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Laundry List of Love

Laundry List of Love

When FamilyFun editor Ann Hallock's mother turned 70, Ann was desperate for the right gift. "Of course, Mom said, 'Don't give me anything,' but I wanted to do something that showed her how much we care about her," says Ann.

So with her husband, Kevin, Ann jotted down a list of 70 of Peggy's standout qualities, including her sense of humor, her mean Yorkshire pudding, her generosity, and her devotion to her then 16-month-old grandson, Nat.

When Ann presented it, wrapped in one of Nat's finger paintings and tied with a ribbon, Peggy was bowled over. "She was incredibly touched to see how we see her," says Ann. "She kept saying she couldn't believe we could come up with seventy things. I assured her it wasn't hard."

Materials

  • Paper
  • Frame or frame-and-mat combination of your choice (available at a craft store)
  • Glue (depending on type of frame used)
  • Foam board (depending on type of frame used)
  • Ribbon (if rolling the certificate like a scroll)

Instructions

  1. Brainstorm ideas. Ann (an only child) and Kevin were a two-person team, but this idea can easily handle input from everyone in your family. Encourage siblings, nieces, and nephews to send you a mix of specific anecdotes and general qualities so you end up with a good balance of humor and sentiment. Aim for more than you need (say, 90 ideas for a 70th birthday), since you'll likely have some overlap.
  2. Type up the certificate and decide how you'd like to present it. To accommodate the length of our list, we printed it at a copy shop on 11- by 17-inch paper, trimmed it to 8 by 16 inches, then mounted it in a $15 customizable metal frame (the kind that allows you to buy the horizontal and vertical edge pieces separately for a custom fit) we purchased at a craft store.
  3. Alternately, you can put your certificate in a ready-made frame and mat (keep in mind that they're usually available in 8- by 10-, 9- by 12-, and 11- by 14-inch sizes), glue it onto foam board, or, as Ann did, roll it like a scroll and tie it with ribbon.