The Best Birthday Present Ever for Anyone

What is the best birthday present ever?

Looking back over the many birthday's I've celebrated with family and friends, I can remember many different gifts. Stuffed animals, toys, a karaoke machine, CD players, the typical kid stuff. Diamond earrings for my thirteenth, to celebrate becoming a woman.

When I turned sixteen it was Baby Blue, my first car, a cobalt blue Pontiac Grand Prix, far from new, but new enough to me since she was freedom. At eighteen, I received a hefty check for graduating. But none of these things truly topped the list for me.

You see, the best birthday present ever for me wasn't something anybody could just go pick up at a store or dealership, or even pull out of a bank account. No, the best birthday present ever is so much less, but means so much more.

This gift that I'm talking about is the memory book my mother made for me the year that I had my first child. In it contained literally hundreds, maybe thousands of photographs of all the things our family had done over the years. From holidays to vacations, pictures that I never knew existed were all neatly trimmed and mounted, and each had a caption of its very own. She sent the book out to many different relatives and they each got their very own page to insert snapshots and write funny stories about their memories of me growing up. The ones from my Nana still make me smile!

The next section of my best birthday present ever was filled with all my school portraits and paraphernalia from various field trips I went on or organizations I was involved with. Mom even hunted down some of my old teachers and closest friends from these years and had them contribute. Somehow, she squeezed in college friends, as well. There were several pages dedicated to my wedding day, and the simple, elegant captions beneath each photograph still bring tears to my eyes. "Last dance as Daddy's girl." "My beautiful blushing bride."

The last page of the book was a picture taken the day my son was born. I'd seen the photograph several times, as my husband had taken it of me holding our newborn. On the page, it looked the same to me at first. But the writing below made me look again, and I saw life through another set of eyes. "Now you see in him what we've seen in you every day of your life. We love you."

Looking back at the picture, I now pay attention to the background, seeing my mother and father standing behind me, holding each other and smiling with pride while tears stream down their faces. And that has been the best birthday present ever.

You see, the most treasured gifts aren't found at Target or at the Mall. When it comes to putting together the best birthday present ever, the price tag is meaningless. If you want to get someone a gift that will mean something more, you've got to put something more into it. Sometimes, something as simple as a letter written out of love and pride will be something that a person carries with them for the rest of his or her life.

Make a quilt, scrapbook, afghan, or piece of furniture. Dig through old photos, have them restored, and reprint and put it into a mounted frame. Don't know how to do any of these? Take a class, they're offered at many craft and hobby stores. Make a wooden carving, create a work of art through painting or drawing.

Take the time so your gift can say the words that you'll never quite get right with your mouth. No matter what the finished product looks like, if you've gone to the effort to try, I assure you that your gift will be one of the best birthday presents ever, too! Or, it could be THE best birthday present ever!

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Return from this page to Inspirational Birthday Ideas - Special Celebrations of Life

Return from this page The Best Birthday Present Ever for Anyone to 101 Inspirational Ideas... tips for life and self improvement... Home Page

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