Finding a birthday gift for a teenager can be challenging when so much is happening in their lives. Their hormones and bodies are changing rapidly, priorities are shifting, relationships are developing; and they have a growing awareness and focus on their sense of self and the people around them. Most teenagers I have known, are exploring their boundaries and seeking to discover who they are and what their purpose is in life… and changing their relationship to their family and home life.
Phew! What a time. What a challenge! And yet with support and people who care around them it can be a wonderful time for growing, learning and establishing their sense of what’s important for them.
It is important for teenagers to know that someone cares about what they are doing, that someone is interested in them, and that they are loved and really matter to those around. It can be an awkward time for many teens and often for their parents too.
For each of my children, I made a treasured birthday gift to give them on one or more of their key birthdays – 13th, 18th and/or 21st. It’s a creative and fun way to honour them, celebrate what they bring into our live and add a few snippets of wisdom from their community as well.
Time – you need at least a few weeks for the planning and putting together.
Or, if you are IT savvy, there are plenty of online programs to create a printed book of all the contributions.
To celebrate and honour Tom’s 16th birthday, I am collating a book of treasures. I would love for you to add your wisdom and support to this gift. It may be something you create or something you have found. It can be simple or fancy. It can be a poem, photograph, a drawing or painting, a letter, a postcard or an email, a personal message, an inspirational quote, a blessing for his life, a story or a pun or just a funny quirky note or cartoon.
This is top secret from the young man himself.
Please make sure your contribution is no larger than an A4 sheet of paper and only on one side, as it will be pasted into an A4 art book. Please send by …. to …. or post it to…..
Your contribution to Tom’ 16th Birthday book gift is greatly appreciated. If you have any questions or are not sure what to do please email or call me. Thank you.
Set a deadline for contributions … not the night before
It takes more than a few days to bring it all together whether you are doing a printed book or a scrapbooking gift. Sending out a reminder two weeks or a week before is helpful for those that have tucked it aside for ‘later’.
Once all the contributions are in, you may have to decorate some people’s contributions, especially if they are plain email messages, by laying them out in a nice font and embellishing with your own postcards, pictures or drawings to make them more beautiful. You can also fill in a few sections with lovely quotes that you source. I sourced inspiration from Pinterest Journalling and Calligraphy pages like this one.
You can also create a pocket on a page, if necessary, where CD’s can get slipped in, or DVD’s with slide shows… anything is possible.
We always made sure the contributors name was on the page because it can be easy to forget who sent it. It is lots of fun putting it together especially if you have a friend help you; and it is a delightful surprise as you receive the things that people send in.
My adult children still look at their book – there are photos of them growing up, timelines of highlights, love letters from their siblings, aunties, grandparents. There are funny cartoons and things to make you laugh. Their grandfather wrote a funny poem for each of them.
Here’s a poem I wrote for my friend’s daughter for a book given to her on her 16th birthday.
For my 40th birthday my kids did a surprise book for me. I love looking through it and it still makes me smile, a lot.
Most of all have fun creating this book – it’s for everyone to enjoy.
One of the birthday blessings I wrote can be found here.