In an era of fast travel, digital shopping, and consumerism, wedding and anniversary gifts can start to feel like a burden instead of a joy. What to give? Which years are more important? Why do we bother with it anyway? If you’re strapped for ideas, but still want to make a meaningful impression on a loved one’s life, it’s time to consider a visit to the Tick Tock Shop.

The tradition of communal presents for weddings actually stems from the Roman Empire, though the tradition of married partners presenting gifts to each other is maybe as old as the institution of marriage itself. Throughout the Middle Ages, different cultures started assigning different gifts or types of gifts to years and decades of anniversaries. These usually had some kind of metaphorical significance, and traditionally, the longer a couple was married, the more valuable the gift. These days we tend to see gifts of gold and diamonds at the very start of a marriage, but traditionally, the first-year anniversary gift in America wasn’t a ring or necklace. It was a clock.

We may be biased, but to us, this gift makes a whole lot of sense. A clock symbolizes long-term investment: a new couple just married for a year is looking to put down roots, create a home, and find the time to make a family of their own. It’s also a reminder that time is a precious gift that every person—and every couple—must use wisely. Clocks mark the days and remind us to keep track of our important moments, together and apart.

On the part of the gifter, choosing a timepiece is an act of love and support, and it shows thoughtfulness and tasteful celebration. A clock is always a useful gift, and a clock can be appropriate for friends of any age or culture, whether they live in a house or a tiny apartment. Even better, a watch is a traditional gift for the 15th wedding anniversary if you missed the chance to give them a clock the first year! We think good arguments can be made for a time-keeping present in the thirteen years in between, and probably for the thirteen years after!

At the end of the day, the gift of time is both valuable and necessary, no matter what form you choose to give it in. Why not take the literal approach this year, and come down to the Tick Tock Shop, where our staff can help you choose the most thoughtful and space-appropriate timepiece for the next wedding, graduation, or anniversary gift that you need? This is the gift that never goes out of style.

Everyone recognizes the distinctive presence of the cuckoo clock: the beautiful artwork, the moving parts, the little peek-a-boo bird every hour on the hour. Long before the cuckoo clock became a familiar favorite of people all over the world, it was first created in Eastern Germany, in what was then known as Bohemia. Despite the centuries since its creation in the 1740's, the actual construction and mechanics of the cuckoo clock has changed little. An authentic cuckoo clock is weight-driven (though some models did use springs), and the unique sound of the cuckoo is made by bellows forcing air through small pipes on the hour.

Despite its seemingly straightforward history, the cuckoo clock, like so many regional specialties, has origins shrouded in uncertainty. Unlike many other types of clock that can be contributed to a particular person or company of inventors, the “first” cuckoo clock is attributed to dozens of German clockmakers in the 1740’s and 50’s. In the end, no one knows for sure (or at least haven’t been able to prove they know for sure), and all we can say with certainty is that in the middle of the 18th century, cuckoo clocks began showing up in abundance in the Black Forest area, and were soon being made and traded all over Europe.

Whatever origin story or first creator you like best, there’s no denying that the cuckoo clock has always been a mark of regional pride and possessiveness for the Black Forest region of Germany, and rightly so. The traditional painted Schilduhr (shield-clock) was the common style for early cuckoo clocks, but they eventually grew into intricate pieces of hand carved and painted art on their own. In 1850, the Grand Duchy of Baden clockworks school held a cuckoo design competition; similar designs to those of the winner, Friedrich Eisenlohr (an architect who based his clock on the railway houses he designed) can still be found on many clocks today.

Whimsical, reliable, and beautiful, cuckoo clocks are as unique and personalized as they are popular, which makes them a fantastic gift for practically any household or person. Why not come down to the Tick Tock Shop and find your favorite, whether for your own home or as a special gift? We have a great selection, and unlike many other shops, we are also happy to repair and maintain your cuckoo clocks right here in our shop.

The stainless steel cushion-shaped cases are sized larger than their vintage cousins and now feature a flat Hardlex crystal that sits even with the top of the case to prevent marring

The newest watch from Citizen is the Satellite Wave-Air.

The time is near: December 21st marks the end of the Mayan calendar. It may also mark the end of the world as we know it, the end of an era and the start of a new one, or the end of absolutely nothing at all, depending on who you ask. What does the Mayan calendar actually say, and where does the doomsday connotation come from?

The Mayan calendar itself uses a similar system to many South American cultures; the Mayans credit their own particular brand of timekeeping to the ancient deity Itzamma. Instead of weeks, months, and years, the Mayan calendar consists of multiple cycles of varying lengths that repeat themselves, like cogs and wheels that spin inside the greater machine of time. The largest wheel in the calendar tracks the passage of time as a whole, from the dawn of the Maya’s creation story. Smaller rotations tracked lunar cycles, the progress of Venus, a 260-day “year”, and even a small nine-day cycle that may represent something like the Mayan week.

Much of the December 21st excitement comes from the idea that the largest cycle, which never really stops, will roll over into a new b’ak’tun (or era) in 2012. In this light, the whole thing is lacking the dark menace that Hollywood has given it over the years. The determined doomsday crowd get most of their backing from a carving in Tortuguero, Mexico, which was apparently made by a Mayan ruler who prophesied that the cycle of the world he lived in would end in 2012. This ruler had just been defeated in battle, and while the passage does have a certain fatalistic feel to it, most scholars believe that he was simply referencing the common Mayan conception of time as a big cycle that repeats itself, and which would turn around all over again in 2012.

The interesting thing is that in this Mayan conception of time, “the end of the world” is something of a foreign concept. What does an end mean, if every ending is merely the start of a new beginning? We catch ourselves using similar concepts when we say, “History repeats itself” and even, “What goes around comes around!” How much of that do we really mean? We may be more Mayan than we realized. The Mayan calendar has reached its own reset, just as the Western one did in 2000, and we as humans are once again reminded that time is more than the seconds and minutes that tick by in our time pieces. The Mayan calendar suggests a more organic view of time, and also a less arbitrary one.

Despite its infamy, the reset of the Mayan calendar is not being met with trepidation everywhere. Central and South American countries are seeing their highest December tourist rates in decades. Just as many people decided that the clock turn-over from 1999 to 2000 was a good excuse to throw a party, it has been announced that Mexico,  El Salvador, Honduras, Belize and Guatemala will all be holding country-wide celebrations on December 21st this year. It’s comforting to know that some human responses are apparently universal.

Regardless of how convincing you find the whole doomsday argument, the change in the Mayan calendar this year is an important milestone. It reminds us that history is important, and that we are beholden to its definitions in more ways than we may want to admit. It gives us an excuse not just to throw a party, but also to reconsider what is important to us and how we want to spend the time we do have. If history shows us anything, it is that humans rarely appreciate the time they have, until it’s spent.

2019 Moon Cycle

January 21 Full Wolf Moon/Lunar Eclipse
February 4 New Moon
February 19 Full Snow Moon
March 6 New Moon
March 20 Full Worm Moon
April 5 New Moon
April 19 Full Pink Moon
May 4 New Moon
May 18 Full Flower Moon
June 3 New Moon
June 17 Full Strawberry Moon
July 2 New Moon
July 16 Full Buck Moon
July 31 New Moon
August 15 Full Sturgeon Moon
August 30 New Moon
September 13 Full Harvest Moon
September 28 New Moon
October 13 Full Hunter's Moon
October 27 New Moon
November 12 Full Beaver Moon
November 26 New Moon
December 11 Full Cold Moon
December 25 New Moon

Important Dates and Info

HOURS: M-F 9:00-5:30
Sat 9:00-3:00
Sun Closed

Monday, May 27 CLOSED Memorial Day
Thursday, July 4 CLOSED Independence Day
Monday, September 2 CLOSED Labor Day

Valentine's Day 2019