In the past week my illustrious father celebrated his birthday. (Happy Birthday Dad!) While I won't go into details about the festivities I would like to introduce you to the gifts that my father choses to receive.
Last year my father decided that he had sufficient in terms of material goods and instead asked that each one of his children write him a letter telling him describing how the last year has gone and what they are looking forward to in the year to come. Which I had to admire as a pretty neat idea. While the move from a generic greeting card to a letter personalizes your emotions on any occasion I think that the letters my father requests are particularly neat. Instead of a letter poetically thanking him for being the coolest Dad around (which I'm sure I could prove scientifically given enough time and resources) it allows a chance to reconnect. While my father is involved in all of his kids lives a one year summary is kind of like the sports highlights, bringing the most interesting aspects of the year to the foreground for consideration. It also allows us kids to keep copies which we can look back on each year to see what has changed.
Needless to say, I love the idea of Happy Birthday letters and I would love to start something similar when I have kids.