Letters to my Mother

Hello darlings! This year is a big year in terms of birthdays in my family. I’m turning 25 in October, my grandfather is turning 70 in July, my dad is turning 50 in May, and this past Wednesday my mom turned 45. I’m not sure any of them would really approve of me advertising their ages here on my blog but what is done is done.

Since it’s a milestone year, I decided I wanted to do something special for my mom. She’s an incredibly hard person to buy for since, like me, she’s more into adventures than she is material things. We did have a day out together which I’ll be talking about in my Tasty Tuesday post this week but I still wanted to give her something to actually open.


My mom is the Lorelai to my Rory. We’re best friends as much as we are mother and daughter. While she may not be as chatty or coffee obsessed as Lorelai and I may not be so much of a goody two shoes as Rory (still a Straight A student though), the Gilmore Girls relationship has always been a sort of reflection of ours. Not to mention, I can’t listen to Where You Lead without thinking of my mom. Unfortunately, I exhausted my idea of Gilmore related gifts when I got mom Lauren Graham’s Talking As Fast As I Can for Christmas and spent the day binging a year in the life on Netflix.

We did the Gilmore thing.

A photo posted by Casandra Miller (@casandramillerr) on


After some thought and a couple hours on Pinterest, I finally settled on the idea of putting together a bunch of Open When letters. I set the lofty goal of writing 45 letters and after two days of staring at my computer (my handwriting isn’t that great so I typed them) I had 45 different letters all typed up and ready to go. One quick trip to Staples to print them off and all that was left to do was put it all together.

I got a bunch of goodies to put in little plastic Valentine’s Day bags I had picked up from the dollar store to go with some of the different letters but I won’t say much about them because my mom will undoubtedly read this post and it’ll spoil the whole thing. Mostly they’re just little treats and trinkets that go along with the theme of each letter.

Two of the gifts were a bit bigger and didn’t fit in the plastic bags so I bought some paper bags to put them in but then of course those bags didn’t end up fitting in the box. Just my luck! What I ended up doing was stripping down one of the bags and using the paper as wrapping paper. The other bag I kept for the Salted Caramel Popcorn from the Toronto Popcorn Company that I bought to go along with the gift.

For the box I used a shoebox (from the boots mom had bought me the week before) and wrapped it in yellow tissue paper. Next time I would definitely just get regular wrapping paper but it sort of slipped my mind when I was at the store and rather than go back for the third time I decided to just make do with what I had.


In order to make sure she doesn’t miss out on any of the letters I created a quick list for the top of the box so she would be able to see what was coming up at a glance. The list is split into two sections: “Dates” and “Open When”. As you can probably guess, the “Dates” section lists all the letters that are to be opened on specific dates. The “Open When” section consists of different feelings, moments, and events that can trigger a letter opening. For example, one of them is “when you wish you were at Disney World”, though to be honest I think we always wish we were at Disney World.

Overall, I’m really glad I went with this gift. It took a bit of effort and I honestly wondered how I was going to finish the letters at some points but it was definitely worth it. It’s something special and she definitely deserves it.

If you’re thinking about making an Open When letter box for anyone and you have any questions or need any ideas feel free to ask! I drafted a lot more options than the ones I used and I’m happy to share them all! Now I better get thinking on what to do for my dad; thank goodness I still have 3 months.

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