Is there someone in your life who needs celebrating or whom you want to bless or encourage this month? Try one of the following simple but wonderful ideas!
Time travel to shop for an “unbirthday” gift.
My mother-in-law has the habit of giving what she calls unbirthday gifts. She will often present someone with a little remembrance on a random, ordinary day. For a clever unbirthday gift for a friend, do a little nosing around. See if you can discover something nostalgic from their childhood that invokes fond memories for them. Then, visit an online auction site, such as eBay, to see if you can locate the item to purchase.
I once found a particular small, chunky, hardcover book a friend of mine remembered from her childhood. She recalls taking it off of her grandmother’s shelf often when she would visit and curling up on the couch to read it. When she told me that story one day, I jotted the title of the book down in my notes app so I would not forget. She was thrilled when she opened her gift and had not even remembered that she told me that story. Such other items that are fun to discover from someone’s childhood are board games, vintage magazines with their most loved teenage heartthrob on the cover, retro toys, or trendy objects such as a mood ring, Rubiks cube, or pet rock.
Team up to tackle a chore.
Chores. We all have them. And many times, we hate doing them. Whether it is cleaning out the junk drawer and messy closets in your home, or tackling an overdue DIY project, such as stripping wallpaper from the bathroom walls before covering them in a fresh coat of paint, doing these tasks alone certainly is no fun.
Using card stock and colorful markers, craft a coupon to gift to a friend for one six-hour session, or perhaps one entire Saturday, of chore assistance, giving them two or three choices for the date. They name a chore. You will show up, ready to help them tackle it. Be sure to put an expiration date on it and the phone number where they need to text the code “Free Help” in order to redeem their coupon.
On the day they chose, you show up to assist them in tackling their task. Bring along a snack and a thermos of something to drink so you can take a break to refresh yourselves. She will be so thankful not only to have the chore behind her, but to have such a good friend alongside her in life.
Make a Manuscript of Memories!
This idea has elicited the most grateful responses! You might not think of yourself as an author, but you can write a manuscript of memories for someone you love. I did this by myself for my mother’s 75th birthday. Our entire family on my husband side, including adult children and all the grandchildren, did it for his mother when she turned 80. You could also do it for a milestone anniversary, graduation, or retirement party.
Use your computer to type out a list of memories you have of the birthday guy or gal. It can even be short, seemingly random memories. For example, for my mother I described some of the holiday memories I had of her, but I also included remembering the time she strapped on my adjustable metal roller skates and proved she could still roller skate by whirling around the pool table in our basement.
Be sure to number the memories. I think it is fun to generate a number of memories that corresponds with what birthday they are celebrating. For example, “75 Memories for Grandma Margaret’s 75th” can be the title. Run off the list and place it inside a nice folder with a clear cover purchased from an office supply store. You could also include pages of photographs for more memories to accompany your list.
We did this for my mother-in-law one year and now, at the age of 91, she still gets it out at least once a week to relive the memories written.