By Sue White
A few years ago, to better enjoy the holiday season with both my local and long-distance grandchildren, I started a tradition of giving them a small but personal gift on each of the 12 days of Christmas.
Here are a few tips to make the most of your own grand gifting — whether on the 12 days of Christmas, the 8 days of Hanukkah, the 7 days of Kwanzaa, or any special day of the year.
Keep it simple. Choose a theme for each day, such as pajama pants, my favorite for Christmas Eve, and then handpick a special pair for each grandchild. Send one of your favorite board games as a family gift. Early in December, bag each day’s gifts separately, marked with the appropriate date, and ship the box out in plenty of time for your elves to do the wrapping.
Put yourself into it. My faith is important to me and so I might send out a hands-on project that tells “The Legend of Three Trees.” My love of music led to a round of kazoos, penny-whistles and harmonicas. Allow them to learn more about you through what you send.
Keep them in mind, too. With six grandsons spread throughout the three households, the little reindeer candy dispenser that delivers a sweet treat when you lift the tail was a sure hit, at $1.50 each. It even made me laugh out loud when I first saw it.
Think outside the box. Last year, we adopted a young boy from India through World Vision. Another time, my parental elves picked up movie passes and a concession voucher from their local theater, a welcome surprise on Christmas Day. This year, I might throw in a package of watermelon seeds. Use your imagination.
Have fun with it. Joy is contagious, even from a distance. Tap into what you share, whether it’s a love of books or a small plate of homemade fudge with the recipe attached, and keep that connection alive. It’s time to let the true spirit of Christmas shine.
Click here to read Sue White’s story “On the 12 Days of Christmas . . . I Gifted My Grandchildren Near and Far” in the November/December 2013 issue of GRAND Magazine.
Sue White is an award-winning journalist and grandmother of seven. She writes for MLive.com and other publications, and recently finished the memoir of Bill Thomas, one of the Flying Melzorsas.