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Tuesday
Nov082011

dad turns seventy

My dad recently turned seventy (!) and my mom and I wanted to do something special for him. Dad didn't want a big party, and he and my mom were going to be out of town on his actual birthday, so we decided to give him a gift that would continue all month long.

I printed 70 postcards on thick cardstock (110 lb.), each with a different number between 1 and 70. My mom helped gather addresses for seventy of the important people in my dad's life: family members, old classmates, dear friends and all his grandchildren. Included in the envelope was a card explaining that it was dad's birthday, and that they needed to send the postcard back sharing their funniest memory of Skip. To make things easy, I pre-addressed and pre-stamped the postcards so all they had to do was write a quick note on the back and toss the card in the mail.

When my dad got home a few days after his birthday, there were a handful of cards in his mailbox. He was surprised and delighted. And then the next day there were a few more cards, and the day after that, a few more. This continued on for the rest of the month until he had quite a stack. I hadn't asked people to stagger when they mailed their cards, that just happened naturally. Some of the notes were heartfelt and quite moving, others were funny, bringing up memories my dad hadn't thought about in years. I especially loved reading what his grandchildren wrote. All in all, a pretty inexpensive gift (postage was our main expense) and one I think my dad will remember for quite some time.

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Reader Comments (77)

what an amazing gift! i'm sure he loved it.

Hi Brooke. What a wonderful idea! Do you mind if I use it for my Dad's 65th birthday that's coming up? I am not very artistic, and I don't know how to use any graphics programs, so would you mind sharing the template that you used? Thanks for sharing this lovely idea.

11.13.2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

This is a FANTASTIC idea! I may do this for my kiddos in the coming years. How FUN! :D

11.13.2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristine B

poignant perfection - bravo brooke and happy birthday to SKIP! xo w

11.14.2011 | Unregistered CommenterWhitney

I Just died at the gumball costume! But I died even more when you said it was Sara Clifton's daughter Lucca! I was in the ward with Sara when I lived in Brooklyn! Love the Cliftons! :)

11.16.2011 | Unregistered CommenterR O X Y M A R J

What a great idea! I love it. Inexpensive and low-pressure.

11.16.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLondon

I love this idea - this is one of the best thoughts I have seen in ages! Kudos!

11.16.2011 | Unregistered Commenterlynn

What a wonderful, thoughtful gift! Brought tears to my eyes. Love it.

11.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMeg

My mom turns 50 in July of next year, this would be such a great idea for her!!

11.18.2011 | Unregistered Commenterisabelle

Soo great! what a wonderful idea

11.18.2011 | Unregistered Commenternicole

Happy birthday to your dad from a neighboring city, Aliso Viejo! I don't know you, you do not know me... But this idea is so heart warming, my dad is almost 70 :)

11.18.2011 | Unregistered CommenterNese

This is the best idea I've heard in ages. Would you mind sharing the template with me? I LOVE how you pulled it all together.

11.19.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlissa

(My email is alissa.packer@gmail.com)

11.19.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlissa

this is amazing!!!

11.21.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohi

I really love this and would like to do this in February for my mom's birthday. Would you mind sharing the template with me as well? Thank you!

E-mail: kimpresby@gmail.com

11.21.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Because so much of this needs to be customized (name and address and the card that explains what the recipient should do), I wasn't going to make a template available. You also need to be able to print on very thick cardstock (110# so it doesn't get banged up in the mail) and print double sided.
Several people have reached out asking if I can make cards for them, and I am considering this. Please email me at brooke[at]inchmark[dot]com if you are interested.

11.22.2011 | Registered CommenterBrooke

Be sure that your profile is up-to-date with your latest work information and you have a well-written summary that touches on your experience, interests, and where you’d like to go. Start updating your profile now.

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11.22.2011 | Unregistered Commentermoncler jackets

I just loved ur idea..
What a nice gesture...
It means more than a gift...

Cheers!

11.22.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMegha

Wow!! What a terrific idea! Love it!

11.23.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTricia Cope

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11.24.2011 | Unregistered Commentervico

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