This last week was my birthday and my family presented me with a Birthday Book filled with notes of love and appreciation from my family and friends. This is something I have put together for a number of people in the past, but the first time I have received one. It was AWESOME! Having family and friends show their love and appreciation in written format and in one place feels like a warm, cozy blanket on a cold day. It is a lovely expression of love and I decided I wanted to share my version of this idea with you.
This could be for any family member at any age and it could include pieces from family, friends, neighbors, teachers, coworkers, team mates, etc. Here are some ideas for putting together your own special birthday book for someone in your family – your spouse or partner; your child, etc.
BIRTHDAY BOOK OF LOVE & APPRECIATION
Include individuals that you feel would have something positive and uplifting to say to your family member. Of course these kinds of books are most fun when they are presented as a SURPRISE! You can communicate with folks via email or through snail mail (or preferably both). Letting folks know what you are doing and what kinds of things you would like them to do and when you need these notes back with a specific date works best. Here is a sample note listed below.
Dear Family and Friends. We want to honor James’s upcoming birthday with a Birthday Book of Love and Appreciation. We are asking for your help as you are a special person in James’s life and we know it would mean a lot to him to have a special message from you. Listed below are ideas for what you might want to consider as an entry for Jame’s Birthday Book.
- Some special memories.
- Things you appreciate about James.
- Pictures you would like to share.
- A poem or quote that you feel James would enjoy or that really fits him.
- A drawing
- Things you wish for James
- Ways James has influenced your life.
Please send your entries to Sally Smithee, 20 Sunset Drive, Tulsa, OK 78432 in the enclosed envelope. Or you may email them to Sally at firstname.lastname@example.org. We need these by August 1st. Thank you so much for making James feel loved and appreciated by participating in this special Birthday book.
PS If you miss the deadline date, please go ahead and send and we will get your special message to James. Thank you.
I normally use a large photo album large enough to hold a regular size sheet of paper or a bit larger. But sometimes I have used a smaller photo album and given folks large blank index cards to write their messages on. There is no wrong or right way. Finding an album that fits the person as to their favorite color or decoration you know would appeal to them is an appreciated small detail. The other thing that can help is to include extra pages at the back of the book for late entries and pictures taken during any birthday celebrations that may occur.
Special Note: I find it best not to make a big deal about a person’s age, especially if they are feeling sensitive about their age. For example: A front picture pocket could have a note enclosed such as:
James’s “We Love & Appreciate You” Birthday Book
August 1, 2013
In addition, I might note I have also found it most helpful to do a reminder email to folks a few days before the deadline. This will up the number of responses that you get in.
Positive words of love and appreciation are the BEST present any of us can receive. So pass these words on . . . ♥♥