Often people believe older people have little use for birthdays--that they prefer to forget another year has passed. This is not true. People never outgrow the fun of celebrating birthdays--just because they are no longer kids, it does not mean they cannot enjoy a bit of cake or a present or two. Additionally, many older folks are often lonely, so this is a good opportunity for them to spend time with family and friends.
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70 Things Birthday Gifts
Have everyone who wishes to contribute a birthday gift put together a package of 70 like items---one for each year. For example if your mother likes to write letters, give her a box of pretty stationary with 70 pre-stamped envelopes tucked inside. Even kids can contribute 70 pennies, or 70 "hugs and kisses" coupon books and so on. Another idea, adapted from Thrifty Fun, is to tape 70 one dollar bills together end to end; roll them up and put them in a box with a tab that says "Pull Me" sticking out of a slot (wide enough for the bills to slide out easily). It takes a long time to pull out 70 bills.
Memory Lane Birthday Party
Give Mom a surprise trip down Memory Lane for her 70th birthday. Decorate the party space with copies of old photographs and news clippings for all the years from her birth to present. (You can even have a few choice photos enlarged to poster size.) Fix Mom's favourite foods---especially things she seldom gets at home. Invite everyone to bring a photo or favourite memory to share and have an old-fashioned visit about the good ole days. Save all the photos and other memorabilia in a scrapbook for her to look through at her leisure.
Travel Birthday Gift
If Mom has always wanted to travel, but has been too busy raising a family or working, this may be the best gift you can give. Find out where she would most like to go, then have everyone in the family contribute to purchase a cruise or travel tickets to that destination during a time that you know will be convenient for her. You could also contribute luggage, travel articles like packaged toiletries, gift cards (for new travel clothes) or traveller's checks. If she is timid about travelling alone, book her travel with a senior's tour where she will spend time with folks her own age and make new friends. (Of course, if Mom is married, plan for Dad as well.)
Things We Love About You Birthday Card
This will take some time and a bit of planning, but well in advance of Mom's birthday, contact every family member and friend you can think of. Ask each one to write something on the theme "What I Love About You" in relation to your mother. Compile all of it on one gigantic card---either a hand made card on poster board, or a digitally prepared card blown up to poster size by a local printer. Place the card on an artist's easel near the birthday girl while you are bringing in the cake. If she is like most mothers, she will enjoy the heartfelt expressions of love more than any other present.
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