Birthday Card as Time Capsule

The headline on a recent story had me thinking, “so what?” After all The Daily Times was reporting: “Mail Call: Friends swap birthday greeting back and forth for 20 years.” I was thinking, I have plenty of friends I have been wishing birthday greetings to for more than 20 years!

But I did read on, and I’m glad I did. It’s a fun thing Sherry Hillis and Patsy Lunde have done for decades. They’ve been sending the exam same Peanuts cartoon birthday card back and forth. The same one — for 20 years.

“Roses are red, cookies are chewy,” it says underneath her picture. On the inside, “A Year of Your Life has just gone Ka-Plooey! Happy Birthday!!”

But, what really makes the card special is the things they have written to each other over the years. Lunde even added pages to the card so that the two women could continue to catch up with one another every year.

Hallmark’s Loss

Lunde first picked out the card first for Hillis’s Sept. 1 birthday. Hillis turned around and sent it back to Lunde for her birthday just days later — Sept. 5.

That’s what they’ve been doing annually even as their careers took them in different directions — they started the tradition while both employed at the same hospital — and the children that they first met through (the girls swam together in school) grew up.

“Hallmark is losing money on us,” Lunde said.

I want to start this tradition with my friends right now! I love the idea of having an annual catch-up outside of the now obligatory Christmas card. The card that serves as an annual reminder also of what has come before and how much we friends continue to mean to each other.

Really, find someone you love, and start sharing a time line birthday greeting today. It will add even more to both of your special days.

100-year-old twins share birthday photoshoot

You’re hard pressed these days to go to a pretty park on a lovely day and not come across some carefully dressed children in front of a photographer. I live nearby a park with a lake right in the heart of Charlotte, NC, and often see kids with balloons or chalkboards announcing what birthday is being captured on film (or digital more likely). Never, though, have I seen a set of 100-year-old twins posing for the camera!

A British photographer, though, made it possible after reading about the pending centennial of two Brazilian sisters. Camila Lima, who focuses her photography on elderly subjects, contacted the family and offered to capture their big day. “I had never met anyone with 100 years, let alone twins that age…I thought, this is a moment that should be remembered for eternity.”

The siblings — Maria Pignaton Pontin and Paulina Pignaton Pandolfi of Brazil — showed up to the photoshoot with freshly styled hair and new, bright dresses.

Lima said the women were lively and excited throughout the shoot. The resulting photographs, shared on Metro News of the UK, have a festive air to them too!

I couldn’t resist sharing some of the vibrant images that the website included with its story. Seeing these vibrant smiles makes me (almost) look forward to my own 100th birthday!

 

 

Birthday present of flights for life!

Here’s a birthday perk you don’t run into often — free travel on board a certain airline after you’re born on the actual airplane!

birthday perk

Photo credit: ashokboghani via Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Baby Christoph was recently awarded free travel on Spirit Air — on his birthday — for the rest of his life. This after his Mom gave birth on a flight destined for Dallas from Fort Lauderdale. Mom Cristina apparently went into labor after 30 minutes of travel. A nurse and pediatrician on board helped with the delivery as the flight was diverted to New Orleans.

Jet Airways of India offered a lifetime of free travel to a baby born at 35,000 feet on a flight from Saudi Arabia to Kochi in India. Mom Cicymol Jose was 30 weeks pregnant when she went into labor in the air, with only the assistance of a trained paramedic who was on board.

In April, too, a baby girl was born on a Turkish Air flight at 42,000 feet!

Not worth it

I’ve mentioned before that I love to travel, and am a big fan of the Destination Birthday trend, but being born on board an airplane is too high a price for the free plane tickets. At least for the Mom it is — she’s not getting any bonus airfare but she’s the one panicked and panting and giving birth to her baby surrounded by strangers. Ugh!

At least she gets a great story to share when she lands; and great fodder for future guilt trips for the kiddo.

Birthday Wishes Come True

birthday wishes come true

Image source: thedrive.com

 

What would be your biggest, bestest wish for a birthday present or surprise? Today, writing this, I’d say a trip to Iceland. Having just heard all about the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa from a friend, I want to experience this wonder of the world myself.

An 83-year-old gentleman was more interested in cars than travel, though. His main birthday wish was to ride in a Lamborghini Gallardo. The elderly resident of a Shelby, North Carolina retirement home had asked for a Lambo at his 82nd birthday. That was out of the price range, but the thoughtful activities director provided him with a scale model as a substitute.

Lambo in the flesh…or metal.

Then, come this year’s birthday, and Donald Hambright was already joking about having put too many miles on the Lambo in the last year and needing a replacement. Jessica Hickson put out a call on Facebook to see if anyone she knew had a way to make it possible for him to see a real Lambo live.

A local car dealership decided to help out and arranged for a black 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder to be available at the assisted living facility on Hambright’s 83rd birthday. They even took the birthday boy for a spin.

“It was like being in an airplane. Such a roar. It took my breath away,” Hambright told his local newspaper.

When a birthday takes your breath away, you know you are having a good one. Plus, this story proves it’s never too late to see your dreams come true!

Maybe at 84 he can visit the Lamborghini museum — it looks like a pretty sweet place to go. Plus, it’s in Italy. He could have a little birthday gelato too!

birthday wishes come true

Smart Birthday Card Marketing

Birthday cards

Photo credit: Texican Chick via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

There are still some of us in the world that buy and send birthday cards. Judging by the size of the greeting card section in various retail outlets, this habit isn’t yet dead. In the past I’ve written about a great idea of having birthday cards give back.

Another option is to give a birthday card that is more than a message. For instance, you can shell out a few more dollars for a card that sings “Staying Alive” to the recipient on their over the hill birthday.

Recently one of this blog’s readers sent an image of a different kind of birthday card creativity:

Birthday cards

Yes, those are “delicious greeting cards” for a reason…they come with jellybeans. The marketing for this lays it out for you: “Your message” and “Their treat.” Clever packaging and making the birthday presentation all the easier? Score one for this birthday card marketer!

Birthday Cards as Marketing Tool

At the same time, birthday cards can be used by a company to spread goodwill. A reader also sent me birthday cards coming to her child from a summer camp. Her daughter’s birthday is in April, yet the counselors had written personalized birthday cards to their campers during each of her weeks of summer camp. Then, come April, she received four different, individualized birthday cards from the counselors of each of her weeks of camp!

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This is a fantastic reminder of camp fun and can keep the kids engaged with the experience year-round. What a simple way to make kids happy and foster camper loyalty! If I ever ran a kids camp (which will NEVER, EVER happen) I would steal this idea for sure.

 

 

 

 

100th Birthday Wish is to Work

Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 12.12.34 PM.pngHere’s something we can all aspire to — loving our job enough that we want to go back for our 100th birthday!

That’s what Bill Hansen of New Jersey did. The centenarian came out of retirement on his 100th birthday to return to Hutchinson Plumbing, Heating and Cooling in Cherry Hill in return for $1.

The company CEO Fred Hutchinson signed a work agreement welcoming the permit coordinator back for a birthday cake, a standing ovation, media coverage, and a complete set of assignments.

Hansen had already retired in his 60s, but got bored and at 66 returned to work at Hutchinson’s company where he worked for another 32 years before retiring again at 97!

I’ve written in the past about all of my reasons not to work on your birthday, but Hansen says he hates retirement. So, for him the better gift is going back to his “second family” and seeing familiar faces and meeting new people.

This is certainly an employee (or retired employee) birthday benefit I didn’t consider in my previous blog suggesting good ways to recognize worker birthdays.

It’s a wish we might all make over our birthday cake (if our office allows it…and we don’t mind spitting on our friends’ dessert) — to enjoy our work and the people we work with enough that we want to return after retirement.

 

Top 5 Ways to Spend $300K birthday present

Birthday lottery winning

Photo credit: Infomastern via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

It’s been a family tradition for years for family members to send Ervin Smolinksi scratch-off lottery tickets and chocolate for his birthday. This year it paid off.

The 94-year-old man made the news when he won $300,000 in the Michigan Lottery. His daughter-in-law bought the winning ticket as a gift for the World War II veteran.

“I’ve seen a whole lot in my life, and I don’t get worked up easily. I think my son-in-law was more worked up that I was,” Smolinksi said. In the CNN coverage the former sailor said, ”

I’m pretty frugal, I always shop sales and take care of my money and that won’t change.”
“The only thing that will change is I won’t have as much stress in my life worrying about money,” the former sailor said, “I’m pretty frugal, I always shop sales and take care of my money and that won’t change….The only thing that will change is I won’t have as much stress in my life worrying about money.”

Birthday Money

His win got me thinking though, as I probably too often do, what I would do if I won the lottery. Considering I don’t often play the lottery, it’s really a ridiculous game to play in my head. Yet, I enjoy the mental game. So, because this blog is often about giving, let me give you my top 5 ways to spend lottery winnings:

  1. Travel the world. Truly. Buy a tour package that has a travel agent set it up for you to get to every continent and live it up in luxurious hotels along the way.
  2. Pay off (or if you’re renting now buy with cash) house. Think of the joy of having a home that’s all equity. Come time to sell it, or pass it on, you’re sitting on value.
  3. Build up the college fund. With just one kid it’ll be easier for me to top up the account with some of these extra dollars, but putting it in his account in advance gives my family the benefit of accrued interest.
  4. Throw a massive — and I mean massive — par-tay for everyone I know and love in a destination location and with me footing the bill for hotels and travel and all that. Sort of like a wedding party, but I pay for it and we don’t have to say “I do” again.
  5. Donate. Find a few causes that you truly care about. Do the research about their credibility and give, give, give.

Those who are good at math might realize something here…I’ve probably overspent the $300K. Especially after the government takes the taxes out. Still, it’s fun to imagine isn’t it? Do you have a different top five? I’d love to hear other suggestions.