What could you include in a This is Your Life book?


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13 things you could include in a "This is your life" book?
Anything you like relating to the person whose birthday it is, but here are some ideas.....
  1. Their early family days - pictures of them as a baby, then a toddler
  2. Their school days with pictures of them in their uniform if they had one. Get in touch with old school friends if you can. Ask them to send a memory of your loved one to you - may be some mischief they got up to, something they remember about them at the time - anything which comes to mind about her 
  3. Life after school - what did the recipient do next? (I'll tell you, this is a great way to find out a lot of stuff about them that you didn't know.)
  4. Their family - pictures of her parents, grandparents, family homes & pets
  5. Their hobbies - we had a picture of my Mum in her garden, another on a golf course, for her book.
  6. Get their friends to write notes of their memories or just short letters to wish them a happy birthday
  7. A family photo of you all - it doesn't need to be formal. Get one of just a simple natural family get together.
  8. Family holidays you've enjoyed together, trips they've taken on their own or with their partner
  9. Successes they've had, in sport, work, charity activities - anything you can think of
  10. Get the family pets to write their own memories as their carer or occasional carer.
  11. Anything else you can think of which makes up the fabric & history of life
  12. Pictures of them enjoying their favourite hobbies & interests
  13. You could do a theme book, taking a particular interest they have and putting in photos of that, so they have a book of memories to look back on of them doing their favourite thing


If this sounds like a lot of work, well, you're right. And I'll tell you, it is SO worth it. We did such a book for my Mum for her 70th.  (The secrecy was amazing - she had absolutely no idea what we were doing...) We had people send letters, cards, photos, memories, etc etc going right back to Mum's old class mates. We dug through old family photos, spoke to her old school friends, made contact with folk we hadn't spoken to for ages.  
We thought about how she liked to spend her time, her sport, her love of nature and gardening, travel and being social.  We looked at her charity work, her days as a teacher, even when she went to training college.  It was quite a research project!
Find your first few contacts - they'll soon provide more
Rummage through old family photos, address books... We called up a couple of people with no idea how they were in Mum's old address book, only to find they were at school with Mum. Talk to all family members - do they know anyone else you could talk to?