As I've mentioned once or twice, my parents recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. I wanted to give them a gift that would be meaningful and personal, and I'm happy to say that it is finished.
When my siblings and I were planning our surprise at Yellowstone, we talked about gathering stories, memories, and photos to compile into a book for my parents. It was a great idea in theory, but proved a little bit trickier to execute. We knew some of the names of Dad and Mom's friends, but didn't know all of their contact information.
Fortunately, both Mom and Dad are on facebook, so I messaged their friends and asked for their greetings for my parents. However, even though Mom and Dad are on facebook, not all of their friends are. I still needed to figure out how to get a hold of the rest of their friends.
Mom had been very busy helping Grandma organize her paperwork and household items. At one point, she mentioned that she had gone through Grandma's address book with her, and had Grandma tell her who everyone was. I felt badly, but I preyed upon Mom's mindset, and told her that it would probably be a good idea if I had a copy of her address book, so in case of an emergency, I would know who I should contact.
Well, I contacted her friends, but it wasn't due to an emergency. I mailed out letters, with self-addressed, stamped envelopes enclosed, to everyone on her list. I asked them to please send memories and well-wishes to me, and I would compile everything into a book for my parents. I asked for a quick response, and told them my parents' anniversary date.
Soon, the responses started arriving in my mailbox. I received photos, stories, and well-wishes, and even poems written for my parents. I had so much fun reading how much my parents mean to their friends and family members!
I used a photo publishing site to organize the letters. I typed in each response, scanned in photos, and designed the book. I checked, and double-checked, that the text and photos fit within the printing area. I ran spell-check, then placed my order. When I wished my parents "Happy Anniversary" on Sunday, I told them that the book is on its way. I can't wait for them to receive it; I imagine they will have at least as much fun as I did reading the memories!
Thanks for everyone who took a moment of time to share congratulations with my parents.