(Disclaimer: This post was written assuming you are currently F2P, which I deduced from your not getting any Anniversary gifts.)
The Anniversary gifts have nothing to do with what a given player purchased in the past. To get them, you must simply purchase something (anything) with cash rather than TP to make your account Premium. Subscribing and playing as VIP also works for this, because all VIP accounts also qualify as Premium accounts.
Once your account is Premium, all you need to do in order to get your Anniversary gifts is wait. They are handed out every year in April in the form of permanent account-wide packages that all characters on that account will receive, both those you already have and those you may create in the future. Which gifts your characters get depends on how old your account is. After one full year of playing you'll get some fireworks after the April Anniversary festival. An account of two years gets a package of buff items; an account that has been around for four years gets a horse/pony for all their characters and so on. This means that every year, your freshly-rolled characters will start with more items in their inventory.
That your friend gets seven years' gifts after joining in 2011 should not happen. This should only be possible if they actually started playing the game earlier than 2011, but on the European servers, and migrated to Turbine in 2011. In that case, the forum would show a join-up date of 2011, regardless of when the account was actuall created. The same thing happened to me; I joined before 2011 as well.
Shadows of Angmar was the original game and the SoA content is still in the game today. The main difference is that back then you had to subscribe to get access to the game and now you don't. SoA is still used as a label that roughly means "everyhing that was added to the game before the first expansion, Moria". Today, you have the choice of subscribing to rent the SoA content (and some newer questpacks and several other perks as well), buying the individual questpacks in the Store for TP or grinding away without unlocking any SoA content. As long as you paid at least a few bucks at some point, even the latter will (eventually) earn you Anniversary gifts.
The forum says you joined in August 2012. If you pay some cash before April 2015, you'll be eligible for the two-year gifts at that Anniversary festival. As you didn't receive any Anniversary gifts in the past, you'll also receive the one-year gifts at that time. In April 2016 you'll receive the three-years gift (consisting of 3 loot-box keys) and so on.
What I would imagine is most tempting for a F2P player is the mount you get after four years of playing. I have several account-wide mounts myself and those are very handy. If you're indeed after the mount, there is several other account-wide mounts that can be obtained at a reasonable price. My usual recommendations are (all of these would also make your account Premium):
1) The Samwise Gamgee Starter Pack: At about 10$, all your characters (present and future) get a Bay Horse/Pony, the fourth inventory bag (if you already own the 4th bag, you'll NOT get another one in its place), the gold cap unlock (so you can own as much money as you can earn) and an account-wide riding skill. The last one is especially handy if you plan on spending very little money on the game because it means that all your TP grinders will be able to ride at no additional cost.
2) The Mithril Edition: Costs around 20$ and gives you an account-wide Steed of the Horselords (but no riding skill), 2000 TP and the questpacks for the Trollshaws, Eregion, Lothlorien and Moria. Note that the last includes ONLY the Moria quests and instances. It will not give you Warden and Rune-Keeper and neither the two additional character slots that come with the full expansion. For the 2000 TP you could either buy some questpacks to fill any gaps you have left in your levelling progression or an Advanced Riding Trait (1995 TP or 2995 TP, depending on tier), which would not only make your mounts run faster but also includes an account-wide basic riding skill.
3) The quadpack: For 40 $, you get four expansion (Moria, Mirkwood, Isengard and Riders of Rohan) with all the bells and whistles like additional classes, characters slots and Mounted Combat trait trees. This also comes with an account-wide Steed of the Eastemnet, but it does not include a riding skill. Unless you plan on grinding lots of TP and buying the expansions piecemeal in the Store, this is also the least expensive way to cover the level range from 45 to 85.
German, female, migrated from CodeMasters in 2011, Premium member, slow-leveller, pure PvEer and opposed to Forced Emotes - wherever I fit into the statistic, it's not in its middle.