For my father's 80th birthday we attempted to do something meaningful. At least we spoke about it on the phone. At least my brother and my sister told me that they had spoken about it on the phone.
I suggested we each come up with three things he has taught us that have been meaningful or helpful or even had a wonderful influence on our lives. And that we speak about it in short sentences one at a time. Make it snappy if we need to.
Oh no. Three things? What? We'll get back to you.
So instead my sister copied a "funny" poem she found on the internet and in her primary school teacher mode she copied out the relevant sections and distributed them to (her version of ) all of us to learn it by heart.
Well I was stroppy and just read it from the page when it was my turn and later when I finally managed to sit next to him for a brief moment I told him that there are three things he taught me:
1. panta rhei (everything flows)
2. avoid the crowds
3. don't act impulsively if you can help it
Well, he was delighted and my brother and sister shrugged, here she goes again (sigh).