Friday, March 6, 2015

London in a Box

I love my mom to pieces and, as I’ve gotten older, she has become my best friend. There is nothing that I can’t talk to her about (seriously), and I always know that she’ll be in my corner. She’s the sort of mother who sacrifices for her children with nary a complaint, and I'll will always be thankful for that.

This year, I wanted to do something special to mark her 25th (you’re welcome, Mommy) birthday. As I’ve mentioned already, I’ll be going to France this summer; but what I failed to mention is that I’m taking my mom with me. I ordinarily travel alone, but I thought that this would be a nice mother-daughter adventure for us.

For Mom’s birthday present though, I gave her a day trip to London. My mom is a Londoner, but she hasn’t been home in 40 years. I grew up hearing tales of her London (post-war with debris still on street corners), but London has changed so much since she’s last seen it.  I know that she misses it. A lot. When I mentioned that we would change planes at Heathrow on the way home, she nearly burst into tears. I knew that it would be a huge tease to be just a couple hours away from London and not make the trip there.

I still wanted Mom to have a gift to open on her birthday though, so I got a teeny bit creative with the presentation. I give you London in a Box! I remembered from my scrapbooking days that Jolee’s Boutique and Recollections had some great London stickers with texture and embellishments that I put into a small box (hence London in a Box). The stickers have dimension to them, so they don’t just lay flat in the tissue paper. This isn’t their typical use, but it certainly did the trick!

The gift itself was wrapped in two layers of wrapping paper from Papyrus, one of my favorite stationary stores.  Their products have a beautiful hand-crafted quality to them, and the attention to detail is stunning.  When I saw that they were selling sheets of wrapping paper with an Eiffel Tower and UK stamp motifs, I knew I had to have them both for Mom’s gift.

Mom also got one of my (in)famous itineraries for our day. We’ll only be in London for about 12 hours, but I'm squeezing in as much as humanly possible for her. We’ll somehow manage to see the Tower of London, Covent Garden, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the House of Parliament, Harrod’s, Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens and Palace, and Oxford Street. My feet hurt just thinking about it!

There were tears when Mom realized what I was giving her, but she was so excited about it.  She was all giddy as she added the London in a Box stickers to the itinerary, and she now has it displayed on her dresser.  I'm glad that I could give her this chance to visit home--40 years is a long time.

All I’m worried about now is how I’m going to top this next year…