« a fall wedding | Main | gumball machine »

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.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

References (28)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments (75)

Hey! Just wanted to let you know that I featured this on my blog and that I really love what you did! Very sweet, incredibly unique and so heartwarming. I can't wait to do this for my dad ;)

Clandestine Closet

09.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay

Love this idea!! I would like to use it for my moms 50th birthday.... just scanning the pics and other comments...wondering how you worded the cards to guests about replying with a written memory?
Thanks a million,

10.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

i'm getting teary reading about this idea. what a perfect gift. i might just have to use this idea!

11.7.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLina

I love this idea and am going to "borrow" it for my mom's upcoming 70th. I know this was a while ago, but do you have any idea what fonts you used for the postcards that you made? I'm not so creative and have no idea where to even start looking...thank you!!

01.3.2013 | Unregistered Commentergina

I love this idea. Any chance you might share a template?

01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBetsy

Ditto to Betsy's request for the template, please!

02.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterViktorija

What a fabulous idea!!!! Can you tell me what is printed on the side with "Skip turns 70?" The message to family and friends....
Thank you!

06.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Blount

Do you happen to have a template you could share for the # cards and also the front? It is adorable and we would love to do this for my Dad's 70th bday party. Although I am going to send with the invite and have them bring the cards to the surprise party and have a box there for them.....

08.20.2013 | Unregistered Commentermaura

Love it, I have actually just done this for my friends 40th but instead of numbers i got a photo for each year of her life and put it on the postcards via MOO. Her birthday is on 10/9 so can't wait for the surprise and to see how many arrive on the day!! Thanks so much for the idea.

09.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJo

What a great idea!! I've been racking my brain as to what to get my dad for his 70th birthday. He pretty much has everything he wants so I was stumped until I saw your post!! I'm so excited!! I just ordered the cards and I can't wait to read people's responses! Thanks for a creative and special idea!

09.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTina

My sister and I want to do this for our older sister who turn 60 in December.
Can you share the template/font etc. I hate to reinvent the wheel when your's is so perfect. It's the simple things that make life the greatest. Thanks for sharing.

10.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeanderLil

Do you still have this template? I'd appreciate it so much.

10.25.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJodi

Love this idea- Would you mind sharing the template you used and where you got the cards printed?

Thank you!

11.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKristen


Go to: She has them for a GREAT price...


11.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJodi

I must have spotted this post on Pinterest right after you completed this project, because I pinned it over 2 years ago. And I have waited and waited for my mom to hit a milestone number, which she will in just 2 short weeks. For the past 2 years I have been planning this, and finally started putting everything into place around Thanksgiving. It has been so much fun, and I created cute self addressed stamped envelopes, all individually numbered from 1 - 60. I reached out to 60 friends and family members, people who she would least expect and I can not wait until the times grows closer and those cards start rolling in. Thanks so much for this idea, for I have came across others very similar, but NONE like this. It does get pricey with buying the stamps, but so worth it. Hope everything goes smoothly and no one ruins my moms surprise in the upcoming weeks.

01.5.2014 | Unregistered CommenterSage R.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>