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October 15th marked my father’s 60th birthday. The big 6-0! Unfortunately both my sister and I live in different cities (or countries!) from Dad so it’s always a bit difficult deciding what we want to do for his birthday. Since this was a pretty special birthday, we wanted to do something equally special. I came up with and discarded several ideas, finally deciding on this one after seeing a blog post about something similar. It refreshed my memory that I did a very similar thing for my best friend when she got married a few years ago.

We decided to make an album of stories about him. I sent an email and Facebook message out to my dad’s side of the family asking for stories or memories they had of our dad from any point if his life. I asked that they pass it on to any friends or family members they could think of as I didn’t have the contact details of everyone. My sister and her boyfriend even managed to track down the email addresses of two of Dad’s best friends through internet searching based on what we knew of their jobs-impressive!

I originally wanted 60 stories in total but we ended up with 57. I still have 3 blank envelopes just in case. Despite some people assuring me they would email me, I still haven’t heard back so have kept some envelopes just in case they ever do. I was disappointed I didn’t get 60 but was assured several times it would such a lovely idea that it wouldn’t matter. I realize my dad wouldn’t care but I was still disappointed in those who promised me and didn’t deliver. I think if you care about someone, you can take 2 minutes to sit down and write a line or two-it takes more time than that to write an email telling me you’re busy and will get to it as soon as you can.

So after about 3 weeks of emailing, calling and generally harassing my family and Dad’s friends, I sat down and compiled the album. I had bought stickers, markers, glue sticks, printed out family pictures….the lot! I’m not that creative or arty but when I get an idea in my head, I go full  on!

Stickers, glitter pens, glue sticks, scissors……arts and crafts time!

The black and gold album and Papa’s birthday card.

The opening page in the album.

A page from the album. Memories from my mother (her name as he knew her), myself and my sister.

The final page in the album.

I had everyone email me and I printed out each memory and then cut and pasted it onto a piece of coloured card stock. I cut each card to fit into the envelope and sealed each with a “60th” gold sticker. I had mini photos or stickers placed where they were related to the people or stories on a particular page and tried to group people by family or friends. I even colour coded the names: his immediate family (blue), his friends (gold), his cousin/family’s spouses (silver), my mother (bronze). Yes I have a problem.

So Dad has received his gift but I don’t think he’s had a chance to fully go through everything. When he does, I hope he enjoys reliving those memories and cherishes them. They do always say parents always like homemade gifts from their children!!

Happy Birthday to the best man I know!!! Je t’aime Papa!! xoxo