Mary from Mendenhall, MS.
Revert to her childhood and her favorite treats. Orientaltrading.com has lots of the oldie style small toys and candy that she would remember. Write a list of 80 blessings and Motherly gifts that she passed on to you. (Compassion for others etc.) See if you can track down any of her school mates, this will take a bit of time but would be well worth a few long distance calls. (07/31/2007)
By Amy in Indiana
One of the things my sister and I did for our dad's 90th birthday party: We got 90 helium balloons and had them tied in groups onto the center pieces on each table. Then at the end of the party, we all went outside, having one person from each table carry the center pieces outside with the balloons attached. Then we had our dad cut the ribbons on all the balloons and let them all go. It was quite a sight to see all those balloons in the sky. Daddy said it was the best part of his party! We also had a "picture table" where we had scattered a lot of pictures of him throughout the years for people to look through. Another table had some memorabilia from the year he was born (1911). Old coins, stamps, model cars. We found a lot of things on E-Bay that we bought that were pretty inexpensive, like some old post cards that had pictures of the little town he was from in South Dakota, etc. We just used the search mode on E-Bay. Good luck and happy birthday to your mother! (P.S. You might get a good deal from the local supermarket for the balloons, since you'll be getting 80 of them! Just be sure you call them ahead of time so they'll be ready for you!)
By Linda in Alabama
Here's a poem I wrote for my mother-in-law's 80th birthday. You can use it if it will help.
Here's to a lady
Who just turned 80
And still her beauty shines through
She strives to be kind
And has a great mind
It's hard to top her, whew!
Some call her Nana
Some call her Mum
And some get to call her friend
She's always willing
She's helpful and giving
Always on hand to lend
So let's raise a toast
To the one who's the most
From her grandchildren,
Sons and their wives.
We are much richer
You can just betcha
That Anna's a part of our lives (07/31/2007)
By Sally Pifer
Have a reverse birthday and have her give the gifts! When we celebrated my Mom's birthdays at that age we tried to get her to remember things she enjoyed doing as a young girl. (This can be done a little bit at a time so as not to tire her) See if you can get her to remember these things before her birthday and tape record them. Then on her birthday make copies of the tape and have her give them as gifts to her family members. This is a great way to have family remember her and have her give a gift only she can give.
Also you might ask the recreational director to discover what she enjoys doing the most...and have some form of that activity. (07/31/2007)
We celebrated our Mother's 80th birthday at a restaurant (in a private room), with all of her siblings, children and grandchildren. We had a corsage for her, and everyone brought gifts. It was a night she remembered for a long time. (07/31/2007)
Our family has had LARGE family parties for both grandmas when they turn 75, 80, and 85. My best advice is to get the family together and take pictures, NOT snapshots but portraits! We had a photographer (my husband) come in with a FULL portable studio and take group family portraits of all different family combinations. We then took the proofs to grandma where everyone came back to visit her and order their pictures. Now a days you can have the photographer show you there that day if they have a laptop. The pictures from her 85th were very special as she past away within six weeks of the birthday party.
The portrait that we took of grandma with her six children we then blew up (16 X 20) and framed it for her. She got years of enjoyment out of seeing her portrait of her and her children.
The other thing that we did was take her old pictures she accumulated over the years and scanned them and made a slide show out of them for her to watch. It included music behind the pictures. We also did this but this is something we do with wedding pictures. My cousin did one that was not nearly as "nice" or professional as ours. It is up to you and how much you want to spend on her. With either of these gifts you can also let the family know that they can enjoy the gift as much as she does and have them pay for the copies therefore pay a professional to do it.
As you can tell I am all about pictures and think that people miss out too much on pictures and capturing the times on film (or computer images). We also use the slide show idea at weddings, graduations, funerals (and yes we had a photography take candids at the funeral).
Good luck with the party and celebrate! (07/31/2007)
One other thing my sister did was get one of the family- tell me about your life grandmother books and visit her and go over some of the questions with her and fill in the book. This is more for you than for her but I know of another cousin that gave the book as a gift for her to fill out. (07/31/2007)
Have birthday greetings sent to her from The White House. I did this for my parents' 50th wedding anniv. and my Dad's upcoming 80th birthday.
Here's the link: https://app1.whitehouse.gov/greetings/home.
We will rent the back room at a local restaurant for Dad's BD dinner, the same as we did for their W.A. (07/31/2007)
I like the ideas on photos and portraits. Videotaping the party would be nice too.
She might enjoy a low-key celebration that gives her time to talk a little to each of the guests. Or maybe 2 smaller get-togethers (one for relatives, one for her close friends) over a week's time so she can relax and enjoy the whole week. I would keep any slide show fairly short, and you can pass around photos and/or a laptop afterwards. (07/31/2007)
I really like the idea of giving family a plain piece of material for them to write a special note to your Mom. A pen made just for material has to be used. You can scan photos and transfer these to material squares. Put these together along with the special note's material squares, and make a quilt for your Mom. This is a gift that will be especially meaningful to her. She can have a piece of her family with her at all times, in the form of a hug from the quilt! (07/31/2007)
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