This year, for all (or most) gift-giving holidays, Sam and I will need to get creative with showing love in ways other than through monetary gifts. For his birthday, I enlisted the help of most of his closest friends & family members to write him a little note. To assist in the flow, I wrote a few prompt sentences such as:
• I’ve never laughed so hard as when….
• The first time I met Sammy, I thought…
• Something I’d like to do with Sam in the future would be…
• Remember when…
Some stuck to those prompts while others chose song lyrics, personal messages, or single phrases with the “he’ll know what this means” tag to it.
I gave everyone a deadline which most met – way to go, team!- and then accumulated all of the little notes, printed them, pasted them to colorful paper and inserted them into fun little envelopes that were mis-shaped, patterned and obviously hand-made.
Before leaving for work on his birthday, I tapped the envelopes to our dining room wall in the shape of his birthday year – 28. (thank you, oh happy day for this great idea!) There was no prompt for him other than the birthday banner hanging around the display. He was free to open them all at once or periodically throughout the day (being that there were close to 60 notes!) Of course, he decided to open them all at once like a little kid tearing open his Christmas presents in a mad dash. He absolutely loved this. He said he wish he could feel this special and this loved every day – looks like I’ve got my work cut out for me!
I also loved reading all of the little notes as I put this little gift together. It’s pretty incredible to be married to someone who is so highly regarded by so many people. Everyone had multiple stories to share or things they’d love to do with Sammy in the future. The overall theme of the future plans focused on traveling and sports so looks like we’ll have to get something in the works – renting a beach house with as many of our friends we can fit & reserving a section (we’d need it) at a red sox or O’s game are both in the near future.
The beauty of this gift is it only took thought, love and time, yet Sam appreciated this gift way more than he would’ve gotten out of anything material. Sure, a speaker set would’ve been exciting for the first couple of months, maybe – but then the next newer set would come out and these would be old news. This gift made him feel special & loved, and celebrated him. I know that whenever he thinks back to walking down the stairs and feeling excitement in seeing the ‘28’ envelope tribute, to feeling special to the numerous notes from his closest friends & family to feeling loved from the content of those notes – he’ll never forget those feelings.
I’m on the search for ideas to replicate moments like these for future gift-giving moments. How do you celebrate your loved ones?