It’s Time To Register … For Your Anniversary?


When I was a kid—probably more like a teenager—I vividly remember thinking that all of the adults in my life seemed to have absolutely no style when it came to home décor and textiles. My own home was a showcase of patterns from the 70s way into the 90s; and I remember thinking that my grandparents’ décor was just older-looking because they were.

If you are in your late 30s or early 40s, chances are your parents had some of the same beauties in their collections as my family did … Harvest Gold Tupperware, anyone? Or that blue cornflower corning ware? It seems these things were, at one time, all the rage.

dishes from a registry memphis mom collective

But, I’m here to tell you: I get it now. Your parents and grandparents had old, out-of-style stuff because they had been married for a while, and these were the items from their wedding registry 20 or 30 years ago. It all works just fine—and, as they have gotten older and more mature, they have decided they didn’t give a flip about what anyone else thought—so, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Right?

This is playing out in my own life as we speak. I pull out the same colorful dishes from my own registry for dinner every night, just as I have for the past 15 years, even though they don’t match the rest of my kitchen anymore at all. But, I can think of a lot of things I’d rather spend money on than new plates. So, they never get replaced.

Well, folks, I have the solution. We need to start registering for significant anniversaries. I’d like to propose the 25th anniversary as the one we all begin celebrating this way. You’ve been married 25 years, and that’s a huge accomplishment to applaud. (I’d suggest we wait until 50, but let’s be real here, you’re a lot closer to dying then and won’t have time to enjoy all your new stuff.)

Anyway, I’m not joking. I think we should all band together and make this happen. I remember being told about a friend who had created a gift registry for her 50th birthday—part of me thought, “Hey, why not?” And the other part of me thought, “Well, I never! The nerve!” So, I’m pretty sure this idea is going to take a while to catch on; but if we all do it, it will become more commonplace much sooner.

bright dishes from bridal registry memphis mom collective

Think about it. Are marriages and babies the only things that we should celebrate with such magnitude as a shower and a registry? For most of us, those things happen pretty early in our lives. It’s sad to think that stuff is over and done with and will never happen to us again. And what about people who choose not to get married? Why can’t they have a registry? And a shower for that matter? Are we really sending them the message that since they have decided to do life single that they should be punished by having to buy all their own stuff?

Anyway, I digress. The point is that establishing the 25th Anniversary Gift Registry and/or shower as a cultural norm would benefit us all. Throw out the burnt orange and avocado bath towels and stop embarrassing your children by keeping the macrame placemats and fondue set in plain view in your kitchen. Let’s all get some new stuff. I have 10 more years before I will be creating my 25th Anniversary registry—I’m sure this will be totally normal by then. Let’s do this.

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Cara is a freelance journalist and strategic communications consultant living in Germantown. Born in Illinois, she moved to Memphis at a young age; and, having moved away a few times for college, graduate school, and other adventures, she likes to joke that she’s moved TO Memphis more times than anyone she knows. Mom to the cutest little boys, Everett (March 2017) and Gavin (October 2018), and wife to Rob, who works as a financial planner, Cara is adjusting to her new gig as a stay-at-home mom after almost 20 years as a magazine editor and corporate communications practitioner. When not “momming” or consulting, Cara spends her time volunteering with the Junior League of Memphis, where she served on the Board of Directors for several years. Admittedly, Cara has an unreal obsession with escape rooms, an unhealthy addiction to Frappuccinos, and an uncontrollable desire to correct every grammar and punctuation mistake she sees. Learn more about Cara at