DIY: Gift for Dad

My Dad's Birthday was coming up and I was sick of getting him lame gifts. I wanted to get him something special, but what? While searching for "gifts for dad" online, I came across a really neat blog post by Holly from nothingbutbonfires. Like Barry, Holly's father talked about the past a lot. So she thought, what if I gave him 60 memories for his 60th Birthday? After reading her post, I knew I had to do the same thing for Pops.

With only 3 weeks to Barry's Birthday, I decided I'd do a smaller scale version of Holly's. I sent out an email to my dad's family and friends.

Friends and Family,
I'm writing to you because Barry is turning 63 years old this month and I'd like your help with his birthday gift! What I'd like to do is collect as many memories as I can about Barry from all of his friends and family. I think this would be the perfect gift for my dad because he's always telling me stories about when he was younger...stories about going to the drive-in theater with his family (he still recalls the titles of all of the movies he ever saw there), stories about The Village Idiots, his band that never made it big, stories about "Husky Barry."

If you have a spare moment in the next few days, I’d be so grateful. All you have to do is write down the memory on a piece of paper and mail it to me. You can mention anything you like -- although the more nostalgic the better! Please contribute as many memories as you'd like, the more the merrier, just make sure you write them on different pieces of paper (and sign your name to each) so I can split them up. His Birthday is August 26th, so please send as soon as possible.  :)

Due to the short time frame, I expected to receive 15, maybe 20 memories. Two weeks went by and nothing. I was disappointed because I thought this would be such a hit!

Well my family pretty much lives by the saying, "better late than never," so I should have known that the week before the celebration I'd finally receive some memories! And it wasn't just memories. There were tons of old photographs and even some old letters!

I started compiling everything into the envelopes. It took almost 3 hours just to organize and label everything and I ended up with exactly 63 memories. Crazy, right? 

We watched my dad open them all. Every single one sparked a more detailed story, which made this a 2 day process (if you know Barry, you know how much he loves to tell a good story). Here are some of the highlights:

Check out this picture of my dad's band, the Syndicate.

Most of the memories made my dad laugh, but a few were a little more sentimental. Here is his brother Rick,  who is no longer with us. It's a little hard to see, but he is holding up a sign that says "Happy Birthday."

On a lighter note, check out those ruffles!

I wish I would have taken more pictures, but I was too busy listening to all the stories. My dad said this was the best gift I've ever gotten him, and it only cost me $10. It truly shows that it is the thought that counts. Thank you again to everyone that helped out with this project! I couldn't have been happier with the how it turned out!