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Big life milestones like birthdays are a perfect time to reflect and honor someone. And of course, we think books are the perfect way to do it! We call these our Milestone Books – they celebrate a special life milestone.
Here are some of our favorite ideas for a really special 60th birthday book. Or a 40th, 50th, 70th, 80th, 90th…you name it. But my very first book was for my mom’s 60th, so I have a special love for 60th birthday books.
Here are our top 5 ideas for a 60th birthday book:
1. Chapters of your Life – Our favorite approach; this is such a great way to tell someone’s life story with photos. We create a table of contents based on the chapters of someone’s life. For example – childhood, school years, dating + marriage, family life, career, friendships, travel. The photos are then organized into the different chapters, and often we’ll add a short bio at the beginning.
2. List of 60 – This is perfect for incorporating lots of contributors into the book (kids, grandkids, friends, family, etc). Make a collective list of 60 – 60 Reasons We Love You, 60 Funny Stories About You, 60 Life Lessons, or come up with your own list. Then add 30-40 great photos.
3. Thoughts From Friends + Family – Ask friends and family to write a note to the person you’re honoring. It’s always so touching to read what others have to say about you. Organize the notes into a logical order (i.e., spouse and kids first) then add some photos. With this approach, we always prefer formatting the text ourselves (instead of using any handwritten notes) so it’s visually consistent. We also have our proofreader review the text for spelling and formatting consistency.
4. Encyclopedia - We’re working on a 30th birthday book right now with this theme. It’s a light-hearted approach and I think it’s working so well. It’s the complete guide to So-And-So, from A to Z. Pick a word for each letter of the alphabet and add a short, witty description or story. (i.e.: I is for Italy – Adores all things Italian.) We’re using a combination of custom illustrations and photographs.
5. Interview Them – This is a great approach when it becomes more important to capture someone’s memories to share with younger generations. Put together a list of questions or use one of our lists (here is our life story interview and family history interview). Then ask the person to write their answers, or schedule an in-person interview. Add photos. (I’m sounding like a recipe!)
Let me know if you have other great ideas to share! And of course, let me know if you’d like to make a 60th (or other) birthday book for someone you love.
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