Need a goofy/ironic variation on a "China" gift for our 20th anniversary
March 28, 2014 8:52 AM   Subscribe

4 years ago, I posted this question, about coming up with weird interpretations of "traditional" anniversary gifts, and y'all came up with some brilliant answers. I ended up going with the "periodic table" idea, which we continued through our 17th, 18th, and 19th anniversaries. Our 20th anniversary is May 1, and now I need a twist on the theme of "China."

To recap the background of my previous question:

Hubby and I have had a tradition of goofing on "traditional" anniversary gifts; we compete to see who can come up with the most off-the-wall/sarcastic variation. Examples: For the first ("paper") anniversary, I wrote him a love letter on a roll of toilet paper. For the "flowers" anniversary, I got a beautifully wrapped, heavy gift that I opened to find 5-pound bags of wheat, corn, and rye flour. For the "ivory" anniversary, I carved a loving tribute into a bar of Ivory soap; for the 15th, "crystal," anniversary, I had a custom stained-glass piece made, with 15 tiny crystals embedded in the leading.

Now it's time for a twist on a "China" gift. I'm open to anything, and cost is not a major issue -- as long as whatever it is can be presented on May 1. Go nuts, MeFites!

(As before, I've anonymized this because I can be recognized by the question, so feel free to use this throwaway email if you want:
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (23 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I think your direction needs to be towards Chinese food. Maybe take him out for really good chinese food? Or even a box of frozen egg rolls or something. Or a collection of novelty chopsticks. or a Chinese Cleaver.

Personally I would go with the cleaver.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 8:56 AM on March 28, 2014

A trip to China?
posted by edgeways at 8:58 AM on March 28, 2014 [4 favorites]

Give him five gifts based on the book The Five Chinese Brothers.
posted by Rob Rockets at 9:07 AM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Well, there's the most ridiculously gaudy Chinese watch I can think of: Chinese Army 60th Anniversary Series Quartz Watch. You could maybe have the back engraved with a message and then demand that he wear it everywhere. (Here's the second most ridiculously gaudy Chinese commemorative watch, but it has a huge '90' on it).
posted by Comrade_robot at 9:08 AM on March 28, 2014 [3 favorites]

Wrestler Chyna poster with loving note on the back?
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 9:08 AM on March 28, 2014 [4 favorites]

Nthing a trip to China. I mean..20 is big and who wouldn't want to visit?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:15 AM on March 28, 2014

On Modern Family the other day, the wife got the husband a private performance by Chinese acrobats for their "China" anniversary.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 9:44 AM on March 28, 2014

Or you could stick with China=porcelain/ceramics and have fun with that. A Space Shuttle tile, bathroom fixtures, ball bearings, body armor, etc.
posted by steinwald at 10:05 AM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

*koff* When I visited the Kohler toilet factory in Wisconsin yea these many years ago, one of the defining features of the place was the "Great Wall of China"--you guessed it: a ceiling-high stack of toilets all along the back wall of the big open factory space.

You must, of course, invest in a new toilet. Possibly in a gaudy color. I know someone who has a purple one.
posted by dlugoczaj at 10:06 AM on March 28, 2014 [5 favorites]

Or something to do with Chynna Phillips?
posted by Pax at 10:06 AM on March 28, 2014

A really nice set of Chinese Checkers? If you got one in wood, you should have time to get it engraved with something personal.
posted by likeatoaster at 10:07 AM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

Does anything say "anniversary" more, than the nearly 60 hours of Vietnam War drama known as China Beach?

"If you want to see this show. you've got to be the show"
posted by otherchaz at 11:08 AM on March 28, 2014

Shopping trip, the mandatory restriction, of course, all purchased items must be labelled "Made in China"
posted by otherchaz at 11:34 AM on March 28, 2014

What about a bag of custom fortune cookies (though actually Japanese in origin), with special fortunes related to your life together.
posted by brookeb at 11:58 AM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

There's also China MiƩville, I suppose.

Along the lines of what dlugoczaj said, there's a giant fountain made of 10,000 recycled toilets, sinks, urinals, etc. in Foshan, Guangdong Province, China. I visited it a few years ago and it is pretty amazing. Foshan is known for its pottery--going back thousands of years--and there was a plaque saying (paraphrasing from memory) that the toilets, etc. were recycled, donated from factories, and donated by domestic and foreign 'enthusiasts.' I have some pictures I can send you if you like, or they're easily found online. That's two levels of China right there! Although, it does sound from your past gifts that there's a strong bathroom theme that you may or may not want to break away from.

There's probably not enough time to make an actual trip to China, but (assuming you are in the U.S.) you could go to a large city like New York or San Francisco with an immersive Chinatown and pretend. You could sign yourselves up for Chinese lessons. You could buy him a Mao-era Chinese army uniform. In Chicago there is a Mao-themed Hunan restaurant by a very well-regarded restauranteur where all the servers wear the uniforms and "serve the people."

What a fun idea! I think this anniversary opens you up to a huge variety of possibilities. China the country/culture alone has tons. Do update and let us know what you decide!
posted by spelunkingplato at 12:23 PM on March 28, 2014

How about a T'Pau-themed gift?
posted by yellowcandy at 12:28 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

There's Chyna the WWF wrestler! You could get autographed memorabilia!
posted by foxfirefey at 12:30 PM on March 28, 2014

--A joke on "China = country" and "China = tableware"--a bunch of takeout containers/cheap chopsticks?
--A trip to China, Maine. Or China Grove, Texas. Or the PRC. (Depending on where you are geographically and where you're willing to go.)
--Something playing off of "bone china" possibly (bone-us: calcium has atomic number 20, so this works with both of your themes.) Maybe a super-tacky (the tackier, the better) skull mug?
posted by kagredon at 1:31 PM on March 28, 2014

A giant stick figure made out of takeout chopsticks. You could hang fortunes off of it with cute sayings or love notes. Or glue fortunes together in the shape of a heart and then have the figure hold it.
posted by madonna of the unloved at 2:35 PM on March 28, 2014

China.... Porcelain god .... One of those super duper awesome toilets that wash your butt with warm water and everything!!!
posted by Neekee at 5:11 PM on March 28, 2014

A quick Etsy search turned up this really cool-looking broken china mosaic backsplash. A DIY version would be labor-intensive but fairly inexpensive.

Or maybe language learning software (Rosetta Stone, Fluenz, etc) for the two of you to learn some conversational Mandarin?
posted by Pizzarina Sbarro at 7:37 PM on March 28, 2014

Guns N' Roses "Chinese Democracy" t-shirt?
posted by iviken at 2:28 AM on March 29, 2014

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