March & April have been bananas for me! March started off while I was at RootsTech. I had a week of catch up and then I was off to Washington to help my Mom & Auntie V. Then the first week of April was Spring Break and our California adventure. And then, I buried myself with a bigger than expected project.
You see, my amazing oldest son, who is serving as a missionary, is about to turn 20. He is a happy, fun-loving kid who inspired this funny photoshop creation. He really is the center person. A friend put his head over the two Sister Missionaries heads. It was Valentine’s Day in this photo and a nice old man had purchased flowers for the Sister Missionaries and somehow my funny boy was asked to hand them the flowers, and from there, we got this delightful creation.
But, back to his upcoming birthday. I asked him what he wanted or needed. He said he wanted nothing now, and requested that I just save a little money for him to buy new clothes when he gets home. An understandable request. But it’s like he didn’t know who he was talking to. 😉
Of course, I couldn’t do nothing to mark the end of his teenage years! I’m a fan of meaningful gifts. So after plenty of mulling, I decided he would be getting 20 gifts of 20 items to celebrate his passage into his twenties. Now if you are thinking that is basically the exact opposite of what he requested you would kind of be right. But most of the gifts cost absolutely nothing. Or almost nothing.
As a family, we put together several things like – 20 jokes, 20 ridiculous pieces of advice, 20 birthday wishes and so on. The two items that took me the most time were 20 favorite memories of him and 20 ancestor cards. For the 20 favorite memories, I made a list of several off the top of my head, but I even went through some journals and typed up a few entries that were especially sweet.
And then we get to the gift that was my favorite. Twenty ancestor cards. Ahhhhh. Genealogy gifts are my favorite. The ancestor cards were created using Adobe Illustrator. I then printed them as 4×6 photos at Costco. Here are two of the cards I created:
I simplified things to try to appeal to my son. I reduced place names to city & state or city & country. I shared some highlights from the person’s life. Things I thought might interest my son a bit. I intentionally chose ancestors who were immigrants, some type of pioneer, or someone who overcame big challenges. I wanted him to see how diverse our family history is. I wanted him to be able to draw some strength from his ancestors’ stories. I hope this gift will be interesting and meaningful to him. But the good news is that I LOVED making it. So even if it isn’t his favorite, it was worth the time I spent. Now I need to go back over them and perfect them a bit and share them with my siblings.
Now that the 20 gifts of 20 things are all done and in the mail, and I’m back home for a while, I have some serious catching up to do! I’m behind on everything. 😉
Happy Friday, I hope you make a fantastic genealogy discovery this weekend! xoxo
ps – I’m sorry I haven’t been around to read any of your wonderful posts in a few months. Hopefully, I’ll be back to my normal routine again soon! I’ve missed hearing about your genealogy successes. ❤