Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Birthday!

I just mailed Mason's birthday package and thought I'd fill you in on what we came up with.  First off - he comes home in less than four months so when I asked him what he wanted for his birthday he of course said, "Nothing Mom.  I don't need a thing."  Well, how can I do that?!?  So the challenge was to figure out something to send for his birthday that he would love but not have to turn around and haul back home with him.  We came up with the PERFECT idea!

Mason loves to do things for others.  There is just something inside him that lives to serve.  He will sacrifice just about anything (including his grades) to do service for others.  This year, for the boy who seems to think he has everything we are sending enough money for him to take his District out to lunch.  We've noticed in his weekly emails that after weekly District Meeting they all go together and get something to eat prior to heading back to work.  We thought it would be fun for him to treat others to lunch on his birthday.  He is going to be thrilled and hopefully everyone else will be as well.  Here's the step by step instructions of how we made this cute package:

Shopping List:
square Kleenex box
wrapping paper
adhesive tape runner (optional)
clear tape
coordinating tissue paper
topper (like the star in the photo)

1.  Gather needed supplies.
2.  Empty all the Kleenex tissues out of the box. You don't have to pull these out one at a time, you can takeout about an inch each time without destroying the box. Cut away the plastic at the top of the box opening.
3.  Begin wrapping package.  I used a scrapbooking tape runner adhesive so I didn't have tape showing.  Cut down each corner until you reach the bottom of the box.
4.  Trim down three sides and tape to box as shown.
5.  Trim the remaining forth side to fit the bottom of your box.  Apply adhesive runner to the edges of your box, fold down and press firmly.  This should give you a nice looking your package that is.  (hee, hee...)
6.  For the top of your package, cut down each corner until you reach the top of the box.  Just like you did for the bottom.  Trim down any excess paper that you may have.  Fold over one side at a time and prior to applying the adhesive, hold with one hand and cut in order to be able to ease the paper smoothly around the opening (see photo 6-8). 
7.  After cutting, apply tape runner adhesive and smooth paper in place.
8.  After pressing in place I cut away a "V" portion of paper from the center so I didn't have so much paper to work with.  Apply a small amount of regular clear tape to each bit of paper that you're easing into the opening.  Tuck under and press firmly.
9.  Continue around remaining three sides and ta-da!  Well done!  Pat yourself on the back - the next bit is oh, so easy.

If you look closely at the finished project just below the star you can see the money attached.  If you pull on the star the money will unroll and just keep coming and coming and coming.  Fun, huh?!
The trickiest part of the whole project was figuring out how much money to include.  Most Districts have 8-10 missionaries but this is totally up to the Mission President and I'm sure varies widely mission to mission throughout the church.  You might want to casually ask your missionary how many are currently in his District or maybe you're one of the lucky one's that actually have a photo of their current District.  In the end, I guess that they'll spend what you send and that will be enough.  We sent mostly one dollar bills with a $20 and a few $5's and $10's thrown into the mix for surprise.  It's pretty self-explanatory but here's the step-by-step procedure:

Item's needed:
clear adhesive tape
(similar to the star)
birthday message
(on regular paper so it's easy to roll up)

1.  Tape money together end to end using clear tape.  Make sure that they are all facing the same way - It will look nicer but mostly I'm just a little OCD...depending on whom you ask.  Meaning, some think I'm a LOT OCD.  Mostly my kids.
2.  Using tape, attach your topper.
3.  Attach your birthday message to the bottom.  You can download my birthday attachment here and include your own message.
4.  Starting from the bottom, roll up...Insert into the opening of the box and surround with coordinating tissue paper.  So CUTE!!  Much more fun than just sending money in an envelope don't you think?  Here's where we got the idea.

In his birthday box we also included two wrapped boxes of Hostess Cupcakes and a package of candles so his District could each have a piece of his 'birthday cake'.  I put a few matches and a small strip of sand paper in a baggie in case they don't have a way to light the candles.  Also some pistachio's, beef jerky, Sour Patch Watermelon candy just because he loves them...and of course birthday cards from everyone.  Happy Birthday, Elder Brown!!

You can download my birthday package topper here.

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