Gift-giving as a Grandparent is both a delight and a conundrum. Watching Grandchildren, especially young ones, open gifts often presents a time of unfiltered enthusiasm, cries of delight, and jetstreams of energy. As the Grands get older it may get harder to find gifts that elicit the same enthusiasm and there’s always the possibility of a flop. Let’s think together about meaningful gifts in this unprecedented year that may bring joy to the upcoming holiday exchange.
I suggest a small framed photo of you and your spouse if you are married for your younger grandchildren. A professional photographer friend of mine once told me about putting some of her family photos into a shoebox for her young children to play with. These were the photos that didn’t quite rise to “framing quality” for some reason but were not throwaways either. It was ok for them to get smudges from little fingers.
Her children often took out the box and looked through the photos. They loved looking at the faces of those who were most important in their young lives. Take this idea to the next level and give your Grands your smiling face(s) in a safe, sturdy frame for placement on a nightstand or dresser. Include a handwritten note, either framed along with the pic or delivered with the gift. Pictures help build a visual, emotional connection when you can’t be present in person. They trigger memories and feelings. A simple framed photograph may become a treasure your Grands keep for years. Be sure to give each child their own framed photo!
For the teens and college-age Grands think about a journal. Journaling can be a satisfying lifetime habit. Maybe a gift of a beautiful journal along with your thoughts on the subject would give a grand you love the impetus to capture their thoughts, dreams, and hopes on paper. I enjoy this journal on Levenger.com. The 5-Year Journal can be personalized, and gives a one-page snapshot of entries made on calendar dates over five years. Life can change dramatically from year to year and a record of what was happening, especially for young people in formative years, can be both thought-provoking and inspiring.
What are you planning for gifts this year?
Please share and help other Grandparents reach for the hearts of their Grands!