A Mother’s Gift – Reece Witherspoon on Her Daughter’s 18th Birthday

This week, Reece Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe’s daughter, Ava, turned 18 years old and she shared on Instagram that her mother had written her a letter once a year on her birthday and presented them as bundle on her special day. 

18 letters that made me cry (hard) today, courtesy of my lovely mother.

A post shared by Ava Phillippe (@avaphillippe) on


We have written before about stars that have written letters to their kids, but the reality is that individuals from all walks of life use this timeless gift to give their loved. Here are a few tips if you’re thinking about starting this tradition.

Pick a date or occasion – When do you want to deliver the letter? Next year? In 18 years? On their wedding day? Some other occasion? Once you know when you want to give them the letter, it’ll become easier to decide whether you want to write a once off letter or at certain intervals.

Once you understand what occasion you’re writing for, you’ll have a frame for helping you decide what you want to write. Some people like to use these letters to pass on some knowledge or wisdom they’ve learned along the way that might be helpful to the recipient. The beautiful thing about writing this down in a letter is it forces you to think about the things you’ve learned and gives the reader a timeless possession that can be revisited whenever the need arises. 

Along similar lines is sharing stories, memories or perspectives – letters are a time capsule in many ways, and a wonderful way to capture some important moments and share them again in the future when the reader might appreciate the revelation with different eyes from when they saw events the first time. 

What ever you decide to write, a letter written and saved for the future is a gift that grows in meaning and appreciation.