Unexpected Family Surprise on Grandpa’s Birthday Card


I’ve come across a piece of interesting news recently.

A 12-year-old girl living in rural Kansas went shopping with her mom for a birthday card for Grandpa who lived in Ohio and was turning 74.  The card had to be very special to make up for their absence.  The girl saw a hilarious card which had an old-fashioned family photo. On top it said, “It’s Your Birthday!” The inside of the card read, “We haven’t seen this much excitement since Aunt Lulu was picked up by a tornado, set down nude in the middle of the hog auction, and sold to the highest bidder!”

B-card image scanned by Plustek ePhoto from “The Merit Times” newspaper of 2017-10-3

The girl asked her mom, Jan Amstutz, to buy it.  Jan hesitated, but then she saw one of the young boys looked a lot like her grandfather (i.e., this 74-year grandpa’s father).  Another woman looked just like her great-grandmother.  Jan thought this happy coincidence was funny to send her father.

Jan’s dad called her on his birthday all excited.  It turned out this card was indeed a real photo of her ancestors, a wedding photo taken in 1906!  He and other family members living in Ohio eventually identified all people in this photo.  They were also able to locate the original photo which the card was made from and Grandpa has never seen before.

The family returned to the store and bought the rest of their stock.  The cards were framed and are now hanged on the wall of nearly every member of the family.

Why did this family photograph become a birthday card in the store?  Here is what Hallmark answered a family member’s letter, “Occasionally, we purchase old photos from a company that has collected them from photograph studios that are no longer in business. It is possible this is part of that group.”



What comes to your mind after reading this news?

It is quite usual that we frame photos of our kids, and hang on walls or put on desks.  Many of us also take the time to make personalized photo calendars with photos of our kids (and even pets).  We do everything we can to preserve their photos, so that not only we can see photos of our loved ones all the time, but also pass these photos and stories down from generation to generation.

However, our parent’s photos-babyhood, childhood, graduations, wedding, anniversaries, … – contain many of their precious memories and happy moments, but unfortunately are often overlooked. Before we’re left with regrets that we don’t know more about our parent’s past, we should take steps to preserve them.

The wedding photo was seen on a birthday card by a 12-year-old great great granddaughter in 110 years after the photo was taken, and was purchased to sent to her 74-year-old grandpa.   Generations get magically connected by this small B-card. 

Actually we don’t need to count on luck to have such lovely and happy coincidence happen to us.

Let’s start from gathering up loose photos from shoeboxes of photos, stacks of dusty photo albums.

Get a good tool to digitize photos of our parents and/or the family elders.

Pick few of them and make the personalized cards for them.  As for the cards, you can purchase pre-folded blank cards or make your own using solid-colored cardstock.  Search the internet by typing the keyword ‘DIY card”, and you can see many DIY card ideas and templates.

Have you decided holiday gifts for parents or grandparents?  There is nothing that celebrates the holiday spirit like a handmade holiday greeting card.  Why not try make a greeting card with parents’ photos on it?  You can make the cards yourself, or help your kids to make the cards for their grandparents.  They will be very happy to see their treasured memories spring back to life on a unique card made by their loved ones.






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