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The relationship I have with my mom is very active and ever since 2012 we’ve gifted each other creative adventures rat her than material gifts for birthdays and holidays. Sky diving was probably the craziest one! Since this year is a big year for us– she’s turning 60 and I’m turning 30– I knew I had to find (or DIY) the best gift I could give her. And not just any adventure would cut it. Like any millennial or gen X or gen Y would do, I took to the internet and asked Google and Facebook for ideas. I received a lot of great suggestions but nothing really stuck out until a friend texted me about a gift that she did for her husband. So, yes, this gift is very versatile. The best way to describe it is an adventure down memory lane. For this DIY (Do It Yourself), I compiled a “time capsule” that contained memories of my mom from her family and friends– all the way back to childhood, high school, parenthood, and yesterday. Everyone sent me their memory, note, and/or photo to be included in this thoughtful gift (and inexpensive gift!). My mom was shocked when she opened the box filled with 60 years of memories.
She laughed. She cried. She smiled. She glowed.
This was the best gift I gave my mom. We’ll still go on adventures and explore the city we’re in, but for this milestone birthday, her 60th birthday, this just felt right. It was a total DIY with the help of friends and family and it was very affordable. You can make it as expensive or cost-friendly as you want.
How To & What You Need for this DIY
Think up a list of people from their past and set a goal of how many notes you want to collect. Facebook is a powerful tool– search their Friend List for those who you recognize and message them individually or create a Facebook event invitation. Email is another tool. And of course calling family will help too. Give them a deadline. Provide yourself plenty of time to put it all together.
This was my request:
Hello everyone, You may or may not know that my mom’s big 60th birthday is this year! In fact, it’s March 7th (so set a reminder to send her a text or give her a call, I know she’d be so appreciative!) I wanted to do something special for this milestone birthday and I figured it’d be an even better gift if family and friends were involved. What I’m asking of you is not too much, but some of your time over the next 10 days. I want to gift mom an adventure down memory lane with “60 Years of Memories” and I need your help. Please write one of your favorite memories of/with her. This doesn’t need to be long, but a short letter reminiscing. Please be sure to include your name on the letter and for bonus points include a photo or something else from the memory. I’m hoping to collect 60 different memories so mom can open sixty different letters from her past on her sixtieth birthday. In order to pull this off, I need to receive all letters by Wednesday, February 28th. Please email me the letter/photo and I will print off and stuff in an envelope for you. Or you can mail it to me but be sure to put it in the mail by February 26th. Please keep this quiet as it’ll be a surprise! She won’t open this until her actual birthday or the weekend after. Thank you and feel free to pass this along to anyone else who would be interested in participating!
While you’re waiting on the notes to come in, estimate how many you’ll receive based on your goal — but be careful because you may receive under or over that number, so plan accordingly.
Order your box (aka time capsule), envelopes, envelope seals, stickers/stamps, stuffing, and note card. I picked a blue and gold theme because that’s her favorite colors but there are so many options of colors and themes.
TIP: If you’re going to include photos, be sure to pick big enough envelopes!
TIP: Use stamp numbers in place of sticker numbers so you have plenty of numbers to go around
images are clickable links to purchase
Stamp (or sticker) your envelopes. Write your notecard. I hired Clover Paper Co. to write my note in calligraphy. Obviously it’s beautiful and Abbey was a delight to work with. Prepare everything else you can.
When the letter come in, fold and stuff them into the envelopes. Put your stuffing, envelopes, and notecard in the box and viola! now you have the a very thoughtful birthday gift that is an inexpensive gift, too!
Here to answer questions if you have any!