For nearly 50 years, sisters have been making birthday crowns for their father, and you won’t believe why.

What began as a thoughtful gift for a 32nd birthday has become a treasured Midwest family tradition.

Kim Carey, then eight years old, built a crown for her father’s 32nd birthday with the help of her younger sister Ginchelle Chandler…

The siblings celebrated his 80th birthday in February of last year at his home in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, nearly 50 years after their first meeting.

«We realize it’s stupid,» Carey explains, «but our father and adult children, who have never seen ‘Pappy’ enjoy his birthday supper without a crown, would be upset if we stopped.»

«It makes him so happy. He looks forward to seeing it every year.»

Despite their growing family, the sisters continue to build the birthday crown on their own, planning each year about a month in advance.

Each crown has had a different theme over the past 48 years, ranging from a Packers Super Bowl crown to an Olympic-themed crown to one that highlighted Ronchetti’s best quotes, or «Pappyisms.»

«We decided to make words out of Hershey’s Kisses one year, but they were so heavy that they kept falling. Nonetheless, we served it to him for his birthday meal every year.»

When the virus separated the family in 2021, Carey placed the crown on her father’s doorstep and was greeted by Zoom.

Carey believes that family gatherings will continue indefinitely now that her father is retired and in good health.

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