The 40th wedding anniversary is symbolised by the ruby. When choosing a gift to celebrate your parents' four decades of marriage, ruby-themed gifts are appropriate. Select items both parents will enjoy and treasure. If you have your heart set on getting them something beyond your budget, pool your resources with your siblings or another close family member.
Anniversary watches come in designs ranging from classy yet sporty to formal works of art. Choose his-and-hers versions with rubies or red crystal stones marking the hours around the dial. Have a short message to each parent engraved on the back of the watch case.
Place one of their wedding photographs inside a ruby-encrusted frame. There's no need for real rubies--choose a heart-shaped or anniversary frame with red glass or crystal gems.
Red artisan glass such as stemware or a vase filled with a bouquet of flowers is appropriate for both parents. Choose red wine or champagne glasses etched with their wedding date or anniversary date.
Before the anniversary, contact their closest friends and relatives from the past 40 years, especially anyone who was part of the wedding party. Have each person write down their fondest memory of your parents. Don't forget to write your memory, too. Have the memories bound into a book or place the letters in a scrapbook.
Create the same memory album, but use a video camera. Videotape each person sharing their memory and stories of your parents. Place footage of your parents throughout the video and record stills of their wedding photographs.
Give your parents an event to mark this important anniversary. Rent a hot-air balloon for the day to take them on a romantic sojourn in the sky. If they both are sports fans, purchase box seats for them so they can see their favourite team.
A cruise is a memorable vacation that many people save for years to experience. Pool your money with siblings and relatives and purchase them a cruise vacation. Spend a little extra for an anniversary package with nicer rooms and benefits included.
Send them on a second honeymoon. Rent the same honeymoon suite at the same location they celebrated their first honeymoon at 40 years ago. Or, send them to the destination they wished they could have gone to when they first got married, such as a Hawaiian honeymoon or another exotic getaway they've always wanted.