{April 7, 2013}   A Bucket Book for Dad

My dad turned 80 last month and I struggled to think of an appropriate gift for the occasion. (If you regularly read my blog, you might know I like to come up with unique gift ideas like a salvage yard find for my husband’s 50th birthday.)

Needing inspiration, I Googled “ideas for 80th birthday gift for man” but wasn’t thrilled with the suggestions. There were the “Kiss Me, I’m 80” T-shirts and the “I’m 18 with 62 years experience” coffee mugs. Nah. What about a “Yoga for the Elderly” DVD, “Car Caddy” to help him get out of his vehicle or Superman bath robe? I don’t think so. (OK, I kinda liked the robe.)

When I started my 47 and fearless project, I compiled a list of lifetime experiences—things I’ve already crossed off my bucket list. It was fun to be reminded of things I’ve done, especially at a time when I felt it had been a long while since I had moved outside my comfort zone to do anything adventurous.

My dad is active and in good health, but I thought maybe he’d like to be reminded of the cool things he has done in his 80 years. So I decided to make a “bucket book” for him—a scrapbook of things he has already crossed off his bucket list (a list he didn’t know he had.)

With help from my mom and siblings, I came up with a list of milestones in his life, places he has traveled, outdoor activities he has enjoyed, etc. I printed out the list and placed one item to a page, adding family photos when possible and supplementing with generic pictures as needed to create the scrapbook.

Before his birthday celebration, I bought several black buckets at the dollar store. I put the scrapbook and a DVD of “The Bucket List” movie into one bucket for him to unwrap. I used the remaining buckets to hold other gifts—items that would help him complete other items on a typical bucket list. For example, one bucket included two tattoo sleeves and temporary tattoos so he could cross off “get a tattoo” from his list. Another was “celebrate 80th birthday” and included the Dr. Seuss book “You’re Only Old Once! A Book for Obsolete Children” and silly gifts like an Over the Hill Decision Spinner (spin it to decide whether to take a nap or drive really slow. Ahh, choices, choices…) A third bucket held six cans of silly string that he could use with his grandkids to “have a silly string fight.”

Dad enjoyed paging through the scrapbook and got into the spirit of the gifts, wearing the tattoo sleeves to pose for a photo at my request. I hope the silly string fight will occur the next time he gets together with the grandkids. Who knows what other items we can add to the book in the years to come? But don’t suggest skydiving. He’s already declined my invitation.


Michelle says:

Such a great idea, Julie! And it fits so well with your year of trying new things.

Michelle says:

Also, Happy Belated Birthday 😀

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