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12 Months of Surprises | An Awesome Birthday Present

12 Months of Surprises | An Awesome Birthday Present

I gave a sneak preview of a birthday present my bother, sister and I recently gave to our mum. Trying to think of a really unusual and thoughtful gift idea, I remembered something my good friend Sue friend  had done for her husband.

12 months of surprises

Each month she planned a different day out from driving a train to a weekend break away Cornwall, It seemed such a lovely, thoughtful idea so for our dear old mum’s 60th birthday last year we decided to do the same.

Each year she tells us not to waste our money on her but as she’s more often than not our first port of call when we need something or someone, helping us emotionally, financially and physically over the years(her cooking and cleaning skills are always a welcome gesture!) She is nearly always chief organiser in family get togethers we thought for 12 months it was time to let the kids do the organising.

If like us, you’re doing this as part of a team, we found it easier to allocate each month to a person. Ours runs on a 3 month cycle, so each of us know who’s doing what and when limiting confusion. It also helps if you’re planning ahead.

12 months of surprises for the ultimate birthday present.

Surprise Month 1 – a family walk

We’ve also put a limit of how much each spends over the course of their 4 months and now we’re 5 months in with the months going a little like this;

November – Posh wellies and a family walk

December – A weekend away visiting Totnes Christmas market staying in a friends holiday let

January – A picnic hamper

February – High tea in a posh hotel

March – A magical mystery  tour including a steam train ride and lunch

12 surprises, 1 a month for a year. The gift which keeps on giving and the ultimate birthday present.

Surprise month 3 – high tea in a posh hotel

For each surprise, we write whats happening on some pretty paper bought from the scrapbook section of eBay and we introduced the whole surprise via a poem my brother adapted which was then made into a certificate on Canva.

There really is no limit as to what you choose. It can be a homemade picnic in the local park to a month of weekend breakfast in beds or a hot air balloon ride, this is one gift where your imagination can go to town. For us, some months are going to be lower key than others but the key thing is the thought and it is a really lovely way to show someone how much you love them.

If your thinking of doing the same and need some ideas why not pin the image below to remind you.

how about a full year of surprises, one a month, for the ultimate birthday present. Herd's some ideas and what I did



  1. 1st April 2016 / 7:40 am

    What an amazing gift! Mind you, you only turn 40 once, I couldn’t justify the expense every year 😉

  2. Regina L. L. Wells
    4th April 2016 / 7:37 pm

    Ali, these are such cute and thoughtful ideas. I like that the theme of all of them is our time and ourselves. Very nice!

  3. 8th April 2016 / 9:30 pm

    What a lovely gift – I bet she loves it – and I bet it’s the most precious gift of all. Thanks for hosting #sharethejoy

  4. 9th April 2016 / 9:17 pm

    Wow, what a fantastic and original birthday idea. I love it. Thanks! #sharethejoylinky

  5. 11th April 2016 / 9:10 pm

    This is brilliant – and you couldn’t have timed it better! My mum is sixty at the end of this month, and I have a few ideas but this is going to make her so happy. Thank you millions!
    x Alice

  6. 15th April 2016 / 5:27 pm

    This is such an interesting and unique idea! Definitely one to consider in the future. 🙂

  7. 16th April 2016 / 8:17 am

    Awesome idea!! I love how it’s a gift that just keeps on going and such a great way to thank her for everything that she does for you. Thanks for sharing and for being a great guest host as always at #sharethejoy x

  8. 17th April 2016 / 7:31 pm

    Fantastic idea! A really thoughtful gesture for a big birthday year. I’m sure your mum will treasure all of the memories the presents bring her, and you too! #sharethejoy

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