we knew would not see either of those announcements. One of the things that we neglected to include in the announcements was not to bring gifts. As a result my parents had many 50th wedding anniversary gifts that they did not know where to store.

Shortly before celebrating their anniversary my parents downsized to a two bedroom condo. They felt that we children had enough space in our homes to host holiday gatherings and they could no longer keep up the maintenance of their large home and yard. They kept some of their furniture and belongings, but had to part with many things in order to have room in the condo. At the end of their celebration they did not know where to put the 50th wedding anniversary gifts that they had accumulated. A number of people gave them money, which was nice because they put that towards a trip. There were also a number of gift certificates for restaurants and department stores. The problem came in with the number of 50th wedding anniversary gifts that are specifically made for the anniversary. They received everything from creamer and sugar bowls to picture frames, dishes, serving bowls, glasses and other figurines. They had many duplicate gifts. I have seen these items displayed in various stores, but I never realized how many things were available for the golden wedding anniversary.

We helped my parents sort through the 50th wedding anniversary gifts so they could pick out the things that were from special friends and the things that they could use. This left three boxes of things that they did not have room for or were duplicates. My dad mentioned that they had three golden wedding anniversary parties that they were invited to and he thought they should give some of the items as gifts. My mom did not like this idea, but they decided that they would do that. My mother and father-in-law are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in a few months. I told them to make sure that they put no gifts on the invitations. From now on I will only give money as a gift when I am invited to an anniversary party. The keepsake items are nice, but getting several of each kind is not a good thing.

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