On July 13, 2012, my two daughters surprised me with a big box of wrapped gifts, informing me it was exactly 80 days until my 80th birthday and I would be able to unwrap one gift a day.  The gift items would commemorate a year in my life in some way.  This is what I received this week to wind up 80 days of special, unique, commemorative, handmade and nostalgic gifts.

2003 – 2003 was the year my youngest granddaughter was born.  The gift is a wonderful fold-out picture book with photos of my granddaughter along with her handwritten notes of greetings and love.  Precious.

2004 – My youngest daughter knitted a pair of socks for me from a 2004 pattern in the most beautiful fall colors.

2005 – A 2005 CD of Andy Griffith singing all of my favorite hymns.  In addition to the music, there are personal notes and comments by Andy.  This is perfect for me since I’ve been a fan of Andy Griffith since his early monologue days.

2006 – A 2006 edition of Keith Olbermann’s book, The Worst Person in the World.

2007 – A packet of 2007 5-inch Lynette Jensen’s Thimbleberries squares – Warm and Cozy

2008 – Three Topps’ trading cards to commemorate the election of Barack Obama.

2009 – A 2009 Philadelphia Mint collection commemorating the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth and the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Penny.

2010 – A pin commemorating the USA medals won in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

2011 – My youngest daughter knitted a Drachenschwanze (dragon’s tail) scarf from a 2011 pattern.

2012 – Two pins popular in 2012 – “Keep calm and quilt on”, a take on the WWII British slogan and a pin for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

All 80 years have been covered and it all ended with a Grand Finale gift.  My oldest daughter made up a charm necklace for me that I call a “Meme Necklace” because it tells so much about my interests and in a way is a summary of the 80 gifts.

There are charms for Cincinnati, Ohio, and my Libra astrology sign; a small dog running with a paper in its mouth for all of the pets I’ve had; charms for some of my favorite things – a unicorn, forget-me-nots, vintage jewelry, a scotty, a Dutch shoe, a harness horse, the Cincinnati Reds, Abraham Lincoln; charms to commemorate cooking – a mixer, a slice of pie, a 1st place ribbon; needle and thread (quilting and sewing); charms for favorite vacation spots – St. Louis Arch (my youngest son’s home), an Amish buggy (Holmes County OH Amish country); a covered bridge (Vermont); Cincinnati’s Coney Island and river boat; a Hershey’s Kiss to represent chocolate and my mother’s homemade fudge; and a typewriter symbolizing a long secretarial career.

It has been an amazing 80 days with every day a reminder of 80 amazing years.

All of my posts on this wonderful celebration are listed in Family – My 80th Birthday in my index on the right hand side of the page.

My youngest daughter has links to all of her knitted projects here: